Paint That Works Best on Cabinets?

The Kitchen is the Heart of your Home so you want your cabinets looking great.

Knowing the paint that works best on cabinets is perhaps the most important thing for a successful job. There are many choices out there for cabinets but in reality there are really only a handful of quality coatings that perform over the long haul.

There are paints designed specifically for the abuse cabinets get. I have seen both homeowners and “painters” alike pick paints that are very bad choices.

Benjamin Moore, Pittsburg Paint are two companies that have trusted products for high performance. There are others as well. Painters get attached to their brand and paint. If you ask several trusted paint pro’s they will each have their favorite.

kitchen cabinet paint

We have evolved over many years to what we use today. We look for adhesion, durability and recoat windows. There are a small handful coatings that fit this criteria. There are many coatings that exceed in one regard but fall far short in another. For example a paint may have high adhesion but comes with a 24 hour recoat window. That is tough to deal with as a professional painter. That is several days for multiple coats of paint.

Many of the professional grade coatings can only be sprayed. That is the only way to do a set of cabinets and a factor to consider for the DIY homeowner.

There are three types of paint for cabinets.

  1. Oil base paint. Old School. It is tough, durable and wears well. It smells, is tougher to work with and tends to chip and yellow over time.
  2. Latex (water base) paint. User friendly. Low odor. Limited durability.
  3. Hybrid Coatings. A combination of the best of oil base and latex paint. Urethane modified alkyd polymers suspended in latex paint. Smells more then traditional latex.

We use a waterborne acrylic urethane (Hybrid Coating) on our cabinet work.

The paint that works best on cabinets is a hybrid coating. Some of the more user friendly ones are Benjamin Moore Advance and Valspar oil enriched enamel. Another user friendly one is BEHR Urethane Alkyd Enamel.

For sheen I would suggest a satin or semi-gloss. Pick a sheen you like and can live with.

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