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Best Paint for Kitchen Cabinets

When it comes to home improvements, a cabinet makeover is a dramatic way to update the appearance of your kitchen. Fortunately, you can accomplish this inexpensively with paint. Here's what you need to know about choosing the best paint for kitchen cabinets.

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Satin via Benjamin Moore

Benjamin Moore Advance

Wondering what kind of paint to use on kitchen cabinets? Advance paint by Benjamin Moore combines the low VOCs of a water-based paint with the smoothness and durability of an oil-based paint in an alkyd-enhanced hybrid. Advance gives you a choice of finishes, including matte, satin, semi-gloss and high-gloss. For the best paint for kitchen cabinets, we recommend the satin finish which provides luster while retaining some ability to hide flaws. Professional painters like the way the paint smooths itself as it sets and the hard, washable, furniture-grade finish it provides. Benjamin Moore provides this tutorial video for best application practices.

Be sure to check out our 20 surprising tips for painting kitchen cabinets.

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paint via Sherwin-Williams

Sherwin-Williams Emerald Urethane Trim Enamel

As one of Sherwin-Williams’ newest formulations, the Emerald line of water-based paints is described as “a finish that withstands wear and tear and goes on in fewer coats.” Emerald Urethane Trim Enamel comes highly recommended from professionals for painting kitchen cabinets, but they warn that using the wrong brushes and rollers or poor technique yields subpar results with spotty coverage and brush marks. Take your time and do it by the book when using this paint (including the appropriate cure time), and you’ll get professional results. Sheens run from satin to gloss. Reface your kitchen cabinets yourself with our help. Here’s how!

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Enamelvia Sherwin-Williams

Sherwin-Williams ProClassic Alkyd Interior Enamel

For painting your kitchen cabinets, the best paint is one that’s consistently easy to apply. ProClassic Alkyd Interior Enamel is a traditional oil-based paint that when fully cured (21 to 30 days), provides a harder, more durable finish than latex or acrylic paints. As an oil-based, high-quality paint, it also provides superior leveling (fewer brush marks) and coverage properties. Achieve the best results from practicing patience and applying two to three coats for a long-lasting finish. Sherwin-Williams ProClassic Alkyd Interior Enamel comes in satin and semi-gloss. Learn about 9 easy repairs you can make on your kitchen cabinets.

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Acrylic via Sherwin-Williams

Sherwin-Williams ProClassic Interior Waterbased Acrylic-Alkyd

For those worried about VOCs or yellowing that is associated with oil-based paints, Sherwin-Williams ProClassic Interior Waterbased Acrylic-Alkyd paint is a reliable option as the best paint for kitchen cabinets. As another product that takes advantage of hybrid technology, this paint approximates the quality of the oil-based finishes while providing the ease-of-use and product safety of water-based paints. Available in satin and semi-gloss. Convert wood cabinet doors to glass in two hours!

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Glyptex via PPG Industries

PPG Glyptex Interior Alkyd

PPG Glyptex Interior Alkyd enamel paint offers extremely durable performance with a porcelain-like finish. It covers well on a wide variety of primed surfaces including wood, metal, plaster, concrete and masonry. Available sheens include satin, semi-gloss and gloss. Refinish your kitchen cabinets and unlock their beauty.

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aquanamelvia Pratt & Lambert

Pratt & Lambert Aquanamel Waterborne Alkyd Enamel

Pratt & Lambert’s entry into the hybrid enamel market is Aquanamel Waterborne Alkyd Enamel. With low VOCs and soap-and-water clean-up, you won’t believe the flow and leveling capacity of this paint. Formulated to withstand abuse, it is a perfect match for high-traffic kitchen cabinet doors and frames. This paint works best over primed surfaces and comes in satin, semi-gloss and gloss. Learn how to spray paint kitchen cabinets.

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behrvia Behr

Behr Urethane Alkyd Satin Enamel

It’s clear that paint companies have focused on developing hybrids and Behr offers a good one for painting kitchen cabinets with its Urethane Alkyd Enamel paint. Behr recommends this paint for a variety of surfaces, and its durable, flawless finish is perfect for cabinets. And, it is available in both satin and semi-gloss. How to remove paint from wood surfaces and restore their natural beauty.

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chalkvia Annie Sloan

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

For a completely different look on your kitchen cabinets, you can choose a chalk paint. These ultra-matte finishes, originally created by British crafter Annie Sloan, offer the flexibility of creating an aged, burnished or distressed look easily with minimal preparation.

No one will argue with the fact that for painting projects, the better your surface prep, the better your finished product. But, Sloan developed this paint to create a more-than-acceptable finish without the heavy prep. Keep in mind that chalk paint will not provide a durable enough finish for cabinets without a hard, wax topcoat. Read our tips for applying antique painting techniques to cabinets.

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paintvia The Real Milk Paint Co.

Real Milk Paint

People who desire a truly nontoxic paint option and the flexibility to achieve a farmhouse-look paint job on their kitchen cabinets can try the products from The Real Milk Paint Co. While recipes for milk paint are available online, this company saves you the effort and ships bags of mix straight to your door. Once again, these paints do require a wax top coat for durability on cabinets. However, the company supports you with several video tutorials demonstrating preparation and application techniques.

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Want more info about milk paint? Here’s what you need to know.

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Modern via Farrow & Ball

Farrow & Ball Modern Eggshell

Usually people consider eggshell too soft of a finish for cabinetry and furniture, but Farrow & Ball recommends its Modern Eggshell paint specifically for tough applications, such as kitchen cabinets, floors and stairs. The quick-drying paint hardens into a washable, durable coating, emits low levels of VOCs and cleans-up with soap and water. One note: You will have to sand off or strip away any polished finish before application. Make a mess? Here’s how to get paint out of your clothes.