Finish Options For Your New Kitchen Cabinets

When you buy new cabinets for your kitchen remodel, the installation makes a big impact. All of that cabinetry can define what the kitchen is going to look like for years. An important aspect of any cabinet's appearance is the finish you choose. Once you've finished choosing the door style and relevant trim, consider which finish is right for your new décor.


Stains are very popular for natural wood cabinets because they let the beauty of the material show through. If you've chosen cabinets based on their grain patterns, a transparent stain would be ideal. It will seal the wood while letting the surface maintain its natural beauty. If you want a more uniform surface, consider an opaque stain. You'll still get some grain pattern showing through.


Paint remains a popular finish for wooden cabinets, too. Many homeowners want a color scheme for their kitchen. Since the cabinetry takes up so much visual space, the surface is natural for the primary color of the palette. Other homeowners are drawn to the classic elegance of neutral-colored cabinets, such as white or beige, so the rest of their décor takes center stage.


Glaze is a product that contractors apply over a stain or paint. It consists of a semi-transparent wash of color. The purpose of a glaze is to sink into the crevices to draw more attention to the trim detailing. For example, Better Homes and Gardens describes white cabinets finished in a dark glaze so you notice the crown molding and fluting. Consider a glaze if you've chosen elaborate trim.


Lacquer is an especially opaque finish. The contractors have to either spray it on or apply it in several thin layers. The most popular finish style is glossy, but you can choose satin and matte finishes, too. Regardless of the shine level, the result is a modern appearance. You can choose any color, but designers often use lacquer for bold colors such as red or aqua.

Specialty Finishes

One specialty finish is milk paint. It's not a common finish, but milk paint can give your cabinets an attractive vintage vibe. As the name suggests, milk is a binder in the paint, which makes it environmentally friendly.

Another specialty finish is the distressed look. The contractors hand rub the cabinet surface to convey an antique patina. Homeowners like distressed finishes if they're decorating in an old-world style, such as shabby chic.

Once you've chosen your ideal kitchen cabinets, consider the above options for their finish.

To find out more about the different types of finish options for kitchen cabinets, reach out to a remodeling contractor near you.