Painted Vs. Stained Wood Cabinets: What To Consider

Painted Vs. Stained Wood Cabinets: What To Consider

26 August 2022
 Categories: Construction & Contractors, Blog

Painted and stained are the two most popular finish styles for wood cabinets. Each has its own merits worth considering even as you make the decision about which style best suits your kitchen.

Are you torn between painting or staining your wood cabinets? Here are a few things to keep in mind as you decide between these two options.

Aesthetic Appeal

Staining gives your cabinets that unique antique look. If yours is a traditional-style home, then stained cabinets would fit right in with everything else. Staining enhances the color and accentuates the look of wood grain, showing that natural look. On the other hand, painting covers the natural grain in wood cabinets. The clean finish has a modern look, and you can choose from a more extensive list of customization options.


Stained wood cabinets come out on top when it comes to durability. Any marks on the cabinets don't show easily. You will also have an easy time finding touch-up tools that are a close match for your cabinets' stain. Like marks, any touch-ups on stained wood cabinets will not show easily and may very well be missed altogether. Again, wood absorbs the stain applied to it, rendering it less prone to flaking, chipping, and chipping as your wood cabinets go through cycles of contraction and expansion.

Granted, painting provides a layer of protection against scratches and dents. However, it is hard to miss scratched paint. For a household with kids, it may only be a matter of time before these show as the kids run and play near the cabinets. While you can easily repaint the cabinets, in most cases, matching the original paint is not as easy. In this case, your attempts at repair may be quite visible. 

Material and Installation Cost

Staining wood cabinets is generally cheaper than painting them. Cabinet paint costs more than stain. Also, keep in mind that you will need at least several coats of paint to achieve that clean and smooth cloth with painting. Unless you are doing it yourself, you also need to factor in the cost of a professional application. Professional paint application costs a little more than professional stain application.

Both staining and painting are definitely cheaper options compared to having to replace your wood cabinets. To make a better-informed decision between the two finish styles for your remodel, carefully consider the factors highlighted. Choose what best suits your preferences, budget, and lifestyle.

To learn more about options for your cabinets, contact a cabinet contractor in your area.