Painted Vs. Stained Cabinets: Key Variables

In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some basics and simple differences between painted and stained kitchen cabinets. Stained cabinets keep the grain of the wood visible while treating it to bring out its colors, while painted cabinets will be completely covered with new paint that will hide the wood grain entirely – and each offers its own benefits and drawbacks depending on your desires.

At AWA Kitchen Cabinets, we’re happy to offer a wide range of kitchen cabinets to clients around Salt Lake City, including a huge variety of both stained and painted cabinets. While we left off in part one of our series talking about the aesthetics that come with both options, today’s part two will look at some other key comparison points if you’re choosing between them.

painted stained cabinets variables


When it comes to durability, the winner between painted and stained cabinets will actually depend on your key priority: Is it truly avoiding damage, or is it the ability to hide or conceal damage when it happens?

If the former is your top goal, painted cabinets are likely the better option. Stain can be more prone to damage, especially if caused by long-term sun exposure or temperature changes that cause the wood grain to warp. Painted cabinets are a much better option for resisting these kinds of environmental wear and tear over time.

On the other hand, if you anticipate your cabinets might get some use or abuse (for example with common kitchen activity like cooking oil splatters or accidental spills) you might find stained cabinets are easier to hide wear and tear, since the wood grain pattern already works to camouflage any damage.


Down similar lines, many people with young children in the home tend to opt for stained cabinets instead of painted. With kids running around, paint can be more prone to scuffs and scrapes – but the grain pattern on stained wood will help make any accidents less visible and easier to hide.

On top of that, it’s worth noting that both types of kitchen cabinets should be sealed with a protective finish – and for stain, you’ll also want to reapply stain or other treatment every few years. This will help both painted and stained cabinets stay looking their best, no matter the age of your family members!


One area where it’s really hard to go wrong here is cost – both painted and stained cabinets offer similar pricing. Depending on what style you’re going for, of course, there might be slight discrepancies here and there that will vary from one manufacturer or supplier to the next – but it’s also important to remember that choosing one over the other won’t have a huge impact on overall pricing.

Overall, both painted and stained kitchen cabinets have their own benefits and drawbacks – so depending on the look you’re going for, you’ll need to take into account your budget, lifestyle, and design preferences when making a final decision. Now that you know more about these two options, you can make an informed choice that’s perfect for your home!

At AWA Kitchen Cabinets, we’re happy to help you make the right choice no matter what type of kitchen cabinets you’re looking for. We offer a wide range of cabinet styles and colors, so whatever your unique vision is, we can help bring it to life – contact us today for more information!