Stain or Paint Kitchen Cabinets

Kitchen Cabinets – Paint or Stained?

It pretty much comes down to personal taste and how your existing or made over kitchen looks with the finished result, but choosing to paint or stain existing cabinets is a good way to save money on replacing the whole thing.

There are thousands of pages on the web showing you how to touch up kitchen cabinets and even those that walk you through a complete overhaul.

​Painting your Kitchen Cabinets

Later on this page I have included some videos on painting your kitchen cabinets that are really worth a watch, but to begin, let us look at the pro's and the con's of choosing either paint or wood stain.

Without a doubt, if you are headed for that professional sleek and polished look and feel with a crisp finish, then paint is a great choice. You end up with that classy clean look that can look flawless when applied correctly.If you are thinking about doing this, come and have a chat with us in store for some top tips on getting it right first time.

Painted or Stained Kitchen Cabinets... Read more

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If you have old MDF style cabinets (that crushed up wood stuff or typical modern furniture type product), then paint is usually a better way to go as it takes better on the surface and will give you a great finished look.

The other benefit to going with paint is that you can move away from the typical kitchen design and colour things up a little. This can have a very dramatic end result to your kitchen and become a real focal point in a room.

Any Downsides?


The only real downsides are that paint can work out a little more than a wood stain and it will cover the wood itself. If you have gone to the trouble of purchasing a decent wood product and want to see those character scuffs and lines, then painting is just typically going to just cover that all up.

If you want to have that real wood feel, then a wood stain option will work better for you.


To Stain or not to Stain, that is the Kitchen Cabinet Question

Staining your Kitchen Cabinets

One of the positive notes about opting for a stain is that you can more easily touch up errors or update later if you need to. When you paint, if you want to touch up later, due to colour alteration over time, it usually means you end up having to re-paint the entire piece. With stains, you can usually just add and it will still look great.

As mentioned above, if you love that all wood look, then staining will leave you with a great looking finish, but you will still be able to see the wonderful wood beneath. Think about what finish you are going for in your kitchen and they choose accordingly.

The downside to stain is that you cannot really use on MDF type surfaces.

It just does not end up looking good. The other consideration is that if the wood in your cabinets already looks really flawed, the a stain will just amplify that even further.


Bottom line is choose based on personal taste and what end look you are going for. If you love the rugged wood look, stain them, if you like sleek and classy with fresh lines, then go with the paint option.

Further Viewing and Reading

Here are a couple of good videos for you to watch if you are going with the painted end result.



If you prefer the stained option, then check out these pages.

DIY Network, how to stain cabinets

HGTV - How to stain cabinets

Some Great Pictures on Pinterest for Stained Kitchen Cabinets


Please feel free to post this article if you found it helpful and also comment below and even send us your pictures too - We love to see what your end results come up like 🙂 Thanks for reading.