As design styles evolve we’re seeing more and more variety in kitchens. While trends still exist, gone are the days of every house on the block opting for the same oak finish or laminate countertop. There are just so many options for cabinet finishes. Painted cabinetry has become increasingly popular, but the natural wood look is still holding strong as well. So which is best for you? We’ll go over a few of the pros and cons to help you decide.
While there are still those who believe painting high-quality wood cabinets is a sin, many homeowners love this look. Which camp do you fall in? Let’s take a look at their pros and cons to find out.
- Clean Aesthetic – Paint brings a sleek clean finish that works well in almost any design style. If you love the classic all-white kitchen paint is the way to go.
- Play with color – This may seem obvious, but paint comes in quite a few more hues than natural wood, giving you the opportunity for complete customization.
- Can use on MDF – Paint adheres very well to MDF and other less expensive woods if that’s the direction you choose to go.
- Expensive – despite the fact that you could use paint on cheaper materials, the extra labor necessary to get that smooth finish can cost 10-15% more than stained cabinets
- Cracks – Paint can crack over time, especially around joints
- Difficult to touch up – Cabinets are usually painted by spraying, meaning that even if you can find the exact paint color and finish, it’s hard to get the same look with a brush.
- Hides character features – Paint not only covers up colors, but it also covers up knots and grains. This is great for the sleek/modern look but otherwise, you’re losing the wood’s natural beauty.
Stained Cabinet Finishes
Many people want to showcase the type of wood they choose for they’re cabinetry. Whether you go with walnut or cherry or maple, these natural wood grains can bring a lot to a kitchen, but they’re not for everyone.
- Texture – Stain showcases the distinctive grains of whatever wood species you choose, bringing warmth and texture to whatever design style you choose.
- Easy to maintain – Because the stain literally becomes one with the wood it’s unlikely to crack or chip.
- Easier to touch up – Not only can you fairly easily find touch up markers to repair the occasional scratch or ding. Even if it’s not the exact right color, it will tend to blend into the grain patterns so you can’t tell.
- Less expensive – Since you’re not trying to cover up the grain when staining it doesn’t take nearly as much effort to get the finish you’re looking for, which generally makes them cost less.
- Blemishes – Stain shows everything, so if you’re bothered by uneven grain distribution or color inconsistencies of natural wood this isn’t the finish for you.
- Not good for MDF – Stain doesn’t take well to cheaper materials like MDF. Even if it did, there isn’t a grain to show. You’re better off going for quality natural wood.
- Fewer color options – While there are many different kinds of stains, you’re generally limited to the warm tones of wood since you won’t ever be able to completely cover them as you could with paint.
Have you decided which of the cabinet finishes is best for you? If so contact us to learn about all the options in your category of choice.