When remodeling your kitchen, one of the most important decisions you must make is the color of your new cabinets. Do you want the cabinets to be stained or painted? Do you want the cabinets to be a lighter color or a darker color – or somewhere in between? What are the pros and cons of stained versus painted cabinets?
When choosing the color of your new cabinets, keep in mind the color, type, and design of your flooring, countertops, and backsplash. You will want all of these to flow together for one cohesive, stylish look.
Stain – a penetrative colored dye that is used to color the wood – is absorbed by the wood and has a translucent finish.
StarMark Cabinetry offers stained cabinets in red, gray, and various shades of brown. There are several types of wood available – including: Alder, Cherry, Rustic Cherry, Hickory, Rustic Hickory, Lyptus, Maple, Oak, Quarter Sawn Oak, and Walnut. All these woods can be stained and glazed, but not all stain and/or glazing options are available for each type of wood.
Pros of Stained Cabinets
- The stain is absorbed by the wood and has a translucent finish.
- Stain highlights the woods’ natural character and distinctive features.
- Stained cabinets cost less than painted cabinets.
- Nicks and dings are less visible in stained cabinets. It is also easier to touch up any visible nicks in stained cabinets.
- Stained cabinets hide dirt, grease, smudges, and fingerprints better than painted cabinets.
- Stained cabinets stand up better to natural contractions and expansions due to changes in humidity. The stain will not crack, chip, or peel.
Cons of Stained Cabinets
- There are fewer color options available in stained cabinets than in painted cabinets. StarMark’s stains are limited to red, gray, and various shades of brown.
- Stains will highlight any blemishes or imperfections in the wood. This includes knots and uneven grain distribution.
- Dust will be more visible on darker stained cabinets.
Paint – a colored substance that is spread over the surface – coats the cabinet in a uniform, opaque finish. Unlike stain, paint does not get absorbed into the wood.
StarMark Cabinetry offers painted cabinets only in Maple, Oak, and Quarter Sawn Oak.
Color options are available in white and off-white, as well as black, gray, yellow, green, and blue. StarMark will also paint cabinets in custom colors – meaning you can get purple or lime green kitchen cabinets if that is what you desire. Glaze is also available on painted cabinets. On Maple cabinets, the glaze will highlight the details in the door design. On the Oak and Quarter Sawn Oak, the glaze will bring out the grain of the wood through the paint.
Pros of Painted Cabinets
- The paint will hide the woods’ natural character and distinctive features – including the grain and knots. If you want to see the woods’ distinctive features, then paint is not the right option for you.
- Cabinets painted in lighter colors will show less dust.
Cons of Painted Cabinets
- Painted cabinets will cost more than stained cabinets.
- The paint may chip, and it is harder to touch up than any nicks on stained cabinets.
- Dust stands out more on cabinets that are painted in dark colors.
- Smudges, stains, and fingerprints will be more visible on painted cabinets than on stained cabinets.
- Due to humidity, wood will naturally expand and contract. The paint will not move with the cabinets, and can crack, chip, or peel over time.
Combining Stained Cabinets and Painted Cabinets
If you can’t decide between stained cabinets or painted cabinets, why not combine the two? The same goes for different colored stains and paints – if you can’t choose between two colors, why not get both? You can get the wall and base cabinets stained or painted in one color, and the island stained or painted in another color. You can even use two different types of wood and two different door styles.
The possibilities are (almost) endless.
If you are interested in a kitchen remodel, contact us today to set up a free estimate. Shakespeare Home Improvement Co. is Lancaster County’s premier kitchen remodeling company. For inspiration, you can see pictures of our past kitchen remodels here.
At Shakespeare Home Improvement Company, we exclusively use custom-made StarMark Cabinetry for all our kitchen remodels. StarMark offers various stain and paint options. StarMark also offers a glazing option for both stained and painted cabinets. The glaze (available in bronze, chocolate, ebony, latte, and nickel) brings out the details in the door style as well as the unique characteristics of the wood.