Choosing Kitchen Cabinet Paint: Oil-Based Paints vs. Water/Latex-Based Paints

If your kitchen cabinets are old and the paint is peeling off, it may be time to give them a new look by painting them. While repainting your kitchen cabinets may not sound like a very complicated job, the project can be a lot harder than you’d think. For instance, how do you know if you are choosing the right kind of paint for the job? With the help of our professionals at Booth7, you can transform the look of your kitchen, hassle-free. Here are some pros and cons of using oil or solvent based paints vs. water or latex-based paints.

Stylish light gray handles on cabinets close-up, kitchen interior with modern furniture and stainless steel appliances. kitchen design in scandinavian style

Oil or Solvent Based Paints

The most highly recommended kitchen cabinet paint option is oil-based paint. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of this type of paints.

Pros of Oil-Based Paints

Oil-based paints adhere well to the wood surface, allowing the paint to be applied more smoothly. They create a high gloss finish and there will usually be no spray or brush strokes visible. When oil-based paints dry, they create a smooth, resistant shell and the surface will tolerate more wear and tear. In addition, oil-based paints require fewer coats of paint and will fade less over time. Oil or solvent based paints are best applied in a very controlled and extremely well-ventilated area like a painting facility separate from your home.

Cons of Oil-Based Paints

Many oil or “solvent” based paints contain high levels of volatile organic compounds or VOCs. They emit a very strong chemical odour while painting and drying, so you will need to ventilate the room and wear a mask. These odours will linger in your home for a few weeks or more. Oil-based paints are limited in the choice of colours and the drying time is longer than water-based paints. If you make a mess with oil-based paint, it can be more difficult to clean up. You may need turpentine or mineral spirits to clean the brushes, paint rollers, and any other tools used while painting.

Water or Latex-Based Paint

Water and latex-based paints & lacquers have become very popular over the years as brands have introduced a multitude of colours and finishes including satin, semi-gloss, and gloss. Here are the pros and cons of water or latex-based paints.

Pros of Water or Latex-Based Paints

One of the biggest benefits of water or latex-based paints is that they have very low VOCs and emit little to no odour. You will notice minimal smell in your home and know that it is safe for you, your children and your pets. Unlike oil-based paints, these paints come in unlimited colours so you can choose colours that suit your decor or personal style. They are easy to work with, dry quickly, and are easy to clean and maintain. They are also extremely resistant to chipping, scratches, chalking and colour fading.

Cons of Water or Latex-Based Paints

On the other hand, water or latex-based paints may not always be suitable for places that are high traffic areas. They could be less wear resistant than other types of paint, which means that you should apply a clear coat to further protect your cabinets as this paint is more sensitive to temperature and moist environments.

Upgrade Your Kitchen Cabinets with Professional Repainting

Now that you understand the advantages and disadvantages of both types of paint, it’s important to understand that painting your own kitchen cabinets may not be your best option. While it could save you some money upfront, hiring a professional painting company is a smarter investment because you’ll get a higher quality, professional-looking finish.

When you work with Booth7, we will uninstall your cabinets, take them to our facility, prepare them and repaint them with our water-based, low VOC lacquer and solvents that are very consumer and household-friendly. Our high-quality paints will last longer than if you were to paint your cabinets on your own. We are a professional kitchen cabinet refinishing company that you can trust to take care of your painting projects from start to finish.

To get started on your home renovation or painting project, call Booth7 today! Fill out our online form or contact us at

By | 2023-03-13T09:24:20+00:00 October 18th, 2019|Blog|Comments Off on Choosing Kitchen Cabinet Paint: Oil-Based Paints vs. Water/Latex-Based Paints

About the Author:

Mike is a co-owner and Managing Partner in Booth7 – Painting Solutions and brings a strong dedication to superior customer service, organized production, quality control, and a family culture into the existing environment at Booth7.

As a “hands-on” manager, Mike enjoys working closely with both clients and employees and is available to both 7 days/week for any request.

Choosing Kitchen Cabinet Paint: Oil-Based Paints vs. Water/Latex-Based Paints Booth7 2023-03-13 09:24:20 Here are some tips from the experts about the pros and cons of oil-based paints vs. water or latex based paints when selecting for painting kitchen cabinets. Blog
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