Best Paint Sheen for IKEA and Other Furniture

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Are you looking to give your IKEA furniture a fresh, new look? Or maybe you’re thinking about updating your cabinets and wondering about the best paint sheen for kitchen cabinets? You’ve come to the right place! Painting laminate furniture, like many IKEA pieces, and choosing the right paint sheen for cabinets can completely transform your space. In this guide, I’ll walk you through what paint sheen to use on furniture, specifically focusing on paint sheen for IKEA furniture, cabinets, and kitchen cabinets to ensure your projects look stunning and stand the test of time.

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

Bright and airy bedroom featuring a wardrobe transformed by choosing the right paint sheen for furniture.

Understanding Paint Sheen

Before diving into the specifics of painting IKEA furniture and cabinets, let’s break down what paint sheen means. Paint sheen refers to the glossiness of the paint finish. The right sheen can impact not only the aesthetic of your furniture but also its durability. From matte to high gloss, each sheen level serves a purpose and can enhance the beauty of your furniture and cabinets. Learn more about using our Paint Sheen Guide for Your Home.

The Secret to Choosing What Paint Sheen To Use on Furniture

Choosing what paint sheen to use on furniture is crucial for achieving the desired aesthetic and functionality. The sheen of the paint affects how the colour appears and how durable the finish will be. Whether you’re working on a vintage find or a modern IKEA piece, the right sheen can significantly impact the final look. For furniture, a pearl, satin, or semi-gloss sheen often strikes the perfect balance between a stylish finish and practical durability.

Modern bathroom showcasing a painted laminate vanity, demonstrating how to paint IKEA furniture for a sleek finish.

The Best Paint Sheen for IKEA Furniture

IKEA furniture, known for its laminate surfaces, requires a bit of know-how in painting. The key to a flawless finish is to select the right paint sheen for IKEA furniture. Pearl, satin, or semi-gloss finishes are ideal as they adhere well to laminate, providing a durable and easy-to-clean surface. This makes them perfect for pieces that see a lot of use, ensuring your IKEA furniture looks great for years. However, it is important to remember that the right primer is key.

Bedroom with a freshly painted wardrobe, showcasing the perfect paint sheen for IKEA furniture.

Finding the Right Paint Sheen for Cabinets

When selecting the paint sheen for cabinets, it’s essential to prioritize both durability and ease of maintenance. Cabinets, especially in the kitchen or bathroom, are exposed to frequent handling, moisture, and temperature changes, necessitating a finish that can withstand these conditions while remaining easy to clean.

Semi-gloss and gloss finishes emerge as the top choices, offering practical benefits like ease of cleaning, resistance to wear, and aesthetic advantages, enhancing the cabinets’ appearance with their beautiful lustre. These sheens add an element of elegance, making your cabinets both functional and stylish, perfectly suited for high-use areas and contributing significantly to the overall ambiance of your space.

Dresser updated with a semi-gloss finish, serving as an example of what paint sheen to use on furniture for durability and style.

Selecting Paint Sheen for Kitchen Cabinets

Selecting the right paint sheen for kitchen cabinets is crucial for blending aesthetic appeal with practicality, as these cabinets need to withstand daily wear and tear while keeping their lustre. A semi-gloss finish emerges as the preferred choice for its durability, moisture resistance, and ease of maintenance, ensuring the cabinets remain fresh and inviting. In a kitchen where food splatters and messy cooking fingers touch the cabinets, it’s important they can easily wipe down.

Moreover, the semi-gloss sheen beautifully reflects light, creating a bright and welcoming kitchen atmosphere. For those desiring a more subdued appearance, a satin finish provides a smooth look with a gentle glow, making it an excellent alternative. This careful consideration of paint sheen significantly impacts the kitchen’s overall feel, striking the perfect balance between functionality and style.

Living room enhanced with a painted fireplace, illustrating the impact of paint sheen for kitchen cabinets applied to non-traditional surfaces for a cohesive home aesthetic.

How to Paint IKEA Furniture

When it comes to how to paint IKEA furniture, preparation is key. IKEA’s popular laminate furniture poses a unique challenge due to its slick surface. But don’t worry; you can achieve a professional-looking finish with the right techniques. Start by lightly sanding the surface to help the primer adhere better. Use a high-quality primer suitable for laminate surfaces, followed by your choice of paint. I recommend choosing a pearl, satin, or semi-gloss sheen for IKEA furniture. These sheens are perfect for achieving a durable and cleanable finish that will last.

PRO TIP: Want to learn the best Primer for painting IKEA? Learn more here.

Close-up of a bedroom wardrobe highlighting the durable and stylish finish achieved with semi-gloss paint sheen for cabinets.

Tips for Painting Laminate Furniture

Painting laminate furniture, like many pieces from IKEA, requires extra care. After the initial sanding and priming, choose a paint formulated for laminate surfaces. Apply thin, even coats of paint, allowing sufficient drying time between each coat. Patience is key to avoiding drips and achieving a smooth, even finish. Usually, a foam roller or paint sprayer works well to get a smooth and even finish.

Let Your Furniture Shine

Armed with these tips and insights on paint sheen for IKEA furniture, painting laminate furniture, and the best paint sheen for cabinets and kitchen cabinets, you’re ready to embark on your painting project. Remember, the beauty of DIY projects lies in the ability to customize your space to reflect your style and personality. So, grab your paintbrush, unleash your creativity, and transform your furniture into pieces you’ll love.

Remember, whether you’re tackling an IKEA dresser, kitchen cabinets, or any laminate piece, the right preparation, paint, and sheen will make all the difference. Happy painting!

Cozy breakfast nook featuring a banquette with a vibrant, inviting color, enhancing the room's charm.


What is the best paint to use to paint IKEA furniture?

The best paint for IKEA furniture is a latex or acrylic paint designed for laminate surfaces, ensuring durability and a smooth finish.

What is the best paint sheen for furniture?

The best paint sheen for furniture is semi-gloss or satin, balancing durability and aesthetic appeal.

Can you use eggshell paint on IKEA furniture?

You can use eggshell paint on IKEA furniture, but ensure proper surface preparation for best adherence. For durability, pearl, satin, or semi-gloss would be better.

Can you paint IKEA furniture with latex paint?

Yes, you can paint IKEA furniture with latex paint, which is ideal for achieving a durable and easy-to-clean surface.

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