Painting Your Kitchen Cabinets

Painting Your Kitchen Cabinets

Over the years painted kitchen cabinets have continued to increase in popularity and demand. Designers have become enamored with the various colors, texture and design options a painted finish offers. While they do tend to be more expensive, painted cabinets present far more design flexibility and allow for enhanced finishing techniques not possible with traditional stained cabinets. While both painted and stained cabinets offer distinct advantages and benefits; cost, design, maintenance, durability, and finishing techniques can vary greatly between the two. Choosing between painted and stained cabinets can be a complex decision that will shape the appearance of your kitchen for years to come.

Design Variation

Painted cabinets have become the preferred choice for designers and interior decorators due to the number of finishing styles and techniques they offer. With the increased design flexibility, specific styles and looks that can be achieved such as antique, textured, and glazed, as well as specialized distressing techniques. Finishing method such as Cow Tailing, Paint with Glaze, Worm Holes, Rasping, Nail Impressions, and Chicken Scratches allow you to achieve effects and specific looks not possible with stain. These additional options allow for almost unlimited variation and uniqueness. Additionally, painting enables a smoother and more uniform texture. Wood imperfections can more easily be concealed or repaired.

Color Selection

While there are a number of color selections available for stained cabinets, painting allows an almost unlimited assortment of colors and styles. The most popular painted cabinets are generally shades of white or off-white; however, you can also choose colors such as blue, grey, or brighter colors such as orange and yellow. Lighter colored kitchen cabinets can make the room look bigger, brighter, and more open.

Price Comparison

Due to painted cabinetry requiring additional production time and increased labor, they are considered premium and usually require an up charge. Prices typically vary depending on glazing options, finishing styles and distressing techniques, but the overall cost could be as much as 15%-20% more than stained cabinets.


Ultimately painted cabinets will require more maintenance and preservation than traditional stained cabinets. Regardless of the finish or quality of your painted cabinets, ding, dents, and scratches can occur over time. This will be more evident and visible among painted cabinets than with stained cabinets. However, most custom cabinet companies will provide a touch up kit, should any minor retouching be needed.

Painted Custom Cabinet Benefits
Painted cabinets can provide design variations to achieve styles including modern, antique, textured, or distressed.
Painting enables a smoother and more uniform texture; wood imperfections can be hidden or repaired.
Depending on color selection, painted cabinetry can make the kitchen look bigger, brighter, and more open.
There is an array of color and style options available for painted cabinets.
More variety on countertop and appliance colors and styles.

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