Painted or Stained? That Is the Question

When planning the kitchen of their dreams, homeowners in Pittsburgh often wonder if they should select painted or stained cabinets. There is no right answer. The choice of stained or painted cabinets depends on the look and feel that a homeowner desires. Both paint and stain have pluses and minuses. The choice really depends on the style statement that you would like to make.

Paint offers a smooth surface with options for a glossy, matte or satin finish. There are unlimited color options, and paint can be applied to solid wood, plywood, and medium-density fiberboard. Paint hides the features or grain of the wood used to make a cabinet.

Unlike paint, stain allows the natural beauty of wood to shine through. While paints come in every color in the rainbow, stain options are not as plentiful. The most popular stain choices among homeowners in Pittsburgh are brown, red and gold tones. Occasionally, we specify kitchen cabinets with blue, green or grey stains.

There is a cost difference between painted and stained cabinets. Paint is typically 15% more due to a more labor-intensive application process to cover the entire surface of the cabinet to achieve a smooth, clean, consistent look.

Cabinet Cleaning & Preservation

Stained wood cabinets should be cleaned semi-annually or quarterly if you are an avid cook because wood grain tends to absorb grease and dirt. We advise our clients in Pittsburgh to clean their stained cabinets by mixing seven parts distilled vinegar with one part rubbing alcohol and a few drops of dish soap. Using a microfiber cloth, wipe down cabinets with the alcohol, vinegar, soap mixture, and then rinse with warm water. Seal the finish with furniture oil to keep your sealed wood cabinets looking like new.

Painted cabinets should be wiped down with a damp microfiber cloth weekly. If you find that the cabinets still require TLC, then use the same alcohol, dish soap and vinegar mixture and approach recommended for stained wood cabinets.

Black and white cabinets serve as repositories for fingerprints, dust, dirt, and grime. They should be wiped down weekly with a damp microfiber cloth. If you order white painted cabinets, request the showroom to provide a small container of matching white paint that you can use to repair the chips and scrapes that often occur with regular usage.

The following products and ingredients can damage cabinets so avoid using them or any product that contains them:

  • Petroleum-based products
  • Solvents
  • Bleach
  • Strong detergents and soaps
  • Nail polish remover
  • Paint thinners
  • Plastic brushes
  • Steel wool
  • Scoring pad
  • Ammonia

Is paint or stain the right choice for your new kitchen or bath? Give Marvista Kitchen & Bath a call at (412) 652-9027 or visit our showroom at 2435 Beechwood Blvd. Pittsburgh, PA 15217 (by appointment only), and let us help you select the perfect paint or stain for your new kitchen or bathroom cabinets.

“Marvista's entire team was exceptional from start to finish. Our project manager, carpenter and crew did an amazing job and were very detailed and thorough. Communication was excellent and it was clear that our satisfaction was important. Our two-year-old son and dogs thought the guys were part of our family and missed everyone once…” - Alexis M. Read More

“They built us a most beautiful custom-made kitchen. The company was very reliable and the staff were very helpful throughout.” - Avi I. Read More

“The design and construction was excellent. The team was easy to work with, and very helpful with ideas and decision support. We continue to get rave reviews when guests see the completed kitchen.” - Bryna C. Read More

“In short, our livelihood has improved dramatically as a result of our upgraded home. Marvista does a masterful job of leveraging talented individuals from many trades and training to form a wonderful team that is committed to make the customer happy.” - Scott T. Read More

“I hired Marvista to replace a bedroom ceiling, to build a new bathroom shower, and to support a section of the house, which was sagging. All of the work was performed in a professional manner, to my liking, and at the agreed upon price. I recommend the company without hesitation.” - Marc O. Read More

“Could not have asked for a smoother process and could not be happier with the end results. Marvista’s remodel of our entire first floor included new wood flooring and a complete gut and remodel of our kitchen. They work with you from design idea through actualization with so much knowledge, experience and patience and…” - Essel Read More