10 Best Paint Finish For Kitchen Cabinets-Reviews & Guide

Image showing Best Paint Finish For Kitchen Cabinets

It is hard to find the best paint finish for the kitchen cabinets. Why is that? Well, there are different types of paints to choose from; there are also different types of cabinets. The two make it hard for cabinet owners to settle for the right paint for their projects, especially when the paint and the material used for cabinets are not compatible. 

You might be an expert painter, but that does not always guarantee success when you get the formulas wrong. That’s why you still have to track down the paints and finishes that you want to use. As experts with first-hand experience using different paint finishes, we have put together a list of some of the best paint finishes for kitchen cabinets you can find in the market today.

     1. General Finishes JQ Oil Base Gel Stain

The General Finishes Gel Stain is arguably the best paint finish for kitchen cabinets, it’s excellent at preventing seeping as well as wood damage; this makes it perfect for use on both the natural or treated wood. This product does not leak on other surfaces like the regular oil-based paints- a property that makes it a suitable choice for both base coat as well as an all-in-one coat, all depending on whether your cabinet was previously painted or not.

It cures into a smooth and even finishes, which makes it easy to wipe out stains and spills afterward. Other physical messes are easily mopped. This gel is perfect for hand-built cabinets as it helps to prevent the occurrence of flakes without necessarily changing its physical appearance.

The Summary of Top Features

  • It comes with the most “finishing feel” of all the products by General Finishes
  • This formula can cover up to an area of 200 square feet
  • The product is heavy-bodied- does not penetrate deeply into the wood like the liquid oil-base stains
  • Can give you a more even look on difficult woods like aspen or pine
  • Easy-to-use stains as you can apply it using a foam brush producing no splashes or spills


  • No leakages
  • It is smooth
  • Easy to clean
  • It prevents splinters
  • Recolours wood


  • Users complained that the can is smaller than they expected
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     2. Rust-Oleum 263231 Cabinet Transformations

Here’s another on our list as the best paint finish for kitchen cabinets, it does all when it comes to working out new furniture as well as old wood cabinets. The one best thing about this product is that it comes with an instructional DVD to help walk you through the process of painting, restoring, and maintaining your wooden kitchen cabinets. It has a de-glossing kit that helps with the removal of some of the original materials to open it up for a smooth painting. 

Furthermore, the deglosser in the kit helps get rid of dust and grime present, hence allowing you to make use of a base coat on plain wood.

Afterward, you are free to use the glaze to achieve the wood finish that you desire. The amount of the formula that you shall use depends on the size plus the type of wood of your cabinet.

The Summary of Top Features

  • It’s perfect for wood melamine metal and laminate cabinetry
  • Come with easy usability
  • The 102-Square-Foot kit is ideal for kitchen cabinets
  • Cures into a beautiful, durable and professional finish
  • Always read complete instructions before use


  • Has a de-glossing kit
  • Freeform kit
  • Easy usability
  • Can work with your paints
  • The gloss finish is optional


  • Some users complained that the paint was too thin
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      3. Giani Countertop Paint Kit

The Giani Countertop Paint Kit gives you more than just the color of paint for your kitchen cabinets; this fantastic product comes with a wide range of tools and formulas that make the finish appealing to the eye. This product works so well on the countertops, as you can tell from the name. It is capable of covering 35 square feet of countertop.

Following application, a full, heavy coat takes just about 16 hours to dry. However, the drying time is influenced by the prevailing weather conditions. After two weeks, your countertops will be ready for all uses. This product is extremely durable; it can stand knife cuts without necessarily taking visible damage.

The Summary of Top Features

  • Contains low VOC, low odor and a water-based acrylic paint
  • It comes with an easy DIY project with step-by-step instructions. 
  • A single weekend application process that cures in a high gloss finish
  • One kit can cover 35 square feet
  • Works well on Formica, Corian, laminate, ceramic tile, cultured marble butcher block, and traditional granite
  • Durable acrylic topcoat
  • It has up to 5 versatile colors that complement a variety of kitchen and bath decor


  • Has a great coverage
  • It’s durable
  • A versatile product
  • Fully-covering
  • Cures into an attractive finish


  • Instances of a color mismatch but rare
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      4. Rust-Oleum 285140 Ultra Matte Chalked Paint

It is a chalked matte and one of the paint finish for kitchen cabinets that is usable on a wide range of surfaces, among them wood, metal, ceramic, and canvas. It takes only 30 minutes for the paint to dry. Besides, it’s formula is a latex-based, odorless that’s easy to clean and mop up in the events of a mess, all you need to clean is just water, a bar of soap, and a sponge.

A can contains paint that can cover up to 150 square feet in a single layer. However, you can decide to spread it across in several layers to come up with a perfectly matching set of furniture.

Its application is an easy one as it does not call for any significant preparation work. It dries to an ‘ultra-matte’ finish that does not interfere with the material underneath. Furthermore, it does not leave or emits toxic flakes and fumes to the surrounding. You can choose to use it with or with no primer.

