The Best Kind of Paint for Painting Kitchen Cabinets

The Best Kind of Paint for Painting Kitchen Cabinets

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Lisa Freedman
Sep 7, 2017
(Image credit: Diana Liang )

Walk down a paint aisle in even the smallest hardware store and the number of options is overwhelming. Do you want oil-based paint? What kind of finish? What is it that makes this paint by X company different than this other paint by the same company? Which can is the best?

Of course, the answers depend on the job. If you're painting wooden kitchen cabinets, there's one can that many pros swear by: Benjamin Moore Advance

Keep reading to find out what's so great about it.

(Image credit: Diana Liang )

"For starters, it's an alkyd paint," say professional painters Chris and Lexi Dowding, of SwatchOut in Michigan. "Which means it dries very hard and can stand up to lots of abuse without chipping or scratching." They also love this particular paint because it levels out well (no weird bumps or ripples!), covers dark wood with just two (or sometimes three) coats, is low VOC (a fancy way of saying it won't stink up the room), and is almost $20 cheaper per can compared to competitive brands. Plus, they say other professionals swear by the same stuff — a claim our reporters were able to back up.

Learn more about it: Benjamin Moore Advance, around $56 a gallon

Chris and Lexi prefer to use the satin finish, saying, "It usually goes well with other trims, and anything shinier would show scratches and imperfections too easily." It also has a nice glow, they add.

(Image credit: Diana Liang )

We watched them use Benjamin Moore Advance in a real-life kitchen and can confirm everything they've said. It goes on like an oil paint (smooth and leveling), and cleans up like a latex paint (with just soap and water — or even just water — instead of paint thinner or mineral spirits).

We went with the basic can right off the shelf — because who doesn't love a crisp, white paint job? But with more than 3,500 color options available, we're guessing you can find any shade you want for your own kitchen.

Before you start painting: The Best Primer for Painting Your Kitchen Cabinets

Have you painted your kitchen cabinets? What kind of paint did you use (the more specific, the better!) and were you happy with the results?

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