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From Best to Worst: A Ranking of Cabinet Refinishing Products

July 5th, 2023 | 3 min read

By Kaylea Kuhlman

Like many industries, the cabinet refinishing industry has changed a lot over the years. There are an array of products available for cabinet refinishing from high to low quality. It is important to know the differences between these products to get your money's worth on a cabinet refinishing job.

At Brush & Roll Painting in Omaha, NE, we have been using high-quality products to refinish cabinets since 1996. We can promise durable and lasting cabinets with our thorough prep work process and top-notch materials. 


In this article, we will discuss the types of cabinet refinishing products and some examples from best to worst. By reading this article, you will be able to confidently know which products are safe for your next durable cabinet refinishing project. 

Cabinet refinishing products from best to worst

2K Polyurethanes on Cabinets

Ranking: 9.5

  • Milesi
  • ML Cambell 2K Waterborne Topcoat
  • Renner

2k polyurethanes or 2K polys are fantastic products for cabinet refinishing as it has been groundbreaking for the wood coatings industry in general. 

2K polys require a mix of a catalyst or hardener, resulting in a pot life of a few hours. These types of products are best used by professionals only, as they can be tough to work with and require previous experience and knowledge.

Many 2K polys are chemical, abrasion, and moisture resistant which fights against forces that could damage the cabinet wood. These types of products will last the longest without many nicks and scratches.

To achieve a painted look, pigment can be mixed with 2K polys. This ensures that every layer is durable and solid rather than having a few coats of one product than a few coats of another. 

Epoxy on Cabinets

Ranking: 7

  • Rust-oleum Epoxy Mastic Coating
  • Insl-X Cabinet Coat
  • Epoxy resins

Like 2K polys, epoxies also have to be mixed in separately before applying the product. Epoxys will provide durable cabinets as long as it was applied properly.

Oil-based polyurethanes

Ranking: 6.5

  • Minwax

These products are decent but are prone to dents because of how soft they are. There is a longer curing time, has a strong odor, and does seem to give a slight golden to yellowish color over time - which is the last thing most homeowners want, especially if they are trying to rid their home of golden oak once and for all.  

Water-based Polyurethanes

Ranking: 5

  • Minwax

There’s an abundance of water-based polyurethanes on the market. Most of these claim to be fast drying and the cost is fairly inexpensive. They are also odorless and completely clear.

The common downside to water-based polyurethanes is that they are prone to scratches and require many coats.

Acrylic Cabinet Paint

Ranking: 4

  • Benjamin Moore- Advance
  • Benjamin Moore- Command
  • Sherwin Williams- Pro Classic
  • Sherwin Williams- Solo

Acrylic paint is a common and solid option for cabinet refinishing However, at Brush & Roll Painting we know from experience that these products tend to get soft around the handles quickly.

The handles are the most commonly touched area of the cabinet, so when the product starts to get soft and begins to chip or peel, it is game over. It will also become virtually impossible to ever get those areas looking clean. Besides constant touch-ups, the only remedy for damaged cabinets is refinishing them again. 

Latex Paint on Cabinets

Ranking: 3

  • Sherwin Williams- Infinity
  • Behr- Premium Plus

Cabinet Refinishing Kits

Ranking: 2

  • Rustoleum
  • Nuvo

There are plenty of at-home cabinet refinishing kits on the market. These kits make cabinet refinishing accessible for those DIY homeowners. However, all of the products included are low-quality. They will appear great for the first few months but will start to show wear and tear. Eventually, the finish will peel off completely and your hard work will be wasted.

These refinishing kits may seem like an easy way to get the project done on a small budget, but the money and your time would be going to waste as the product fails quickly.

How to ensure high-quality products

One way to ensure the quality of a cabinet refinishing product is to find out if it is KCMA tested. The Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association (KCMA) performs tests with products on cabinets to see how well it performs under certain conditions. A benefit of using KCMA-approved products is that you can be confident in the product and know that the finished result will be durable. 

Architectural Woodwork Institute is another reputable company that certifies products and ensures they are top-notch. 

Low-priced products and low-priced cabinet refinishing quotes are concerning. Before you commit, confirm you are getting the best value for your money.

Get value for your money

To get your money’s worth on a cabinet refinishing project, invest in a quality product and a quality company that has knowledge and experience. Cabinets are never indestructible, but they can be refinished to look great 10 years later if done properly and with the correct care and steps.

Ultimate guide to cabinet refinishing.

At Brush & Roll Painting in Omaha, NE, we provide premier cabinet refinishing services and a 9-year warranty. We take pride in giving our customers a great experience and durable, lasting cabinet finishes.


Next, learn more about everything they don’t tell you about paint for cabinets. This will further explain why cabinet paints are not durable. 

Kaylea Kuhlman

Kaylea is the Brush & Roll Painting Content Manager.