Gallery Series
Sherwin Williams latest cabinet paint has contractors wondering if it is worth the cost.

What is The Purpose Gallery Series?

Sherwin Williams wanted to create a cabinet paint for professionals.  Gallery Series is a waterborne paint that is made to be sprayed not brushed or rolled.  It has some lovely qualities, including quick drying and excellent self-leveling.

With a drying time of only 35-40 minutes, it can be lightly sanded and recoated in under an hour.

Before having the Gallery Series paint, an SW employee would likely recommend Emerald Urethane  or ProClassic. While these paints were technically cabinet paints, they both had durability limitations, and Emerald had a shark skin feel when dry.

The Gallery Series hoped to end those problems and perhaps even exceed expectations.  

The Gallery Series Test

When it comes to testing out different kitchen cabinet paints, there are a few key things that I always look for. As someone who has spent a significant amount of time working with paint, I know firsthand how important it is to choose a product that is going to deliver the results that you are looking for. That’s why, in my experience, there are three things that really stand out when it comes to finding the best kitchen cabinet paint.

First and foremost, it’s essential that the paint has a smooth-to-the-touch finish. This is important not only because it creates a more polished and professional look for your cabinets, but also because it can make a big difference in the lifespan of your paint job. Paints that are prone to chipping, cracking, or peeling are a nightmare to deal with, and can end up costing you more in the long run if you have to redo the job sooner than expected.


Another crucial factor when it comes to kitchen cabinet paints is self-leveling. This refers to the paint’s ability to easily spread and level itself out on the surface that it is being applied to. When paint doesn’t self-level well, it can leave behind streaks or ridges that are difficult to smooth out, resulting in an unprofessional-looking finish. With a fine finish tip like the 311, however, you can easily achieve a beautiful, smooth cabinet-grade finish that will make your cabinets look like a pro did them.


Of course, it’s not enough for a paint to just have a smooth finish and excellent self-leveling qualities. Durability is key when it comes to kitchen cabinet paints, and this is where many products end up falling short. A paint might look great right after it’s applied, but if it starts to chip or peel after just a few weeks or months, you know you’re dealing with an inferior product. That’s why it’s so important to choose a paint that has been specifically designed to stand up to the everyday wear and tear that kitchen cabinets are subjected to.

By taking the time to choose a paint that meets these criteria, you can ensure that your kitchen cabinets will look amazing for years to come. With so many different products on the market, it can be overwhelming to sort through all of the options. However, by doing your homework and selecting a high-quality paint with a smooth finish, excellent self-leveling properties, and unbeatable durability, you can rest assured that your cabinets are in good hands.

Gallery Series Satin painted on board self-levels.
Any orange peeling or texture is undetectable even with the sunlight shining on this board.

How Does Gallery Series Grade in Self-Leveling, Smoothness, and Durability?

A great-looking smooth finish is a nice start, but over time, will it hold up?   Even with handles and knobs, kitchen cabinets get touched many times throughout the day.  In addition, it is when we are fixing a meal, and our fingertips have food particles on them that brush against the painted cabinets.  When the substances have oils, these oils can penetrate the cabinet paint and break the bond, causing the paint to peel.

About half of the kitchen cabinet paints I’ve tested have failed this test.  

In the first durability step, I wipe a thin coat of olive oil over a painted board and allow it to sit for a few months.  In this case, it was five months.  Then, I try to scratch the paint off.  If it comes off, it fails.  The Gallery Series paint did not peel.

Is Gallery Series Paint Washable With Strong Cleaners?

I’ve tested several kitchen cabinet paints that have yet to hold up to these cleaning solutions.   Mustard is generally the most stubborn of the group.  Coffee, red wine, (not shown here), and pencil are generally the easiest to remove.

Sometimes, the stains come off, but so does the paint.  Check out this short video to find out how Gallery Series performed. 

Gallery Series Exceeds Expectations In One Area

If you have been painting for a couple of decades, you have probably taken the phrase “self-priming” with a grain of salt.  Often times you can read on the paint can label that priming is still recommended.  So I tested a couple of boards of adhesion.  One board was sprayed first with a shellac primer and plus two top coats of Gallery Series, and another board was just sprayed with Gallery Series without primer.  There was no difference in adhesion between either board. 

Conclusion:  Gallery Series Paint does not need a primer coat on kitchen cabinets.   No other kitchen cabinet paint that I have tested has been self-priming.   This is a nice time saver and the additional cost per gallon can easily be offset by reducing labor costs.

Speaking of Cost, How Much???

Gallery Series
Contractor prices vary, but expect to pay a little under $100. per gallon.

Gallery Series retails for $130.00, but contractors can get it for much less. I paid around $90 for a gallon.

Before you bulk at a price, remember the labor and materials saved by not priming should offset the paint cost.  A standard-size kitchen with 35-40 cabinets requires only 2-3 gallons of paint.    




The only drawback from Gallery Series, I see, is that it shouldn’t be brushed.   Doing so can result in differences of color.  Spraying is the only option which could be a problem in certain situations.   The fact that it is self-priming is such a time saver that it can easily justify the extra cost.  

The Gallary Series by Sherwin Williams gets a perfect score for self-leveling, durability, and washability.  In addition, it dries quickly, which allows it to be recoated in less than an hour.


Self-Leveling A

Smoothness A

Durability A 

Washability A

User-friendly B


Spraying SW Gallery Series
Patrick Sullivan spraying Kitchen Cabinets with Gallery Series Paint by Sherwin Williams