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Best kitchen paint 2023: Stylish and durable formulas for walls from £17

Protect your kitchen walls from everyday mess and add a shot of colour with the best kitchen paint

Our kitchen walls have to cope with a lot: steam, splashes, grease and even smoke. That’s why choosing the best kitchen paint, which is tough enough to be regularly wiped, washed and scrubbed, without fading or leaving stains, is a must. Indeed, our kitchens go through so much, the basic emulsion that’s suitable for other walls in your home probably won’t be up to the job in the kitchen.

The good news is that there’s a wider choice of shades for kitchen paint beyond white or magnolia, so a tougher finish doesn’t mean compromising on colour nowadays. Moreover, there are plenty of different formulas, ranging from classic eggshell to flat matte. In our roundup, we’ve selected the best kitchen paints you can buy for your budget, as well as highlighting features you should look for when choosing one. Below, you’ll find our buying guide to help you find the best kitchen paint, or you can scroll on for our top picks.

Best kitchen paint: At a glance

How to choose the best kitchen paint for you

What do I need to consider when buying kitchen paint?

Kitchen paint formulas are usually different to those for painting other walls. Look for kitchen paint that’s resistant to mould, grease and steam (standard paint can flake and peel from steam damage, for example). Nice to have but not essential are paints that are also antibacterial, low odour and low VOC (volatile organic compounds). Once your paint is dry, it should be durable and washable.

How many colours you’ll have to choose from varies by paint range, but generally more affordable formulas offer fewer shades choices with wide appeal. While many people stick to light shades, you’ll find that bolder tones or rich, deep colours work well with grey, white or neutral cabinets. These colours add warmth to the room, are easier to update than the furniture, and will create focal points as feature sections, splashbacks or whole walls.

It’s common to paint the ceiling at the same time as the walls. If your kitchen has poor extraction, or you often cook dishes that splatter or smoke, you may want to factor in kitchen paint for this area, too.

READ NEXT: The best paints for cabinets

How much should I spend on kitchen paint?

Remember that you’ll need to budget for at least two coats of kitchen paint for your walls – more if you’re changing the colour of the walls drastically, and sometimes a primer or undercoat too. You can work out how much paint you’ll need with an online paint calculator, such as this one at B&Q. The calculator will total up the area of coverage, minus areas you won’t be painting, such as base and wall units, as well as factoring in “wastage” for errors.

Paint that’s suitable for kitchens starts from around the same price as standard emulsion, so expect to pay from £18 for 2.5 litres. For a wide choice of colours, you may need to budget up to £40-£50 for 2.5 litres.

The best kitchen paint to buy in 2023

1. Dulux Easycare Kitchen paint: The best kitchen paint for families

Price when reviewed: £25 for 2.5L | Check price at Amazon

If you’re a fan of stir frying, curries or often cook up a full English breakfast, then you need a kitchen paint that will resist the greasy aftermath. Dulux’s Easycare Kitchen is one such paint, and contains ingredients that stop the grease and stains soaking in, so you can wash your walls down without colour fade. In fact, according to Dulux, many people choose it instead of tiles for their kitchen splashback.

While it’s not the cheapest, Easycare Kitchen comes in a good choice of colours for the price – 29 standard, with a specially mixed colour, Heart Wood, to bring it up to 30. These include zesty Lemon Pie, eye-catching Pepper Red and the effortlessly elegant Sapphire Salute, as well as a whole host of neutrals to suit your scheme. Water-based with a minimal VOC content, the finish is beautifully flat for a contemporary feel.

Key specs – Sizes available: 2.5L; Coverage: Up to 13m² per litre (32.5m²); Recommended coats: Two; Finish: Matte

2. GoodHome Kitchen Coloured Paint: The best kitchen paint for messy decorators

Price when reviewed: £18 for 2.5L | Check price at B&Q

Given its affordable price point and no-nonsense packaging, this own-brand matte kitchen paint could be easily overlooked when making your choice. However, it’s one that’s well worth considering. Not only does it boast grease and stain resistance, as well as liquid-repellent properties, it’s also washable, scrubbable, low odour and water-based.

Of course, there is a bit of a catch – while you’ll still only need two coats, using a primer is recommended for the best results, so you’ll have to budget for that as well. There are also only 20 shades to choose from, although they’re not all neutrals as you might expect. Deep blue Antibes and forest green Milltown cover the darker end of the spectrum, while you’ll find cheery mustard Chueca, Monaco blue and mossy Limerick in the mid-tones: all in a thick-ish formula that doesn’t drip and is ideal for weekend project painters.

