If you’re looking to refinish your kitchen cabinets in Eugene, Oregon, you might be wondering which is the best option between staining and painting your kitchen cabinets. The value of your kitchen is generally determined by the final finish on your kitchen cabinets. It doesn’t matter whether you’re buying new kitchen cabinets or improving the previous ones, staining and painting are all great options, but not interchangeable in every situation.

To help you make a choice between these two, lets’ take a quick look at the pros and cons of each, and where each is best suited.

Staining kitchen cabinets


•    Showcase wood grain: Stain gives the surface a good balance between color and texture by revealing more wooden features on the surface. In contrast with paint, stain does not conceal the natural characteristic of wood. The fact that stain is thinner than paint, it easily dissolves into the surface ensuring that it maintains the natural beauty of your wood. The final results reveal admirable features such as wood grain which are clearly visible.

•    Easier to touch up: Due to the availability of colors that resembles your stain; it is easier to touch up stained surfaces. Touch-ups also produce a better color combination on stained cabinets particularly those with more grains on their surfaces.

•    Cost-effective: Cost eventually depends on several factors such as the size of the kitchen, the design of the cabinet and the manufacturer among other factors.  However, if you are remodeling your kitchen and you’re right on budget, staining might help you save on your project.

Cons• If your cabinets are made of Medium-density fiberboard, staining might not be the best option for you. Medium-density fiberboard can offer huge savings on cabinets, but it simply doesn’t take stain as well as it takes paint. Whereas paint rarely looks different on MDF exteriors, stains do. You’ll have to seek other ways to lower your cabinet cost if you’re set on stained cabinetry

Reveals wood blemishes: Stain reveals all wood blemishes such as uneven grain distribution, cracks and color variation that might be present on the wood surface. Some call this character others call it blemishes, it just depends on who you ask.

• Whereas lighter cabinets can stain and chip more easily, they tend to conceal dust. On the other hand, dark stained cabinets don’t conceal dust and require more upkeep.

Painting Cabinets


   Clean aesthetic: As opposed to staining, painted cabinet produces a sparkling artistic kitchen design. Paint gives wooden surfaces a smooth and clean finish free from visible character marks.

   More color choices: Painted surfaces appear to be more colorful than stained surfaces. Paint bonds with the wooden surface and it doesn’t disappear between the grains and knots the way a stain does. It gives you a chance to modify the general appearance of your kitchen by displaying the real color of your choice.

•    Applies better to medium-density fiberboard: Paint blends well with medium density fiberboard cabinets. Regardless of your color choice, it is not easy to tell the difference between these materials and the actual wood on which they are painted.


•    Hides the wood character: One of the main characteristics of paint is that it is thicker than stain hence it does not get absorbed by wood as a stain does. Paint conceals the wood character features of your cabinet surface. If you would like your surfaces to show wooden grains and knots, it is recommended not to go for painted cabinets.

•    Cost more than stain: Due to the process involved in applying the paint as well as the cost of tools and materials, many times painting tend to be more costly than staining.

•    Harder to touch up: Touch up your paint is more complicated compared to touching up stained surfaces. Chance are you may not know the exact color of your cabinets when buying paint. Additionally, most cabinetmakers apply paint by spraying, and this might be impossible to replicate using a touch-up kit.

After considering all the above pros and cons you will realize that choosing whether to go for stained or painted cabinets is quite easy because you now understand your favorite choice and the general appearance you want to make. As usual, you need any help with cabinet refinishing tasks, we’re always happy to help –contact us.