The Best Paint to Use on Cabinets

I have completed a ton of painting projects in my home, including painting my cabinets, bathroom vanities, walls, furniture, and much more.

My laminate kitchen cabinets turned out great using Rust-oleum’s cabinet kit, but I wanted to try another alternative cabinet paint for my next project.

Cabinet kits are definitely helpful for beginners, but there are other options that can get you just as good of results for less money.

So, I started doing research on the best cabinet paint for laminate kitchen cabinets, bathroom vanities, and other miscellaneous pieces of furniture.

I looked into several different types of paint until I finally found the best paint for my project.

Alternative Cabinet Paint to Cabinet Kits

If you are looking for an alternative, I recommend Behr Interior Semi-Gloss Enamel for any cabinet or furniture project.

This cabinet paint is perfect for any cabinet, furniture, or bathroom vanity project, especially in a high moisture or high traffic area.

Behr cabinet paint is tintable and very durable, so you can choose any color for your project.

The paint is very easy to apply and only a couple coats of paint was needed to cover my bathroom vanity and mirror frame.

Before painting cabinets with Behr Interior Semi Gloss Enamel

Save Money When you Paint Cabinets

A gallon of Behr paint cost roughly $40.

A cabinet kit costs anywhere from $70-$100 for only a quart of paint included in the kit.

I updated my kitchen with a cabinet kit and I needed 2 cabinet kits, brushes, rollers, and more – totaling almost $300!

I highly recommend these paints since they are both tintable, paint and primer are all mixed in one to finish and seal the surface, the paint is lower odor, and affordable.

Shopping Checklist – Make Your Own Cabinet Kit

How to Prep for Painting

These are basic instructions on painting your cabinets, we have more in depth instructions on our Rust-Oleum Cabinet Post.

If you want to learn more about how my kitchen cabinets turned out using Rust-Oleum’s Cabinet Transformation Kit then view this post here.

First begin by wiping down all surfaces of the item that you are planning to paint with a damp soapy sponge.

If your kitchen cabinets are covered in cooking grease or other stains, Krud Kutter will help clean the surface as well as lightly etch the surface for painting.

Should You Sand Before Painting Cabinets?

After the item has been properly cleaned, I recommend lightly sanding all surfaces that are to be painted.

Even though I have worked on so many DIY projects over the years, I never invested in a sander.

Finally I found a little mouse sander that speeds up the process and does not hurt my wrist.

If you don’t feel like spending the time to sand, you could get away with using Krud Kutter.

Krud Kutter will remove shine from cabinets, and very lightly etch the surface.

The sanding does not have to be down to the wood, just enough to roughen the surface so the paint sticks.

how to sand cabinets
This is what your cabinets or furniture will look like after you sand. Just a very light sanding is all that you need to prep for painting.

A piece of furniture like a desk or cabinets are used very frequently, so a light sand and durable paint is your best option

I have used chalk paint for other products because I didn’t want to sand, but it doesn’t hold up in high traffic areas.

Chalk paint is a great product, but I prefer to use it on décor items or a small piece of furniture.

Basic Instructions to Use Behr Interior Semi-Gloss Enamel

Apply the paint with an angled brush into all areas that the roller cannot cover.

Making sure to use nice light brush strokes, while going with the grain.

Then paint the entire surface with a high density foam roller and smooth out any brush strokes.

If you want to learn how to paint kitchen cabinets view our post here!

the best cabinet paint
After painting the cabinets with Behr cabinet paint!

Do you need a top coat for painted furniture?

No Clear Coat is required – the paint and primer are all mixed in one to finish and seal the surface.

This paint is so durable!

I painted my bathroom cabinets 3 years ago, and they still look great!

If you prefer the extra protection, I recommend using a water-based polyurethane.

I used this same paint to upgrade my bathroom vanity and mirror frame.

View our post to see how they both turned out.

All of the cabinet paints mentioned are easy ways to refresh your kitchen and much cheaper than buying brand new cabinets.

diy jewelry frame

DIY Jewelry Frame Organizer

I made this jewelry frame display using leftover laminate floor and an old picture frame.

So easy and cheap to make this jewelry organizer!

Common Mistakes when Painting Cabinets!

Make sure to read the common mistakes listed here before you start painting your cabinets.

the best cabinet paint
How to make your paint brush last longer!

Learn from our mistakes, so your cabinets come out better.

We share everything you need to know to paint cabinets the right way, so they last!

How to paint laminate furniture, so it lasts!

How to Paint a Bathroom Vanity

I used this same paint to upgrade my bathroom vanity and mirror frame. View our post to see how they both turned out.

Modern Accent Wall

Easy step by step directions to install a modern painted accent wall for any space in your home.

This modern accent wall can be customized to fit into a small or large space, and will instantly update your bedroom, nursery, bathroom, or living room.

Mistakes Wives Make When it Comes to – Home Décor, Home Improvement, and DIY Projects

I can browse the bathmat isle for at least 20 minutes at Home Goods trying to carefully select the correct mat. I have a lot to consider in this isle and my husband doesn’t understand the thought process that goes into selecting such a simple item.

Sign up here to learn more about some of the basic paint types and their usage. I give you some tips and tricks as well as some things to avoid. Do not make some of these mistakes or you will end up repainting!

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13 thoughts on “The Best Paint to Use on Cabinets

    1. Hi! I used this to paint my bathroom cabinets almost 2 years ago and they still look great. No chips or peeling of the paint. The paint and primer are all mixed in one to finish and seal the surface. Let us know how your project comes out or if you have any other questions! – Lacey

  1. When you used the Behr paint, did you sand the cabinets before painting them? I have Behr Ultra interior paint, but was told I have to sand the cabinets first if the paint won’t stick right.

    1. Hi! Yes, I lightly sanded the cabinets to roughen the surface a bit. I did not sand the cabinets down to the wood. I would lightly sand the cabinets if you are using Behr Ultra Interior Paint. Let me know how your cabinets turn out or if you have any other questions! – Lacey

  2. Is there a reason you used Premium Plus as opposed to Ultra or Marquee? Just curious if you have used either of the others and notice a difference since they seem to market the Premium Plus line as good, Ultra as better, and Marquee as best. Thanks!

    1. Hi Angela,
      When I was doing my research on paint, the Premium Plus had everything I was looking for and more. The paint also had really good reviews, so I figured I couldn’t go wrong. I have used Marquee to paint a couple of rooms in my home. I had good luck with this paint, but it still required 2 coats. I didn’t see much of a difference in the paint of the price. I hav

    2. When I was doing my research on paint for cabinets, the Premium Plus had everything I was looking for and more. The paint also had really good reviews, so I figured I couldn’t go wrong. I have used Marquee to paint a couple of rooms in my home. I had good luck with this paint, but it still required 2 coats. I didn’t see much of a difference in the paint of the price. The rest of my home is painted with Premium Plus paint. It is a little cheaper, and you still get a great result. Let me know if you have any other questions! -Lacey

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