Kitchen cabinets are probably the main thing anyone updates to improve the look of the kitchen, but what finish is best? The choice between deciding to paint or stain will depend on many factors. Here are some of the major differences between both.

Painting Your Cabinets

If you’re looking to get a clean aesthetic, then paint will be your best friend. Paint is perfect for your kitchen if you aren’t a fan of wood marks or grain and want a perfect appearance. Although painting cabinets take a lot more preparation, the result will have your kitchen looking brand new and pleasing to look at.


  • Access to hundreds of colors
  • Provides a sleeker and more modern look
  • Can last up to 10 years
  • More resistant to water


  • Higher cost
  • Prone to cracking
  • Less forgiving to mistakes
  • Removes wood grain and knots

Other things to consider are application. Most professionals utilize a spray gun for an even application. However, cabinets can also be painted with a paintbrush and more often than not, you’ll end up with an inconsistent streaky finish. There are foam rollers that can minimize the brushed effect, but it will take more time and patience.

Staining Your Cabinets

A stained look can be very attractive if you prefer the natural grainy look that wood offers. Stain is thinner than paint so it’ll seep into the wood, which will enhance the natural look of the wood. Stain will be much easier if you’re looking to DIY your cabinet update and don’t want to spend a fortune on it.


  • Traditional, natural look
  • Lower cost
  • Can last up to 30 years
  • Easier to maintain and touch up


  • Shows all wood blemishes
  • Does not look good on plywood
  • Dust is more visible

Other things to consider when staining cabinets is to ensure that you have the right type of wood. Although staining is easier than painting, it can turn catastrophic if applied to the wrong type of wood. You’ll also have to take a good look at the condition of your wood and the grain distribution since every feature and imperfection of the wood will show.

So, What’s Better?

It all comes down to personal preference and the finish you are looking to achieve for your new kitchen. Both painting and staining are wonderful options so rest assured that your kitchen will look amazing either way. To avoid ruining your cabinets, we recommend reaching out to a painting professional for an expert opinion.

At The Painting Company, our painting experts only utilize high-quality paints that uphold the standard. Our commitment to quality will exceed expectations on any project we undertake so let us take care of your kitchen cabinet remodel. Request a quote today!

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