Best White and Gray RTA Cabinets in the Business

If you want designers to design your kitchen for you or to save money on your purchase, click here

Exploring Paint Finishes: What’s Best For Your Kitchen Cabinets?

Imagine standing in the heart of your home – the kitchen. Every detail matters, from the gleaming countertop to the shiny appliances, but one feature stands out above all: your kitchen cabinets. Their aesthetic quality and design can truly elevate the entire look and feel of the room, making choosing the right paint finish for them a crucial decision. 


cabinet paint finishes


As you navigate many options, you’ll encounter various paint products catering to different preferences and requirements. Regardless of the specific interior paint you choose, the key lies in understanding the characteristics of these finishes. So, let’s take a closer look at the different paint finishes to determine what’s best for your kitchen cabinetry.

Understanding Kitchen Cabinet Paint Finishes 

Besides influencing the aesthetics of your kitchen, the right paint finish can also improve the durability of your kitchen cabinets. Let’s explore the most commonly used kitchen cabinet paint finishes:


  • Matte Finish: This non-reflective, flat, and muted finish provides a uniform color appearance and minimizes the visibility of blemishes and fingerprints. However, since it doesn’t reflect light, it can’t help give your kitchen an illusion of a larger space.
  • Satin Finish: This finish is smooth yet has a more noticeable shine than matte. It reflects some light, producing a soft sheen that’s a favorite among homeowners. However, satin finishes can be more prone to showing water spots and streaks, especially if not promptly wiped dry, requiring additional maintenance to keep them looking spotless.
  • Semi-Gloss Finish: This finish gives a moderate sheen and is moisture-resistant, making it an ideal choice for kitchens because of its durability. However, its reflective nature may enhance surface flaws.
  • High-Gloss Finish: Known for its impeccable shine, this finish is exceptionally resilient and long-lasting. However, it highlights any surface imperfections, making thorough preparation and skilled application essential to avoid visible flaws.

Each of these options imparts a unique charm to your culinary space. By understanding the differences between these finishes, you can make an informed choice as you browse and buy paint online for your kitchen.


See how our designers can create your Dream Kitchen

Free 2D layout icon

Get a free 2D layout

Design & layout with as many revisions until it’s perfect!

3D rendering icon

3D rendering

High quality, realistic 3D rendering of project within 24 hours!

Itemized quote icon

Itemized quote

Quotes are detailed, transparent, and come with 15 day Price Gurantee!

Professional Grade Design icon

Professional Grade Design

Professionalism and quality so good, 15,000+ families have said YES!



Key Factors To Consider When Selecting A Paint Finish For Your Kitchen Cabinets 

Deciding on the right finish for your cabinets involves more than selecting the gloss level. There are other crucial factors to consider when making your selection, such as:


  • Durability: Given the daily wear and tear that kitchen cabinets face, choosing a finish that can withstand the demands of this high-traffic and often messy environment is crucial. And to ensure long-lasting and visually appealing cabinets, it’s essential to look for a finish that offers resistance against chipping, scratching, and staining since these factors can impact the lifespan and appearance of their cabinets.
  • Aesthetics: Consider the overall design and atmosphere you want in your kitchen when selecting a finish for your cabinets since different paint finishes can create varying looks and styles. If you prefer a modern and sleek appearance, high-gloss finishes are an excellent choice. Meanwhile, a matte finish would be ideal for a traditional or rustic kitchen, as it offers a more subtle and understated look.
  • Imperfections: Matte finishes, with their non-reflective nature, are best at hiding minor cabinet blemishes. While slightly shinier, satin finishes can still conceal flaws to some extent, though not as effectively as matte. That said, if your primary aim is hiding blemishes, matte finishes would be the optimal choice.  
  • Lighting: Consider the lighting conditions in your kitchen since natural and artificial lighting can affect how the paint finish appears. Glossy finishes tend to reflect more light, making the space feel brighter, while matte finishes absorb more light and can create a softer ambiance. 
  • Ease of cleaning and maintenance: Spills, splatters, and stains are bound to happen in the kitchen. That said, consider how easy it will be to clean your cabinets. Finishes with a slight gloss, such as satin or semi-gloss, are generally easier to wipe clean compared to matte finishes, which can absorb stains more readily.
  • Personal preference: Your personal preference also plays a significant role in your decision. For instance, some people prefer the rich, deep look of matte finishes, while others love glossy finishes’ shiny, reflective quality. As such, consider your style and the ambiance you want to create in your kitchen. 

By carefully evaluating these key factors, you can select a paint finish for your kitchen cabinets that not only complements your overall kitchen design but also provides durability and easy maintenance.

Applying Various Paint Finishes 

Painting shaker cabinets


Selecting the right paint finish for your kitchen cabinets is just the first step. Proper application is equally crucial since it can significantly impact the finish’s durability and overall appearance. Here are the general steps to ensure a flawless application: 


  • Preparation: Start with a clean, lightly sanded surface to ensure the paint adheres well. It’s also best to inspect your cabinets for damage or imperfections, such as nicks, holes, or gouges, and repair them using wood filler. Once the filler is dried, sand the surface again and make it smooth.
  • Priming: Priming forms an intermediary layer, providing a firm base for the paint to adhere to. Choose oil-based primer for wooden cabinets and latex primer for use with latex paint. Apply the primer evenly using a brush or roller, covering the surface with a full coat.
  • Painting: To avoid paint runs and ensure a smooth finish, use long, even strokes and let each coat dry completely before applying another layer. 

With these steps, you can ensure that paint adheres well, lasts longer, and gives your kitchen cabinets an exquisite finish.




Although choosing a paint finish for your kitchen cabinets may initially seem daunting, having the right information can turn it into an exciting journey of transforming your culinary space. Whether you choose a matte, satin, semi-gloss, or gloss finish, the ideal selection can create a kitchen that elegantly combines beauty with function. Embrace this rewarding challenge and let your cabinets reflect your unique personality and style.

Looking for new cabinets? Gray Collection or White Collection

Nelson Cabinetry

Nelson Cabinetry is an online distributor of high quality kitchen and bathroom cabinetry. We pride ourselves in delivering a high quality product via an easy to use, convenient website. Placing your cabinet order has never been easier and you can do so from the comfort of your home, office or job site.


More Posts

Find us on:

Do you want a FREE 3D Kitchen Design?

Hello, we're Nelson Cabinetry. We're determined to make your dream kitchen come true. Let us take you one step closer

Picture of Evan Nelson

Evan Nelson

Evan Nelson is a skilled content writer with over 5 years of experience specializing in kitchen and bath design. His expertise in the field and ability to convey complex ideas in an accessible way have made his articles a valuable resource for homeowners and design enthusiasts alike. Evan's insights have been featured in top publications like Homes & Gardens, Family Handyman, and Real Homes. He focuses on providing practical advice, innovative ideas, and detailed guides to help readers make informed decisions about their kitchen spaces. With a passion for creating content that educates and inspires, Evan's writing helps transform kitchen dreams into reality.

Your Cart

Share Cart
No Item Found
Subtotal $0.00
Shipping $0.00
Tax $0.00
Total $0.00