Painted vs. Stained Kitchen Cabinets – Pros & Cons

Painted vs. Stained


Pros & Cons: Painted vs. Stained Cabinets

I have a lot of people asking me about the trends in home design and what is in style.  I am happy to give you any advice as your real estate consultant.  After all, your kitchen is your one of your main selling features in your home so you want to invest money wisely there.

If you have remodeling questions for the kitchen or another project, or just wondering what your return on investment would be in your homes, just reach out and I’ll be happy to answer your questions.

So if you are thinking about remodeling your kitchen and wondering whether to go for natural wood or a painted finish for your cabinets, these observations can help.

Kitchen cabinets are largely about the finish. Not sure which one you prefer? Here’s the scoop on the perks and pitfalls of both finishes:

******** Painted Cabinets ********

Pro: Paint offers a clean aesthetic.
Paint colors — whites and creams to grays and blues — bring a sleek, clean finish to the table. Paint is perfect for homeowners who prefer a smooth, flawless finish.

Pro: Paint allows you to get more colorful.
As a result, paint showcases whichever hue you select and gives you more opportunity to customize the look of your kitchen.

 Pro: Paint applies better to MDF.
Choosing medium-density fiberboard (think particle or furniture board) is an effective way to cut cabinet costs. The material also takes paint well. It’s nearly impossible to tell the difference between fiberboard and real wood when its painted.

Con: Paint hides character features.
Paint is thicker than stain, so it doesn’t get absorbed by wood the way stain does. If you want to see grains and knots in plain sight, you probably shouldn’t go with painted cabinets.

Con: Paint tends to cost more.
Painted cabinets aren’t exactly budget-friendly. They can be, but if you’re comparing them with stained cabinets, you’ll find that they often carry a steeper price tag. Typically, they cost about 10 to 15% more.

 Con: Paint is harder to touch up.
Paint touch-ups can be tricky. You may not always know the exact color of your cabinet. Cabinetmakers and manufacturers may also apply paints by spraying, a method that looks smoother but is hard to replicate with a touch-up kit.

******** Stained Cabinets ********

Pro: Stain showcases more wood features.
Stain strikes a good balance between color and texture. It enhances the natural beauty of your wood.

Pro: Stain is easier to touch up.
Touch-up markers for stains are easier to find, and even if there isn’t an exact match, there’s likely a color out there that closely resembles your stain.

Pro: Stain usually costs less.
It generally costs less than paint, though customized options will be more expensive.

Con: Stain doesn’t look as good on Fiberboard.
Fiberboard can offer huge savings on cabinets, but it simply doesn’t take stain as well as it takes paint.

Con: Stain shows nearly all of wood’s blemishes.
Some say blemishes; others say character.

Con: Dark stains and paints don’t hide dust well.
This is a negative for both dark stains and dark paints. While lighter cabinets can chip and stain more easily, they do a good job at hiding dust.

Remember you can always use me as your real estate resource. / 215.757.7257

If you are thinking about remodeling your kitchen and need the name of a reliable contractor – reach out to me.  I am happy to help.  


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