Best paint to use to paint kitchen cabinets

28 Replies

What is the best paint to use to paint kitchen cabinets.

I've been real pleased with the results from the rustoleum cabinet transformation kit.

Thank you. I have you that before also and was very happy with it. I was just wondering was there a paint that will give the same result so you wouldn’t have to go through all the steps with rustoleum. A nice semi-gloss, all in one. 

I haven't had much luck getting a good finish from paint. A while back I saw someone mention milk paint. I'm planning on trying it soon.

@Michael Watts you like the semi-gloss? I find that the shine makes the cabinets look odd. I guess it depends on the other features like backsplash.

You need to Clean the substrate first (TSP/degreaser), use a bonding primer and then I would recommend Sherwin Williams Emerald Urethanized trim paint. It has a longer upon time than most and is pretty easy to use. Semi Gloss is industry Standard. If you skip a step, like cleaning with TSP you may have issues down the road with peeling and chipping.

@drew Gedemer I do a espresso color on the kitchen cabinets for my renter houses. I was using the rustoleum cabinet transformation kit. I’m looking for a all in one paint. The rustoleum is very good but there a lot of step and I hope I can find a all in one espresso paint 

@Michael Watts I have a great painter who uses Benjamin Moore ADVANCE. It takes a long time to fully cure, like a month, but once that time period is over it’s a very solid paint, almost like a lacquer. Tenants can cause some damage if not careful while it cures, so keep a quart on hand for touch ups. Very happy with this paint overall.

Talk to someone at a paint store.  Last time I painted cabinets we used an enamel paint, but that was 20 years ago.  It held up really well in the rental.

Home Depot has one called Cabinet Coat. 

@Michael Watts i actually refinish/paint cabinets as my side job. I haven’t used Rustoleum so I’m not sure what steps you are wanting to avoid. However, Valspar (Lowe’s) makes a cabinet enamel paint that can be tinted any color. It is a paint and primer, self leveling paint. It is supposed to be a low prep paint. I have used it many times with good results. However, I have a prep process that I NEVER vary from because I do not like redo’s. But it is a good paint.... you must adhere to the drying times as provided in the instructions .

@Michael Watts

I use Sherwin Williams Pro Classic “oil base”, which is the key. It is only sold in quarts, but the durability is much better than any latex product can provide. Be sure wash the existing cabinets prior.

@Theresa Harris This is not always great advice. Home Depot pushes Behr because it's their exclusive not necessarily because best paint. I would say the paint matters way less than the prep so make sure you prep well.

@Michael Watts we use Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (old white is most popular color). It's a water based paint so no smell and use a water based poly to finish them off. The paint can be a bit thicker than traditional paint but you can thin it out with a little bit of water. It dries super fast and transforms a kitchen to look high end in finish. We've done probably 25 kitchens with the product. If you google Annie Sloan you can find a stockiest locally who can help you step by step in the process. Any questions just hit me up. Ohhhh and make sure to clean the hell out of the cabinets with TSP first.

@Michael Watts I second the “cabinet” paint but like everyone says, the prep or “steps” create the quality of the application. The cabinet or sw trim paint dry slower so level out and look better, smoother. All latex cures harder with time so 2 weeks is ideal. Do not go with chalk paint as some recommend until you reflect a moment on why “ chalking” is considered a paint defect. And whether you think a flat chalky surface will be easy to keep clean. There are no shortcuts with cabinet painting but plenty of quality products. I plan to try the advance on my upcoming bath rehab.

@Michael Watts . Talk to your Bejamin Moore dealer. I painted kitchen cabinets 4 years ago, no chipping and the finish looks great. I can't remember the name of the paint, but it was expensive. My paint guy also sold me a primer that he tinted to match my top coat, thereby making the top coat go further. I have had problems with cabinet paint chipping in the past.

@Michael Watts there a few responses in here that point towards the Benjamin Moore Advance series, and they are correct. I was lucky enough to find it early on and haven’t stopped using it since on anything interior basically. Best finish if you wanna minimize steps too. Expensive, but worth it by making up the savings everywhere else.

I have done a few of my apartments that have the laminated cabinets. I used 2 coats of oil based primer, two coats of paint, and then two coats of poly. They turned out great and have held up wonderfully. I also added mdf slats on the front to make them look like shaker style, and added nice hardware. 
I'm doing a flip right now and am going to use homemade chalk paint in Alabaster white and then poly over that. Much faster because the chalk paint doesn't require a primer and goes over pretty much anything.
Here's a couple pics of my apartment cabinets before and after:

Total newb question:

Could someone share a step by step on repainting cabinets?

Debating on redoing or replacing.

I would not use this in a rental. My painter used PPG Breakthrough on our kitchen remodel-it is amazing; like a plasticized finish. People do not think it is paint over wood. Drawback is the application and vapor. He did the drawers and cabinet doors in his shop and the frames inside the house. Even with the kitchen thoroughly taped off we still had to open doors and windows in the rest of the house. But the finished product is remarkable. It has been about two years and it looks like it was done yesterday. Painting is all about the product and the painter.



Originally posted by @Jennifer Rysdam :

I have done a few of my apartments that have the laminated cabinets. I used 2 coats of oil based primer, two coats of paint, and then two coats of poly. They turned out great and have held up wonderfully. I also added mdf slats on the front to make them look like shaker style, and added nice hardware. 
I'm doing a flip right now and am going to use homemade chalk paint in Alabaster white and then poly over that. Much faster because the chalk paint doesn't require a primer and goes over pretty much anything.
Here's a couple pics of my apartment cabinets before and after:

That looks great.  Where did you find the slats?  Did you glue them on?

i use a primer called stixs put out by Benjamin Moore and the use advanced paint high gloss also put out by Benjamin Moore this is also good to paint over tiles on walls

Hi everyone, I just want to say everyone has good input here, I never really post but all of your replies have got me wanting to write a little of my experience with cabinets also. Jennifer nice job, and great transformation mind of a decorator/investor. Chris, my suggestion would depend on the condition of the cabinets and the time you have or going to take to get it done. Like some said here prep is the most important on cabinets, and trim, compared to walls. meaning sanding and/or at least de-glossing,  putting or spackling, and cleaning. a good primer for adherence and sealing and paint. You can bypass all the prep and wipe down the cabinets with some soap and water and spray away or a sponge roller will give it a somewhat sprayed on smooth look. But... possible peeling and use and what not is sure to happen, if you are painting over finished cabinets if they are painted then you may be good to go. Unless they are not factory paint and the person before you didn't prep them correctly. See what I'm pointing out. If you want the result to "last" I can make them look like new with any cheap paint a lightweight spackle, and a wipe down with water. However, how well are they going to stay looking like that especially if you intend to rent?  It all depends on the use and or abuse. I've done them as fast as possible just wipe them down and the spray cheapest latex on them, install some new nobs and next job. So think about the neighborhood type, 3 plus bedroom most likely means a family with kids, three or more kids, could spell trouble, see what I'm saying. Don't get me wrong. I love kids have 4 of my own all grown up and now have 10 grandkids love them. And every family member is different, including among siblings, believe me, I have ten brothers and sister,  and we all have different habits in cleanliness and standards in life. I love everything to be clean. especially in the kitchen, no dishes in the sink etc.. some in my family will not clean unless you are on them. I mean you  can pile dish upon dish and they would not care if it was there for 3 days lol . Well I can go on but have to go. Good luck.

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