Choose flat matt or shiny gloss? Let me tell you (Part II)

We have introduced gloss finish last chapter and now let us talk about matt finsh.

We have introduced gloss finish last chapter and now let us talk about matt finsh.

What is a matt finish?

Matt finish cabinets don’t reflect any light at all and look more flat than a gloss finish does. Matt finish is the perfect choice for more traditional-style or country-style kitchen cabinets that have routed fronts – gloss is too shiny and modern-looking for these styles of kitchens.

A matt finish also looks just as good on contemporary-style flat cabinet fronts as it does on more traditional-style fronts, and appears to be growing in popularity. In fact, in Europe, matt finish cabinet fronts are now more popular than gloss.

Advantages of matt

The main advantage of matt-finish cabinet fronts is the fact that fingerprints, scratches and other imperfections are far less noticeable than on gloss-finish fronts.

This doesn’t mean that there are no fingerprints or marks that show, it just means that you don’t see them as much due to the lack of light reflecting on the surface.

The colour of matt-finish cabinets can look more consistent than gloss ones. This is because there is no reflection of light to make some areas of the cabinet fronts look brighter or darker than others. Notice how the colours in the kitchen pictured here look far more consistent than those in the red and black gloss kitchen above.

Disadvantages of matt

A surface with a matt finish absorbs light as opposed to reflecting it. This results in a more muted look. You should also note that, because matt-finish cabinet fronts don’t reflect any light, they won’t help to make your space feel any bigger, if that’s what you are trying to achieve.

Matt finish cabinet fronts are not quite as easy to clean as gloss cabinets are, because the matt surface isn’t as smooth. Even so, they are not difficult to clean. Again, use a microfibre cloth, which won’t ever scratch your cabinets.

Top tips for matt

If you love the appearance of matt-finish cabinets, but are concerned that the whole look might be a bit too flat and boring, then consider two ideas.

The first is to select a door that has a simple routed profile in it, such as the shaker-style kitchen pictured here. The profile will cast different shadows on the cabinet fronts creating a feeling of depth and interest.

The second idea is to mix two different colours together to create a contrast and a point of interest.


What finish did you choose for your kitchen cabinet fronts and were you happy with your choice? Tell us about it in the Comments.


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