August 21, 2021

Cabinet Finishes: Stain vs. Paint

When it comes to kitchen cabinetry, the finish is arguably the most important aspect. It's the front-facing part of the cabinets that will get noticed first, and it should make a statement that you can be proud of. Quality materials, dovetail corners, and soft-close details are all important components in creating a high-end look, but without proper finishing touches, they won't be fully appreciated.

Of course, there is no right or wrong choice, it ultimately comes down to personal preference and what aesthetic you are going for in your kitchen.  

Not sure which finish you prefer? Here’s a guide to the pros and cons of both finishes.  

Painted Cabinetry

When choosing painted cabinetry, the options are endless when it comes to colors. You can go bold with dark colors, minimal with all-white, or even choose a two-tone look to get the best of both worlds.

Pros of Painted Cabinetry

Paint Offers a Clean Aesthetic

Many homeowners choose to go with classic all-white cabinetry; however, all paint colors can bring a sleek clean finish to any kitchen.  

Further, paint is great for homeowners who prefer a flawless finish and aren’t fond of the characteristics of stained wood.  

Paint Allows You To Go More Colorful

If you want to go bold with bright colors, or dramatic with dark colors, painted cabinetry is the way to go. Paint gives you more opportunities to customize the look and feel of your kitchen.  

Choose Color > Beautifully Unique Cabinet Colors

Painted Cabinetry Cons

Paint Hides Wood Character

If you want to see wood grain or knots, you shouldn't paint your cabinetry, Though you may see some grain imprints with certain woods, they will likely be hidden behind the paint.  

Those who want clean and modern cabinetry will love this, though those who are fond of wood’s natural beauty might think this is a negative.  

Paint Can Cost More

If you are comparing painted cabinets to stained, you will find that they can be up to 10-15% more expensive. Depending on the size of your kitchen, that could be a significant extra cost. But to get the look you want out of our custom kitchen remodel, then it’s all worth it.

Paint is Harder to Touch-Up

Touching up paint can get tricky. For one, you may not always know the exact paint color that was used for your cabinetry. If you buy custom cabinetry, paint companies like Benjamin Moore or Sherwin-Williams may not have an exact match for a touch-up.  

Further, professional cabinet makers often apply paint by spraying, which creates a smoother finished product but is hard to replicate with a touch-up kit.  

Read More > Guide to Cabinetry Design

Stained Cabinetry

If you love the natural look of wood grain, knots, and the warmth it can bring to a space, stained cabinetry is a great choice. Stained cabinetry can be used in farmhouse styles, traditional, and yes, even modern!

Pros of Stained Cabinetry

Stain Showcases The Wood

Unlike paint, stain highlight's the wood's natural character. Stain absorbs into the surface and can enhance the natural beauty and character of your wood.

Stain is Easier to Touch Up

If your stained cabinetry requires a touch-up, touch-up markers are easier to find for stain, and even if you don’t find an exact match, there is likely a color that closely resembles and blends in with the stain on your cabinets.

Stain Usually Costs Less

Stain tends to be slightly less expensive than paint, though custom options may be more costly.

We want you to love your cabinets and have happiness built in. When you experience your dream kitchen daily, it’s all worth it. Make sure you find the style that fits both looks and budget, not just budget.

Cons of Stained Cabinetry

Stain Shows off Wood's "Blemishes"

While we say character in wood grain and knots; others might see blemishes. Some homeowners embrace all the character that wood grain has to offer, but many don’t want to see the imperfections such as uneven grain, and inconsistencies in color.  

Dark Stains or Paint Don't Hide Dust Well

This is a negative feature of both dark stain and paint. While light cabinets can chip and stain more easily, they sure do hide dust better! Dust stands out more on dark cabinet surfaces which may require more upkeep to keep them looking clean.

Custom Stained or Painted Cabinetry

Whichever finish option that you choose, updating your cabinetry is always a great way to design your dream home. If you are ready to update your current kitchen or design a completely new one, call the Cabinet Chic.  

We can design fully custom cabinetry and stained, painted, distressed, oil rubbed, gilded finishes to make your cabinetry stand out! Contact C & C Cabinets today for a cabinetry design consultation — (813) 876-6780!

“The work of C&C cabinets is incredible. They can make any cabinet dreams a reality. Highly recommend!”    - Seleena N.
C & C Cabinets Butterfly Transform Your Home

The Finest Finishes

Beauty can’t last only as long as the reveal. We pride ourselves in selecting the right finish & proper application, resulting in a durable finish that remains beautifully functional for years to come.

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