Is Eggshell or Satin Paint Better for Kitchen Cabinets?

Kitchen cabinets are one of the most important elements of any kitchen. They don’t just serve as functional storage space but also contribute significantly to the overall style and aesthetics of the kitchen. So which paint finish should you choose for your cabinets?

Satin paint is more durable than eggshell and is a great choice if you have very high traffic in your kitchen. Satin paint can also withstand more scrubbing and wiping, which is ideal for busy kitchens. It also has a slightly higher sheen than eggshell, making the kitchen look brighter.

In this article, you’ll learn:

  • The 4 factors to consider in choosing a paint finish
  • The pros and cons of satin paint
  • The pros and cons of eggshell paint
  • How to decide between satin and eggshell

The 4 Factors to Consider When Choosing a Paint Finish for Kitchen Cabinets

1. Durability

Durability is one of the most important factors when choosing a paint finish for your kitchen cabinets. Kitchen cabinets are exposed to a lot of wear and tear, heat, moisture, and spills, and you need a finish that can withstand all these challenges.

2. Gloss

The level of shine or gloss in your paint finish can significantly affect the look and feel of your kitchen cabinets. A glossy finish can give your kitchen a modern, sleek look, while a low-gloss finish can create a more traditional, rustic feel.

However, glossy finishes tend to show more flaws and imperfections, while their counterparts are more forgiving. Remember that a glossy finish may require additional prep work, such as sanding and priming, to achieve a flawless finish.

3. Environmental Impact

Consider the environmental impact when choosing a paint finish for your kitchen cabinets. Look for paints that have low or no volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which can emit harmful chemicals into the air.

4. Lighting

Consider your kitchen’s lighting when choosing a paint finish for your kitchen cabinets. Too much light and a gloss finish may create too much glare and reflection, making working in the kitchen uncomfortable.

If the kitchen has minimal lighting, a low-gloss finish may be more suitable since they reflect light without causing uncomfortable glare.

Pros and Cons of Eggshell Paint

Eggshell paint is a type of paint finish that is highly popular among homeowners and interior designers, especially for interior walls.

It is named after the texture and sheen it provides, which is similar to an eggshell. Eggshell paint has less sheen than satin paint but offers more than a matte finish.

Pros of Using Eggshell on Kitchen Cabinets

Hides Imperfections

Eggshell paint has a low sheen that helps mask minor flaws and imperfections in your cabinets. This makes it an attractive option for those who wish to conceal minor surface blemishes.

Easy to Clean

Eggshell paint is relatively easy to clean and maintain. It resists the accumulation of dirt and grime and can be wiped clean with a damp cloth, making it a convenient choice for busy households.

Attractive Finish

Eggshell paint creates a subtle, velvety texture that gives your cabinets a professional, high-end look. This finish is ideal for kitchen cabinets that see a lot of use, as it’s less likely to show scratches and marks.


Eggshell paint is versatile and can be used to paint a variety of surfaces, including wood, metal, and even plastic. This flexibility means that it can be used to revamp cabinets of any material.

Cons of Using Eggshell on Kitchen Cabinets

Not as Durable

While eggshell paint is less likely to show scratches, it’s also less durable than other types of paint. It’s more prone to chipping and peeling over time, particularly in high-traffic areas such as kitchen cabinets.

Not Ideal for Wet Areas

Eggshell paint is not as moisture-resistant as other types of paint. If your kitchen is prone to humidity or you frequently use the space for cooking, eggshell paint may not hold up as well over time.

Pros and Cons of Satin Paint

Satin paint is a type of paint that is characterized by its smooth and silky texture, which provides a subtle shimmer and reflective quality.

It has a low sheen, which falls between eggshell and semi-gloss finishes, and is perfect for creating a luxurious and elegant look on interior walls, trim, and furniture.

Pros of Using Satin on Kitchen Cabinets

Attractive Finish

One of the most appealing features of satin paint is its attractive finish. Unlike flat paint, which appears dull and lacks shine, satin paint has a subtle sheen that gives it a more elegant, sophisticated appearance.


Satin paint is also highly durable, making it an excellent choice for kitchen cabinets. It is resistant to chipping, peeling, and fading and can withstand frequent cleaning, especially in a high-traffic area such as the kitchen.

Easy to Clean

Because satin paint is so durable, it is also easy to clean. Spills and stains can be easily wiped away with a damp cloth, and most cleaning agents will not damage the paint.

Cons of Using Satin on Kitchen Cabinets

Not as Reflective as Gloss Paint

Satin paint has a subdued sheen, so if you’re looking for a more vibrant, reflective finish, then gloss paint may be a better option. If you’re going for a more subdued and sophisticated appearance, this may not be an issue, but it’s worth considering.

It may Require Additional Coats

Depending on the quality of the satin paint you choose, you may need to apply additional coats to achieve the desired coverage. This can increase the expense, time, and effort required to complete the project.

May Show Roller and Brush Strokes

If the satin paint is not applied correctly, or the roller or brush is not of good quality, it may result in visible roller or brush strokes on the surface. This can be avoided by hiring a professional painter or using the proper painting tools.

Eggshell vs. Satin: Which Should You Choose?

While both eggshell and satin paints are common choices for kitchen cabinetry, satin paint is often considered the more suitable option due to its superior durability.

If you want a finish that has a low sheen and smooth appearance, eggshell paint may be a good choice. However, if you want a finish that is both durable and easy to clean, satin paint is the way to go.

One of the biggest advantages of satin paint when compared to eggshell paint is its ability to withstand wear and tear. Satin paint is also more resistant to stains and moisture, making it a great choice for a kitchen environment where spills and splatters are common.

Additionally, satin paint tends to be easier to clean than eggshell paint. Unlike eggshell, which cleaning solutions can easily damage, satin paint can be wiped down with a damp cloth without fear of damaging the finish.

Overall, while eggshell and satin paint may be suitable for painting kitchen cabinets, satin is the more durable and practical choice.

Joshua Milton

Joshua Milton is a passionate DIY and home improvement enthusiast. With his expertise in various projects, he provides practical tips, step-by-step guides, and creative ideas for transforming your living space.

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