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Is Clear Coat Necessary for my Kitchen?

Is Clear Coat Necessary for my Kitchen?

If you are remodeling or updating your kitchen cabinets, one important decision you will have to make is what finish will you use. For your cabinet doors, they will need to be finished in some manner to protect them from damage. Paint can be a great choice, especially if you have a color in mind. If you are a person who loves a natural look, then a stain finish can be a great way to highlight the natural elements of the material. Either way, a final clear coat layer on top can be a great way to protect your hard work.

In this quick and easy guide, we will go over the benefits of using a clear coat and some things to keep in mind when selecting your clear coat.

Why Clear Coat?

Artesia cabinet door

Adding a clear coat to your kitchen cabinets can help make your space brighter and more friendly. In addition to the stunning appearance, a clear coat also works to protect your cabinets from dirt, scratching, and chipping. If you have a kitchen with lots of natural light, a clear coat finish would be a great choice. Natural light can cause paints and other finishes to fade over time. However, clear coats can be made with UV blockers that help preserve your cabinets’ colors for longer.

When applied correctly, a clear coat finish won’t leave any messy residue on your cabinet doors. It will also give your rougher surfaces and edges a nice smooth and shiny finish. In short, a clear coat offers 3 great benefits:

  1. Helps preserve your finish.
  2. Keeps the material sealed.
  3. Looks great.

Things To Keep In Mind When Buying Clear Coat

Much like buying paint, there are lots of choices when it comes to buying a clear coat. With so many options out, how can you know which to grab? Here is a quick list of things to keep in mind when picking out your clear coat.


Shaker cabinet doors

Not all finishes last the same amount of time. It is important to research your options so that you know how long before you need to reapply for your selected finish. That way your cabinets won’t take any unnecessary damage. If you have painted cabinets already, a good top coat can help keep your cabinet doors preserved.


Other than longevity, another important thing is how durable is the clear coat. How will it stand up to daily use in your kitchen? Be sure to see if the brand mentions anything about how it stands up to scrapes and scratches, or whether or not the clear coat is high abrasion-resistant. Just like changing the oil in your car, keeping your kitchen cabinets pristine is not a one-time job. The regular maintenance varies from finish to finish, so make sure you know what you need to do to keep your cabinets looking the best the longest.

Applying Clear Coat

Shaker cabinet doors

When applying a clear coat to your cabinet doors, it is important to read all of the instructions and warnings on the label. The clear coat will need to be stirred well before use, and it is a good idea to give it a stir occasionally as you are working. Most clear coat finishes can be applied with a paintbrush or soft rag. Using your brush or rag, lightly apply the finish with the grain pattern. After this first coat dries, lightly sand and clean the surface.

Once your surface is clean and dry, you are ready for your second coat. Follow the same steps as the first coat, only this time use a heavier application. If you have a high-traffic kitchen, you may want to add a third coat to ensure longevity and durability.

Final Touches

Modern Aspen thermofoil cabinet door

Whether you have painted cabinets or you want to highlight the natural  beauty of the material, a clear coat is a great choice to complete the project. Clear coat helps protect your cabinet doors and drawer fronts whether they are painted or stained.

While there are many different options, you now have a better idea of what to look for. When comparing different clear coat finishes be sure to take your specific needs into consideration. The right clear coat will help keep your kitchen cabinets protected and beautiful no matter what you throw at them.

If you are ready to start ordering or if you need assistance, please feel free to call us at 1-855-669-5222 or an email to Our well-trained sales staff can help you with everything from measuring to ordering.