Types of Kitchen Cabinet Finishes: A Beginner’s Guide 2023


Types of Kitchen Cabinet Finishes: A Beginner’s Guide 2023

Marco Manazzone

5 min read
Zzone Homes

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Across the United States, 61% of homeowners are investing in kitchen cabinet upgrades. This number shows how much Americans value home improvement.

When building your dream kitchen, once you’ve decided on the cabinet style, the next step is to choose your cabinet color. This is the time to add a little character to your space with kitchen cabinet finishes.

Kitchen cabinets can be a focal point of the room, so choosing a finish that matches the style and décor of your kitchen is essential. If not, you risk having an incohesive aesthetic.

For a reliable and aesthetically pleasing choice, consider Zzone Homes Kitchen Cabinets in Hamilton. Our selection offers a variety of finishes designed to perfectly complement any kitchen theme.

If you’re keen to explore the gamut of options available, continue reading for a rundown on seven types of kitchen cabinet finishes you might consider.

1. Stained Finish

If you like the natural grain of wooden cabinets to show through, a stained finish might be best for you.

Wood stain is applied to the cabinets to enhance or change their color. This type of finish is typically done by hand, and if you’re hiring a professional to make the application, you can expect to pay more than alternative finishes.

Using a stain finish may mean doing several rounds of sanding and staining to get the look you’re after. While wood staining can give you a unique look to your cabinets, there are fewer color options than other finish techniques.

2. Natural Finish

If you want the true grain and color to show through in your kitchen cabinets, then a natural finish is what you’re after. This is done by applying a transparent stain that protects the wood rather than changing its color.

This finish is accomplished through the process of sanding and oiling. Typical oils include linseed, Tung, mink, or mineral oil.

The advantage of this type of kitchen cabinet finish is it brings out the wood’s natural color variations. This can give your kitchen a beautiful and unique look.

3. Varnished Finish

If you buy ready-made cabinets, then the finish you may end up with is varnish. Most varnish is made using a blend of resin and oils. Once dry, it provides an extra durable surface with an excellent gloss.

You can also paint your cabinets before using this type of finish. Polyurethane varnish can be applied on painted and unfinished surfaces. They also are available as either oil- or water-based.

4. Painted Finish

Paint is among the most commonly chosen available cabinet finishes. It’s available in a wide range of colors to match it to any color palette, and it’s cost-effective.

When painting kitchen cabinets, you have a choice between semi-gloss (also referred to as satin) and glossy paint. These types of paints make cleaning walls more manageable than a matte finish.

An important thing to note is that your brush marks will be more visible the glossier the paint finish.

For this reason, investing in high-quality brushes or rollers is essential. Additionally, you want to ensure they’re made for the specific type of paint you’re using.

5. Glazed Finish

Glaze is another popular option when choosing between kitchen cabinet finishes. A glazed finish is perfect if you want to alter the color and texture of your cabinets.

You can apply this type of finish to other finishes, such as stain or paint. A varnish is used after the glaze has dried for an extra durable finish. Unfortunately, this finish may have a higher price tag because it’s labor-intensive.

6. Distressed Finish

Another unique option for your kitchen cabinets is a distressed finish. This technique involves paint and sandpaper to give your cabinets an aged impression. This type of kitchen cabinet finish is perfect if you want a more rustic or vintage aesthetic.

You can choose any paint color and sand it away once dry to reveal some of the natural wood texture of the cabinet beneath. You must still apply a top coat to protect the finish from damage. This option makes a great weekend project if you’re into DIY.

Tips For Choosing The Right Finish

Now that you know more about kitchen cabinet finishes, you may still need help deciding. Here are five tips to ensure you pick the best finish:

Match Your Cabinet Style

When choosing your finish, it’s a good idea to match it to the style of kitchen cabinets you have. For example, a grey paint finish can look great on modern-style cabinets. Otherwise, a natural wood finish would be ideal if you’re after something more rustic.

Check The Room Size

Much like painting a room, you don’t want to go with a dark finish if you have a small kitchen. Dark cabinets can make a small room look even smaller. Instead, choose a finish in a color that opens the space up, such as an off-white or a light grey.

Consider More Than One Finish

You don’t have to pick only one cabinet finish. For example, if you have a kitchen island counter, you can give that a different finish to the kitchen cabinets. This way, you can bring some extra personality into your design.

Consider The Rest of Your Kitchen

When upgrading your kitchen cabinets, you can consider other elements in your kitchen to help you decide on a finish. For example, if your kitchen floor is wood, then a painted finish in whites or greys.

Conversely, a red finish might be overpowering if all your kitchen furniture is red. Instead, you can choose a lighter color like a mushroom grey.

Hire a Professional 

Finally, to get the perfect cabinets consider hiring a professional cabinet maker. You can work closely with them, discuss the available types of kitchen cabinet finishes, and create a budget. You may have access to more finish options than you would if you went the DIY route.

Have Fun Choosing Kitchen Cabinet Finishes

Kitchen cabinets are an essential element of your kitchen. For this reason, you should spend time choosing between kitchen cabinet finishes to achieve your desired look.

If you’re looking for something easy or DIY, then you can choose between finishes like paint, varnish, or distressed. If you need something more durable, consider asking your cabinet maker to add an extra coat of varnish.

Contact us today if you’re looking for custom cabinets. We have more than 17 years of experience, and our specialists are waiting to bring your vision to life.

About Us

Welcome to Zzone Homes Inc, your premier home renovation and remodeling contractor in the Greater Hamilton Area. We specialize in complete home renovations, kitchen and bathroom remodeling, basement finishing, custom cabinetry, and more. With nearly 20 years of experience, our team of in-house experts are dedicated to providing you with the best possible service and results.

Zzone Homes Inc

Phone: +1 905-906-9152

9-390 Dewitt Rd
Stoney Creek, ON L8E4P6


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