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Little Greene - easy to mark. What paint for kitchen cupboards?


I was about to paint my own kitchen. I read the forum thoughout and bought all required accories.
After reading articles I decided to go for a dark colour by Little Greene Tradidional Oil.

I have painted a other side of skirting board to try the paint/colour.

What I’ve noticed is that Little Greene Oil is very easy to mark. It can be easliy marked even with a finger nail.
It still easy to mark even good few weeks after painting.

Has anyone experienced the same issue with their paint?

I’m trying to buy a best paint. I reckon my kitchen cupboardas had been painted before with a very thin layer of very durable paint. Current paint is very durable and doesnt mark like Little Greene however it has worn out over time

The doors do not have handles (handles are embeeded in the wood - it makes its problematic) hence I need to go for a good paint.

I would like to paint it again with a thin layer or 2.
The reason I mentioned think layer is that - there is a wood pattern on doors and I dont want to loose it.

I would appreciate advise what paint would be the best.
Maybe I should go for floor paint rather that eggshell?


Hi, thanks for taking the time to post, you raise some good points.

Just in case I got the wrong end of the stick, have you got a photo to double check against what I have written

It is also refreshing to see that you tested the paint first to see if it does what you expect before ploughing into the whole project. Expectations are one of the hardest things to manage, and there are plenty of variables too, so sampling is a good plan for all of us at all levels of experience. I have seen many a “best shot” specification knocked down in flames when it doesn’t quite do what the end user wants or expects.

From what you have described, you want to avoid a heavy coating system to keep the fine detailing, in a dark colour in a flat sheen.

It sounds like your cabinets were factory sprayed before, so stating the obvious first, to achieve the exact same characteristics again, it would need to be redone the same way.

If you are using a brush and roller, a waterborne Tikkurila Helmi system (Helmi primer plus a satin-matt (30%) sheen) is definitely at the top table of the “best paint” category, used on many high end new hand painted kitchens. It is an enamel lacquer, so is not super thick per coat. They put their paints in aerosols which may help with the detailing.

For all its qualities, you may have a separate issue to overcome with Tikkurila with dark colours. It may be that the colour you choose does not cover as well as expected and requires an extra coat. If you tell us the colour we may be able to advise. In any case, get a small tin and retry your test area.

If you look at Tikurrila, contact Holmans Specialist Paints and ask them for the final word on the specification.


It is worth bearing in mind that dark colours in general will show finger marks and you will need regular wiping down to keep a dark kitchen looking pristine. It is a big consideration even with black granite, which won’t easily scratch but it is not all pleasure to live with!

In your case, you are disappointed with the marking on Little Greene oil eggshell in a dark colour. I have a cabinet in a dark aubergine, it is not blemish free after a few years, but not like you describe. Did you primer/undercoat and couple of coats of the eggshell, well stirred? cure time is 28 days - You may want to go the store and get them to check.

Little Greene oil eggshell. It is a well used finish on kitchens and furniture, liked for drying back flat with the traditional look, and with the most popular colours for kitchens being in the light to mid range there is a lot to be said for specifying it. Done so myself many times, but in this case there are a couple of reasons to consider the waterborne alternative above especially with the aerosol option.

Hope that helps. There are a few things to think about when painting kitchens!

1 Like


Thank you for your reply.

I’m attaching the close up photo of what needs repainting, and the worn off part.

You may be right, that it was spray painted as there is absolutely no brush, marks, unless previous painter used a very thin layer.

In terms of little greene - I dont mind finger prints, I mentioned that it scrartches so easly that if you move your finger nail over the paint - it leaves a mark. Something like on a chalk paint. The mark can be easly removed by wiping however I dont want to get a mark every time I open a cupboard hence I’m trying to get a proper paint.

Little greene was used 8 weeks ago and still marks so defintely something wrong.

I like Little Greene Lamp black - colour - Would Tikkurila match the colour?

do you think Tikkurila Helmi system is the way to go?

thanks Martin

Hi Martin

This looks like a stain/coloured wax or oil finish not a paint - it looks a bit like an Osmo Polyx tint?? If
you want something really tough look at ican Porslin. It is a 100% Pure Acrylic/pure Polyurethane and incredibly durable and tested to over 10000 laps. It handles like an oil based paint having a longer open time
than an acrylic and levels beautifully. It can also be tinted into any colour.
and a review

thanks for your input.

it may be a wax, cos the layer is too thin to be oil paint - unless used with a spray
Is it possible to touch up wax at all?

what would you recommend please?

Yes it is possible to touch up a wax. Problem is you need to know what colour it is!