Remodeling an entire kitchen or bath can be costly, but painting cabinets can be a cost-effective way to update the space. Painting cabinets changes the look of your room without breaking budget. It also updates the space with current colors without a complete renovation. This guide walks you through the best paint for cabinets, from alkyd paint to acrylic, for your next project.
Things to Consider
How paint applies to certain types of cabinet materials determines the results. Wood or compressed wood, or any material that can be sanded, is preferred over laminate because paint adheres better to wood. If repainting laminate, look for paint specially designed to adhere to plastic surfaces.
When choosing the best cabinet paint, look for paint designed for high-use areas. Some paint manufacturers make extreme bond paints that adhere well and dry hard. Paint should also resist scratching. Typically you won't need a paint additive, as it will also be added into the paint you choose.
To begin, clear out clutter from countertops, empty all cabinets and cover any tiles and appliances using painter's tape. Next, remove all hardware from cabinet doors. Label drawers and hardware to make it easier to put them back in the right place after the paint has dried.
There are many types of paint to choose from, but the best paint for kitchen cabinets is semi-gloss, gloss or satin. Matte is not practical in kitchens and baths where you will need durable paint you can easily clean.
No matter the types of paint you choose, prepping is an important step in the process. Wipe down all surfaces with a degreser to remove oils and dirt. Sand surfaces smooth to remove old paint, residue and sand. For a more professional look, prime the cabinets.
If you are changing hardware out or just need to touch up imperfections, use a wood filler on holes prior to painting.
When it comes to the best paint for kitchen cabinets, the harder and more durable the finish, the better the paint job will last. Gloss cabinet paint is extremely durable. Among the benefits of gloss paint:
- A glossy finish makes a room appear larger.
- Gloss paint is frequently used in modern kitchens and baths and complements both light and dark cabinet colors.
- Imperfections, scratches and fingerprints will be more visible on high-gloss cabinets, but if the paint is durable, it will also resist scratches and dents more easily.
- Gloss paint is easy to clean.
Semi-gloss paint is a balance of eggshell and high gloss paint, and works well with any style bath or kitchen.
- Because semigloss has a lot of shine, it reflects light and can make colors look more vibrant. Semigloss cupboard paint accentuates imperfections, so clean and sand cabinets well before using semi-gloss paint.
- Semi-gloss paint cleans easily and withstands years of use. It also resists mold and mildew.
Acrylic vs. Alkyd Paint vs. Oil Paint
- Water-based acrylic paint does not leave the same chemical odor as oil-based. Acrylic paint is breathable, water-resistant and easy to clean.
- Alkyd paints, which are often thought of as oil-based, do not have oil in their makeup. Instead, it is an enamel finish that has a finish similar to that of oil paints. They have long been preferred for durability and performance. They are perfect for high-moisture rooms such as kitchens and baths, and are often stain-resistant. New water-based alkyd paints are growing increasingly popular due to their quality, durability and cost-effectiveness.
- Oil paint is the hardest, most durable paint to use for painting cabinets. It takes longer to dry and is harder to clean up, but when applied right and allowed to cure, the result is a finish that can hold up scratches and hard use for years. Oil paint should be disposed of properly for environmental safety reasons.
Choosing the right paint for your next cabinet project can be challenging. Thankfully, The Home Depot has a wide selection of high quality paints and finishes to choose from. Order online to make selecting the right paint color a breeze, or use The Home Depot Mobile App to help you decide the color and finish before you head to the store.