If your kitchen is long overdue for a refresh, we find that one of the best ways to breathe new life into it is by giving your kitchen cabinets particular attention. Thankfully, you won’t have to tear down everything in your kitchen to do so! Painting your kitchen cabinet is an affordable way to stay on top of the top kitchen trends while also staying within budget. As you’ll soon see, a quick paint job will revamp the space whether you choose a fun, bold color or a neutral shade. We spoke to experts who break down the best kitchen cabinet paint choices and our favorite DIY go-to’s.
What formula of paint is best for kitchen cabinets?
Before choosing an amazing color to blend in with your aesthetic, it’s important to narrow down on the finish of your paint. Opt for a satin, gloss, or semi-gloss, as their performance qualities are super reliable in the kitchen. Rick Watson, Sherwin-Williams‘s director of product information explains, “For high-traffic spaces like the kitchen, use a finish with a higher gloss. It’s durable and easy to clean, which is important for surfaces that are prone to messes like kitchen cabinets.“
From sticky fingers to spills and incidents with kitchen appliances—the ability to remove tough stains and spills is key when choosing kitchen paint. Flat or matte paints won’t hold up to the wear and tear that cabinets take in your day-to-day kitchen activities. “You’ll want paints that are designed for cabinets. They provide excellent flow and leveling characteristics for a smooth and durable finish. They should be washable, as well as stain and scratch-resistant,” Watson shares.
What to Look for in Kitchen Cabinet Paint:
- Resistance to stains and scratches
- Reduce odors and moisture
Watson recommends using Sherwin-Williams Emerald Urethane Trim Enamel in gloss, semi-gloss, or satin. “This product has excellent flow and leveling characteristics for a smooth and durable finish on cabinets, doors, and trim. It provides exceptional washability, durability, and stain and scratch resistance. In fact, most stains wipe clean with water or mild soap. It also has advanced stain-blocking technology to seal in stains,” says Watson.
How to Make Your Kitchen Cabinet Paint Last
Once you’ve narrowed down the finish of your paint, check the material and condition of your wood to see if it’s laminate or not. Sand down the cabinets of dust and residue to bring ease to your application process for a flawless finish. You can also add a great primer before you begin!
Nicole Gibbons, the founder of Clare, shares, “For added durability, you can consider a satin polyurethane topcoat which ensures your paint will dry to a very hard enamel-like finish.”
The Best Color for Kitchen Cabinets
Gibbons explains, “Be sure you choose a color you’ll love! Painting your cabinets requires so much time and effort, you don’t want to have to repeat the process! Don’t be afraid to go bolder with color on your cabinets. I love the moody green of Current Mood for a kitchen.”
Nervous about taking the leap with a paint? Whether you’re choosing between a vibrant color or warm neutral, swatching is the best way to figure out if what you want translates well in your kitchen. “Clare makes paint sampling easy with our peel & stick Perfect Color Swatch. You literally apply it to your wall like a sticker and you can see exactly what the color looks like in one step with no mess.”
Gibbon continues, “No more manual labor and you don’t have to spend your time literally watching paint dry! Before you stick your paint swatch onto your cabinet, hold it up alongside the other decor elements in your space to make sure you like how they all work together.”
Ready to give your kitchen its long-awaited makeover? Shop the expert-approved options below for your dream kitchen cabinet paint shade.
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