The kitchen is the most valued part of most homes, especially when it comes to resale value. So if you want to give your kitchen a quick upgrade, you’ll want to consider how the kitchen cabinets will come into play and how much you’ll want to invest in how they look. At Nick’s Developments, our kitchen contracting experts have put together this guide of all the best cabinet finishes and which ones might be best for your home.

Painted Cabinets

Painting is the most common finish for kitchen cabinetry because it’s affordable, easy to apply, and comes in a virtually limitless range of colours for you to choose from. But what’s the best paint for cabinets? And what’s the best paint finish for kitchen cabinets? Matte finishes look very flat and don’t reflect light, but get dirtier quicker.

A semi-gloss reflects a bit of light and makes the cabinets easier to clean if there’s food splatter, or dust and grime built up. Satin is a bit shiny, but looks flatter than a semi-gloss and adds a high amount of protection. An enamel finish is the best cabinet paint, providing a stunning, elegant look while giving you the most protection for your cabinets.

Stained Cabinets

Do you already have beautiful wooden cabinetry in your kitchen? Don’t dare throw it away when all you need is a little bit of stain to transform and protect your cabinets. It’s an easy DIY project, relatively affordable, and very easy to keep looking spotless once complete.

Stain doesn’t crack or peel because it soaks into the wood and moves with the shrinking and swelling boards throughout the seasons. Kitchen cabinet stain colours are limitless, and stained kitchen cabinets are resistant to fading. Just ensure you only ever clean it with water and mild soap.

Glaze Cabinets

If you want an aged and rustic look to your cabinets because you prefer that antique styling, a transparent glaze can be brushed over your stained or painted cabinets. If your cabinets have complex and fine details throughout the design, then this is the perfect finish for you. Glaze brings out all of those precious intricacies.

The best style of kitchen to match this cabinetry finish with is a classic style or farmhouse kitchen. You can get glaze in every shade from light to dark. One current trend is to apply a dark glaze on a white cabinet, which works like a sneaky ageing technique. For the best effect, only add the glaze to the details you want to stand out the most.

Melamine Cabinets

If you need a super durable cabinet finish, then you’ll want to consider a melamine finish. This advanced method heat seals melamine resin to pressed wood, plywood, or fibreboard to create a stunning and strong set of cabinetry.

This type of board has a paper layer that you can lay over any design or colour you choose — which means melamine cabinets are incredibly versatile, allowing you to match the style of any home — even mimicking the highly desirable look of real wood. These cabinets have a number of benefits – it’s durable, very easy to clean, and affordable.

Luxury Kitchen with Wooden Kitchen Cabinets - Kitchen Designers

Lacquer Cabinets

DIYers love lacquer because it’s so quick, easy, and affordable to apply to your existing kitchen cabinets. It’s a special paint, made from a solvent that adds a solid, hard coating to your cabinetry. Use a brush or spray on the lacquer and it’s dry within 15 minutes. This quick drying process allows you to apply multiple layers for a super durable top coat.

There are various finishes of lacquer for you to choose from, including variations of glossy and matte looks. And while lacquer paint is known for its durability, if not properly cleaned and maintained it can start to crack over time, especially if the wood beneath is warped by high levels of humidity. If you stay on top of the cabinets and perform monthly reviews, you add repair layers of lacquer when necessary.

Laminate Cabinets

If you want a zero-hassle, easy-to-clean experience with your kitchen cabinetry, then you should consider getting laminate cabinets over natural wood. Laminate cabinets have a hearty plastic laminate layer that goes over the top of particle board, MDF, or plywood. The layer of laminate can be any pattern or color that you choose. There are also varying degrees of quality of laminate you can choose from, including low-pressure and high-pressure options that affect durability and longevity.

And if you so desire, laminate cabinets can be made to be even stronger with additional scratch-resistant and stain-resistant properties. One downside of laminate cabinets to consider is the fact that in high humidity, the laminate can start to peel away from the board beneath and this is virtually impossible to spot repair.

Amazing Kitchen with Backlit Kitchen Cabinets - Luxury Custom Home Builders Toronto

Natural Cabinets

No finish is an excellent option too. More and more homeowners are turning to natural wood cabinets, unafraid to show off their wood cabinets’ asymmetrical colouring, imperfections, and other kinds of textures. High-quality types of wood ensure that your cabinets will last for many years to come.

Choosing something like maple, oak or cherry will be a beautiful addition to nearly any kitchen renovation. But if you’re the ultra-conservative type who still worries about staining and running your natural wood cabinetry, you could consider a light layer of clear varnish for that minimal protection that doesn’t distract from the cabinets’ natural beauty.

Varnish Cabinets

Nearly every cabinet you see on the showroom floor of the store has a layer of varnish on it. And while in most cases, it’s highly recommended to have a layer of varnish to protect your cabinets from stains, scratches, and typical wear and tear — it’s not necessarily essential.

Polyurethane varnish is the most common varnish. It’s very strong and can be applied by anyone. Conversion varnish is made from special chemicals that are much stronger but requires professional installation by an experienced contractor who must wear special protective equipment.

Contact Us

Are you ready to start designing and building your dream kitchen? Whether you want stained kitchen cabinets or the best lacquer paint for cabinets, Nick’s Developments has you covered.

Contact us today to book your free consultation.