10 Best Paint to Paint Kitchen Cabinets for a Stunning Transformation

Giving your kitchen a fresh new look doesn’t require a complete renovation. One of the most cost-effective ways to breathe new life into an outdated kitchen is to repaint the cabinets. However, not just any old paint will do. You need to choose the best paint to paint kitchen cabinets that can withstand this high-use area’s high traffic, moisture, grease, and daily wear and tear.

With so many paints on the market claiming to be ideal for painting cabinets, it can be challenging to determine the best paint. This guide will cover all you need to know about selecting the best paint to paint kitchen cabinets and proper prep and application techniques for stunning, long-lasting results. Whether you want crisp white cabinets or seek cabinet color inspiration, you’ll find the tips to achieve your dream kitchen.

The 10 Best Paint to Paint Kitchen Cabinets in 2024

  1. Benjamin Moore Advance Interior Cabinet & Trim Enamel ($54/gallon) Benjamin Moore’s Advance line is considered one of the best paints for kitchen cabinets. This waterborne alkyd enamel offers the durability of an oil-based paint in a low-VOC, low-odor formula. It self-levels to a smooth finish and is highly stain—and moisture-resistant—ideal for kitchen use. It is available in a wide range of colors.
  2. Sherwin Williams Emerald Urethane Trim Enamel ($72/gallon) Sherwin Williams’ premium Emerald line includes this urethane-modified enamel paint explicitly made for cabinets, trim, and furniture. It has exceptional stain release, blocks moisture, and resists chipping, scuffing, and marring. The oil-based formula dries to a durable, washable finish with high moisture resistance.
  3. Farrow & Ball Full Gloss ($75/gallon): For a traditional high-gloss finish, Farrow & Ball’s Full Gloss oil-based paint is adamant and hardwearing, making it perfect for kitchen cabinet use. It has a high concentration of premium oils and resins for an intense sheen. An easy-to-clean satin finish is also available. It comes in Farrow & Ball’s signature historical color palette.
  4. Behr Alkyd Semi-Gloss Enamel ($38/gallon) Behr’s affordable alkyd-based cabinet paint offers excellent performance for the price. This 100% acrylic provides a smooth, long-lasting finish with superior adhesion and block resistance. It’s designed specifically for cabinets, trim, and furniture and has a decorative semi-gloss finish.
  5. Rust-Oleum Cabinet Transformation Kit ($75/kit) For an accessible all-in-one system, Rust-Oleum’s Cabinet Transformation kit contains everything you need to repaint cabinets. It includes ultra-durable cabinet paint, decorative glaze (for an antiqued look), a protective top coat, all tools, and detailed instructions. Available in several color tints.
  6. General Finishes Milk Paint ($24.50/pint) Milk paint is a unique, ultra-matte option that creates a vintage, chalky look on cabinets. General Finishes is a top brand – their premium milk paint contains calcium carbonate for superior adhesion and durability compared to DIY chalk paint recipes. Easy to distress and made in the USA.
  7. Insl-X Cabinet Coat Enamel ($45/gallon) Insl-X Cabinet Coat is a specially formulated enamel paint for refinishing kitchen and bathroom cabinets. The oil-based formula provides a durable, moisture—and stain-resistant satin finish for use and cleaning. Once cured, it is self-leveling and hard as nails.
  8. Clare Paint Cabinet & Trim Interior Paint ($52/gallon) Clare is a new direct-to-consumer paint brand making waves with its high-quality finishes. Their Cabinet & Trim line is 100% acrylic with a built-in primer made specifically for cabinets, trim, and furniture. It is low-odor, stain-blocking, and available in Clare’s curated interior color palette.
  9. Wise Owl One Hour Enamel ($50/gallon)
    This unique hybrid enamel paint from Wise Owl dries to a complete cure in just one hour, rather than the days it takes for traditional enamels. Yet it maintains excellent durability and a hand-brushed look. It is available in satin and semi-gloss sheens, which are perfect for cabinets.
  10. Valspar Cabinet Enamel ($35/gallon) For a budget option, Valspar’s Cabinet Enamel is a quality low-cost choice sold exclusively at Lowe’s. This semi-gloss latex provides good durability and coverage for cabinet refinishing projects. Reasonably priced and designed to resist moisture, chipping, and marring.

What is the Best Type of Paint for Kitchen Cabinets?

Regarding the best paint to paint cabinets, there are a few key qualities to look for. First and foremost, you want a tough, durable finish that can withstand frequent opening and closing of the cabinets, heat, moisture, grease splatters, and cleaning products. For these reasons, oil-based paints, chalk paints, and certain latex paints formulated for cabinets are among the best options. Many professional painters recommend oil-based alkyd paint as the best paint for kitchen cabinets. Alkyd paints utilize synthetic alkyds that make the dried paint extraordinarily durable and resistant to chipping, scratching, and moisture. The main downsides are the strong odor during application and longer drying time.

