How to Choose a Good Paint for Cabinets

Painting your cabinets? We can help. Here's how to choose the best paint

Tips and tricks for choosing the best cabinet paint

You want to give your kitchen or bathroom cabinets a facelift or restore an old cabinet. The best way to get the cabinets you desire is by painting them. However, there are many different types of paint on the market to choose from that promise great cabinets. How do you choose the best paint for cabinets?

Choosing the right paint requires a bit of skill and knowledge. You want to make sure you are getting beautifully finished cabinets and not making them worse than before you started.

There are a few key things you should think about before picking your paint for cabinets.


Since your cabinets are focal points of your kitchen and bathroom, you want to make sure you are getting the right color you want. Choose a color that will fit seamlessly into your décor. However, if you are completely changing your kitchen, now is a good time to change the color.

Best colors for cabinets:

  • White is a timeless classic that brightens any kitchen.
  • Any shade of brown seems to work well and give your cabinets a nice woodsy feel.
  • Light blue or aqua is also a great way to make your cabinets pop, especially if you have a white or light grey counter.


How your cabinets look once you have painted and let it dry completely is what the finish of your cabinets will be. Picking your finish can make or break your cabinets. There are a variety of finishes to choose from that provide a nice but subtle look.

Gloss- this finish provides a nice shiny look to your cabinets. Gloss looks nice in focal rooms or maybe on an accent island but does not work well for your entire set of cabinets.

Semi-Gloss- as one of the most ideal looks, semi-gloss provides a nice subtle brightness to your cabinets. This finish gives your cabinets a nice clean brightness but nothing overpowering. Semi-gloss is one of the most popular finishes when choosing good paints for cabinets.

Matte or Flat – This finish is ideal if you don’t want anything that is too bright or that stands out too much. When choosing a flat or matte finish, you should choose a color that is more natural for cabinets. Various shades of brown or white work well in a matte/flat finish.

Type of Cabinets

You may not think that the type of cabinets you have makes any difference, but it does. When you have simple cabinets with clean lines, you can pick pretty much any type of interior paint that works well in kitchens and bathrooms.

However, if your cabinets have a lot of detail to them, you want to make sure to pick paint for cabinets that is thick and goes on smoothly without leaving run or overlap lines. Additionally, since it is harder to sand down and prepare your cabinets for painting with a lot of detail, you want to choose a paint that does not require extensive preparations.

Your Time

If you only have one day to get your cabinets done, you aren’t going to want to choose a paint that requires you sand, prime and then paint. You won’t have that kind of time.

Keep your time frame in mind when picking your paint for cabinets. If you are on a time crunch, pick a paint that doesn’t require extensive preparations and that dries fairly quickly. Otherwise, you are left with cabinets that aren’t completely done and may never get done. And be sure to do a little research on how to paint cabinets so you don't make any costly and unsightly mistakes.

Additional Features

Finally, when picking paint for cabinets, it is essential that you choose one that is water, mold, and mildew resistant. Since your cabinets are prone to dealing with a lot of water, this is important. Furthermore, if you're doing kitchen or bathroom cabinets, one that is scratch, peel and crack resistant is also a good idea.

Lastly, a good paint that is easy to wash like a water-based one is a great choice also when your cabinets are in high-traffic zones. Kitchen cabinets get food and dirt splattered all over them and bathroom ones generally are exposed to toothpaste and soap. You should be able to wash them without the paint coming off on your sponge.

Final Thoughts

Choosing a good paint for cabinets may seem overwhelming at first. However, once you make up your mind using the tips above, you will find that your list will narrow considerably. There are many great paints on the market that you will find will suit your needs perfectly.

Go ahead and take the plunge by picking the right paint for cabinets for you.

Resources — Remodelista, The Kitchn, Good Housekeeping