Planning on painting your kitchen cabinets? I’ve done all the work and researched the best paint for kitchen cabinets to get you on the right track, fast!
One of my most popular posts lately has been How to Paint Your Kitchen Cabinets Without Sanding, so it got me to thinking of all my blogger friends who have painted their kitchen cabinets over the years. I decided to reach out to them, find out what paint they used and how it has held up over time.
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The types of paints most commonly used are:
- Alkyd Paint
- Stain Blocking Primer
- Paint Additives like Oil Bond
- Enamel Based Paint
- Chalk Paint
- Acrylic Milk Paint
- Velvet Finishes
Continue reading below to determine which paint is best for your situation.
Alkyd Paint That Mimics Oil-Based
In terms of purchasing traditional paint, there’s two products that you will need to purchase: a primer and then actual paint. From my experience, professional painters will strongly recommend either going the Oil Based route (smelly & messy) or using an Alkyd paint like Benjamin Moore’s Advance Waterborne Alkyd Paint, available in both a primer and paint that act like oil-based without the stink or clean-up.
Laura from Inspiration For Moms painted her cabinets with Benjamin Moore’s Advance line and used a sprayer to get amazing coverage.
Source: Inspiration For Moms
Head over to Inspiration For Moms to get all the details on Laura’s painting process and decide if this is the paint for your project.
Diane from In my Own Style opted to use the Sherwin Williams Alkyd formula and can testify that it has excellent adhesion abilities, flow and leveling to lessen the look of roller and brush marks as well as the fact that it is non-yellowing (which is super important if you’re painting your cabinets white).
source: In My Own Style
Diane also speaks to the importance of using a stain blocking primer, especially when you are dealing with older cabinets that may have tannins that will eventually bleed through. This has happened me in the past and trust me, it’s not a good look.
Instead of a separate primer, use a paint additive like Oil Bond
If your cabinets have been previously painted using a oil-based paint but you want to paint with latex, try using a paint additive like Oil Bond. I’ve personally used it and it has really impressed me. By wiping it over your cabinets, it works as a deglosser (so no sanding required!) and by adding it to latex paint, it allows the paint to correctly adhere to a previous oil-based surface. My favorite way to use it? Use the Oil Bond to degloss and then use Hard Coat (by the same company) as an additive in your paint. It creates a rock-hard finish that ensures your cabinets won’t chip or peel. When you’re painting something that is opened and closed (and kicked and scuffed) several times a day, the last thing you want is peeling and chipping paint!
Enamel Based Paint
My friend, Carrie, from Lovely Etc. did an amazing job painting her oak kitchen cabinets using an enamel-based paint that didn’t require her to prime or seal. She’s a perfectionist by nature, so I can assure you that the finished product is beautiful. Not only have her cabinets held up really well but she also figured out a trick to hide that unsightly grain!
Head over to Carrie’s blog, read her entire process and decide if enamel-based paint is the right one for your kitchen cabinets!
High Quality Acrylic Milk Paint
Tasha from Designer Trapped in a Lawyer’s Body successfully painted her oak cabinets without sanding or priming (but she did de-gloss) and they are not only beautiful, but holding up perfectly several years later. She actually used a high quality Milk Paint followed by a very durable top coat – all the details and brands are contained in her blog post.
Tasha has several posts that will walk you through her process as well as a video that shows how her cabinets are holding up several years later. Like Carrie, she also had the issue with the wood grain in oak cabinets so be sure to read the comments in her posts to see what she decided to do!
Go The Chalk Paint Route
If a matte finish is what you’re after, using a chalk-style paint might also be an option for you. Chalk paint adheres remarkably well and as long as it is sealed correctly (don’t use wax in a kitchen!), it should last well. I’ve personally only painted furniture using chalk paint – and everything has held up perfectly – but I cannot attest to whether it will eventually chip or flake. Saying this, many bloggers love their Chalk Painted Kitchen Cabinets and the paint seems to be holding up very well.
Chalk Painted Cabinets – Sincerely, Sara D
Try Velvet Finishes
Full disclosure, I’ve used Velvet Finishes many times in the past and I’ve loved it. I’ve painted a dresser, rocking chair and my coffee table and the paint has never chipped or flaked off any of them. But I’ve never painted a kitchen cabinet. My friend, Jenna from Rain on a Tin Roof went as far as to use this paint line on her kitchen cabinets. She didn’t sand or prime, but did use the line’s deglosser.
source: Rain on a Tin Roof
She has since sold that home, but said they held up really well! I know my coffee table has stuff throw on it and we always rest our feet on it and it has NEVER even scuffed so I can definitely personally recommend this paint line! See the full before and after as well as Jenna’s process over on her blog.
Hopefully after reading the above posts you’ll begin to form an understanding of the pros and cons of each of the different types of products to figure out what the best paint for your kitchen cabinets will be!
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