With so much to think about in a new kitchen project, have you considered your kitchen paint finishes too? Paint finishes can make or break a kitchen style. Check out these pros and cons to help make light work of the decision ahead of you. 

 Whether you are working on a new kitchen or a renovated rescue, kitchen paint finishes are almost as important as the kitchen layout itself. As the final touch, paint finishes can change the entire look of a kitchen. This article breaks down some pros and cons of available paint finishes, and tips for getting the most out of them. 

 So, lets kick off with which paint finishes are readily available. 


Paint Finishes – What is Available? 

 When considering the overall look of your finished kitchen, there are a range of paint finishes that you can choose from. And the biggest decision you will generally have to make is whether to go with gloss, matt or something that sits nicely in between.  


High Gloss Paint Finish 

This is a paint finish that gels perfectly with flat, smooth-look kitchen cabinets. And coinciding with the sleek-look, high gloss paint finishes, or ultra-high gloss as it can also be referred to, are very popular in contemporary-style kitchens. 


Pros of High Gloss Paint Finishes 


#1 Spaciousness 

A kitchen done with a high gloss paint finish has a sleek alure which bounces the light off the cabinetry. And this is especially beneficial in smaller kitchens, as the play on light can help to make the kitchen area appear more spacious. This also helps if you opt for darker colour cabinetry, as the darker shade won’t absorb the light from your kitchen. 

#2 Cleaning 

Being a slick paint finish, glossy cabinetry is generally quite simple to keep clean. Any dust that is collected, or grubby marks like hand prints, can be wiped over with a non-scratch cloth. Microfibre works wonders for collecting dust particles. 

#3 Appeal 

When maintained properly, gloss kitchen paint finishes appear very clean and crisp. The play on light means that your kitchen looks open and inviting. 


Cons of High Gloss Paint Finishes 


#1 Bumps and marks 

Through their sheen and ability to reflect plenty of light, gloss paint finishes have a tendency to show up any fingerprints, dust or greasy marks easily. Scratches are also highly visible on gloss paint finishes. 

#2 Cleaning 

If you have children about the house, you might want to consider the time you have available to keep this paint finish looking sparkling. Although very easy to do – can you fit regular cleaning into your schedule to maintain the shiny, sleek appeal? 


Design Hacks for High Gloss Paint Finishes 

If regular cleaning is too daunting and the possibility of fingerprints and incidental scratches seems high in your household, but you still love what this option offers, you could think about using gloss paint finish on your upper cabinets only. Light reflection is typically more apparent on cabinetry that is higher up (because of eye level). So, you can enjoy glossy benefits above the benchtop level and leave a more family-friendly option below. 


Matt Paint Finish 

Matt paint finishes are a great option for more traditional-style kitchens such as rustic, farmhouse or country kitchens, or Hamptons-style kitchens and French Provincial, which have carved or detailed cabinetry.  


Pros of Matt Paint Finishes 


#1 Cleaning 

The top advantage of a matt paint finish is that bump marks and bruises don’t appear as obvious as they do on higher gloss finishes. This is especially great for kitchens that have small children about or those that experience high traffic. 

#2 Appeal 

Matt paint finishes can appear more ‘consistent’ than their glossy counterparts due to the reduced reflection of light, which can bounce other colours around the room. Matt paint finishes also look great on any type of kitchen cabinetry; carved or flat and you don’t have to worry about having too much detail. 


Cons of Matt Paint Finishes 


#1 Toned down 

Rather than reflecting it, matt paint finishes absorb the light. This means that colours look a little more toned down compared to glossy finishes. The lack of reflection also has no extra advantage for small kitchen spaces. 

#2 Cleaning 

Matt paint finishes are not as quick to simply wipe over and they often require a little more elbow grease to keep clean. Depending on the material or surface that is being painted, this can result in a smooth or slightly textured finish. Smooth is generally a little easier to clean but may not be the ideal aesthetic that you are trying to achieve. Be sure to carefully consider suitability for your needs when selecting which paint finish is best for you. 


Design Hacks for Matt Paint Finishes 

If you really like the appeal of a matt paint finish but want to add something a little more playful into the mix, you could introduce some character through carved cabinetry, like those which are famous in Shaker-style kitchens. This style of cabinetry is charismatic and adds depth to a usually flat profile. Alternatively, instead of selecting one paint finish colour, use a contrasting colour as a highlight for specific cabinets – perhaps the pantry or overhead? 


Semi-Gloss Paint Finish 

Now for the in-betweener; semi-gloss. For those that don’t quite love what either of the above have to offer, this paint finish may just be the perfect solution. 


Pros and Cons of Semi-Gloss Paint Finishes in a Wrap 

Semi-gloss paint finishes offer some of the reflective qualities of gloss. But being that it is a “semi-gloss” only, this paint finish generally does not show up any dirt and grease marks as easily. Semi-gloss paint finishes are just as easy to clean as a high gloss paint finish too. 

Because the reflective quality is not as great as high gloss, you will only receive partial benefit for the play on light (still not as good for smaller kitchens if you are using high gloss for this benefit). However, the colour in your kitchen may be more consistent, as reflections from nearby objects are lesser making cabinets more streamlined in appearance. 

If gloss is too shiny and matt is too dull, a semi-gloss paint finish is a great option that pulls the best from both.  

The expert paint team at Highlands Hand Painting have many years of experience painting and advising on the best paint finishes and solutions for each individual kitchen design and project. Phone us on 1300 662 112, submit an online enquiry, or visit us at 12 Graham Hill Road Narellan NSW to discuss your custom, hand-painted, kitchen project requirements.