Renovating your kitchen or bathroom is so exciting, the results will surely impact your family for a long time and can be a major consideration in a future home resale value. You want your room to be perfect. Therefore, choosing new cabinetry is an important part of the equation. Should you choose stained cabinets or painted ones? Or a combination… You can choose painted cabinets in very distinctive or bold colors as an accent, then use stained wood for the rest of the cabinetry. Or choose solid or distressed color throughout the kitchen. There is no correct answer, only your personal style and taste preference, but it makes sense to understand the difference.

Painted Cabinetry

Most manufacturers offer numerous standard and custom paint color options. The type of paint used will have an impact on their appearance, resistance to wear, chipping and if they are water resistant. Inquire about the options.

Generally, the materials used for the cabinets are based on the paints ability to adhere to them, so the choices are typically veneered plywood, MDF, maple or poplar. Some of the wood’s natural grain may show through slightly.

Cabinets can be sprayed or back-brushed. Spraying is the best way to get a consistent, smooth surface, but may be difficult to touch up with a brush, if necessary. The brushed finish may be easier for future touch-ups.

The assumption that painted cabinets are the less expensive option is not necessarily correct, particularly if you order cabinets through a custom shop. The price of the cabinets, plus the painting is often more than a stain-grade cabinet, finished with a clear coat.

Stained Cabinetry

There are many wood finishes to choose from and applied to enhance the natural beauty of the wood, while adding color. These stains are generally hand-rubbed, for a crafted, individualized look. The stains can range from light to very dark. While light stains allow you to see more of the wood’s natural character, darker stains will hide much of the grain. However, the darker stain will create a richer color with a more dramatic look.

Although there are fewer color options in stained cabinets compared to paint. Looking at adding finishing techniques can help you when making a decision.

Specialty Finishes, Glazes and Highlights

Most wood cabinets, whether they are stained, painted or custom finished have a varnish topcoat. There are also tinted varnishes that some manufacturers apply to maple or red oak which gives it more of a look like painted cabinets, but will show more wood grain. Tinted varnish finishes do have some of the drawbacks that painted finishes have, such as susceptibility to chips.

Some manufacturers offer special finishes that give the appearance of an old world look, or a weathered/distressed look. There are also glazes which can be applied to the wood to give a more custom look as they will highlight the different profiled edges on doors, moldings and accented pieces.

The choice of whether to stain, paint, glaze, or any combination thereof, will set the tone and mood for the space you are longing to create in your home. Bella Casa Kitchen and Bath offers a broad selection of quality cabinets from some of the best manufacturers: CrystalShilohAspect, and Omega cabinetry companies. And remember, we are always there to help you make the best decision for you.

For spectacular new kitchens and baths visit the
Bella Casa Design & Remodeling Showroom
1812 W. Tilghman St, 
Allentown, PA 18014
610.433.9800


Serving Allentown, Bethlehem, Easton, Lehigh Valley and all surrounding areas