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Different Types of Cabinet Finishes You Should Know About Before You Paint

kitchen cabinet paint finishes

If you enjoy DIY, painting and finishing your cabinets is bound to be one of your dream projects. It gives you a ton of opportunities to show off your skills, cabinets are a great example of a marriage of form and function, and of course paint and finishing allow you to express yourself. Of course, the paint and finish options you choose can have a huge impact on how your cabinet looks. It is bound to be one of the most prominent parts of your kitchen, so you want it to both stand out while blending into your kitchen décor scheme as a whole.

That said, there are a wide range of kitchen cabinet paint finishes that can go well with different cabinet finishing ideas.

Stain Finishes

While painting cabinets get all the attention as a décor choice, staining them can actually be a great way to add a subtle touch of class to a space. Painting tends to cover up the wood grain on cabinetry and other wooden surfaces. Staining, by contrast, is far more transparent, allowing the wood grain to show through while giving you a different color and protecting the wood.

Stain finishes also penetrate deeper into the wood. For outdoor staining projects, this can help protect wooden features against rainwater. While this is less relevant indoors, staining can nevertheless be a good way to protect your cabinets against moisture while giving them a nice rustic touch. 

Choose Durable Finishes

Your kitchen is one of the prime centers of activity in your home. With all the cooking, serving, and bustling about that goes on here, there is bound to be a lot of activity near your cabinets. That means that they need a paint job that won’t chip or flake easily. You hardly want to have to touch them up every few months.

That means it is incredibly important to choose a finish that will last. This precludes using matte or eggplant finishes. They are far too fragile for the kind of regular use that comes with kitchen cabinetry.

Instead, you’ll want to opt for something more durable. In addition, you’ll want a finish that can be wiped down with ease. You’re, thus, looking for smooth, hard finishes, meaning glossy, semi-glossy, and satin options are your friend.

Primer Is Your Friend

Whatever type of paint and finishing options you choose to use, the primer will be key. It will make the painting and finishing process a lot easier, which increases your chances of a nice, smooth application from start to finish.

Of course, different types of paint will require a different primer. Latex-oil combinations, for example, dry quicker than others, so you’ll need a fast-acting primer. If you are going from a dark cabinet color to a light one, you may want to consider tinting your primer so that it matches the color you’re going for so as to make the transformation process easier.

With the right priming, painting, and finishing options, you can transform your cabinets into pièce de résistance of your kitchen decor.

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