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Today I am sharing best kitchen cabinet paint and how to get a smooth professional finish. One of the easiest ways to breath new life into a kitchen is to paint your kitchen cabinets!
Let’s take a look at our recent kitchen remodel and how Benjamin Moore Advance paint played a key role in transforming our dark dated kitchen cabinets.
What is The Best Brand of Paint To Use On Kitchen Cabinets?
Benjamin Moore Advance paint is superior when it comes to painting kitchen cabinets and is considered one of the best paint brands when painting cabinets.
Once you determine your paint color, be sure to invest in a quality paint that is dedicated to cabinets, dries like a factory finish, is durable and cleans easily.
What do I mean by cleans easy? When you wash your cabinets with water, you want to make sure the paint doesn’t fade or get dull if wet.
This particular paint formula is made to be cleaned and not chip.
Benjamin Moore Cabinet Paint
Benjamin Moore’s Advance paint is a water-based alkyd paint and is truly the highest quality.
It’s intended to use on surfaces that need a durable exterior, like kitchen or bathroom cabinets and furniture.
Whether you opt for a latex paint, acrylic paint, oil-based or water-based paint, ensure that it’s meant for cabinets.
Benjamin Moore Advance cabinet paint does not need a top coat. That’s part of why I think this is the best kitchen cabinet paint brand.
Benjamin Moore Advance is made for the job, so you’ll get a professional finish with less work. Benjamin Moore Advance is a special type of paint made for trim and cabinets.
Once your second coat is fully dried, it’s ready to go. No topcoat needed!
In fact, it’s best not to add a top coat so this special paint can dry properly.
How long does Benjamin Moore Advance take to fully cure?
If you’re painting kitchen cabinets, get ready for a little wait. It takes Benjamin Moore Advance paint a full 30 days to cure.
Does that mean you have to live with your cabinets taken apart for a month?
No – you can rehang your cabinet doors after about a day of drying (16 hours minimum), but you’ll want to be gentle with them for the first month while the paint hardens and dries.
Until then, they’ll be more susceptible to chips and dings.
Do you need to use a primer under Benjamin Moore Advance Paint?
Yes, you absolutely should use a primer like Benjamin Moore INSL-X STIX especially if painting over dark cabinets.
We used 2 coats of Stix as well as a coat of BIN primer as our existing cabinets were a dark cherry finish.
You can see all about the primers we used and the process of painting the cabinets on this post, how to paint kitchen cabinets.
Learn about different paint bases, colors and more in this Benjamin Moore Advance paint review.
What Is The Most Durable Finish For Painted Kitchen Cabinets
The answer depends on the specific style you’re going for but overall, gloss finish is typically the most durable.
A gloss finish is not always practical though and for our kitchen, we decided on a satin finish which is in between a gloss and matte finish.
It’s typically best to have at least some sheen in the cabinet paint you use. A matte sheen can be too flat and harder to clean, which is why I prefer to use satin paint or semi-gloss paint.
Benjamin Moore Advance also comes in high gloss, but that’s usually used for a really sleek, modern finish. I’m not a fan of any gloss paints but that’s just me! Who knows, next year I may like gloss – ha!
You can see our grey kitchen cabinets and white countertops before and after post for a full tour.
Recap: Best Cabinet Paint
1. Durable finish
Benjamin Moore has several different interior paint bases depending on your purposes.
Aura or Regal Select are fantastic for interior walls, but for kitchen cabinets, I recommend Advance.
You can choose four levels of shine for your paint job:
- Matte Finish
- Satin Finish
- Semi-Gloss Finish
- High-Gloss Finish
2. Used by professional painters
Did you know that most professional painters use Benjamin Moore or Sherwin Williams?
That means that if a professional painter can get a spectacular finish with these paints, so can you with the right techniques & processes.
Wear and tear on kitchen cabinets is a real thing so be sure to pick a cabinet paint like Advance that that is durable.
3. Amazing range of colors
The hardest thing about working with Benjamin Moore paints is choosing the right paint color!
Although we often use Sherwin Williams paint colors, Benjamin Moore has such stunning shades to choose from as well.
Picking paint colors from any brand can be very overwhelming, even for design professionals.
They have some beautiful paint collections, so whether you want classic white cabinets or something totally different, you’re sure to find the perfect shade.
For kitchen cabinets, check out some of the colors in these Benjamin Moore collections:
- Designer Classics (a wide variety of rich, beautiful colors)
- Historical Colors Collection (fantastic for heritage houses)
- Williamsburg Color Collection (authentic colors from Colonial Williamsburg)
- Affinity Collection (different colors designed to go together)
Wondering what kitchen cabinet paint color we used? Read our Mindful Gray Paint Review for more details.
4. Excellent Coverage
Professional painters love Benjamin Moore because you can get a smooth finish with minimal effort.
