Most people consider the style and quality of their kitchen cabinets quite carefully. After all, kitchen cabinets represent a significant investment, and kitchen owners use them heavily on a daily for storage and support functions. However, few people think about the type of finish they should have, and that can be a big mistake. The finish has a big impact on the look and function of the kitchen cabinets. Here are a few of the most popular finish options you might think about when choosing one for your kitchen cabinets. Especially if it is part of your kitchen remodel.

Coats and wraps

kitchen with solid wood cabinets
For solid wood cabinets, you can probably choose to keep the protective layer clear and simple to enhance the beautiful grain. You can choose a coat of mineral oil that keeps moisture out while keeping the wood in great condition. However, this treatment requires regular reapplication. So, if you do not have the time to do that, you should choose clear or tinted polyurethane specifically designed for wood applications. This provides long-lasting protection for your wood cabinets.

If you have engineered wood cabinets such as particleboard, MDF (medium density fiberboard), or plywood, you have a choice of polyurethane or paint. You might want to give your cabinets two coats if you choose polyurethane. If you choose paint, make sure you choose one specifically designed for kitchens to avoid premature flaking and peeling from exposure to a high humidity environment.

In most cases, however, a vinyl coat or wrap is ideal with manufactured wood cabinets because they have no grain. Vinyl wraps, coats, and veneers come in a wide variety of wood grain and other designs, so you can choose one that will look extremely well with your new kitchen design. While wood veneers are very popular, you can go out on a limb and choose something unusual.

Glossy finish

kitchen cabinets with high gloss finish
You are most likely to find many cabinets with a glossy finish, a trend with homeowners that has lasted for five decades. The reason for its long-lived popularity is its peculiar fit with a wide variety of kitchens. But particularly with modern and contemporary kitchen designs in white or with cabinets with flat panels.

One major benefit of cabinets with a 100% glossy finish is its ability to reflect light very efficiently. It makes any kitchen look cleaner, brighter, and more cheerful. This is especially useful for dark kitchens, and it also makes small kitchens look larger. It does not even matter what color you choose for your cabinets. Because the glossy finish on dark cabinets keeps it from absorbing ambient light. Of course, cabinets with light colors will reflect a lot lighter. But the point is you can choose dark -colored cabinets if you have a small, dark kitchen without making it look gloomy and cramped simply by choosing a glossy finish.

Another benefit of a glossy finish is it repels dirt and grime quite effectively. They just slide off with a modicum of maintenance using a soft cloth. So, they are quite easy to keep looking clean and bright.

The thing is, the reflective feature of a glossy finish might backfire if you have several strong colors in your kitchen. The cabinets can pick up the cast of these colors, altering the look of the cabinet. If you have a white cabinet, for example, and a vivid red countertop, your cabinets can look pinkish. If you keep this in mind when picking out colors for your kitchen, you should be fine.

Another drawback with a 100% glossy cabinet finish, it will easily show any fingerprints and smudges on the surface. It does wipe off quite easily, so that is not such a big deal. It does help with maintenance to pick lighter colors for your cabinets so it will not show any dirt as much.

Matte finish

kitchen cabinets with matte finish
If glossy is not your style, a matte finish might be a better fit for you. A matte finish has a softer, textured look that has little or no reflective quality. Some people find it too flat. But, it is actually a good choice if you have a rustic, country or traditional style of kitchen. These kitchen designs tend to include more ornate cabinet styles than modern or contemporary kitchens, which favors flat-paneled and sleek cabinet styles. Even then, some modern kitchen designs, especially European styles, do work well with a matte finish, as it gives cabinets a depth and character not found in glossy finishes.

The best benefit of a matte finish is it can hide blemishes and accidental marks on the surface. Such as knows, uneven tones, fingerprints, scratches, and dirt much better than a glossy finish. This is due to the absence of a reflective action on the surface. A matte finish also gives cabinets a uniform look.

However, there is no denying that a matte finish has zero impact on bringing in more light to a dark kitchen. So, if you have a small, dark kitchen, you probably want something a little more reflective. You might also find it a bit more difficult to clean. Because the surface is not completely smooth, but no biggie.

Semi-gloss finish

kitchen cabinets with semi-gloss finish
If you are on the fence between 100% glossy and matte finishes, you might want to consider a semi-gloss one. It reflects light quite well, although not as much as a 100% glossy finish. And it hides many more blemishes on the cabinet?s surface, although not as much as a matte finish. You might say that a semi-gloss finish combines the best of both worlds.


When choosing the finish for your kitchen cabinets, you might be in a bit of a quandary. Because you do not really know how it will look until after you have installed them. An experienced remodeling company can help you resolve your uncertainties, as staffers do know how they will look to an appreciable degree.

Mimosa Kitchen and Bath knows all about kitchen cabinets and remodeling in the DC metro area, Columbia, Rockville, Bethesda, Jessup, Chevy Chase and surrounding areas. You can visit our showroom in Ellicott City, Maryland. And see the many kitchen cabinets and other products we have available. This includes marble, granite and engineered quartz for your vanity tops.

We pride ourselves in our remodeling expertise. So, we sell only high-quality products manufactured by leading brands in the industry, from bathroom and kitchen cabinets, flooring, faucets and sinks, to vanities. Some of the brands we carry include Zodiaq, Fabuwood, Forevermark Cabinetry, Caesarstone, MSI, Kitchenmaid, Wolf Cabinets, Cambria and Hardware Resources. All of our products come backed with brand warranties.
When you purchase your products from us, we guarantee speedy delivery compared to ordering from big box stores. Our contractors will assemble or fabricate the product, if necessary, and install it into your kitchen or bathroom quickly and with excellent artisanship.

Contact us today to get a free quote and design consultation for your kitchen remodeling project!