For most kitchens, the main focal point is the cabinets. They are an incredibly important functional piece, and can serve as a design feature. When remodeling your kitchen, you may find yourself stuck between painting or staining your cabinets. This decision will impact the overall aesthetic of your kitchen and there are many factors that go into deciding whether to paint vs stain your cabinets. 


Paint Pros

Paint offers the look of a crisp and clean design with a wide array of colors. You can opt for bright white cabinets that open up the space without the distraction of the wood grain. This option is great if you already have wood following in your kitchen, so you do not have to worry about clashing between wood grains and tones. It’s also important to take into consideration the type of cabinets you already have, paint adheres to MDF better than a stain would, and provides a better overall finish on this material. 


Paint Cons

While painting has its advantages, it can also be quite costly, especially if you go with a high performance paint, as you should in such a high traffic area. With that high traffic comes knicks to the paint job, and paint can show wear more and be harder to touch up later down the road. 

If you love the look of wood grain you may feel that painting cabinets loses the “character” of the wood as you can no longer see the wood grain underneath your new paint. 


Stain Pros

Fans of the “wood look” will typically opt for staining their cabinets to let the wood grain be showcased in the kitchen. You’ll be able to enjoy the different features and knots of your wood, especially if you already have high quality wood cabinets, like oak or maple. Unlike paint, stain is easier to touch up and maintain as it easily applies and blends in with the rest of the natural look, and is less susceptible to chips. 


Stain Cons

If your cabinets have a lot of imperfections, staining them may bring these to the forefront of your kitchen. Stain also does not adhere to MDF very well, ad this engineered material is not made to soak up a stain or have a “wood like” grain. Depending on the color of stain you choose, dark stains do not easily hide dust, and may require more upkeep for a “showroom” look.


At Mad City Windows and Baths we pride ourselves on helping homeowners make the best decision for their home improvement project. You can find more information on cabinet refinishing services or contact our team of pros to help you with your kitchen cabinet update!