What Is the Best Paint To Use on Kitchen Cabinets?
If you're thinking about kitchen cabinet painting (and who could blame you?), it can be easy to focus on details like color, style, hardware upgrades, etc. Those are fun considerations!
But before you can get to the finish line, you need to make sure you're making the best possible choices along the way, setting your cabinet project up for success. Painting kitchen cabinets can be an awesome investment if it's done right, delivering tangible value right along with that fresh style.
Let's break it down with a few key questions about the products and process we use for kitchen cabinet painting.
Do You Need Special Paint for Kitchen Cabinets?
In short, yes. Most of the horror stories you hear about cabinet painting gone wrong are due to well-intentioned do-it-yourselfers buying a color they like off the shelf, but not really considering if it's the right type of paint for their cabinets. The wrong paint ruins the whole process.
Your cabinet paint needs to be beautiful, but it also needs to be a durable finish that can stand up to heavy use, washing, and more. Many of the standard paint products from your local home improvement store aren't designed for that - even the "premium" brands.
What Do Professionals Use To Paint Cabinets?
Our first recommendation is to find a painter who is deeply experienced with painting cabinets, and doesn't just offer it as a side service. How can you tell the difference? Ask for photos of their past work, see if they can provide referrals, and ask questions about what they will use to paint your cabinet doors, cabinet frames, drawer fronts, etc. A professional cabinet painter can answer the tough questions without hesitation, using the opportunity to share details about their process and approach.
Trust us: that's the kind of pro you want handling your kitchen makeover!
With that said, different cabinet refinishers will have different products that they stand by: Sherwin Williams, Benjamin Moore, Kelly Moore... Each offers specific cabinet colors and cabinet finishes that they like to use.
Kind of a mouthful, right?
Here's a breakdown of the benefits:
- Fast-drying, with a factory-like finish for the smoothest cabinet doors and drawers (always nice to reduce that cure time!)
- Ultra-durable (perfect for your hardworking cabinet pieces)
- Dirt and mildew resistant
- Hard finish (enamel is TOUGH!)
What Is the Most Durable Paint for Kitchen Cabinets?
The quality of the cabinet paint itself is important, but so is the sheen and the finish. For cabinet painting, it's really tough to beat an enamel paint. Since kitchen cabinets experience such extensive wear, the hard, almost shell-like surface that enamel offers is ideal. It gives your kitchen cabinet that factory-grade finish too, making your new color look like it was there since installation.
As a side note, don't be afraid that you're locked into glossy finishes for your kitchen cabinets either. The products we use are available in several sheens without sacrificing any durability for your paint job.
How To Paint Kitchen Cabinets
So, what will your kitchen cabinet painting project look like?
Depending on the cabinet refinisher you work with, here's what you can (and should) expect:
- Thorough in-home estimate
- Clear proposal
- Extensive prep of the space (masking, protecting surrounding rooms and surfaces, etc.)
- Drawer fronts and cabinets doors are removed
- Deep clean to remove grease, dirt, and residue
- Light surface repairs, as needed (wood filler, caulking, etc.)
- Sanding all surfaces, including the cabinet boxes
- Multi-stage priming and finish coat (we use high-quality spray equipment for an ultra-smooth finish without brush strokes or roller marks)
If you're covering a heavily-grained surface, like Oak cabinets, we can also use a stain blocking primer that ensures there is zero bleed-through. Refinishing cabinets is all about the details, laying the groundwork for a smooth color transition and durable finish.
Kitchen Cabinet Painters in Oakland, CA
Have any more questions about painting cabinets? Contact us at MB Jessee Painting! We would love to discuss your project with you.