Matte Vs. Glossy Kitchen Cabinets: Which Finish Should You Choose?

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Key Takeaway:

  • Matte kitchen cabinets are less reflective and provide a softer appearance, making them ideal for modern or contemporary style kitchens. They are also less prone to fingerprints, smudges, and scratches.
  • Glossy kitchen cabinets are more reflective, creating a high-gloss, shiny appearance. They are great for traditional or classic style kitchens and can make a smaller space feel larger. However, they require more maintenance and can show smudges and fingerprints easily.
  • Consider the overall style, functionality, and maintenance requirements of your kitchen when choosing between matte and glossy finishes for your kitchen cabinets.

Cabinet finishes – feeling confused? Two popular options are matte and glossy. This article will help you choose! Let's explore the pros and cons. Then you can make the best kitchen decision!


Matte or glossy kitchen cabinets? It all depends on your lifestyle, material composition, personal style, and kitchen design. Different types of paint can be used to create a durable and water-resistant finish: oil-based, latex, alkyd, or hybrid enamel. For a more eco-friendly option, try waterborne alkyd. Paint finishes range from semi-gloss to eggshell to flat.

If you have kids or pets, matte is a better choice. It hides scratches and fingerprints more than gloss. Trending now are high-gloss and ultra-matte finishes, which create a mirror-gloss or elegant contemporary look. Popular cabinet types for painting are wood, wood veneer, MDF, and laminate.

Partner with skilled craftsmen and designers. Popular cabinet brands offering high-end matte and glossy finishes include Dura Supreme and Plain & Fancy. For your kitchen, choose light or dark, colorful or neutral. Showcase your cabinetry with the right hardware – handleless or traditional, shaker or vintage, country-style or textured.

Matte vs. Glossy Kitchen Cabinets – What's the Difference?

Choose between matte and glossy kitchen cabinets? Consider these factors to make the right choice for your kitchen renovation project. Matte has less light reflection, whereas glossy reflects more.

Types of Kitchen Cabinets:

Finish depends on material, like wood, wood veneer, MDF, and laminate. Gloss adds shine to acrylic, solid glass, or mirrors, but can show scratches on laminates.

Paints for Kitchen Cabinets:

Oil-based, latex, hybrid enamel, or waterborne alkyd. Gloss finish is more reflective, durable, and ideal for high-traffic areas or homes with small children. Matte looks modest and better suited to traditional-style or darker kitchens.

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs):

Glossy finishes usually have more VOCs. Hybrid enamel paint has excellent heat resistance, scratch-resistant, and low VOCs.

Application Techniques:

Paint sprayers produce more even, consistent coverage with a glossy finish. Roller or synthetic bristle brush produces a flatter finish.

Finally, decide based on personal preferences, amount of natural light, and look desired. Gloss creates colorful spaces and is easy to clean. Matte is great for modern kitchen designs. Consult a kitchen designer before making decisions.

Matte Vs. Glossy Kitchen Cabinets: Which Finish Should You Choose?

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Characteristics and Benefits of Matte Kitchen Cabinets

When it comes to kitchen cabinets, matte finishes are gaining in popularity. They have a flat finish that reflects little light. You can opt for wood, wood veneer, MDF, and laminate cabinets with a matte acrylic finish laminates for a glossy effect without the glare. Plus, matte cabinets are less likely to show scratches, making them better for families with kids.

Plus, there's plenty of colors to choose from. Matte cabinets also work great as a backdrop for other kitchen features. Plus, they usually cost less than glossy ones.

When it comes to painting, you can use oil-based paint, latex paint, alkyd paint, or waterborne alkyd paint. A flat finish will help maintain that matte look.

Plain & Fancy offers a range of materials and finishes, like matte kitchen cabinets with acrylic finish laminates, to create a luxurious, sophisticated design. For a dark kitchen palette or modern style, matte cabinets are the perfect choice.

Characteristics and Benefits of Matte Kitchen Cabinets-Matte vs. Glossy Kitchen Cabinets: Which Finish Should You Choose?,

Image credits: by Hillary Jones

Characteristics and Benefits of Glossy Kitchen Cabinets

Gleaming kitchen cabinets are all the rage for modern kitchens. They offer a glossy sheen to brighten up the room. Plus, they're easier to clean than matte cabinets and more scratch/fingerprint-resistant. The reflective surfaces make the most of limited natural light, so your kitchen looks fresh and bright.

