Painted vs Stained Cabinets – Which is For You
There are many details to consider when it comes to remodeling your kitchen cabinets – material, height, hardware, and frames – to name a few. The idea of getting one step closer to your dream kitchen is an exciting one, but it’s also easy to get fatigued over all the considerations that are required throughout the process before getting to enjoy the final product. Fortunately, for every technical consideration that doesn’t spark your enthusiasm, there’s an exciting one that does! In this case, the decision to finish your cabinets by painting them versus staining them is a high-impact choice that will absolutely bring your desired aesthetic together and should definitely rank high as one of the more exciting parts of the process.
When it comes to deciding between stained or painted, there are two different ways to approach your decision. The first is aesthetics and the second is logistics. Both are of equal value, and there is no right or wrong outside of what makes the most sense for you – perhaps your priority is cost or maybe you have a dream kitchen you can perfectly visualize. No matter your approach, here are a few of the advantages and disadvantages to factor into your final decision.
When it comes to visual differences between the two, painted cabinets will have a smooth and uniform finish that are homogeneous in appearance – there won’t be any variances in texture or color. Also, because paint goes over the wood and is opaque, what you see is what you get. It will completely cover the natural appearance of the wood like the grain and other features – which could be a pro or con depending on the wood you’ve chosen and your personal taste.
Because of the ‘flat’ application of paint, the appearance of the cabinets will be more one-dimensional. Smooth surfaces can work especially well with a kitchen that has texture in other areas that you really want to pop, such as the counters or backsplashes. One small drawback to paint is that when the inevitable scratch or nick occurs, paint can be difficult to touch up in a small area. You have to be precise with the flawless, smooth face of the cabinet without drawing attention to the eye. If you have children, staining could offer some protection in that regard. Another difference is the cost. While paint is bold, sleek, and high impact, it also comes with a bit of a mark-up, so that is worth some consideration as well.
Stains, relative to paint, are much thinner and are absorbed into the wood, rather than going on top of it and completely covering it. By utilizing stains, you’re sure to enjoy the natural beauty of the wood – if it’s a wood you like – and end with a more multidimensional appearance. This can be an excellent choice when it comes to producing a richer aesthetic, especially when placed in harmony with the other elements of your kitchen – such as the counters or appliances. A stainless steel refrigerator surrounded by deep and vibrant woods can most certainly be a high-impact design choice.
One convenience of stains is that they are easier to touch up than paint. Scratches and nicks can happen, and because of the textured and varied nature of stained wood, once it’s re-applied to the damaged spot, it will be nearly impossible to spot. Stained also offers the benefit of being a bit less expensive than paint, so that may appeal to some.
Regardless of your choice of painting or staining, both offer stunning results and very different, but equally beautiful, impact to your kitchen. If you have any questions, we recommend reaching out to The Cabinet Center for professional advice!