Finish often dictates the look, feel and performance of kitchen cabinets. Paint and stain are the two types of finishes applied to almost every cabinet. They are substantially different and offer unique bites of the apple. Which is better? There is no better per se. Selecting paint versus stain is a matter of personal preference.

Homeowners that prefer a sleeker finish, with clean lines and a smooth service like paint. Another advantage of paint is that it offers a much broader range of color options. There are not a lot, if any, stains that can provide the same look as blue, gray, yellow, red, teal or other colored paints.

A significant difference in paint and stain is how it reacts to a wood surface. Paint covers the wood, whereas stain soaks into a wood surface, and this makes paint more flexible and more customizable. 

Paint is also more resistant to water and shows less dust but more dirt than stained counterparts. Painted cabinets tend to cover the natural grain of a cabinet and in doing so can also hide imperfections and knots in the wood. Another consideration when selecting paint is that it can be, at times more difficult to touch up if nicked.

Homeowners are drawn to stain because it allows the natural character and grain of the wood to shine through. That also makes it easier to touch up if scratched or nicked. On the other side of the spectrum, stain also shows imperfections and knots in the wood. 

Paint is typically selected by homeowners who want a more modern, contemporary look. Stain is a go-to option for those looking for a more traditional or transitional look. Stain shows more dust but hides more dirt and is easier to clean. 

Which finish would work best in your dream kitchen? We have numerous door samples in our showroom that illustrate the options available to you. Visit the Country Cabinets, etc. showroom at 95 East Conway Road in Center Conway, call (603) 356-5766, email or go to

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.