Glossy cabinets are cheaper than wood or MDF cabinets. Many suppliers sell glossy kitchen cabinets in different colors and styles. One of these is Plain & Fancy. They make high-quality and durable cabinets with satin and gloss finishes that can handle everyday wear-and-tear.

Get ready to fulfill your kitchen dreams!

Factors to Consider When Choosing Between Matte and Glossy Kitchen Cabinets

Matte and glossy finishes for kitchen cabinets are both widely popular. It all depends on your personal taste and lifestyle. Here's what to consider when making a choice:

  1. Style: Matte cabinets give a subtle, subdued vibe. Glossy ones give off a slick, high-end feel.
  2. Maintenance: Glossy cabinets can easily show scratches, marks, and fingerprints. Matte is more resistant and hides flaws better.
  3. Budget: Glossy cabinets tend to be pricier. However, wood veneer cabinets are a cheaper option that can mimic quality wood.
  4. Brand: Plain & Fancy offer both matte and glossy finishes for your convenience.

Lastly, when picking cabinets, consider the overall look of your kitchen – flooring, fixtures, and all – to ensure it all gels together nicely.


Matte or glossy finishes for kitchen cabinets? Consider your style, the kitchen's overall look, and your practical needs.

Go for a modern look? Glossy cabinets will deliver a mirror-gloss effect that brightens up the space. Plus, it's easy to clean and scratch-resistant – great for homes with kids or lots of guests.

Matte has a more subtle, understated look. Great for traditional decors. It's also affordable and can easily be touched up or repaired. Wood cabinets look great with a matte finish. The texture and the finish bring out its natural beauty.

Choose the finish that suits you best. Matte or glossy? Your call.

Five Facts About Matte vs. Glossy Kitchen Cabinets:

  • ✅ Glossy cabinets provide a reflective surface that can make a kitchen look brighter and more spacious. (Source: Houzz)
  • ✅ Matte cabinets do not show fingerprints or smudges as easily as glossy cabinets. (Source: CliqStudios)
  • ✅ A matte finish can give a kitchen a more relaxed and casual feel, while a glossy finish can make it look more formal and modern. (Source: MyDomaine)
  • ✅ Glossy cabinets are easier to clean and maintain than matte cabinets. (Source: The Spruce)
  • ✅ The choice between matte and glossy finish ultimately depends on personal preference and the overall style of the kitchen. (Source: HGTV)

FAQs about Matte Vs. Glossy Kitchen Cabinets: Which Finish Should You Choose?

What is the difference between matte and glossy kitchen cabinets?

The difference between matte kitchen cabinets and glossy kitchen cabinets is that matte kitchen cabinets have a flat finish that doesn't reflect much light, while glossy kitchen cabinets, on the other hand, have a shiny finish that reflects a lot of light.

Which finish is more durable for kitchen cabinets?

The finish that is more durable for kitchen cabinets is a glossy finish, and it is generally considered more durable than a matte finish. Gloss paint is harder to scratch and stain than matte paint on kitchen cabinets, making it a more practical choice for busy kitchens.

Does the finish affect the color of the cabinets?

Yes, the finish color can affect the cabinets. A glossy finish tends to make colors look more vibrant and saturated, while a matte finish can make them appear muted or faded.

Can I mix and match matte and glossy finishes in my kitchen?

Yes, you can mix and match matte and glossy finishes in your kitchen to create a unique look. For example, you might use glossy cabinets on the upper cabinets and matte cabinets on the lower cabinets, or vice versa.

Are there any downsides to choosing glossy kitchen cabinets?

Yes, there is one potential downside to choosing glossy kitchen cabinets. They tend to show fingerprints and smudges more easily than matte cabinets. Additionally, if the cabinets are poorly made or installed, the gloss finish can highlight any imperfections.

Do I need to use a special type of paint for kitchen cabinets?

Yes, you need to use a special type of paint for kitchen cabinets. It's important to use a paint specifically formulated for kitchen cabinets. Look for paints that are labeled as “scratch resistant” or “cabinet grade” to ensure that they will hold up well over time. 

Dino Paccino

Dino Paccino

Dino is a lifelong writer and home improvement specialist. He enjoys bringing cutting-edge information on home renovation and remodeling to Kitchen Infinity.

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