Kitchen Cabinets...paint or stained wood

Capegirl05June 24, 2011

I am a newbie here, but I must confess, I have been lurking and I have learned soooo much from you guys! We are building a house and I am really needing to make this decision, and so far, it has by far been the toughest one...do I have the kitchen cabinets painted (creamy white) OR have the wood stained. Here are the factors that I have to consider:

1. I love the look of painted cabinets in a kitchen...

2. We have a small dog that will try to jump up if we leave food out...he IS getting older and less agile, but it is an issue...

3. Our cabinets will be painted on-site (not in a warehouse with the catalytic baking....technique...that is not in our budget, unfortunately)

4. Painted cabinets are cheaper...but the "new look" might not last as long as with wood stain.

5. We will have real hardwood floors in the kitchen, so having stained cabinets may be too much wood...

6. Even though I REALLY WANT painted kitchen cabinets, I don't want to hear/sense/feel "I told ya so" from DH...and at the same time, I don't want to wish to myself, "Man, I wish I would have painted these cabinets..."

See my dilema? We will live in this house for a very very long time, probably forever so this is what is keeping me up at night. Help! What have you all done and what has worked???

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Fori is not pleased

Painted on site? That means you can touch up on site. Get a popular white color, like the ones the major paint stores have been keeping in stock forever so you'll be able to get more easily, and don't worry about it.

If you replace your small dog with a big one who does the same thing, you'll like that you can fill and paint those gouges!

So, for you, nothing says stained has an advantage over paint. Paint 'em.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2011 at 7:16PM
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caryscott

I like the look of painted finishes as well but in my experience single registration finishes are not terribly forgiving in a kitchen. The attraction of site finishing is embracing being able to see the the work in them. One of the first mags I bought had a kitchen where they homeowners bough the cabinetry unfinished and had it brush painted in oil because they didn't want the seamless quality of a factory finish. Still one of my favourite kitchens of all time.

My advice would be stained lowers and painted uppers - if you have full height cabinetry like a pantry or around the fridge paint that cabinetry as well. Lots of great kitchens are mixing paint and stain side by side as well. Depending on your floor,matching cabinetry to floors can be a good look but you might need some contrast elsewhere to make it work.

If you love paint you can always touch it up pretty easily if it is site finished. If you want a paint you may need to have it to not to regret compromising. I know I wouldn't do it because I had it once and it was a pain. Best thing might be to just go for it but just know there could be some middle ground.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2011 at 7:17PM
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ellendi

Looking at item 3: Since you can't get the durable painted finish, as much as you would like painted, wood stain might suit your life style. (Dog jumping up and scratching your cabinets.)
Item 4: (My painted cabinets were more expensive than stained so I am surprised about this.)The "new look" might not last as long. This might be a valid point. But in ten years, all our kitchen will look dated anyway.
Item 5: It is suggested to get a two shade difference between the floor and the cabinets. (Some one here called it looking like a cigar box when the woods match too closely.)So, no, not too much wood.
Item 6:You really want painted. Can you test a sample and see how badly it scratches? It would seem a shame to have to order a kitchen that you will have for many years around your dog. (And trust me I understand, no one could love their dog more than I did mine!)
Good luck!

    Bookmark   June 24, 2011 at 7:24PM
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phoggie

Question about painted cabinets being cheaper. When I priced cabinets, I was told there was a 18% UPCHARGE for the painted over stained.

Has anyone else had this experience when pricing cabinets?
Thanks

    Bookmark   June 24, 2011 at 8:49PM
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caryscott

Depends on the company. Yes painted finishes are more expensive but if you can downgrade to a paint grade wood for the doors it can even out. A lot of companies charge like they are using the same door (with the same quality of wood) for a stained stained finish with a painted finish.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2011 at 9:42PM
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Happyladi

It sounds like you really want painted so that's what you should get. Would it be possible to have some touch up paint? Stained cabinets can get scratches, too.

As for painted cabinets going out of style, I think it's more likely the other way around. White cabinets are very classic and I don't think date easily while what wood finish is popular at anytime varies a lot. I know my mom's white kitchen cabinets from 1994 look completely current while the oak cabinets at the neighbor's house don't.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2011 at 10:25PM
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dianalo

If you truly are stuck, you can get stained and use them for years and then paint them when your dog is not jumping up any more or if you want a change of pace. You cannot go in the other direction later on.
#6 hits home for me, lol....

    Bookmark   June 24, 2011 at 11:13PM
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doraville

I would go with either caryscott's suggestion or dianalo's suggestion. I actually decided on stained thinking that I could always paint them later.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2011 at 5:25PM
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