Do you need help figuring out the best paint for your bathroom cabinets? Let us share our DIY knowledge to help you pick the best paint for bathroom cabinets.
Factors To Consider
Everyone has their own opinions when picking different types of paint. Paint brand, finish, color and ease of use will all factor into your decision. When choosing the right paint you will want to consider the following things:
- What finish you would like your cabinets to have?
- How are you applying the paint?
- What color would you like your cabinets to be
- How fast do you want your cabinets to try?
- What is the budget?
Best Finish For Bathroom Cabinets
Semi-gloss paint is your best bet in order to be able to wipe and clean cabinets easily. We would not recommend going with anything less than a satin finish.
Options For Bathroom Cabinet Paint
- Alkyd Based Paint
- Chalk Paint
- Oil-Based Paint
- Hybrid Paint
- Acrylic Enamel Latex Paint
Oil-Based and Alkyd Paint
Professional painters swear by alkyd-based paint due to how hard it cures. When paint cures really well it will withstand more wear and tear. Professional painters will also use these because of their self-leveling abilities.
Con To These Paints
While oil-based paints cure well, they are smelly, harder to use, harder to clean and take longer to dry. For these reasons, we tend to stay away from oil-based paints because there are so many other great water-based options out there.
Chalk paint is known for being super easy to apply to any surface. No need to prime, but you will need to seal the surface if you want it to last. We are fans of this paint for diy furniture makeovers but do not think it will stand up to the wear and tear of cabinet use.
It doesn’t mean that we haven’t seen some awesome cabinets painted with this, but we would be careful if going this route.
Acrylic Latex Enamel
For the longest time, we were huge fans of Sherwin Williams Pro Classic paint for all molding and cabinet painting. It is still a great option for when you want to easily be able to clean brushes and not be overwhelmed by the smell.
We also have experience using this budget-friendly trim enamel from Behr. It worked really well when we painted our bathroom cabinets upstairs but did not seem to cure as well on our oak stairway railing. Depending on how much your cabinets are used, the price of this paint is definitely a factor to consider.
In recent years, paint companies have come up with a mix of water-based paints and oil-based.
We aren’t even going to sugar-coat this, these types of paints are our favorite for painting cabinets. You will be amazed at how they self-level, ease of clean-up, final appearance, variety of paint colors and lack of strong odor (compared to oil).
The biggest con to these paints is the price. Make sure to buy them when they go on sale. We always buy our paint during Sherwin Williams % off sales. See how we were able to repaint our basement bathroom cabinets using SW Emerald in Tricorn Black.
Brands to Consider
- Benjamin Moore Waterborne Alkyd Paint
- Sherwin Williams Emerald Urethane Trim Enamel
Both of these paints are really a combination of the best of both worlds. You get excellent durability with all the benefits of water-based paint.
Best Type Of Paint For DIY Projects: Benjamin Moore Waterbased Aklyd Paint or Sherwin Williams Emerald Urethane Trim Enamel
Best Budget Cabinet Paint: Behr Trim Enamel
Recommend Cabinet Painting Supplies
- Old Rag
- Sherwin Williams Urethane Trim Enamel
- Brush- We like using Purdy 2 ½” Angular Trim Brush or equivalent from Wooster
- Small Roller Handle
- Small High-Density Foam Roller (these are a must for a variety of DIY projects)
- Painter’s Tape Multi-Surface Tape
- 220 Sandpaper
- Optional: Wood Filler
- Drop Cloth
Real-Life DIY Cabinet Painting
You can see how we used SW Emerald Urethane Trim Enamel to paint our oak kitchen cabinet doors using only a brush and a small foam roller. They almost look like they were sprayed with a paint sprayer instead of painted by hand.
How To Prep Cabinets
We go into a lot of detail with step-by-step instructions in other posts about how prep, prime and paint bathroom vanity cabinets.
Our cabinet painting tutorials all include lightly sanding the cabinet surface, cleaning and wiping with Krud Kutter on a tack cloth and then using a primer.
You can also use a product like trisodium phosphate to clean your cabinets instead of Krud Kutter.
Primers To Consider
One of the most important parts when painting bathroom cabinets is to make sure you have an even coat of primer on all surfaces to be painted. Here are a few primers to consider:
- Zinsser Water-Based Primer
- Zinsser Oil-Based Stainblocking Primer: if you don’t mind the smell, but will do a better job sealing your wood cabinets than a latex-based primer.
- If you are going to be painting your cabinets white, you may want to consider using an oil-based primer so that the wood tannins don’t bleed through. Wood tannins are colors that may bleed through in your paint and will create yellowish or brownish spots.
Did you know you could also use similar supplies to paint your bathroom laminate countertops? We couldn’t believe the look we were able to get.
Other DIY Bathroom Cabinet Paint FAQs
You can use these fillers before sanding to help fill in the grain. This is an extra step that will take time. We don’t mind seeing the grain on our painted cabinets.
It really doesn’t bother us, therefore we didn’t take this extra step.
Find small paint samples you like first. Narrow it down and use large peel-and-stick paint samples to test out colors. You can just tape them with painter’s tape if you are worried about the finish on your cabinet.
Click the link to get our full Samplize review.
The higher-end paints like SW Emerald and Pro Advance have awesome self-leveling capabilities. Even if you use a brush and roller you will be amazed at the final paint finish.
Just be careful about drips along the way as those will leave bumps.
Related Cabinet Painting Posts
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Remember it is just painted and it can always be changed. You will be so happy when you finally start your bathroom makeover.