Key specs – Sizes available: 2.5L; Coverage: 30m²; Recommended coats: Two plus primer; Finish: Matte

Check price at B&Q

3. Wickes Grease Proof Kitchen Matt Emulsion: The best kitchen paint on a budget

Price when reviewed: £17 for 2.5L | Check price at Wickes

Need an affordable kitchen makeover? Let this own-brand Wickes kitchen paint give your walls some love. Its greaseproof and stain-resistant formula is just the job for transforming dingy walls, and given its advice of “one coat or more”, you may not even need to break the decorating kit out twice. It’s consistently rated highly by those who’ve used it, both for its easy application and quick drying.

The downside for those who like big, bold shades is that this range doesn’t have them. Its choice of 13 colours is predominantly neutral, although you’ll find a couple of deeper greys to satisfy alongside the creamy Soft Cashmere and Putty shades. But if all you need is a fresh look on a tight budget, this is the kitchen paint range for you.

Key specs – Sizes available: 2.5L; Coverage: 13m² per litre (32.5m²); Recommended coats: One or more; Finish: Matte

Check price at Wickes

4. Dunelm Eggshell Emulsion Paint: The best all-purpose paint

Price when reviewed: £29 for 2.5L | Check price at Dunelm

More of an all-purpose paint than one specifically for kitchens, Dunelm’s Eggshell Emulsion nevertheless includes lots of the properties you need in a kitchen paint: it’s resistant to mould, grease and steam, and is antibacterial, as well as low odour and low VOC. What’s more, it’s quick-drying – just one or two hours to be touch dry. And for those who dislike tester pots, peel and stick paint swatches are part of the range, so you can try out different shades without mess.

There’s also a good choice of 44 colours, including deep shades of Luxe Navy, Bottle Green and Olive, rich mid-tones of Old Gold and Terracotta, plus plenty of soft neutrals, ranging from greys to pinks. We found that it was quite a thick formula – great for minimal drips but tricky to get even. The first coat can end up patchy if you go over where it’s been painted, but after two coats, the finish was robust.

Key specs – Sizes available: 1L, 2.5L; Coverage: 12m² per litre (30m²); Recommended coats: Two; Finish: Eggshell

Check price at Dunelm

5. Farrow & Ball Modern Emulsion: The best kitchen paint for colour choice

Price when reviewed: £56 for 2.5L | Check price at Farrow & Ball

While it’s washable and wipeable, there’s no denying that the primary appeal of Modern Emulsion comes from the huge range of shades on offer. There’s a whopping 156 colours, ranging from stunning blues, yellows and greens to subtle neutrals and vibrant pinks and reds that you’re unlikely to find in standard kitchen paint collections. However, hues are not the only reason for choosing it for your kitchen walls. Modern Emulsion also contains a preservative that protects the surface from mould, as well as containing minerals and binders to ensure the finish resists scraps and knocks. It’s also water-based and low VOC.

The paint is rather pricey, though. If your kitchen is large and you need five litres of the stuff, the price is £95, and sample pots are £5. There’s also a recommended undercoat and primer to factor in, which varies whether you’re choosing a light or dark shade. That said, if you’ve got the budget, it will give your kitchen walls serious stand-out style.

Key specs – Sizes available: 2.5L, 5L; Coverage: 30m²; Recommended coats: Two; Finish: Matte

Check price at Farrow & Ball

6. Crown Easyclean Breatheasy Kitchen Matt Emulsion: The best kitchen paint for coverage

Price when reviewed: £27 for 2.5L | Check price at Amazon

Planning on painting more than the kitchen walls? Crown’s Easyclean Breatheasy Kitchen Matte Emulsion can be used on wood and metal too. It has better coverage than most, tackling up to 14 sqm per litre, meaning you might be able to paint your walls then a few other projects too. However, it’s the formula’s features that made it a must for our roundup: it’s washable, stain, moisture and steam resistance, has grease protection and is 99% solvent-free. It’s even packaged in 100% recycled plastic.

The choice of colours is smaller than you’d expect from a big brand at just 17, but there are some highlights, such as Simply Duck Egg, a classic shade that’s sure to tick a lot of boxes, as well as Teal, Emerald Vision and Mustard Jar. The neutrals are covered well too, ranging from sultry and dark, to barely there.

Key specs – Sizes available: 1L, 2.5L; Coverage: up to 14 sqm per litre (35 sqm); Recommended coats: Two; Finish: Matt

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