Should You Paint Or Stain Your Kitchen Cabinets?

The decision to paint or stain your kitchen cabinets is a tale as old as time. Would you rather showcase the natural wood texture or opt for a trendy color to add a surprising pop to your kitchen? Cabinets are typically what takes up the most real estate in this room, so this seemingly minor decision can end up having a major impact on the final look and feel of your space.

According to Statista, 35% of respondents were looking to remodel their kitchen because they simply couldn't stand how it looked anymore. If you're in the same boat, refinishing your cabinets can completely transform your space, but you may feel overwhelmed by the variety of inspiration and options available for your upgrade. Before jumping into your remodel, take some time to consider the pros and cons of painting versus staining your cabinets. It might save you some money and a unnecessary and difficult re-do down the line.

Painting your cabinets

With many celebrity homes sporting colorful and retro-inspired kitchens, you may be drawn to the wide array of options that painting your cabinets presents. After all, paint is available in just about any hue you could imagine, and vibrant-toned cabinetry is a great way to bring in a bold splash of color or achieve a clean, white look. This option presents more flexibility than staining, but it can also come with some challenges.

Wood is a natural material, so your cabinets might expand and shrink slightly with heat and humidity fluctuations. This normally isn't much of a problem, but if you live in an environment prone to sudden temperature changes or if you don't have air conditioning, painting can leave you with chips and cracks. It also presents the issue of dents and nicks with everyday wear and tear. Luckily, however, repainting over an existing coat is an easy way to hide these marks and gives you the freedom to frequently change the color if you're feeling creative down the line, as noted by Glidden

Staining your cabinets

If you spent the extra money on solid wood cabinetry, it may feel like a waste to cover up the grain and natural texture. That's where staining comes in. If you're not a fan of the tone of your wood but still want to keep the natural look, a stain can give your kitchen a less dramatic, but still impactful, facelift. According to Olympic, all you need to do is sand your surface, apply the stain, then gently wipe away the excess. Finish off with a protective coat and you're good to go.

While staining doesn't give you as much freedom as painting, it's a great way to give a minor refresh to your existing wood cabinets. If you're looking for a bold, modern upgrade, however, paint may be the path for you. It all depends on the final look you're going for, but either choice is sure to make a major impact in your remodel.