How to Choose the Best Type of Paint for Kitchen Remodel

When it comes to home improvement projects, kitchen remodels steal the show. A well-planned kitchen makeover is a great way to improve appearances, enhance functionality, and increase storage space.

That said, renovation is a huge investment. It takes time and research to build a kitchen you can write home about. Instead of diving into a complete overhaul, you should take baby steps to improve your décor. Think state-of-the-art appliances, a new kitchen countertop, or a fresh coat of paint for the walls and cabinets.

Painting a kitchen can instantly transform it from outdated and dull to bright and exciting. Choose the right shades, and you’ll create a space that’s an equal blend of cheerful, serene, and low-key.

Colors aside, you should also keep paint finishes in mind. The right finish can determine your kitchen’s final look and directly impact its cleanability. While all this may sound daunting, it’s not rocket science.

Let’s look at a few of the best paints for kitchen cabinets and walls.

1. High-Gloss Paint

High-gloss paints top the charts for toughness, durability, and stain resistance. Scientifically speaking, they have more resins than pigments, which results in greater reflectivity and a stronger sheen.

Perhaps more importantly, high-gloss surfaces are easier to clean. Considering that kitchens are high-traffic areas susceptible to spills and splatters, this can save you a lot of elbow grease down the line. Furthermore, high-gloss paint can withstand bumps, nicks, and scrapes from moving items, so you won’t have to worry about ruining the paint job while moving your kitchen chairs.

The only downside to high-gloss paint is that it takes a long time to dry and cure. Plus, it shows underlying imperfections, which is why you should sand away preexisting stains well ahead of time.

2. Semi-Gloss Paint

Although semi-gloss paint is not as reflective as a high-gloss finish, it can withstand stains and everyday friction with ease. Its best for active areas around the household, such as bathrooms, foyers, and the kitchen. Better still, you can use semi-gloss paint to spruce up your cabinets, trims, and doors.

Semi-gloss paint can help safeguard your walls, especially if you have children or pets at home. But, like high-gloss finishes, semi-gloss paints bring a lot of attention to visible flaws. If your kitchen walls and cabinets have a ton of prominent blemishes, you may want to steer clear of this finish.

3. Satin Paint

Sheen-wise, satin paints are a level lower than their gloss counterparts. However, they’re not completely matte and offer just the slightest pearl-like luster.

Satin paints typically create a smooth, velvety finish that can endure daily wear and tear. Plus, they are washable. You only need to scrub the painted surface with mild cleaning agents. Usually, a damp cloth and some detergent should do the trick!

One of the biggest benefits of satin paints is their ability to mask defects. While it doesn’t completely cover nicks, it makes them much less noticeable. Not to mention, satin finishes minimize textures that can make your kitchen look dated.

Satin finishes also generate a more accurate color than glossy paints. Because satin-coated surfaces are not as reflective, your kitchen’s lighting won’t alter the look of the paint significantly.

On the flipside, satin paint can be difficult to touch up. Once you paint over a spot or two, these places may stand out instead of blending in.

4. Oil-Based Paint

Most oil-based paints use natural (linseed) or synthetic (alkyd) oils as a base. Tough and long-lasting, these finishes are an excellent choice for exterior house painting jobs, bathrooms, and kitchens.

By all accounts, oil-based paints are richer in color than water-based finishes. Add to that their smooth texture, and you have a recipe for success! Moreover, oil-based paints are extremely resilient and can withstand routine contact. Their resins create a hard, non-breathable coating that can hold out against stains and mildew for a long time.

Oil paints also come with their own set of disadvantages, a few of which are as follows.

  • Cleaning oil-based paint off brushes, rollers, and your hands may be harder than you expect. You’ll have to use turpentine oil or a paint thinner to get everything off effectively.
  • Oil-based paints have a higher concentration ofvolatile organic compounds (VOCs) than latex paints. These organic chemicals vaporize at room temperature and can degrade your indoor air quality.
  • Oil-based finishes usually take a long time to dry, so you may have to spend a few additional days on the paint job.

5. Water-Based Paint

Simply put, water-based paints (also known as latex paints) contain water as the primary carrier or solvent. This means that its fillers, pigments, and binders are dissolved in water. Some of the benefits of water-based paints include:

  • Water-based paints are not as durable as oil. Yet, they provide a long-lasting finish that stands the test of time.
  • These paints dry faster and are relatively odorless.
  • Latex paints don’t crack or yellow over time. They’re also stain/mildew-resistant and can be scrubbed clean.
  • Since latex paints don’t emit toxic fumes, you don’t have to wear a mask while using them.

Despite all the benefits, water-based paints aren’t free from shortcomings. For starters, they typically require multiple coats. They do not suit wood or oil-painted surfaces. Also, they may show some stains or swelling lying underneath the surface.


6. Flat Paint

There’s a reason why flat paints are called concealer paints or matte paints. They have more pigment than any other finish and are completely non-reflective. So, if you are looking for a paint that blocks out bumps, scratches, and holes, this one is ideal.

That said, note that flat paint is quite hard to clean and not moisture resistant. It’s probably not the best paint finish for kitchen cabinets and walls, but you can use it on the ceiling.

Wrapping Up

For most homeowners, painting the kitchen is a one-time thing. As a result, you should pick a long-lasting, washable finish that complements your décor. Hopefully, this post has given you some insight into different types of paints fit for the kitchen. Once you know which finish to consider, you’ll have no trouble acing your remodeling project.

Need help with choosing the best paint for kitchen cabinets? The pros at OMG Kitchens can come to your rescue. Trust us to give your kitchen a fresh lease of life without draining your budget dry. For more information, contact us today!

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