The Summary of Top Features

  • It is a latex-based formula
  • Contains no odor
  • Covers up to 150 square feet per can
  • Easy to clean
  • Wide uses


  • It’s a versatile product
  • Dries quickly
  • High coverage
  • Ulta-matte
  • Low-VOC


  • Reported instances of paint cracking
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      5. Retique It by Renaissance 

Retique It by Renaissance Chalk paint allows you to paint your kitchen cabinets to achieve a bright and beautiful color. The product is non-toxic and with zero VOC. Each can contains 20% emulsified recycled wood, which implies that you are layering a smooth wood formula over the surface of your existing wood, it, therefore, works without necessarily needing a primer.

Due to zero emulsion and zero odor, you can allow your cabinets to dry without worrying about any potential harm to your pets or even your family.

This product is also hypoallergenic, with zero chances of causing allergic reactions. It has a self-leveling property- if you leave a thick coat on a flat surface, it will smoothen out by itself while drying, which helps you save time.

The Summary of Top Features 

  • It has a Superior coverage 
  • Does not require sanding or priming
  • Non-toxic, zero VOCs
  • Designed for furniture and cabinets.
  • Has a silky smooth chalky finish
  • Excellent for shabby chic, vintage or contemporary styles
  • It is hypoallergenic


  • It’s real wood with 20% recycled wood
  • Zero VOC
  • Low-odor
  • Smooth
  • Self-leveling


  • Some users complained of inefficiency with self-leveling
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      6. General Finishes MKWQ Chalk Style Paint

If you are looking for something that will give you versatility, then this is the product. You can intermix it with several other paints to achieve different colors. Besides, you can have it combined with primers and or bonding agents to make it easy to use on hard-to-paint surfaces.

This formula works best for indoor projects, and you can use any tool to apply it. With its amazing thickness and smooth feel, you are likely to find this paint acting like 2 coats in 1. It entirely concealed the surface beneath.

You must not necessarily use a sealer to ready the surface provided it’s not too rough. Considering that this product is not a chalk paint (being chalk-style paint made of latex), it does not have any of the vulnerabilities associated with the chalk paint- like chipping. The above trait makes General Finishes MKWQ an excellent paint for kitchen cabinets as it has the appearance as well as the feel of chalk paint coupled with the protection, durability, plus the style of an ordinary latex paint compound. 

The Summary of Top Features

  • Wet dilatable in 12 hours
  • You can mix it with other paints
  • Does not need the use of a sealer unless used on kitchen cabinets
  • You can apply it with virtually all methods and tools


  • Matte finish
  • It’s easy to apply
  • A Durable product
  • Stylish
  • Smooth


  • Some users suggested that the paint is thin
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      7. KILZ Adhesion High-Bonding Primer

It is a bonding primer that allows you to make use of topcoats of paint on the toughest surfaces. This formula works as an intermediary layer for bonding incompatible paints together with surfaces. Just about 1-quart can cover 300 square feet and perfectly prime the whole set of matching cabinets without drying out. Furthermore, this product dries quickly and is safe to touch in just 30 minutes and ready for another coat of paint in just a single hour.

KILZ Adhesion is versatile and can work on a variety of surfaces from glass, PVC, vinyl, glazed brick as well as fiberglass. This product does not flake when cleaned or when it comes into contact with water. 

The Summary of Top Features

  • Enables the topcoat to adhere to tough-to-paint surfaces
  • Use on both interior and exterior surfaces where a secure bond is critical
  • 1-gallon can of KILZ Adhesion High covers approximately 300 square feet
  • KILZ Adhesion dries to touch within 30 minutes and ready to recoat in an hour


  • Has a very high coverage
  • Dries faster
  • Adhesive
  • Versatile
  • Water-resistant


  • Though unusual, users stated that the paint was thinner than expected
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      8. Nuvo Driftwood 1 Day Cabinet Makeover Kit

As one of the best paint finish for kitchen cabinets, this product is a low-VOC makeover kit that allows you to beautify your countertop or kitchen cabinet without risking your furniture.

The kit is complete with all that you need for your project from the brush and a roller, stirring sticks, as well as a guide on the way that you can replace your cabinet’s surface and customize it in your desired style. 

There’s the deadwood paint included inside the kit, which is best when used in thin layers. However, each new layer added increases its thickness as well as the durability without necessarily causing cracking on the surface. It is easy to apply this formula, provided you do the work carefully. It dries to touch very quickly.

