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Chalk Paint vs Latex: Which One You Should Choose For Kitchen cabinets 


One of the most common questions asked when repainting kitchen cabinets is which type of paint should be used. The traditional answer is oil-based paints.

But as new types of paint surface, among the usual answers would be chalk paint vs latex paint for kitchen cabinets. In this post, we square out which one works best under different kitchen cabinet conditions. You also need to see the best kitchen decor ideas.

Cutting Edge Stencils Brick Stencil Kitchen 1 of 115 min

What Is Chalk Paint? 

The main convenience of using chalk paint is that it does not require sanding and priming. It is essentially water-based and is categorized as more of decorative paint. It also dries fast and does not need a lot of hours in between coats. 

Chalk paints are mainly used for painting metals, furniture, glass, flooring, and cabinets. To get a matte sheen, you can apply a wax topcoat or seal it to give it a glossy, smooth finish. It is also the perfect choice for kitchen cabinets made of heavily grained wood. 

Pros of chalk paint

Given the basic descriptions, the following are the pros of using chalk paint on kitchen cabinets: 

  • It dries faster compared to other paints. You can apply the second coat in just under an hour. 
  • It does not require a lot of preparation. The surface only needs to be wiped clean. No priming or sanding is needed. 
  • It is thick enough. As such, it requires fewer coats of paint. 
  • It is perfect to hide the grains of heavily grained wood. 
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Cons of chalk paint

While it is very convenient to use, chalk paints are not flawless. The following are the cons of using chalk paint for kitchen cabinets. 

  • It is not a long-lasting option for kitchen cabinet paints. It chips off easily. 
  • Sanding comes after painting to ensure a smooth finish. 
  • It is more expensive compared to latex paints. 
  • The surface becomes yellow over time. It needs a water-based sealer for a lasting finish. 

What Is Latex Paint

Like chalk paint, latex is also water-based. But compared to chalk paint, latex is also made up of plastic resin which makes it more adherent to any surface. It is one of the most convenient points to work with and is very ideal to apply on wooden surfaces like cabinets and furniture. 

There are also more choices for the finish when it comes to latex paint. It comes glossy, semi-gloss, matte, and flat, among others. However, unlike the no preparation application of chalk paint, latex paints require cleaning, sanding, and priming before application. This is needed to ensure that the paint sticks to the kitchen cabinet surface. 

Like chalk paint, latex paints are also easy to dry. You can apply the second coat after an hour. Its finished product is also smoother after two coats. The upside of using latex paint on kitchen cabinets is that it does not show any remnant of brush strokes on the surface. It is also easily cleaned off with just soapy water. 

Pros of latex paint

If you intend to use latex paint for your kitchen cabinets, here are some of the pros of latex paint that you should know: 

  • It has a faster drying rate compared to most paints. 
  • It is very convenient to use and does not get yellowish over time. 
  • Desired sheen level is easier to achieve due to the availability of different finishes. 
  • Comes in different color choices. 
  • It is long-lasting and does not chip off easily. 
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Cons of latex paint

The good thing about latex paints is that it does not have a lot of cons. It is safe to say therefore, that latex paints are virtually flawless. The following are the few cons of latex paints:

  • To ensure that the paint sticks to the surface, cleaning, sanding, and priming are required. 
  • It is more prone to staining compared to oil-based paints. 
  • Frequent refinishing might be necessary. 

Is Chalk Paint More Durable Than Other Water-Based Paints?

Because they all belong to the water-based paint category, it is said that their durability is at the same level. However, if you want to improve the durability of your chalk paint, you have to seal it. Without the aid of sealing, chalk paint is less durable compared to latex. 

How long does latex paint last on kitchen cabinets?

It depends on how you maintain your painted kitchen cabinets. Nonetheless, as per observation, you can expect that latex paints on kitchen cabinets can last for 5-15 years. You also have to note that latex paints are more vulnerable to staining compared to other paints. 

Aside from latex or chalk paint, what is the most recommended for kitchen cabinets?

If you want to diversify your choice and not limit your option between chalk paint vs latex for kitchen cabinets, alkyd paint is another firm choice. Although the drying and curing time for alkyd is longer compared to other types of paints, it offers a very durable finish. 

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How many color varieties does chalk paint come with?

Unlike latex paints which come in a limitless color range, chalk paints only come in 30-40 color choices. Then again, you have to remember that chalk paints hold a more decorative purpose so it is understandable that it has a limited color range. 

How long will chalk-painted kitchen cabinets hold up?

Although not as long as latex paints, chalk-painted kitchen cabinets can hold up really well too. As per observation, chalk-painted kitchen cabinets can last for 3-5 years provided that the cabinets are maintained well. For decorative, water-based paint, this is already a commendable reputation. 

Read more:

How long does it take for paint to cure on cabinets?

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Final Thoughts

With all things considered, our final verdict goes to latex paints for long-lasting output. Chalk paints are only good for decorative purposes and small work. But when it comes to permanent revamping or refinishing at a low-cost range, latex paints are still the best choice. 

Although it requires more preparation compared to chalk paint, it is still a more reliable choice because it adheres to the surface better and does not chip off easily.