Painting your kitchen cabinets is no joke. I am quickly discovering that fact with our first renovation project in the “big white box” we just bought a few months ago. And when you have a massive kitchen with 10
thousand million billion cabinets and drawers like we do, it’s an insane project.
You want your kitchen cabinets to look GOOD. You can’t just slop the paint on and hope for the best. That’s why its really important to choose the right paint for the project at the outset. If you plan on tackling the major undertaking of updating your kitchen cabinets yourself, your choice of paint can make or break your project.
Today I am going to review some of the pros and cons of two of the more commonly used types of paint for cabinets, and share one girl’s opinion on the best paint for the job. I am not a professional painter, but I have done more than my fair share of painting in this DIY life, of everything from walls to furniture, to decor, and now cabinets, and have used both chalk paint and latex paint extensively.
Latex paint has traditionally been the go-to paint for interior projects. It is most often used on walls, but can be used on any other paintable surface as well.
– Latex paint comes in a variety of finishes, so you can easily achieve the sheen level you want, simply by selecting that finish. Some people love a glossy finish (semi-gloss or high-gloss), and some prefer and satin or matte finish.
– Latex also comes in an amazing variety of colors, so if you have colorful taste and want a bold statement on your kitchen cabinets, you may want to consider latex, as you can get it in almost any color, or even have a color mixed to match a specific color you’ve found in a fabric or other item.
– A semi-gloss finish on cabinets will be easy to wipe clean and will not stain or hold onto grime as chalk painted cabinets may do
– Latex paint has a significantly longer dry time between coats. One of the most common complaints about latex that I hear from people (and from personal experience) is that it dries sticky. Like, set-an-object-on-it-for-a-day-and-it-will-pull-up-the-paint sticky. This is because the individual coats were not allowed to fully dry before applying another coat or a top coat. In my experience, you really need a full 24 hours between each coat, and maybe more if the weather is really warm. For a project like kitchen cabinets that need 3-4 coats of paint, that’s just not an option for me.
– Latex also needs a perfectly smooth and cleaned surface to get good adhesion. This means lots and lots of sanding, cleaning and priming, before you even apply a drop of paint.
– Latex paint does not take that well to sanding, especially if it’s not 1000% dry. Even then, it just doesn’t look that great once its been sanded. It seems to hold on to the marks of the sand paper or something. If you use a product like Floetrol Latex Paint Additive mixed in your paint, you shouldn’t need to do a lot of sanding, but you may still need to do a little.
Ok, so I am in love with chalk paint. For all the reasons below, I chose to try it out on my kitchen cabinets. I have used it a lot for furniture, but this has been my first experience with using it on kitchen cabinets, and it has been a great learning experience. I will write a full post on what I did to get a perfect finish on my cabinets, but for now I’ll just share a photo of how they are turning out (not done with all of them yet!).
– In general, chalk paint requires almost no preparation, and really just needs a clean surface to adhere to. For my purposes, these cabinets hadn’t been really cleaned in about 15 years, so we went ahead and sanded off the top layer. Also chalk paint doesn’t require primer in most instances. The exception is when painting over mahogany or cherry stains – lucky me. So yeah, we primed too.
– Chalk paint has super fast drying time, usually about an hour. I could paint a section of doors, and by the time I was done, the first ones were ready to be painted again.
– Chalk paint sands like a dream. You can get the smoothest, silkiest finish by sanding appropriately.
– I love the sheen you get with a wax topcoat, and wax over chalk paint has the perfect matte sheen.
– Chalk paint tends to chip easily, which is why people love it for a distressed look. That’s not what we are going for, so we will see how they hold up over time.
– I’ve also read that the wax finish doesn’t protect well against oil, which could spell disaster in the kitchen. However, I personally use very little oil in my cooking, so it’s not something I’m overly concerned about. The wax finish is impermeable water and other liquids, and wipes clean just as well as latex if properly coated with wax.
– Another minor con is that when you sand chalk paint, the super fine dust that results gets everywhere. It’s very messy, but isn’t that difficult to clean up.
I hope you found this post helpful today. For more painting tips and ideas, check out my Pinterest board called “Painting”Follow 's board Painting on Pinterest.
There are other types of paint that could be used on kitchen cabinets including oil-based enamel and milk paint, but I have very little experience with either of those. If you are planning a painting project soon, I would definitely recommend chalk paint. Try it out on something small and see what you think.
Have painted your kitchen cabinets? If so, what kind of paint did you use?
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