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Best Paint for Kitchen Cabinets


The best paint for kitchen cabinets? Since writing up our How to Paint Kitchen Cabinets page we get asked that a lot. The answer? Here is the short answer: Semi-gloss by Benjamin Moore from the Natura Line.

Want the long answer? Here you go:

Semi-Gloss: You want semi-gloss or glossy, not eggshell and not satin. Why? For cleaning. You have to be able to wipe down your cabinets easily as they will get very dirty. So why not gloss? If you have wood cabinets (and especially older wood cabinets) high gloss paint will show every single nick and ding in it. This bugs me. It might not but you, in which case gloss is just fine. But for me, after painting four sets of cabinets and testing various levels of sheen, I go for semi-gloss every time now.

Latex: Go with a water based latex paint. Avoid oil based paint even though you'll hear older folks say "oil paint for high traffic areas" and while this was once true, this just isn't the case anymore. Modern latex paint is very, very durable. Oil based paint is considered a hazardous material and continues to off-gas fumes over many years...do you really want that in your kitchen? Nope. Not to mention, latex paints dry faster, is healthier for you, easier clean-up, easier disposal, will not yellow with time and will not get brittle and chip like oil paint does.

painting kitchen cabinets painting kitchen cabinets drawers

Brand: So which brand makes the best paint for kitchen cabinets? Well, there are many great brands of paint, but I'm partial to Benjamin Moore and especially the Natura Line. The Natura line has zero VOCs (aka - the stinky, bad for you chemicals that you smell with fresh paint) so it is a healthy choice, especially for a kitchen. I also found it very durable, unlike a zero-VOC cheap brand that you can find at most hardware stores that shall go unnamed. Not all brands are created equally. There is good paint and there is cheap paint. Cheap paint will have less durability and will be more likely to stick and peel which is the opposite of what you want on your cabinets! So while you have my permission to skimp on the walls, do not skimp on the cabinets. Get quality paint.

No Shortcuts: Last, but not least, it won't matter what paint you pick if you don't do the job right. Please be sure to read our tips for how to use the best paint for kitchen cabinets as those extra steps like sanding and priming and removing hardware will make all the difference.

Happy painting!

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