The best paint for kitchen cabinets

Upcycling is the new out-with-the-old, so give your hard-working cupboards and islands a brand new look with our pick of the best paint for kitchen cabinets

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Updating your kitchen needn’t be a case of a complete overhaul or dramatic refit, it can even be as simple as painting kitchen cabinets to lift the look of tired, faded doors or completely shake up the colour palette. To make things even easier, we’ve picked out the best paint for kitchen cabinets, so you can spend less time frantically comparing swatches in the aisles of DIY stores and more time enjoying your spruced-up space.

Find out how to paint your kitchen cabinets with our handy step-by-step guide.



Undoubtedly, the most exciting bit to decide on is the colour you’re going to paint your cabinets – is barely-there Scandi-inspired soft grey more your speed, or do you dare to go for one of the season’s deep inky shades? If you’re not sure where to start, take a look at our kitchen paint ideas.


However, arguably the most important bit is the formula. Finish can have almost as big an effect on your overall kitchen aesthetic as colour, and eggshell and gloss have long been prized in tricky spaces like kitchens for their smooth sheen and wipe-clean finish, however even some of our satin picks are tougher than they look. Our top tip? A mid to soft sheen will look more contemporary than anything glossy, and will give your kitchen an instant update.

Our top overall kitchen paint is Dulux Quick Dry Satinwood, for its smooth, tough finish and lovely sheen, but if you prefer gloss, eggshell or even chalk, there are options for you too. Find the bets paint for kitchen cabinets below, and to sweeten the deal, these can also be used to paint furniture, too.


Dulux Quick Dry Satinwood Paint

1. Dulux Quick Dry Satinwood Paint

With an on-trend finish and quick-dry formula, this is our best paint for kitchen cabinets

Best for: Quick-drying
Capacity: 750ml
Base type: Water
Colours: 20
Reasons to buy
+ Quick-dries to a smooth finish 

For anyone who wants to steer clear of a gloss finish, this satinwood paint, available in 20 colours from Dulux, will prove a nice change. Its advanced water-based formula, a far cry from earlier experimentations, goes on in thin, but high-coverage coats, and reviewers loved its smooth, even, slightly lustrous finish with a tough coating that can stand up to the rigours of life in a busy kitchen. On that front, its properly quick-dry formula is a blessing too, meaning you can get on with life as quickly as possible after painting.

Johnstones Revive Cupboard Paint

2. Johnstones Revive Cupboard Paint

A durable, low-odour paint made for painting kitchen cupboards

Best for: Durable
Capacity: 750ml
Base type: Water
Colours: 6
Reasons to buy
+Low odour+Touch dry within one hour
Reasons to avoid
-Not a huge range of colours

Whether it's a melamine or MDF kitchen cupboard you'd like to transform, this cupboard paint works wonders. It's low-odour for a start, and it'll be touch dry within an hour of painting. There's no need for an undercoat, primer or any sanding; simply roll or brush the paint on and leave to dry. It's durable so can withstand bumps and knocks, and although it doesn't come in a huge range of colours, you can choose from white, black, cream, green, blue and grey. An easy way to jazz up your kitchen, we think.

Shabby Chic Chalk Based Furniture Paint

3. Shabby Chic Chalk Based Furniture Paint

There’s plenty to go around with this long-lasting chalk paint

Best for: Chalk finish
Capacity: 250ml
Base type: Chalk
Colours: 36
Reasons to buy
+ A little goes a long way 

The unique look of chalk-based paint is more in than ever, and while it may come as a surprise that our top pick comes from small supplier easichalk, it’s got the rave reviews to take on the big brands. Its vintage-look, almost velvety ultra-matte finish left reviewers impressed, and they found that despite initial reservations about the size of the tin, a little went a very long way. Plus, for anyone looking to hop on the black-on-black kitchen trend, reviewers recommend the shade Liquorice as the perfect black. 

Ronseal One Coat Cupboard Melamine & MDF Paint White Gloss 750ml

4. Ronseal One Coat Cupboard Melamine & MDF Paint White Gloss 750ml

Get it done in one with our pick of the best white gloss

Best for: A smooth finish
Capacity: 750ml
Base type: Oil
Colours: 1
Reasons to buy
+ No primer needed; ready in one coat 
Reasons to avoid
-Only the choice of one colour

If white gloss appeals for an instant facelift and a clean and tidy look, this Ronseal One Coat Cupboard gloss looks to be the best around. As the name suggests, it’s specifically engineered for use on melamine and MDF cupboards, as well as drawers, furniture and doors, making it a handy one to keep in the garage, but the best bit is its practicality. Not needing a primer, it gives a full-coverage, smooth and glossy finish in just one coat, and once on, it’s said not to scuff or scratch. In our opinion, this is the best paint for kitchen cabinets if you're after something white gloss, quick to apply which has a smooth finish.

