Painted cabinets, also referred to as cabinets with a painted finish, are all the rage with homeowners and trade professionals, and here’s why.
The Difference Between Painted and Stained Cabinets
According to Haley Kieser, who works in partnership with WOW 1 Day Painting, “Paint provides a clean, uniform look; stain shows off a cabinet’s unique wood grain.”
The advantages of paint over stain are primarily aesthetic, according to Stephanie Pierce, Director of Design and Trends for MasterBrand Cabinets, Inc. “Functionally, the differences between paint and stain, if any, are minimal,” she says. “The top coat is where durability and performance characteristics come into play.” For MasterBrand, that important feature is the same for both paint and stain finishes.
However, painted cabinets do provide the benefit of consistency and versatility. Kieser explains that the downside to staining, which can be used only on natural wood cabinets, can look different from one cabinet to another. Such is not the case for cabinets with a painted finish.
Painted Cabinet Color Trends
Kieser finds that, “moving into 2019, people are choosing cabinet paints that give a soft, clean touch.”
As with any paint decision, colors are truly a personal choice. Homeowners and trade pros are opting for subtle grays, light yellows, and soft greens on one end of the spectrum, and navy, black, and emerald green on the other.
Pierce says that white, off-white, and gray finishes are likely to remain the top three cabinet color choices for a while, according to the 2019 MasterBrand trends survey.
“Bright white and off-white with just a slight warmth, in addition to a variety of gray tones, are among the most popular colors,” says Pierce. “All of these are expected to remain classic colors that will be staples in the line, as accents or stand-alone fixtures.”
Painted cabinets brighten up a space and add cheer and sophistication to a kitchen, but there’s still a place for stained cabinetry. “Our 2019 MasterBrand trends survey tells us that 59 percent of designers are mixing paints with stains in the kitchen,” says Pierce, “so warm wood tones are not completely out of the mix.”
Pierce says many designers and homeowners prefer paint for its neutral color and tonal consistencies. “It is seen as creating a blank canvas for other finishes within the kitchen to stand out against. And while whites, off-whites, and grays remain most popular, they are making way for “more wood tones and even colors like blues and greens” to come into the space.
Gray, according to Don Torrance of Paintzen, provides an opportunity to add multiple colors to the kitchen. “If you’re having trouble deciding on the best gray, consider a two-tone look,” he says. “Using a lighter gray on upper cabinets and darker gray on the lower cabinets will make ceilings appear higher!”
Choice of cabinet color(s) is not an isolated decision – it should be incorporated with the design of surrounding spaces or the overall home. The colors don’t have to match, but they should not clash.
“Painted cabinets allow personal tastes to come through, and the cabinets can match the color scheme of the rest of the house,” says Torrance.
Pierce agrees and encourages homeowners to explore the trends while embracing what works best for them. “Trendy inspiration can be found all over the internet and in print,” she says. “An all-white sterile-ishly clean design may look stunning in pictures, but if it isn’t right for your lifestyle, then you should go with what fits your home. There are countless ways to get a beautiful kitchen in any finish.”
The Future of Painted Cabinets
Those who do painted cabinets best are always on the move to do them even better. “MasterBrand’s Purestyle laminate product provides the look and feel of a paint that actually rivals or exceeds painted product standards,” says Pierce. “The benefit of paint is that it costs less but offers more core stability, so even as all wood products continue to expand or contract with changing temperatures in the home, this product never will.”
The potential to continue to innovate on this technology to offer more fashionable finishes and stay on top of changing trends is limitless.
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Gray Painted Cabinets Remain A Popular Choice in Kitchens | Photo by Homecrest
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