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 best kitchen cabinet paints

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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 giving the cabinets a fresh coat of paint, whether 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 B&Q and more time enjoying your spruced-up space. And to sweeten the deal, this pick of kitchen cabinet paints can be used to paint most furniture, too.

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. 

The best paint for kitchen cabinets

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.

Shabby Chic Chalk Based Furniture Paint

2. 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

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

Get it done in one with our 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 

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. 

Farrow & Ball Estate Eggshell Paint 2.5 Litres

4. Farrow & Ball Estate Eggshell Paint 2.5 Litres

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

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

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

5. 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: 2.5ltrs
Base type: Water
Colours: 10
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. 

V33 Renovation Smooth Satin Kitchen Cupboard & Cabinet Paint 2000 Ml

6. 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.

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