|

Best Paint for Kitchen Cabinets (Professional Finish!)

This post may contain affiliate links, please review my disclosure policy.

Hi friends! Today I am sharing the best paint for kitchen cabinets that we’ve yet to find for a professional finish. After re-painting our kitchen cabinets a few months ago, I have been blown away at the quality and professional finish!  After making a few mistakes with our cabinet paint choices in the past, I’ve been so pleased with the outcome this go-round. This is the BEST, most quality paint we’ve found for kitchen cabinets, and I’m so excited to share it with you today. Choosing the right paint is truly the most pivotal part!

When we moved into our home 6 years ago, we had never painted kitchen cabinets before and thought we could paint them like we painted other cabinets. We were WRONG. Kitchen cabinets get a TON of use, and are the center of the home (at lease they are in this house!) I thought “good enough” would be okay when we settled on a cheaper cabinet paint and rushed through the process, but turns out… “good enough” starts chipping just a few weeks in. 

HOW TO PAINT KITCHEN CABINETS FOR A PROFESSIONAL FINISH:

I have a detailed tutorial written up on exactly how we painted our cabinets here.

But I will give you a quick run down here! In short, because our wood cabinets had been previously painted, we had to clean our cabinet doors and sand them (not completely – but pretty well) before a fresh coat of paint. We used wood filler to fix holes and cracks. And then used a good primer (a strong binder primer) in order to make sure the paint truly stuck to that. I did multiple coats of primer, and multiple coats of paint! 

The secret I found in this project and maybe the most important step is to do multiple coats of primer and paint, and to sand with a high grit sandpaper in-between each coat for a smoother finish. It’s always a good choice to prime your cabinets for the best finish, and to use the RIGHT PRIMER. This is what we used. This, in my opinion, is a huge part of the excellent final outcome of our painted kitchen cabinets and will give you the best results. 

We did use a paint sprayer for spraying the paint, and I believe for the smoothest paint finish possible – this is your best bet. But I have to say that the quality of the paint we used is insanely good. And if it is rolled on well – it will still look and feel incredibly professional! 

Our color is Edgecomb Gray in a semi-gloss finish. I have a complete blog post written up on our color choice here.

WHAT IS THE BEST PAINT FOR KITCHEN CABINETS? 

Hands down, the best cabinet paint we’ve found is Sherwin Williams Urethane Trim Enamel. This high-quality paint is a hugely popular choice for a reason! This paint is SO high-quality that we ended up only using one can. It’s thick with incredible coverage and a little really goes a long way!  The finished product with this paint is nothing short of professional. We have a rock solid finish (it is not chipping any time soon) and it is truly factory smooth. You’d truly think a professional painter did this for us! 

PROS OF SHERWIN WILLIAMS URETHANE TRIM ENAMEL

  • Hard & durable paint finish
  • Self-leveling for a smooth surface and sleek finish (it will even itself out from brush strokes, etc. and give a super smooth finish when dry).
  • Moisture resistant 
  • Fast drying time
  • High coverage (we needed way less paint than we thought we would need!) 

I want to state that I do not recommend this paint lightly. It’s the real deal!  I went on a months-long deep dive in research for this project, and am positive I came out with the best product. 

To break it down, there are several well-known brands that have top contenders for kitchen cabinet paint. The second most well-known cabinet paint is Benjamin Moore Advance paint. However, dry time between coats on this is 16 hours (compared to 4 for Sherwin Williams). THIS was a huge reason why I ultimately went ahead and went with Sherwin Williams. Painting kitchen cabinets is already lengthy enough without addings in days of dry time – whew! *insert sweating emoji.* 

The most budget, well-known kitchen cabinet paint is Behr Cabinet Enamel from Home Depot. I have personal experience with this paint as well, and I have found that Behr Cabinet Enamel almost always remains sticky feeling. We also had a terrible time with chipping when we used this for our cabinets. To Behr’s credit, the paint does *look* really nice and it is certainly cheaper. But for me, that’s where it ends. For something that gets as much use as kitchen cabinets, I’d rather have them be as quality as possible and am now willing to pay up. If you’re on a tight budget and have to go this way, I strongly recommend sanding VERY WELL and applying multiple coats of a strong bonding primer first. 

Again, I have a VERY detailed blog post on exactly HOW we painted our cabinets here. The post you are currently reading is simply sharing our paint choice with you and why.

WHAT SHEEN IS BEST FOR KITCHEN CABINETS? 

We chose semi-gloss for our finish. The long and short of this is that you would not be going wrong with either. Satin finish or semi-gloss finish are the best sheens for kitchen cabinets, as matte would not be easy to clean and glossy will show every fingerprint and smudge. I personally love a semi-gloss finish, as it has a more durability and I find it the most professional looking finish (especially for older cabinets). Again, this is personal preference for me, as I know satin is a highly popular kitchen cabinet finish. 

THINGS TO CONSIDER BETWEEN A SATIN AND SEMI-GLOSS CABINET PAINT FINISH:

  • Satin is a more understated look. It has a bit of shine without being too glossy. However, because it is a lower gloss sheen, it is not as easy to clean as semi-gloss. 
  • Semi-gloss has a higher shine, making it a bit more vibrant and modern. The finish makes it a bit more durable and easier to clean. However, the high-gloss finish also makes it harder to hide imperfections (ie. bumps in wood, brush strokes, etc.)

A great way to test this is to have a sample of the right color mixed up in two different sheens. Test it on your cabinets and see how the light hits before painting your entire kitchen. 

The power of paint is incredible, and this paint has absolutely transformed our kitchen and given it new life! The durable finish has me positive that we will not see any chipping any time soon. 

I hope this is helpful on your cabinet painting journey! Best of luck!
Courtney

PIN FOR LATER:

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *