can you use wall paint on cabinets
Kristina Davis

Can you use wall paint on cabinets? Do you want to paint or repaint your cabinets at home?

And you are probably thinking of using your leftover wall paint on your cabinet?

Look no further! Here is a complete guide on whether or not it is a good idea or a terrible one.

Wall paint is any kind of paint used to add aesthetics and effect to the walls of a building, this guide will explain if this paint can also be used to paint your cabinets too.

The Role Of Paint In Decoration

role of paint in decoration

Painting has to be one of the most exciting and artistic fulfillment of decorating or redecorating one’s house.

Paint gives a smooth finish, pleasant outlook, and aesthetic value to any building. 

Paints are generally used on walls, ceilings, doors, cabinets, and furniture in a house. 

Some types of furniture are made with hardwood, plywood, etc. Most of which are not painted afterward. 

Some are sprayed to give a brightened look to them. Notwithstanding, paints add a unique touch to the overall look of the room/building. 

Can You Use Wall Paint On Cabinets?

wall paint cabinet

It is possible to use one type of paint for every part of the house.

But regardless, you cannot rule out the fact that some parts of the house are more sensitive to particular materials.

And each room has its different conditions. There are several types of paint available for use. 

To this effect, we want you to get a clear understanding of why one may be preferred over the other.

We have taken out time to explain these different types below.

Will Painting Fix A Cabinet In Bad Shape?

While painting has been known to transform the entire look of whatever it goes on, it is not a ‘one-solution-fix-all-problems’ thing. 

If you have a cabinet that is badly chipped or falling apart then that is a different ball game. Painting over it won’t fix it.

Is There Special Paint For Cabinets?

special paint cabinets

Painting or repainting your cabinets gives your kitchen a full remodeling.

It gives it one that is less costly and without installing brand new cabinets. 

Well, it all falls to the right paint for the cabinet. 

For a long time, there has been a fight for supremacy between oil-based paints and latex paints which suit cabinets better.

Oil Versus Latex

Oil-based paints are usually favored because of their ease of application.

They are also preferred because of their long-lasting finish that can be easily wiped off or scrubbed for subsequent retouches. 

Latex paint, on the other hand, is arguably considered the best choice for cabinets. This is because of its low levels of VOCs and faster drying rate.

Note: Oil-based paint takes about two weeks to dry properly.

Some Of The Best Paints For Cabinets

best paint cabinets

Getting the best fit for your cabinet cannot be flogged long enough, seeing as it affects the overall durability of the cabinet in the long run. 

Cabinets experience high traffic or activity day-to-day, touching, pulling, opening, closing, and the occasional slamming. 

All these activities will cause scratching and chipping. The right paint will reduce this.

Tip: The way you carefully pick out paint colors, should also be the way you pick out the texture of your paint.


Let me call this the best choice for cabinets because of its sheen that reflects light.

The semi-gloss paint can easily be scrubbed clean. This characteristic earned it the description “washable”.

Gloss Paint

It is also considered for its shine and its formulation process includes resin and binders that give it a harder shell hence durable.

If you want a bold cabinet color, then consider it. 

Other Types of Paint

other paint types

There are so many types of paint for interior and exterior paintings. We literally cannot name them all in this article even if we wanted to. 

Hence we will be explaining some of the most famous types of painting as related to wall and cabinet painting.

We will also be discussing primers and finishes.


Though primer is not a type of paint, it is needed for most painting projects.

Primer is applied to the surface to prepare it for the process before anything else is done. 

It helps the paint stick fast to the surface and projects the color of the paint. Primers can be water-based, oil-based, or shellac. 

Note: The type of paint you use (water or oil-based) determines the type of primer you use. That is, oil-based paint would require oil-based primer.


Whitewash is a mix of powdered chalk or slaked lime. It is usually used for new buildings to leave the owners a variety of paint choices to choose from. 

Whitewash is like a plain white board ready to be painted on with any form of surface preparation. 

Water-based Paint

painting a cabinet

Water-based paint remains one of the most common types of paint. It is easy to apply on surfaces and easy to maintain. 

Water-based paint can be cleaned using a wet cloth. One of the downsides of this paint is that it usually peels off after some time. 

But fortunately, with advancements in formulation, there are different types of water-based paints that are more durable. 

When water-based are to be applied on surfaces previously painted with oil-based paint, the surface needs to be washed, scraped, and smoothened before application. 

Matte Paint 

Matte paint does not show any shimmer and shine, this makes it perfect for cabinets. It is good for covering distractions, marks, and stains. It is also easy to clean

Another type of matte paint is matte enamel which shares the same similarities as matte paint. 

This paint is perfect in the kitchen because the kitchen is more likely to be affected by grease and other forms of stains.

Satin Paint

Satin paint is a combo of a little matte and a little. It gives it a gloss down-toned shine and soft look usually applied on clean walls.

Eggshell Paint 

Eggshell paint is similar to satin paint. It is both soft and low shine but varies in texture that the satin paint.

And just like matte paint, it is good for surfaces prone to marks and imperfections. 

Latex-based Paint

Is a good option for exterior painting. It is easy to work with, not messy, dried fast and is not affected by any effects of direct sunlight. 

Enamel Paint

enamel paint

This paint is quite rugged and it is very durable. It is said to have the ability to withstand punishment. 

Hence it is a good fit for exteriors and also for surfaces you need to protect like cabinets and the kitchen. 

Emulsion Paint

These are the most used type of paint. It is a mix of two completely different liquids, such as water and oil.

They are mostly used for both interior and exterior painting

Other types of wall paints include Bituminous paint, Aluminium paint, Cement-based paint, Epoxy paint, Flat paint, Distemper paint, Textured paint, Metallic paint, etc. 

Now the question is. ‘Can you use wall paint on kitchen cabinets? All these paints have individual unique qualities. 

Therefore, one deciding on the type of paint they want to use is a combination of these qualities and their personal choices. 

Can you paint cabinets with wall paints?

Yes. But cabinets are unlike walls where you have a good number of paints applied accurately on walls. 

Cabinets have paints that are more suitable due to their conditions and use.

Some of these paints that suit cabinets better are listed below.

Note: It is important to apply these qualities in your decision-making to avoid obvious mistakes. 

 Some Helpful Tools For Painting

  • Kris Kutter 
  • Mohair paint roller and handles
  • Soft paintbrush 
  • Painters tape
  • Caulk


Can you use wall paint on cabinets? Yes, but as stated in this guide, it is important to always note that choosing to go out and get paint for your cabinet is great! 

Choosing the right paint is greater! Using the right paint for the right place saves money, time, and energy.

Use a guide to make the right decision today.