Farrow & Ball Estate Eggshell Paint 2.5 Litres

5. Farrow & Ball Estate Eggshell Paint

What’s an article about paint without a nod to Farrow & Ball?

Best for: Wide range of colours
Capacity: 750ml, 0.75ltrs, 2.5ltrs
Base type: Water
Colours: 100+
Reasons to buy
+ Low-VOC and -odour formula 
Reasons to avoid

F&B’s Estate Eggshell is suitably stately, with a tough but beautiful finish that would look at home in most any kitchen. The water-based formula is eco-friendly with a low VOC content, meaning no nasties, less odour to contend with and peace of mind for those with children and pets. Once on, it’s washable and wipeable, a surprisingly practical touch to match its elegant silk finish. Best of all, you can choose from a whopping 132 colours to suit any scheme.

Johnstone's 2.5 Litre One Coat Quick Dry Satin Paint

6. Johnstone's 2.5 Litre One Coat Quick Dry Satin Paint

This quick-drying paint has a satin look and feel

Best for: Satin finish
Capacity: 750ml, 1.25ltrs, 2.5ltrs
Base type: Water
Colours: 18
Reasons to buy
+ Lustrous satin finish 

Somewhere between the shabby chic finish of upcycler’s favourite chalk paint, and the traditional finish of white gloss, there’s this not-quite-matt paint from Johnstone’s. Reviewers were impressed with its performance, saying that it covers evenly in just one coat, is touch-dry in two hours, and feels like silk. As luck would have it, it looks a little like silk too, with what DIYers said was a beautiful sheen and a great finish. Longer term users commended the wash-clean, non-smudging finish, too. If you're after a satin finish, this is the best paint for kitchen cabinets that you can buy.

V33 Renovation Smooth Satin Kitchen Cupboard & Cabinet Paint 2000 Ml

7. V33 Renovation Smooth Satin Kitchen Cupboard & Cabinet Paint

A beautiful satin finish and hardy exterior make this wipe-clean paint great for kitchens

Best for: Easy-clean
Capacity: 2ltrs
Base type: Water
Colours: 6
Reasons to buy
+ Wipe-clean satin finish 

Satin seems to be the finish du jour for paintwork right now, and this V33 Renovation Smooth Satin paint is proving especially popular among the contenders. Specially designed for use on kitchen cupboards and cabinets, reviewers found it applied beautifully with a foam roller, and provided opaque coverage that made cabinets look just like new after application. They also found a little went a long way, and that post-painting, any splashes or splatters could be easily wiped off without any detriment to the finish, proving this paint’s staying power.

Wilko Quick Dry Satin Furniture and Cupboard Paint

8. Wilko Quick Dry Satin Furniture and Cupboard Paint

Give your kitchen a new lease of life with this oil based satin furniture and cupboard paint

Best for: Easy
Capacity: 750ml
Base type: Oil
Colours: 9
Reasons to buy
+Little goes a long way+Good coverage
Reasons to avoid
-Smells strong

Transform your kitchen cabinets with help from Wilko's furniture and cupboard paint. For use on interior wood, melamine, MDF cupboards and furniture, a little goes a long way, and because of its thick consistency you'll only need one coat for good coverage. Reviewers rave about the quality and the smooth satin finish, as well as the fact it's hard wearing. Use a gloss roller to get the best results, and be sure to open all windows as it does have a strong smell to it.

Furniture paint by B&Q

(Image: © B&Q)

9. GoodHome Manhattan Flat Matt Furniture Paint

A great furniture paint if you are doing up a kitchen on a tight budget

Best for: Affordabilty
Capacity: 500ml
Base type: Water
Colours: 45
Reasons to buy
+Easy to use (no primer needed)+Loads of colour choices 
Reasons to avoid
-Empty List

GoodHome Flat Matt Furniture Paint will give your kitchen cabinets a velvety smooth, chalky finish. It's washable and and resistant to water and household cleaners so you can wash away any marks or stains, making it really easy to maintain. There are also load of shades to choose from, including metallics and glitter paints. 

For best results, at least two coats are recommended, applied using a brush or roller. To finish use a lacquer or wax to protect heavily used surfaces, and allow 10 days for paint to fully cure.

Got the paint? Now you need the brushes and rollers: