These Are the Best Cabinet Paints, According to Design Experts

modern kitchen interior with green wall
The Cabinet Paint Colors to Consider This Yearalvarez - Getty Images

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One thing's for sure, not all paints are the same. The best cabinet paint, for instance, may not work on walls and vice versa. To help us break down the paints and brands that work best on cabinets—which tend to be high-traffic areas of the home—we tapped industry experts and insiders. From Sherwin-Williams to Clare, these brands have offered tips, suggestions, and examples of the best cabinet paints.

So if your space—bathroom, kitchen, or any other room in the house—is in need of a refresh, start with a fresh coat of paint.

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 the finish of your paint. Opt for a satin, gloss, or semi-gloss, as the performance qualities are super reliable in the kitchen. "For high-traffic spaces like the kitchen, use a finish with a higher gloss," Sherwin-Williams Director of Product Information Rick Watson tells House Beautiful. "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," Watson adds. "They provide excellent flow and leveling characteristics for a smooth and durable finish. They should be washable, as well as stain and scratch-resistant."

Designer and founder of her namesake paint brand Annie Sloan believes it's also important to choose a paint that's designed to coat and protect interior woods and metals. “Satin Paint is the perfect choice for the hardest working areas of busy, lived-in homes, from kitchen cabinets to staircases, handrails, skirting boards, doors, architraves, and windowsills," Sloane explains.

Her newest launch of self-leveling satin paint can be used without waxing beforehand or a lacquer. It's a one-step process that leaves a smooth, silky finish you won’t have to wait long to see.

What to Look for in the Best Cabinet Paint:

  • Durability

  • Washability

  • Resistance to stains and scratches

  • Reduce odors and moisture

  • Lighting

<p>Emerald Urethane Trim Enamel</p><p></p><p>$109.49</p><p><a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><span class="copyright">Sherwin-Williams</span>

Emerald Urethane Trim Enamel


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Furthermore, 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," he shares. "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."

"As always, be sure to take lighting into consideration," Clare's Nicole Gibbons mentions. "And see how your swatches look at different points of the day and how sunlight impacts the overall look."

How to Make Your 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. Then, 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!

"For added durability, you can consider a satin polyurethane topcoat which ensures your paint will dry to a very hard enamel-like finish," according to Gibbons.

The Best Color for Cabinets

"Be sure you choose a color you’ll love," emphasizes Gibbons. "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."

<p>Current Mood</p><p></p><p>$64.00</p><p><a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><span class="copyright"></span>

Current Mood


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Nervous about taking the leap with paint? Whether you’re choosing between a vibrant color or a warm neutral, swatching is the best way to figure out if what you want translates well. "Clare makes paint sampling easy with our peel-and-stick Perfect Color Swatch," Gibbons says. "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."

Searching for more tips to design your home? We’ve got you covered.

"No more manual labor and you don’t have to spend your time literally watching paint dry," Gibbons continues. "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 home its long-awaited makeover? Shop the expert-approved options below for your dream cabinet paint shade.

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