Matte Kitchen Cabinets : Pros & Cons
Updated: Oct 19, 2020
Matte finish for kitchen cabinets is very popular for a number of reasons.
For instance, fingerprints, scratches and other imperfections are far less noticeable than on gloss-finish doors. The cabinet finish you choose will create a very different look regardless of the material.
Advantages of matte finish on kitchen cabinets
1. It is trendy. At the moment the interest for the matt finish on kitchen cabinets is growing, and in the design of the kitchen it is bet for the surfaces of this finish, looking for the difference after years of the dominion of the shine.
2. It leaves no traces. Matt materials are more resistant to fingerprints and everyday dirt than glossy ones. Since they reflect little or no light, no imperfections can be seen at first glance and the fingerprints are not marked. Something that does happen with some satin or high gloss. However, as we have already mentioned before, gloss finishes have smoother surface and are easier to clean.
3. Soft to the touch. If one thing is certain, it is that with a matte kitchen we are going to get a pleasant touch and warmth that other finishes don`t have.
4. Elegance. With a matte color we get a unique elegance, a matte kitchen says that the person who lives in that house is careful in details.
5. Not all are the same. As it is also the case with glossy finishes, not all matte surfaces are the same. There are different nanotech materials, laminates, and lacquers, with texture, satin, soft-touch, super matte, and anti-fingerprint finishes.
Kitchen cabinets in matt finish, do not reflect light or reflect little, and one of the benefits is that the fingerprints are less noticeable, than on the high gloss finishes. They are very practical for the day-to-day usage.
They offer us a variety of sophisticated, modern and elegant designs. You can find them in different materials, laminates, lacquers and glass doors in matte colors, with an exceptional quality.
Materials for Matte Kitchen Cabinets
One of the most popular materials for matte kitchens is laminate. It is laminated onto particle core or MDF core boards (depending on the application - MDF core is better for doors and particle core for cabinets). For modern kitchens I use Italian laminate called Fenix NTM - extremely durable material with perfect supper matte finish. It reflects little of no light and anti-fingerprit - means less cleaning. As a bonus Fenix is also a soft-touch material and it comes in many colors.
With the infusion of nanotechnology, FENIX Laminates are highly resistant to scratches, abrasion, dry heat, acid-based solvents and household reagents. Thermal healing of superficial micro-scratches is also possible. The material offers unique characteristics and solutions not found with any other surface on the market today.
One of the incredible things about FENIX is that it is made up of nanoparticles that have the ability to renew themselves. The unique composition of FENIX allows for scratches to be thermally healed easily, and quickly, It is suitable for both vertical and horizontal use which mean it not only great for doors and panels but also for countertops!
Because its a Laminate, cabinet doors consist of 2 parts:
1. Surface which is a laminate
2. The edge, which could be: Laminate or Edgetape
On the picture - there is matching ABC edgetape applied by a laser edgebander (AirTech) and as you can see it looks perfect - no seams, no glue, just nice and smooth finish.
Another option for the edge is too use solid wood strips as edgetape
It gives a lot of different design options, for example, you can use walnut edgetape with white FENIX, which looks very unique.
The surface of matte kitchen cabinets either do not reflect the light or reflects it very little, especially supermatte nanotech materials with anti-fingerprint treatment, superior scratch-resistance and the reparability of micro-scratches, that turn the kitchen into a very practical place.
Another material with matt finish is matte lacquer (or paint). For a matte kitchen there are 2 types of paint that I use: Its polyurethane and acrylic 2-componet lacquers designed specifically for finishing kitchen cabinetry and millwork.
Polyurethane paint has the lowest sheen on 10% (it reflects back 10% of the light)
For Acrylic paint the lowest sheen is 2%, which is significantly lower than that of poly lacquers. But there is but - Polyurethane paint has a more silky feel and many people prefer it over acrylic paints which don't feel that smooth. Acrylic paints (don't mistake acrylic paint with acrylic laminates - its completely different animal) on the other hand are more scratch resistant but the difference is minor - if you scratch a painted door with a knife you will get the same results regardless its acrylic or polyurethane paint.
Another tremendous benefit of using these paints is that they are completely formalndehy-free (read my rent blof-posy about formaldehyde-free kitchen cabinets)
When choosing a kitchen cabinets you can also choose between matte or satin surfaces for countertops.
Caesarstone or Cambria, with many available colors, natural stone, and glass. The interest for the matte finish is growing: this type of countertops are more discreet, as the light does not reflect the imperfections and the marks are visible , the touch is very pleasant and warm. Here are some examples of quartz countertops.
Matte kitchen cabinets usually look more consistent, like a one solid surface due to the low light reflectivity.
There is no reflection of light to make some of the doors look brighter or darker than others. On the kitchen cabinets it gives a simple and opaque appearance, which gives prominence to the other decorative elements. If applied with traditional tools, it conceals the marks of brushstrokes and the texture of the roller, achieving a smooth surface, without scratches or visible marks.
Matte finishes in your kitchen furniture reflect little or no light, so that imperfections are not visible to the naked eye and also not mark the prints as in glossy or satin finishes. If you do not want worries, of daily maintenance of your kitchen furniture, this type of matt finish is a solution and very good alternative when it comes to the final decision, of the furniture.
Disadvantages of the matte finish on kitchen cabinets
Matt finish surfaces absorbs light instead of reflecting it. This gives in a more opaque look. You should also bear in mind that, because matt-finish cabinets doors don’t reflect any light, they won’t help to make your space feel any bigger, if that’s what your goal. Might not be a good Idea for a small U-shape condo kitchen. Check high gloss finishes here. Also some more info about modern cabinets here. Pulls vs knobs.