The Summary of Top Features

  • Contains low VOC, low odor, water-based acrylic paint and primer in one
  • It comes with a day’s application process drying in a soft, satin finish
  • Gives you professional results and has simple tools included in each kit
  • Works well on wood, laminate and primed, or painted metal cabinets
  • It can cover most existing wood finishes as well as paint in a single coat
  • It requires minimal preparations


  • Comes in a complete kit
  • Freeform
  • Quick-drying
  • It is smooth


  • Few reports of cracks
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      9. Sinopia All Natural Artisanal Milk Paint 

Sinopia is an all-natural paint that comes ready to use which makes it among the best paint finish for kitchen cabinets. It is easy to apply products available in a sixteen-ounce can. Besides, you can choose to thin it using regular water to get a more diluted covering. 

This product is easy to clean by the simple use of water and soap. A wet mop quickly soaks up the paint without destroying the paint.  

This formula is user-friendly as it emits no harmful chemicals or fumes during the painting and drying process.

You can use any tool to apply this product. 

It cures into a matte finish that does not interfere with other materials or compounds, hence making the results smooth and attractive. 

The Summary of Top Features

  • The product is ready to use straight from the container
  • You Can thin it with water and cleans up with water
  • Use any tool for the application of the formula (brush, roller, sponge, etc.)
  • Use both indoors and outside
  • Odorless with no chemical fumes


  • It’s dilutable
  • Easy to clean
  • Cures into a matte finish
  • Easy to apply
  • Does not react with base materials
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      10. INSL-X CC550109A-01 Cabinet Coat Enamel

This product, INSL-X enamel paint remains as one of the best paint fish for the kitchen cabinets, it provides a factory-style finish that can cover up to 450 square feet of cabinet surfaces each gallon. It is excellent for long term restoration on a large set of furniture. 

This formula works so well on a previously-painted surface and does not require priming or bonding agent to work correctly. It cures into a high quality, super-smooth satin finish and remains stuck to any surface you apply it on, it does not flake or break unless you use paint removing tools or compounds for stripping.

The final product following painting can resist chipping, stains, moisture, scuffing, and all sorts of massive physical impacts. It can last for several years of daily use with no visible signs of damage. 

Furthermore, it has self-leveling property during drying hence corrects uneven spreading.

The Summary of Top Features

  • Provides “factory-like” finish for kitchen cabinets, furniture, shelving, trim, as well as crown molding
  • Delivers an ultra-smooth, durable finish
  • Offers a super adhesion for hard-to-coat surfaces without a primer
  • Cures into a durable semi-gloss finish that resists scuffing, chipping, food stains, grease & water
  • Provides 350 – 450 square foot coverage per gallon

NOTE: Do not apply when air, product or surface temperature is less than 50 °F (10 °C) and above 90 °F (32 °C) 


  • Excellent coverage
  • Needs no primer
  • Resists damage
  • Self-leveling
  • Versatile


  • Some users complained of poor results using a brush for application
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The Buyers Guide

It can take you several hours or even days to find the best paint finish for kitchen cabinets. At that time, you might find yourself having to pick between several brands for you to settle for the one product that would be ideal for your project. 

Therefore, breaking your search into individual groups of paints can help you narrow down to the products that are best and worth investing your time as well as money. There are several things to consider when looking for the right product, and you might not explore them entirely. For that reason, we have selected some of the essential aspects that you should prioritize as you go shopping for the best paint finish for the kitchen cabinet. They include:

The Colour

You can argue that the color does not matter; however, it still can make a big difference when it comes to the type of paint you need. These best paint finish for kitchen cabinets come in different colors. Some colors only work well on certain types, and you can’t expect them to work the same way on all the materials. 

If you’re keen on finding a specific color, you must go through the available reviews as well as images and note the appearance to determine whether it will work well with your project. Also, you must follow the instructions and guidelines provided alongside the paint to ensure that you abide by the right procedures. Leaving out any steps could result in an inferior final product, which amounts to the waste of money as well as time.

The Formula 

The formulas of different paints can have an impact on certain materials in a good or a wrong way. You might realize this soon after your finish dries. Also, some formulas can directly affect the user or the environment through skin irritation or even emission of toxic fumes. Some formulas contain allergens, which could, in turn, cause allergic reactions to your pets and also the family. If such a thing happens, it will force you to evacuate the room until it’s safe again. Therefore, we recommend that we thoroughly assess the paint you are buying to avoid such cases.

The Volume

If you have more paint, you are sure to cover a more significant area. However, having large volumes of paints isn’t entirely a good thing, especially when you have a small surface area to cover. If you overestimate, you can also underestimate when you underestimate the space you will have less paint that can not cover the cabinet completely. 


It is essential to choose the best paint finish for kitchen cabinets, as it has a significant impact on the durability of your cabinets. Every time we touch, pull, and slum the cabinets doors as well as the drawers, they can scratch and chip, you can reduce the possibility of scratching by using the best paint finish for kitchen cabinets. 

Any of the products on our list will adequately serve your various cabinets. Read through to understand different features even as you enjoy your shopping. 

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Tyron Otieno

Tyron is an avid woodworker and writer. He founded this website to help other woodworkers, whether hobbyists or professionals by sharing his knowledge and experiencie after a decade of woodworking.

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