First off, there are many different brands and types of paints for you when looking at painting your kitchen cabinets and the best paint for kitchen cabinets may be different for different situations. What I will do here is give you my opinion of the best paint for kitchen cabinets based on the most common circumstances.
Kitchen Cabinet Painting Buzz Words
First, you are going to need to know the meaning of a few keywords that you have probably read around the internet. First is enamel, many sites will tell you that you can’t use regular paint and that you need to use an enamel, you can immediately discredit these sites. An enamel is by definition a paint that dries to a hard and glossy finish. So if you want the best paint for kitchen cabinets, you will want an enamel, but an enamel is paint, it just dries extra hard. Some of the other terms you will need to know the difference of are latex, oil and lacquer which are all used for different types of enamel paints.
Types of Paint for Kitchen Cabinets
Latex based enamel paint is the easiest to work with. It washes up with water and typically has lower VOC (fast evaporating chemicals that get into the air) content than oil or lacquer. The downsides to latex are that it tends to have a less professional look, be slightly less durable and brush strokes do not level out quite as nice. These reasons make latex not the best paint for kitchen cabinets. If VOCs are a big concern, it may however be the best choice for you.
Lacquer based enamel paint is typically not a finish that homeowners should be using. Lacquers are typically designated to spray booths and cabinet shops. They produce incredible looking results and have extremely fast dry times, but they are very hard to work with and have very high VOC contents.
Oil Based Enamels are usually going to be the best paint for kitchen cabinets. The reason for this is that oil based enamels will give you a professional looking finish and is relatively easy to use. Oil based enamels stay wet longer than latex based which helps brush strokes to smooth out and give you a smoother finish. Many companies are releasing low VOC oil enamels these days as well.
When using an oil based enamel, just make sure to get a gallon of paint thinner for cleanup (and possibly to thin the paint) and you should be good to go.
My Personal Choice for Best Paint For Kitchen Cabinets
My personal recommendation for the best paint for kitchen cabinets would be Benjamin Moore’s Satin Impervo. It is a wonderful paint and gives professional results.