Advice needed, please! Kitchen cabinet interior stain?

Jacki_123October 7, 2012

My husband just finished building our kitchen cabinets (Eastern white maple) and we've taken them to a professional finisher to be stained/finished. (BTW: they're beautiful!) The finisher asked whether we wanted the interior stained or just clear coated. When I asked what the difference was, he said the little nicks that inevitably will happen over time will be more noticeable in a stained surface vs. the clear coat. (He also mentioned price, but I'm more concerned with doing things right vs. the couple hundred dollars difference in price.)

The only time I've seen just the exteriors stained and the interiors clear coated were cabinets at the "big box" stores. I thought they didn't look quite right, but now that the professional has suggested it, I'm wondering if just clear coating the interiors is really an option we should consider..? Would someone have some advice for us? Thanks so very much!

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Unless the cabinet doors are glass and the interiors visible, the clear coat should be perfectly adequate to protect the cabinets.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 4:31PM
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I would go with clear coat.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 5:07PM
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My cabs are painted on the outside and clear coated on the inside. Very happy with it and would do the same even if I had stained cabs.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 5:10PM
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Rachiele, LLC

A medium or dark stain on the interior of a cabinet makes it dark inside - harder to see things. That is why the bulk of the manufacturers do not stain the interior of their cabinets. The one exception is when there is a glass door or an open shelf cabinet. In that case, the cabinetry is generally stained. Hope that helps! Dino

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 6:45PM
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Our cabs have clear coated maple interiors, exteriors, doors, and drawer fronts are lightly stained cherry.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 9:57PM
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Thank you all! Very helpful - especially thinking about the darkness and ease in seeing items in the cabinets! BTW: the advice from everyone on the GardenWeb site is The Best! So great to "talk" with lots of people before making these decisions! Thanks, again!

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 9:18AM
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I also vote clear coat. Our kitchen cabs are dark outside and clear coated maple on the inside. Our dining room cabs (10 ft from the kitchen ones, essentially same room)have glass doors and are finished with the dark stain inside as well. This is great for cabs being used as china cabinets, but not what I'd want for the place I keep the olive oil and the cake pans.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 9:37AM
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