Best Paint for a Kitchen – A Full Guide

Updated May 18, 2024 | Posted Aug 19, 2023 | Professional insight, Product Advice | 0 comments

Choosing the best paint for a kitchen takes a little bit of thought. After all, the condensation and contaminants in a kitchen mean that if you were to use a standard emulsion, your room wouldn’t stay looking clean and fresh for very long.

You don’t necessarily need a specialist kitchen paint, but there’s no point in using a normal vinyl or contract matt, as these will remain porous and stain very quickly. Instead, you should opt for a more durable emulsion. You also need to think about what finish you’d like, be it matt or eggshell (avoid silk). You may also need to consider anti-mould paint.

Another set of products to avoid are retail kitchen paints. You’ll see these in places like B&Q and other DIY type stores. There are 3 different markets of paint: retail, trade and designer. Retail paint is cheap, but doesn’t perform very well, meaning you are left with a substandard finish that will not stand up very well to the conditions in a kitchen. Don’t just assume you’re buying quality because you choose a brand like Johnstone’s, Crown or Dulux, because these brands also produce a lot of retail products. Always look for the word “trade” on the tin.

Once you’ve found the best emulsion for a kitchen, you need to think about your woodwork paint (which is a bit easier to be fair).

In this blog, I’m going to talk through each finish you should consider and give you a couple of honest recommendations for each one. Feel free to skip ahead to the section you need.

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The Best Durable Matt Emulsion for a Kitchen

 

Durable matt emulsion normally contains acrylic binders rather than vinyl, which makes it, well, durable. This means the paint can stand up to steam and will not absorb contaminates, but also has a low sheen level, which makes it more desirable and modern looking.

Sounds like the perfect kitchen paint doesn’t it, but it does come with a drawback. You can give durable matt emulsion a quick wipe over, but it won’t stand up to heavy cleaning or a lot of condensation. It’s fine in most kitchens, but if your kitchen has a particularly challenging environment, then you might be better choosing an acrylic eggshell (jump further down the blog.

Dulux Diamond Matt

One of the best durable matt emulsion paints on the market is the new formula Dulux Diamond Matt. Opacity in white isn’t very good, but the opacity in colours is fantastic. You’ll find it easy to apply and the finish is absolutely gorgeous! There is a sense of luxury about this paint now, and it has a real depth to it.

Dulux Diamond Matt has a very low-sheen, making it very contemporary and perfect for any modern kitchen. Brush and roller marks tend to melt away and blend nicely into each other. It’s very easy to achieve a good finish with this paint.

Crown Clean Extreme

Crown Clean Extreme is another great quality durable matt, and easily one of the best kitchen paint products on the market. The opacity in white is good (which is unusual for a durable matt), and the opacity in colours is awesome.

It isn’t ultra-low sheen like the Dulux alternative, but you can feel a silky quality to this paint as soon as you start to use it. You won’t see any defects in the finish such as flashing and picture framing either. Another easy paint to use and achieve fantastic results.

The Best Acrylic Eggshell Emulsion for a Kitchen

 

As already alluded to, acrylic eggshell has a higher sheen level than durable matt, which is less desirable, particularly in a modern kitchen. However, you are trading sheen level for durability, and eggshell will stand up well to excessive condensation and cleaning. A splat of grease will not stain eggshell like it would matt.

I’ll give you a couple of good quality trade eggshell options for a kitchen. One premium, and one slightly cheaper, but still great quality.

Johnstone’s Trade Acrylic Eggshell

OK, this is the premium option. Johnstone’s Trade Acrylic Eggshell is a great paint for any kitchen or bathroom. The polymers in it will stand up to any amount of steam and grease, making it ideal for commercial kitchens.

Opacity, ease of use, and overall finish are all fantastic. If you do go for this paint in your kitchen, then it’s likely to look clean and fresh for years to come.

Armstead Eggshell

This is the reasonably priced option. Armstead paint is made in the same factory as Dulux, and in terms of quality V’s price, it’s right up there.

Opacity isn’t quite as good as the Johnstone’s alternative, but ease of use and overall finish are brilliant. I use a lot of Armstead products as a Decorator, and it’s a brand I swear by. No fancy marketing or silly prices, just a good trade product.

The Best Anti-Mould Paint For a Kitchen

Let’s be clear, if your kitchen suffers from mould, then you may need to do more than change your paint. Ventilation and insulation are key for reducing condensation, and if the issue is water coming in from outside, then you will need to address that also. Click here for a blog that explains more.

However, choosing an anti-mould paint will help. It’s basically just emulsion with anti-fungal additives, meaning mould will not grow on it. As we’re still searching for the best kitchen paint, any anti-mould paint you go for will still need to be durable and waterproof. I’m going to give you two recomendations: one durable matt and one durable eggshell.

