Cabinet Paints: DIY Friendliness vs. Pro-Level Finish and Durability


Picking out paint for your cabinets? After recent podcast and YouTube video, I’ve got the scoop. Let’s break it down.


  1. DIY-Friendly Paints with Easy Application:
  • Sherwin Williams Emerald Urethane: A popular choice for those tackling their own cabinet projects. It goes on smoothly and is pretty forgiving. However, while it’s easier to apply, it doesn’t harden up as much as some of the more professional paints. One thing to note – it does take its time to dry.
  • Benjamin Moore Advance: Another go-to for DIYers. It gives you a decent window to work with, ensuring fewer mistakes as you paint. Like the Emerald Urethane, it takes a while to dry and doesn’t achieve that super-hard cure you might be looking for.


  1. Pro-Level Paints with Superior Hardness:
  • Renner 2K: This one’s a star when it comes to getting that solid, professional cabinet feel – the kind that makes cabinets “click” perfectly. While it delivers on hardness and finish, it’s best left in the hands of professionals who can work with its unique properties.
  • General Finishes Enduro 2K: Another for the pros or very seasoned DIYers. It’s a bit of a challenge, but if applied right, it gives a hard, durable finish that screams professional.


  1. Special Mention: Mirror-Like Finish but Tricky to Use:
  • Fine Paints of Europe Hollandlac Brilliant: This paint delivers a finish that’s like a mirror. But, be warned, it’s pretty finicky and expensive. While the results are stunning, we’d recommend against this for DIYers. It’s a bit of a beast to get right.
  • Sherwin Williams Gallery Series: This is a newer 2K addition we’re keeping an eye on. We haven’t had a lot of time to test it thoroughly yet, but we’re excited to see how it measures up. Stay tuned for upcoming reviews and updates for this one!


So if you’re picking paint for an upcoming cabinet project, consider both your skill level and the result you want. If you’re new or want something straightforward, the DIY-friendly options are solid choices. But, if you’re chasing that hard, professional finish, you might either want to hone your skills further or bring in a pro.