What's the best paint for kitchen walls? The professional decorators I asked all reach for this one brand

I've not only found the best type of paint for kitchen walls, but one brand that decorating pros all love to use

a kitchen with light pink painted walls
(Image credit: Mary Wadsworth)

You might not have considered that your kitchen needs a different paint to other rooms in your home - after all, your walls are generally protected by a backsplash . 

However, modern kitchens don't always follow the rules. We're seeing kitchen designers being less strict with backsplashes, often opting for countertop upstands instead of full coverage in many places, even sometimes behind the range. But, even if you're keeping it fairly traditional, kitchens have become the hub of the home in a way that paint also needs to be up to handling daily wear and tear from your family coming and going. 

You'll find 'kitchen paints' on the market nowadays, so they must be the top choice for painting a kitchen, right? We asked paint experts to break down what you can expect from these paints, and whether that's what they'd reach for when decorating a busy kitchen. 

What qualities should I look for in a kitchen paint? 

Does what type of paint you use in a kitchen really matter? 'Even a careful cook can get food on the walls at times,' says Matt Stone of Oklahoma City-based Hometown Painting. 'Also, if you fry foods in your kitchen there can be an oily residue that forms on the walls and other surfaces from the air. Because of this, kitchen walls should use paint that can hold up to frequent cleaning and scrubbing.'

Cooking often results in steam, too. 'Add to that the kitchen sink and other water sources in the room, kitchen paint needs to have excellent moisture resistance,' Matt adds. 

So what qualities should you be looking out for on a paint label other than finding your dream kitchen color? 'Qualities like durability, washability, resistance to moisture, and resistance to stains are all important when choosing a paint to use for your kitchen walls,' says Rick Hernandez, owner of Sepi Painting & Waterproofing. 'As long as you choose a high-quality paint that has these requirements it should work well with your kitchen walls as they are crucial to make sure it can survive the splatters, dampness, and stains.'

What's the best paint for kitchen walls? 

Traditionally, experts recommended choosing a semi-gloss or satin finish for walls in a kitchen which were easier to wipe down, but with modern formulations you can opt for an on-trend matt paint finish. 'Times have changed, and the need for shiny wall paint is obsolete,' says interior designer Elizabeth P. Lord-Levitt. 

In 2024, decorators suggest durable latex paints for kitchen walls. 'This gives the durability you need for all the walls in high traffic and frequently used areas,' Elizabeth says. 'It's wipeable, anti-microbial (so great for bathrooms too), and stain resistant. It allows for the kitchen walls to contrast the cabinet sheen, adding a depth of texture to the space.' 

If your preference is for eco paints, latex might sound a bit scary, however it has low VOC emission, breaks down naturally in the environment and can be cleaned up with water, without requiring nasty chemicals. 

a kitchen with brown walls

(Image credit: File Under Pop)

Which paint do experts recommend? 

There are lots of kitchen paints and latex paints on the market - but which is the best? 'One of our go-to options is Duration from Sherwin Williams,' says professional decorator Matt Stone. 

Interior designer Elizabeth P. Lord-Levitt agrees. 'I use Duration from Sherwin Williams in the Satin finish for my kitchen walls and the flat for the ceiling,' she says. 

3 of the best kitchen paints

Hugh Metcalf
Editor of Livingetc.com

Hugh is the  Editor of Livingetc.com. From working on a number of home, design and property publications and websites, including Grand Designs, ICON and specialist kitchen and bathroom magazines, Hugh has developed a passion for modern architecture, impactful interiors and green homes. Whether moonlighting as an interior decorator for private clients or renovating the Victorian terrace in Essex where he lives (DIYing as much of the work as possible), you’ll find that Hugh has an overarching fondness for luxurious minimalism, abstract shapes and all things beige. He’s just finished a kitchen and garden renovation, and has eyes set on a bathroom makeover for 2024.