The Downsides To The Increasingly Popular Matte Black Cabinet Trend

Matte black kitchen cabinets for drama and contrast have become surprisingly trendy over the years. They add a touch of sophistication to a kitchen, which might explain their popularity. Matte black cabinets are great for those who want their living space to stand out from other homes with more traditional design elements. Despite their visual appeal, they come with downsides that will make some homeowners rethink installing them. Unfortunately, this cabinet design makes fingerprints and smudges more visible. The black color of the cabinets can also make a kitchen feel smaller.

Due to these downsides, matte black cabinets are not the right fit for everyone. They require more frequent cleanings than other designs because smudges are so visible. If you live a busy lifestyle, the intense cleaning requirements may not be practical. Matte black cabinets are also not the most child-friendly option, as little ones may ruin their surface by drawing or leaving handprints on them. Let's dive further into the negatives of this design element and how to make them work for your space regardless.

Smudges are more visible on matte black cabinets

Matte black cabinets make smudges more visible because there is no glare to help hide these stains. This is because the matte surface does not reflect light. If you have ever run your fingers over a matte surface, you are probably familiar with the material's gritty texture. When you touch matte cabinets, any oils or dirt on your hands can catch onto the surface, resulting in visible stains. Slick, glossy cabinets do not pull grime off your hands as easily.

This problem is amplified for those who install matte cabinets with no hardware, like those shown in the photo above. When you have a handle to use to open and close the cabinets, you can avoid touching them directly. Those without hardware require you to touch the surface every time. This makes those pesky fingerprints unavoidable. Interior Designer Jordan Samson shared a TikTok video detailing his own experience with this issue. In the clip, the content creator even labeled matte black cabinets without hardware as one of the worst interior design trends.

How to combat the downsides of matte black cabinets

Although matte black kitchen cabinets are not the most low maintenance, they are still preferred by many homeowners. If you are interested in this design choice, you should know that you can still make them work for your space. You will have to clean your kitchen cabinets often to combat all of the smudges and stains. Consider using a dry microfiber cloth to clean away fingerprints as soon as you spot them and even wiping untouched areas at the day's end.

For those more stubborn stains, wipe the surface down with a cloth dampened with water and dish soap solution. If you are cleaning your cabinets daily, you should be able to avoid hardened, stuck-on food stains. However, if you do find these spots on your matte cabinets, know that you can still remove them. Just create a thick paste with baking soda and water and use it to scrub away the food.

The other issue with matte black cabinets is that they can make a kitchen look tiny, just as any other dark cabinet color would. If you have a small kitchen, you might want to stay away from this color if you want your space to look larger. Instead, opt for white cabinets that will give your kitchen a more open feel. This will give your small kitchen the illusion of a bigger space.