Kitchen cabinets - do I need to protect enamel paint?

by Schwarzy
This kitchen is gonna kill me! I'm 3 weeks in now and the cabinet frames are done. I'm still working on doors and drawer fronts. But as I'm loading in dishes tonight and lining the cabinets with contact papers, I'm wondering should I put a clear coat over my paint job? I sanded and repaired but did no primer based on what I read about enamel paint. I was under the impression too that as enamel dries it hardens to a pretty solid and strong finish. But areas like the baseboard of the cabinets get serious wear and tear from cleaning and vacuuming, etc. I don't want to constantly be touching up my paint job. Can anyone provide feedback on their results using enamel on kitchen cabinets?
This is the paint I used
The bases of the cabinets have trim along the tile. It takes a pretty hard beating.
  9 answers
  • William William on Jun 11, 2018

    Kitchen cabinets get a lot of use. I would seal the paint job with at least three coats of water based polyurethane. Don't know why you didn't prime. I always prime whenever I paint.

    • Schwarzy Schwarzy on Jun 13, 2018

      This is what the back of the can indicated for priming:

      • Interior: On interior surfaces with heavy stains, galvanized metal or wrought iron, use a product such as BEHR PREMIUM PLUS® NO. 75 All-In-One Primer & Sealer.
      • Exterior: On exterior surfaces with heavy stains, wood or metal, use a product such as BEHR PREMIUM PLUS NO. 436 Multi-Surface Primer & Sealer. Follow all label instructions.
  • Bijous Bijous on Jun 11, 2018

    Hi, no need to seal. It will harden with time as it completely cures. And the only sealer that you could put on alkyd is oil based. And oil based has a tendency to yellow. I know it'll be grand when you're finished!

  • Janice Janice on Jun 11, 2018

    It would be wise to add a clear sealer now, before you get it all put back together.

    • Schwarzy Schwarzy on Jun 13, 2018

      I did email Behr and they advised against a sealer. This was their response, "Thank you for choosing our Alkyd Paint for your kitchen cabinets. Since this is a stand-alone product, it’s not recommended to apply a clear topcoat. Also, the product does dry to our durable hard finish. Because of this, you shouldn’t need to touch-up often."

  • Linda Linda on Jun 11, 2018

    A sealer unless also oil based will roll off. Paint takes a month to completely dry. A top coat shouldnt be necessary for oil based enamel. Good luck

  • 27524803 27524803 on Jun 11, 2018

    If you are not sure about putting a clear sealer over the paint you chose.... make a call to the manufacturer and ask... they will be able to give you the best recommendation as to yes or no.... and what product to use.

  • Sonja O Sonja O on Jun 11, 2018

    Since this is an alkyd instead of a true oil base, then it is better to prime first if you want the true durability particularly in the kitchen. Do not put a sealer on this paint.

  • William William on Jun 12, 2018

    You may see a slight color cast difference depending on the light/angle between the primed and unprimed. Not only does primer provide seal coat for paint it also makes the final color more vivid and true.

  • William William on Jun 23, 2018

    The can does say to use a primer and sealer. They just want you to use theirs. I like their response to your email. "Because of this, you shouldn’t need to touch-up often." What does that mean?! They don't recommend it but the paint will chip, literally. Kitchen cabinets get a lot of use and abuse. How often would you want to touch up. I still would clear coat for added protection.

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Oct 02, 2022