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The Most Durable Finishes For Kitchen Cabinets

The Most Durable Finishes For Kitchen Cabinets

Once you've nailed down your kitchen layout, you can add a bit of personal preference and personality. Cabinet finishes come in subtle variations as well as stand-out colors, which highlight detailing. With so many options, it is easy for homeowners to get overwhelmed and to go with whatever product is put in front of them. But it would help if you remembered that finishes come at different price points and desired durability. Before you make your final decision on the perfect finish for your kitchen, we suggest ordering various cabinet door samples. In this blog post, we breakdown various types of kitchen cabinet finishes and let you know which is best and most durable for your kitchen.

What Is A “Finish”?

A finish is usually the last coat to be applied to your kitchen cabinets that refers to the sheen or shine. Not only does it add a beautiful shine to your cabinetry, but it also adds a protective layer that should be durable and long-lasting. Even though unfinished cabinets are somewhat more cost-effective, kitchen cabinets need a finish to protect them.

Semi-Gloss Finish

Wood kitchen with backsplash

Semi-gloss is typically the most common finish used, making it a popular choice for your kitchen cabinets. If you're looking for a finish that will shine and reflect light once it hits it, opt for a semi-gloss finish. As the most popular sheen, semi-gloss provides your kitchen cabinets with a nice shine that is not overbearing.

Semi-gloss finishes like polyurethane are known for their easy application and high durability. A good quality semi-gloss finish should be resistant to a wide variety of things, including heat, chemicals, scratches, water, fungus, and mildew. Additionally, a semi-gloss finish is also resistant to scratches, dents, and even smudges. If you go with polyurethane, go with the oil-based version. Oil-based polyurethane will give your cabinets a lustrous finish, deepen the wood's color, and work well with almost any wood species.

Needing three or four coats to ensure the maximum durability, semi-gloss finishes may take on a plastic-like finish, which some homeowners do not like. Even though durable, this type of finish may yellow over time. Perfect for busy kitchens as this finish is easy to maintain.

If you love the look and feel of semi-gloss kitchen cabinets but don't want to go through the effort of applying, painting, or refacing, we have the perfect solution. At CabinetNow, we offer all our customers a clear coat and painted cabinet doors with a semi-gloss finish. Order online, and we'll deliver these ready to install semi-gloss cabinets straight to your doorstep.

Gloss Finish

High gloss kitchen cabinets

Both modern and on-trend, high gloss cabinets give your kitchen a luxurious look and feel. There are various finishes that will give your kitchen cabinets this beautifully rich gloss, including the following:

  • Lacquer: Commonly found in commercial cabinets, lacquer has an intense high-gloss finish that is suitable for almost any type of wood. Smooth to the touch, lacquer is usually applied via a sprayer as it is much thinner than other finishes. To use this type of finish to your kitchen cabinets, you'll need a high-volume, low-presser (HVLP) sprayer in a room that is well ventilated. Lacquer is a quick-drying finish that will give your kitchen cabinets a beautifully rich look and feel especially with light-colored woods.
  • Shellac: Often found in older houses, shellac is one of the oldest wood finishes, with its history stretching into antiquity. If you're looking for a natural finish, shellac is a great option. It is made by combining a secretion from the female lac bug with a solvent such as alcohol. Once it is dried and hardened, it is non-toxic and safe to use within your kitchen. The high-gloss finish is easy-to-apply, dries quickly, and enhances the beauty of any natural wood.

Satin Finish

Often described as velvety, satin finishes have a mild gloss finish or soft sheen. A satin sheen is easy to care for and will show the least amount of dirt, grime, and imperfections on the face of your cabinets, compared to gloss and semi-gloss finishes. This type of finish is ideal for a busy kitchen. Unfortunately, this finish will reveal application flaws such as roller or brush strokes if not applied carefully.

Satin finishes are not only highly durable but also long-lasting, especially in busy kitchens. Although, something to note is they do not hold up as well as semi-gloss and gloss when it comes to resisting mold and mildew.

Which Finish Is The Most Durable?

Dark kitchen

There are many factors to consider when deciding on a kitchen, including how often you use your cabinets, your kitchen humidity, and your preference for the look of your kitchen. But if having kitchen cabinets that are long-lasting and durable, we'd suggest opting for a gloss finish.

At the end of the day, the finish that you choose is a personal preference. Whether you opt for a gloss, semi-gloss, or satin finish, it is about the look and feels that you want for your kitchen cabinets. But if your kitchen cabinet finish's durability is a high priority, there is no better option than a high gloss finish. If you are ready to start ordering new cabinets contact us for a free quote and design consulation!