Water-based acrylic latex paints are another excellent option for the best paint to paint the kitchen. Quality 100% acrylic paints are very durable, easy to clean, resist moisture, and can stand up well in kitchens. Select a cabinet/trim latex paint rather than a flat wall paint. Latex paints labeled for cabinets by a trusted brand are good bets. Chalk paints have surged in popularity for cabinet repainting. This ultra-matte, no-prep paints are very adhering and tough once cured. They can achieve great smooth, vintage, or distressed looks. The main downside is the complexity of topcoating for optimal durability in kitchens. Properly preparing cabinets by degreasing, cleaning, lightly sanding, and priming is critical for any paint on kitchen cabinets. Skipping prep leads to peeling and chipping paint prematurely.

Choosing a Cabinet Color

Once you understand the different durable paint types, the next step is determining the look you want for your cabinet colors. Crisp white is always a timeless, bright option that pairs nicely with any decor style. Semi-gloss and high-gloss whites tend to be popular cabinet colors. However, colored cabinetry is a significant trend. Unique-colored cabinets in shades like sage green, navy, soft blue, or gray can add subtle sophistication to modern and traditional kitchens. Deep, warm hues like burgundy, terracotta, and hunter green make for a cozy, welcoming country kitchen design.

Green and white kitchens are particularly trendy – think mint, olive, or sage green lower cabinets with crisp white uppers. Soft, muted blues like dusty azure offer a serene, coastal vibe. At the deeper end, rich navy is a classic cabinet color choice that can read as either neutral or bold, depending on the overall palette. Consider unexpected shades like pale pink, sunny yellow, or kelly green paired with neutral counters and walls for a daring, colorful cabinet look. These pops of color are a fun way to add personality. No matter which cabinet color you choose, purchase high-quality paint from a reputable brand formulated for cabinets, furniture, or trim work when selecting the best paint to paint kitchen cabinets.

Proper Prep and Application Techniques

Beyond selecting the best durable cabinet paint, proper preparation and application are essential for professional, long-lasting results. You never want to brush on new paint over the existing lacquered cabinet finish – this is a recipe for peeling and chipping, even with the best paint. Always begin by thoroughly degreasing and cleaning every surface of the cabinet doors, drawers, and frames. A degreaser or TSP substitute helps remove built-up grease, grime, and household cleaners before applying the best paint to cabinets. Once fully dry, lightly sand all surfaces with a fine-grit sanding block to rough up the finish for maximum adhesion.

Bare wood cabinets must be primed with a stain-blocking bonding primer before using the best paint to paint kitchen cabinets. A primer labeled for previously painted cabinets can help achieve seamless coverage before applying your chosen paint. Taking the time to prime helps the topcoat paint adhere better and last longer. Once primed, you can use the topcoat’s paint to paint cabinets following the manufacturer’s recommended method, usually a brush and roller with light sanding between coats. Most paints require two top coats, while latex may need three. Use paint formulated for trim or furniture – never flat wall paint. Take the time to remove doors/drawers and hardware. This allows you to paint backs better and get into crevices more easily. Consider spraying doors and frames for the smoothest finish when working with the best paint to paint kitchen cabinets. Lightly sand and wipe surfaces clean between coats for optimal adhesion.

Tips for Kitchen Cabinet Upgrades

Painting your kitchen cabinets yourself with the best paint to paint kitchen cabinets can yield a dramatic refresh for a fraction of the cost of new cabinetry or a complete remodel. Along with choosing the paint color and formula, there are additional upgrades to consider: Replace or add molding: Boring slab doors can be dressed up with decorative moldings, and trim can be added post-paint once you’ve used the paint to paint kitchen cabinets. Affordable DIY molding kits look for custom-raised panel cabinets. Install new hardware: Nothing dates cabinets faster than old hardware. Swapping out knobs and pulls is a simple way to modernize cabinets painted with the best paint to paint kitchen cabinets. Go for sleek bars or cup pulls in brass, matte black, or brushed nickel.

  • Open shelving: Remove cabinet doors to create trendy open shelving after painting with the best pain. The recessed cabinet interior can be painted in a contrasting color.
  • Reface drawers: Replace dated drawer fronts with new slab or raised panel doors cut to size. This lets you fully update the look and use the paint on kitchen cabinets.
  • Add interior accents: Once painted, add cabinet touches like beadboard, glass inserts, decorative hinges, or lighting for a custom look. By addressing little extras as part of your cabinet painting project with the best paint to paint kitchen cabinets, you can achieve a pulled-together, brand-new kitchen on a budget.

Painting your kitchen cabinets yourself with the best paint to paint kitchen cabinets is an advantageous DIY project that can breathe new life into a dated space for a fraction of the cost of new cabinetry. The key is choosing the best paint for your style, use, and longevity preferences. Whether it’s a crisp white cabinet paint, a moody blue cabinet hue, or a trendy green-colored cabinet look, finding the paint to paint kitchen cabinets ensures a beautiful finish that can withstand heavy kitchen use. Proper prep, like degreasing, sanding, and priming, followed by careful application, is critical for a professional, durable topcoat when using the paint. Taking the time to address cabinet painting correctly with high-quality materials pays off in a stunning finish you’ll enjoy for years.

Don’t forget to explore trends like bold cabinet colors or two-tone looks once you’ve settled on the best paint to paint kitchen cabinets. Finish off your cabinet painting project with details like new hardware, moldings, or open shelving for a custom look after painting with the best paint. With so many durable formulas available for the best paint, there’s never been a better time to refresh your space on a budget. Browse guides for more inspiration to tackle your dream kitchen renovation!

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