Painted Vs. Stained Cabinets: Basics and Aesthetics

There are a few key decisions that you’ll have to make when choosing new kitchen cabinets, and the finish type you use is one that will impact both aesthetic and practical areas. In particular, most kitchen cabinet buyers will be selecting between stained and painted cabinets for their needs – what are the differences, and which is best for you?

At AWA Kitchen Cabinets, we’re here to offer a wide range of kitchen cabinets from top brands like MasterCraft and Yorktowne, plus to assist clients around Salt Lake City with important decisions like these. This two-part blog series will go over the key differences between stained and painted cabinets, both in terms of aesthetics and practicality, and will look at which might be right for your needs. Let’s dive in!

painted stained cabinets basics

Basic Definitions of Each

Firstly, let’s take a moment to specifically define painted and stained cabinets. Stained wood means that the natural grain of the wood is still visible, but has been treated to bring out its colors with a semi-transparent finish. With stained cabinets, you can choose from a wide range of colors, but all will essentially be variations of the original wood grain.

Meanwhile, painted cabinets are completely covered with a layer of paint. The wood grain is hidden by the paint and it can come in any color you want. Many people buy white kitchen cabinets for their clean aesthetic, but other popular colors include navy, hunter green and light grey.

Aesthetics: Which is More Visually Appealing?

It’s no surprise that the look of your kitchen cabinets will have a major impact on the entire vibe of your space, so aesthetic appeal should be a priority. The big question here is whether stained or painted cabinets are more visually appealing – and the answer will vary based on personal preference.

Stained cabinets tend to offer more of a traditional vibe, as the natural grain gives off a warm feeling that stands out in both lighter and deeper shades. They’re also great for highlighting unique wood grains, which can make them look very distinct from one another. On top of that, stained cabinets can also be great for creating a cozy atmosphere.

Painted cabinets, on the other hand, are great for those looking to create a bright and airy environment with their kitchen. The paint coverage allows them to offer more variation in color than most stained options, and they can look like brand new even after many years of use.

In part two of our series, we’ll go over some additional factors like price, durability, and ease of cleaning to help you decide whether stained or painted cabinets are best for your needs. Stay tuned!

At AWA Kitchen Cabinets, we want every homeowner in Salt Lake City to get the perfect cabinets for their needs. Our team will work with you as you explore different options and weigh up the pros and cons of stained vs painted kitchen cabinets. Contact us today to learn more!