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Cabinets: Is Painting or Staining Best for You?

Spraying a cabinet.

Finishing may very well be the most fundamental part of any wood-related project. So whether you’re installing cabinetry for the first time or a veteran kitchen remodeler, your project can’t be complete without painting the cabinet or coating it with a nice stain.

Besides creating a visually appealing effect, the finish works to protect the wood from weather-related damage or moisture. In turn, this allows it to last longer.

Now, this begs the question: Is painting or staining best for your cabinet?

While they both get the job done, they are different in terms of application, appearance, maintenance, cost, and durability. You want the kind of finish that will complement your lifestyle needs, look good, and at the same time, fit into your budget.

To help make the decision a little lighter, we shall look at all the pros and cons of paints and stains.

Painted Cabinets

Right now, painted cabinets are all the rage. Perhaps the best thing about it is that it allows you to add a splash of color to any room or cabinet in an instant. However, there are many benefits.

Positive Aspects of Painted Cabinets

Clean Aesthetic, With a Wide Variety of Colors to Choose From. Painted cabinetry is the easiest way of changing your kitchen aesthetics. You get to choose from a wide range of colors ranging from whites and creams to greys and blues, which you can use to spruce up your kitchen or blend your cabinets to your countertops and floors.

As far as aesthetics go, paint is ideal for homeowners who prefer a smooth, faultless finish versus the character marks that stained wood cabinets can have.

MDF takes paint better. MDF, or medium-density fiberwood, is sometimes called plywood. It is a cheaper alternative to wood. When painted, it’s almost impossible to distinguish it from real wood. You can experiment with different hues and still attain the same aesthetic value.

Paint covers flaws. Did a previous painting job go awry? Are you bothered by knots in the wood of your cabinets? Did a kitchen nightmare turn into a splattery mess on your cabinet’s surface? A good paint job can cover all of these flaws and more.

Negative Aspects of Painted Cabinets

Paint hides the character and beauty of the wood. Because paint is heavier than stain, it does not absorb into the wood as a stain does. And for this reason, you might observe the formation of grains and knots. On top of that, the layer of paint will hide the beautiful impressions in woods like hickory or oak.

Paint is more permanent and costly. Paint is considerably harder to remove or replace than stain. You can easily add paint to a stain, but it is impossible to switch from paint to stain without first scraping the paint off completely. Paint is also more expensive than stain.

Stained Cabinets

Stained cabinets may not be quite as fashionable as painted cabinets at the moment, but they are still a great way to give any room a warm feel. They give off that natural, folksy appeal of wood. This can’t be attained with paint, especially when matched with long-lasting but gorgeous hardwood.

Positive Aspects of Stained Cabinets

Color and texture are balanced. Dimension is a big part of recent trends in interior design. While there’s a lot to be said for the strong appearance that painted cabinets may achieve, there’s no doubting the allure of the various textures that stains bring to light.

Stains are less expensive. While the hardwood material (which is the one often stained) is more expensive than MDF equivalents, stains are surprisingly inexpensive. Furthermore, because stains are easier to copy than many paint hues, you’ll be less likely to do full restorations over time.

Negative Aspects of Stained Cabinets

There are fewer color possibilities. While stains give you access to a wide range of shapes, textures, and varieties of hardwood, the color selection is really limited. Paint may be a better alternative if you have a certain color in mind for your cabinets.

Unattractive grains are highlighted. Although stains can show the most attractive aspects of wood, they can also bring attention to flaws that should be hidden. Even with reasonably opaque stains, consistency can be difficult to accomplish.

Final Thoughts on Cabinet Painting and Finishing

Investing in cabinets to fit in with the rest of your kitchenware and other amenities is a terrific investment. You can go with either stain or paint, depending on your budget, design choices, and lifestyle. Hopefully, now you know which factors to consider.

When it comes to actually painting, staining, or even installing cabinets, the professionals at Painter Bros are here to help. For any more paint-related inquiries or services, feel free to contact Painter Bros today (844) 509-2313 to get a free estimate.


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