The paint typically rolls (or sprays) on smoothly and you can usually get the job done in just 2 coats.
If you are looking for the best cabinet paint sprayer, check out our post, best kitchen cabinet paint sprayer for a factory finish.
5. Easy to find near you
Benjamin Moore only sells through locally operated hardware stores. This means that you can find the best cabinet paint at the mom-and-pop store in your town (if you’re lucky enough to have one!).
They’re usually available in Ace stores, and you can search for those locations online.
6. Reasonably priced
I know that Benjamin Moore has a reputation for being a little pricey, so it might be strange to see its affordability as a selling point.
Because Benjamin Moore paints are so rich and high quality, I find I can get by with less. Plus, you’re much less likely to have expensive paint disasters.
It’s worth the cost to get great coverage in just a coat or two of paint. If you use a cheaper paint and have problems, you’ll be spending the extra to get the right paint in the end anyway.
I’d rather start with the best stuff and have an easier time completing the DIY project!
A gallon of Benjamin Moore Advance typically retails for about $80.
7. No strong smell
If you’re concerned about the gasses emitted by paint, you can rest easy knowing there are many Benjamin Moore paints with a low VOC rating (volatile organic compounds).
This is especially important for people who are sensitive to scent or families with small children. It also means your house won’t stink like paint for weeks after you’re done with your paint job!
When we painted our kitchen cabinets, we were concerned about odor due to my parents living in the home so the Advance was perfect. It’s still a little smelly but nothing like oil-based paint.
9. Quick Dry Time
Although painting cabinets isn’t a fast job, Benjamin Moore Advance paint dries pretty quickly.
You’ll be able to touch the cabinets within 4-6 hours, and you can add your second coat after 16 hours of drying time.
Your kitchen cupboards won’t be fully cured until after 30 days, though, so you’ll want to be gentle with them for a while. This is standard for all paints; it takes time for the paint to dry and attach to the surface fully.
10. Smooth leveling
In the world of paint, “leveling” refers to how paint settles down to hide brushstrokes and imperfections. A smooth surface is key!
Hybrid alkyd enamel paints tend to be self-leveling, and Advance is no different. It will help you get a smooth, sleek finish.
- If you’re repainting dark stained wood like doors, it’s a good idea and worth the effort to apply a color-blocking primer first. I recommend Zinsser Bulls Eye 123 latex primer or BIN for this purpose. If painting dark stained cabinets, we used BIN primer as a first coat and an additional coat of Benjamin Moore INSL-X Stix primer. INSL-X Stix is specific primer for cabinets. Then we applied 2 coats of Advance in the Mindful Gray color. See all the painting steps we took to paint our kitchen cabinets on this post, how to paint kitchen cabinets like a pro.
- Add a little bit of a paint conditioner like Floetrol to help the paint level even more
Although all kitchen cabinet paint needs time to cure, your kitchen cabinets won’t be fully cured until 30 days after you paint them. That’s a long time.
However, many comparable brands have poor reviews, so even if they cure more quickly, you’re likely to have more issues.
A drawback of Benjamin Moore is they are not sold in big box stores like Lowes or Home Depot. If you don’t have an Ace, Aubuchon or independently owned store in your area, you won’t be able to find Benjamin Moore paints near you.
Lowes typically carries Sherwin Williams and Valspar.
At Home Depot, you’ll find Behr and Glidden.
We purchase our Benjamin Moore paints at our local hardware store called Koopman Lumber.
If you can’t find Benjamin Moore, consider these other long-lasting cabinet paints:
- Behr Urethane Hybrid Enamel Paint
- Valspar Satin Base Cabinet & Furniture
- PPG Breakthrough
For those of you wondering, while we did use Benjamin Moore Advance, we opted to use Sherwin Williams Mindful Gray as the kitchen cabinet paint color.
More Paint Reviews You Will Love
More Kitchen Cabinet Posts
I have lots of posts from our own kitchen renovation to help you get the perfect finish on your kitchen cabinets! Check out these resources to simplify your project & answer your burning questions.
- Grey kitchen cabinets with white quartz countertops (before and after)
- Best kitchen cabinet paint
- How to Paint Kitchen Cabinets Professionally
- Best DIY Paint Sprayer for Your Kitchen Remodel
- How many coats of paint should you do when painting kitchen cabinets
- Best grey kitchen cabinet paint colors
- How Much Does It Cost To Paint Kitchen Cabinets
- Updating A Kitchen Without Removing Cabinets
- How to choose kitchen cabinet hardware to match decor
- Mindful Gray Paint Cabinet Review
What started as a hobby, Jessica’s blog now has millions of people visit yearly and while many of the projects and posts look and sound perfect, life hasn’t always been easy. Read Jessica’s story and how overcoming death, divorce and dementia was one of her biggest life lessons to date.