Zinsser Perma White

This is the ultimate emulsion for difficult kitchens. It may be a durable matt, but it’s extremely durable, will withstand heavy condensation, and contains anti-mould additives. Opacity in white isn’t great, but in colours it’s brilliant.

The overall finish is lovely, and I know from experience just how well this paint stands up to difficult conditions. I used it in the changing room of a swimming pool some years ago. Prior to me using it, the room suffered badly from mould and needed to be redecorated every 6 – 8 months. I treated the mould, then painted everything in Zinsser Perma White (walls, ceilings, and woodwork). Five years on and it still looks brand-new!

Zinsser Perma-White will stop mould from coming back

Crown Clean Extreme Mould Inhibiting Eggshell

As you can probably tell from the name, Crown Clean Extreme Mould Inhibiting Eggshell is an eggshell with mould inhibiting qualities. The entire Crown Clean Extreme range is fantastic quality, including this product.

Being an eggshell, it stands up to stains like grease better than Zinsser Perma White does, and condensation runs off it without marking the paint. Opacity, ease of use, and overall finish are great too.

The Best Woodwork Paint to Use in a Kitchen

 

I’m going to condense this section, simply because you don’t need to alter your woodwork paint to use in a kitchen. The paint you use for the rest of your home will be fine. That said, there is a gulf in quality between products, so I will pick out a few of my favourites.

WRX Satin

WRX Satin is a water-based satinwood paint that can be used directly over old oil-based coatings without the need for a separate adhesion primer. It’s quick and easy to use and dries rock hard. The colour is a pure, crisp, brilliant white. It’s reasonably priced too, which is another bonus.

Benjamin Moore Scuff X

Benjamin Moore Scuff X is probably the best satinwood paint on the market, and it can also be used as a durable emulsion for the walls in your kitchen. This is a premium paint, but it does come with a premium price tag. It’s quick and easy to use, and the finish is absolutely gorgeous. Nothing else comes close.

Teknos Futura Aqua

Teknos Futura Aqua 90 is a hybrid gloss (primarily water-based, but still contains some alkyd oil). This makes it more durable, which is great for a kitchen. You must use the Teknos Futura Primer when using this gloss for adhesion and opacity reasons. This is probably the only water-based gloss I have tried that I love (although apparently the Bedec Advanced Gloss is also good).

Final Thoughts

 

I hope this blog has helped you choose the best paint for your kitchen. At worst, it’s probably given you an idea of the things you should consider when buying a kitchen paint. I can put my hand on my heart and say that the products recommended in this blog are genuinely brilliant. Choose any of them, and your kitchen will look good and stay looking good for some time.

Examples of Work Carried Out by Other Decorators

Chris Callahan

We painted this kitchen using Dulux Diamond Matt in Brilliant White. White offered the perfect contrast for the dark units in the room. The units look modern, so we needed an ultra matt finish to give the room that contemporary feel.

Dulux Diamond Matt is brilliant for this type of job. It isn’t an “in-your-face” type finish that shouts out at you. It just offers a subtle but clean backdrop that allows the kitchen units to steal the show. No complicated colour schemes needed, just a quality paint to go with a quality build.

kitchen painted white

Paul Maguire

We used Zinsser Perma White on the ceiling of this room because we think it gives the best finish possible but lasts. Kitchen ceilings always get a hammering because steam rises, so it’s good to have a paint you know will cope.

The walls were painted using Dulux Diamond Matt and the colour is Denim Drift (easy to get it mixed online). We love bold colours and the finish on Diamond Matt is spot on.

The best dark blue kitchen paint

Lee Scaife

We used Crown Clean Extreme on the walls due to its finish and durability. It’s never let me down yet.

But the star of the show in this kitchen was the ceiling paint. We used Tikkurila Anti-Reflex, simply because of the amount of light streaming in through the windows. We needed something that was going to stop the shadowing and leave a flawless finish. I don’t care how good you are as a Decorator, there aren’t many paints on the market that could have done that.

It’s strange to think that the finish on a ceiling could be the standout surface in a kitchen, but it is here. Any other paint would have shown defects which you would have noticed as soon as you entered the room.

best paint for a kitchen ceiling

Robin Gofton

We used Tikkurila Anti Reflex on the ceiling of this kitchen, with Crown Clean Extreme on the walls, which is a personal favourite of mine. The colour is called “Smokey Mist”, which I love.

We used Benjamin Moore Scuff X on all the woodwork, simply because it’s the best on the market. It’s easy to use and looks fantastic.

best paint for a kitchen

Updated May 18, 2024 | Posted Aug 19, 2023 | 0 comments

About the Author

About the Author

Mike Gregory is a Professional Painter and Decorator who works in the Northwest of England. He mainly sub-contracts for large decorating firms and works on a wide variety of projects.

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