Stained vs Painted Kitchen Cabinets
When what you do every day is deal with homeowners who want to renovate their kitchen, stained vs painted is one of the most common “hot” topics you end up discussing…
Let’s clarify that stained kitchen cabinets must be wood and that painted kitchen cabinets can be wood or MDF.
How do you distinguish between stained and painted doors?
When wood is stained, the grain of it shows. So while the color may change, the beautiful patterns stay. This happens because the stain penetrates into the pores of the wood. The clear lacquer applied after the stain is just to protect the wood.
When wood is painted, the natural wood grain does not show and the color is consistent with no variation. This is because solid color lacquer stays on the surface of the wood, and does not penetrate through into the pores.
Stained vs painted kitchen cabinets from a design and decor aspect…
Stained kitchen cabinets will show the beauty of the wood grain, giving you a casual, cozy feeling if you go light and a more formal appearance if dark.
Let’s not forget that there are plenty of different wood species and each will give the cabinets a different look, even if the door style and stain is the same. For example…a dark oak kitchen will look much more classic and busy than a dark maple kitchen because oak has a very aggressive grain versus the maple where the grain barely shows.
Painted kitchen cabinets give a clean, consistent, and modern look through the whole kitchen. Choosing the kitchen cabinet color is as easy as choosing it for your walls…the sky is the limit and different paint colors do not change with different wood types. What you see on a small painted sample will be the same as what you are getting all over.
It is certainly difficult to reach the level of elegance and richness that stained kitchen cabinets deliver, often painted kitchen cabinets suit the homeowner that wants to play safe [white or off white colors].
Stained vs painted kitchen cabinets from a functional aspect…
Stained kitchen cabinets hide daily wear and tear much better than painted kitchen cabinets.
Because the solid color lacquer lays on the surface, chipping or denting a painted cabinet door will be highly visible. If you happen to chip or dent a stained cabinet door, what really chips is the clear lacquer. Most of the time the stain is still there underneath the lacquer and you will not notice any difference in color. This makes a big difference from an aging point of view.
Stained kitchen cabinets don’t show the finger prints, grease and dust like painted ones do…something to consider for today’s busy families! 😉[maxbutton id=”1″]