Painting Kitchen Cabinets

Painted kitchen cabinets have to withstand a high level of wear and tear. Traditionally, only oil-based paints were up to the challenge. But recent improvements in latex paints have introduced a new option to the kitchen cabinet refinishing market. Here are some helpful comparisons to help you decide which type to use when painting your kitchen cabinets.

Should I use Latex for My Painted Kitchen Cabinets?

Latex paint has many qualities to recommend it. Here are some points to consider:


  • Dries quickly
  • Easy to clean with water
  • Not as susceptible to mildew
  • Does not fade as readily
  • Breathes better than oil-based paint
  • Maintains flexibility


  • Latex can take a long time, up to 2 weeks, to fully cure--making it more susceptible to minor damage
  • Can stain more easily
  • It is a softer finish, so can wear more in high traffic areas

Is Oil-Based Paint Better for Refinishing My Kitchen Cabinets?

Some kitchen cabinet refinishers prefer to stick to the traditional oil-based product, thanks to the following features:


  • It is popular largely because of its improved durability
  • When used over stains, it has a tendency to seal better
  • Fluctuating temperatures have less effect on oil-based paints
  • There is less shrinkage when oil-based paint dries, so the surface stress is considerably less
  • Once dry, oil-based paint cures completely faster, limiting the vulnerability of newly painted kitchen cabinets


  • Oil-based paint takes longer to dry, initially
  • Clean up requires solvents
  • Fading can be a problem for oil-based paints

All things considered, both latex and oil-based paints can be very effective in sprucing up your kitchen cabinets. Feel secure in your decision when painting your kitchen cabinets and enjoy the refreshing effects.

Stain-grade versus paint-grade kitchen cabinet doors

Whether you're choosing stock or custom cabinet doors, you'll want to know about the grade of materials in costing the project. In today's market for replacement…

Staining Kitchen Cabinets: A Simple Guide

If your kitchen renovations include a kitchen cabinet makeover, you have three major choices: you can install new cabinets, reface your existing cabinets,…