What is the best paint to use on kitchen cabinets?

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  • Hi Dan, that is a very personal choice. We have primed and painted them with traditional latex paint. I know people who swear by chalk paint, since there is very little priming involved and then others who have spray painted them. I think it depends on the look you are going for in the room and the effort/ time you want to exert. If you're looking for a quick and rustic fix, chalk paint may be a good choice. https://www.hometalk.com/27751541/how-to-paint-kitchen-cabinets-with-chalk-paint

  • Linda Sikut Linda Sikut on Feb 01, 2020

    Hi Dan,

    Most brands of paint have a special formula that is designed to work for cabinets. Among the ones a lot of people like are Benjamin Moore, Valspar and Behr. (Yes there are others that people love.) I know that I've had good results with Valspar and Behr. As Kim stated, there are others who love the rustic look and who will suggest chalk paint.


    This is the method that I used,

    Start by removing the doors and hardware, then clean everything completely. Be sure to number the doors and put the hardware for each door in it's own bag so they don't get lost or mixed up. Use a cleaner like TSP to make sure every bit of hand oils are removed before you start. Lightly sand the surface to make sure the paint will stick, then apply a good primer. Let that dry, then use a high number sand paper (280 or 300), followed by wiping all of the dust with a tack cloth. Next use a good paint in the color of your choice. Most companies now have a cabinet paint formula. It's best to use 2 thinner coats of paint instead of one thick coat. You can use a roller on flat surfaces, but you'll need a brush to get into groves and/or trim. It is best to start with the trim, then use the roller on the flat parts. That will help blend in any brush marks.


    After the first coat dries, again use a high number sandpaper to gently smooth any bumps that appear in the paint then use the tack cloth. Next apply the second coat. With the doors, paint the inside of the door first and watch for side drips. Once the inside is completely dry, flip it over and do the outside. (Tip - raise your doors using hunks of wood or even empty yogurt containers so that paint doesn't stick to your protective covering under the doors. ) Let everything dry, put the hardware back on and hang the doors. Stand back and admire your work. :) Wishing you the best!


  • Here's an article that discusses the types of paint and the types of cabinets. It may clear things up for you:

    https://www.thespruce.com/best-paint-for-kitchen-cabinets-4686963

  • Chas' Crazy Creations Chas' Crazy Creations on Feb 01, 2020

    I have used Dixie Belle Paint as well as Folk Art Home Decor Chalk Paint and both were great for me.

  • Malicity D'Obscura Malicity D'Obscura on Feb 01, 2020

    I have two decades, plus, as a professional painter. I agree with Kim, and wanted to add some info about latex paint options. The main thing is quality prep, and paint.


    *Be sure to thoroughly degrease the cabinets

    *Lightly sand/scuff the surfaces, to give the primer something to grip.

    *Remove the dust with a Tack Cloth, as dust will cause the paint to resist and bubble

    *Use a good primer, such a Zinsser.

    *Studies have shown that using Sherman Williams paints, does a far better job than Big Box brands, such as Behr. Same applies to Spray Paint, so keep that in mind.

    *If you are using a dark top coat, then have your paint store tint the primer a bit, so that if, for some reason, it does get nicked, the white doesn't "flash".

    *Remove doors, and hardware. It's less of a pain than cutting in for three coats, and yes...

    *One coat of primer, with two coats of paint!

    *Foam rollers will make a smooth finish, if this is important.

    *Leave brushes/roller covers wrapped in plastic, and in freezer, overnight, to save cleaning them and sending loads of painty water down the drain.

    *Play good music


  • Pamela Pamela on Feb 01, 2020

    Hi ! If you want an easier way without the mess of sanding them down first , you have 2 options . I did a lot of research before painting mine . You can use chalk paint

    and a sealing wax , my sister did this and they look beautiful . I opted for using advance paint by Benjamin Moore . This did not require a sealed afterwards .

    I couldn't be happier with the results !!! They have held up beautifully for the past 3 years . You can check out my step by step process , with tips , on the tutorial on this site called New kitchen on a budget . Good luck !

  • Pamela Pamela on Feb 01, 2020

    Here are some pics of our kitchen re do using advance paint by Benjamin Moore. I also cut beadboard and glued it down to the front of our cabinet doors to cover the scalloped inset that I hated !

    P.S. I also painted my countertops !

  • I used a kit by Rust-Oleum called Cabinet Transformations to paint my cabinets. You can see how I did it here: https://www.flippingtheflip.com/2015/09/kitchen-cabinets-black.html

  • Morgan McBride Morgan McBride on Feb 05, 2020

    I used the specific cabinet paint from lowes! they can tint to any color.

  • Kmdreamer Kmdreamer on Feb 06, 2020

    Semi gloss so it could be washed

  • Tinyshoes Tinyshoes on Feb 07, 2020

    Dan...I used Valspar after Kilz primer.

  • Megan Megan on Feb 15, 2020

    My favorite is Chalk Paint! No sanding or priming. Here is a tutorial on how to paint your cabinets with chalk paint! :)


    https://letspaintfurniture.com/how-to-paint-kitchen-cabinets-white/