Should You Paint or Stain Your Cabinets?

One of the key choices you will make for your custom cabinet design is whether to use painted or stained wooden cabinets. Here, we’ll showcase the pros and cons of both styles to make your decision a little bit easier. Read on to learn more about the differences between painted and stained kitchen cabinets.

The Difference Between Painted and Stained

Stained kitchen cabinets showcase the natural pattern of the wood grain. You pick out the species of wood to use for the cabinet, which will determine the color of the stain, based on the wood’s natural color. The wood on a painted cabinet will be completely covered up by the paint. Grainy wood like oak, for example, won’t work well with paint.

Stained Kitchen Cabinets


Stained kitchen cabinets have a natural beauty that works very well in many kitchens. You can choose from many species of wood which have many different grain styles to work with your vision for the kitchen. Some woods like oak have a very busy and aggressive pattern, while maple grain is barely visible. Stained kitchen cabinets have a classic look that is hard to match.

Stained kitchen cabinets have a natural beauty that works very well in many kitchens.


If you have a definite color scheme for the kitchen in mind, it can be difficult to find a stained cabinet look to match. Stained cabinets won’t all look exactly the same either because of variations in the wood while painted cabinets will look the same all around the kitchen. But if you love the stained look, you can often create a color scheme to match. If you are going for a more modern look, painted kitchen cabinets might be the better option.

Painted Kitchen Cabinets


Painted cabinets provide a modern and consistent look and color to the room. The color options are almost endless, and the color you see in the sample will be exactly the color you get on the cabinet. The simple elegance of painted cabinets is a beautiful look that is flexible to the rest of your design ideas.


Any damage on painted cabinets will be much more visible than on a stained cabinet. Fingerprints, grease and dust are all more visible on painted cabinets, so you might have to work a little harder to keep them clean.

If you still can’t decide, one option might be to stain or paint just a few cabinets to provide unique accents throughout the kitchen!

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