Which Gloss Finish to choose for Kitchen Cabinets

A gloss finish is smooth which reflects the light in the area at different angles, making it a favorite finish often chosen, especially for modern kitchen styles having flat cabinet fronts. They are ideal for small spaces since they reflect light and are great at making limited spaces look bigger. Gloss finish can be easily distinguished on various aspects such as:

  1. Reflection of the finish: how well an image is reflected from the surface

  2. Brightness of the finish: how much light appears to shine from the surface

  3. Quality of waves/ orange peel effect: how is the reflection bending over the larger surface when you move or number of bends of an image on the surface. A good glossy finish cabinet does not have many bends.

  4. Indents or inconsistency in the finish: some spots on the surface where the reflection is not good. Reflection should be uniform if not so then there must be some quality issue

  5. Scratch Resistance: sometimes all other mention points of the finish are good but it's not scratch proof then we have to check our functionality over aesthetics to choose a finish.

Overall, gloss finishes are very durable, but to fully understand what is best for your kitchen, here is a breakdown of different gloss finish material available in the market:

1.Gloss Laminate Finish:

This material is made by pressing together thin layers of flat paper and plastic resins, the upper layer is printed with a decorative pattern or color. In other words, the laminates used in kitchen cabinets are pressed in factories under high pressure using automated machinery.

These are not very reflective and bright compared to other finishes but they are highly resistant to scratches. There are some indents and waves on the surface which means it has some deformity maybe because of the wood on which the sheet is pasted onto.

2. Acrylic Finish

A type of finish similar to lacquer, acrylic finish for kitchen cabinets is a non-toxic, reflective high-gloss finish which can give cabinets a perfectly smooth appearance. It is available in a wide range of colors and gives a glossy sheen to your kitchen cabinets. They come in two ranges: 1. Gloss mister/ UV finish acrylic board and 2. High gloss acrylic finish.

The main difference between the two is reflection and brightness. High gloss acrylic finish is more reflective and bright as compared to UV finish acrylic board. Both of them are more reflective than laminate finish. They are not very scratch resistant compared to laminate finish.

These have no indents but have some waves but still high gloss acrylic is superior compared to UV finish acrylic.

  1. PU Paint Finish

This finish is made by putting 14 coats of paint on HDHMR, MDF or HDF boards. The brightness comes from the polish that is used to lock in the paint and give it a smooth finish. Many of the architects and interior designers are attracted to this finish because it gives the entire shutter an edgeless look. But the scratch resistance of this finish is very low and hence not recommended to be used as kitchen shutters. Out of all the finishes discussed, the brightness of this finish is the highest.

Though its reflectiveness is almost mirror-like there are still some dents and waves that are visible on a large surface. PU is a highly customized finish because almost any color can be created. But because of this very reason that this is a luxury finish and a little expensive.

  1. Lacquered Glass

The last finish that we will discuss is back painted glass or better known as Lacquered glass. This is one of the best gloss finishes available in the market because its brightness and reflection are impeccable. This gives the shutter a very smooth and luxurious look. There are no waves or indents in the finish because it is glass. One needs to ensure that the lacquered glass is of a good quality otherwise sometimes the brush strokes can be seen when the box is lit from the inside. The few disadvantages of this finish are in terms of durability.

Since it is glass it is susceptible to scratches and is a little fragile. If the edges ever get damaged you will be left with sharp edges that can injure someone. Hence we recommend that this finish should only be taken in a few shutters on the wall units in a rough and heavily used area such as the kitchen.

When you are selecting any of these finishes for your kitchen or your home please do keep in mind the activities that would be done there. The function of the room will play a huge role in helping you make the right decision. For example you have an occasionally used crockery unit in your kitchen. You can definitely take one of the luxurious finishes like the lacquered glass or PU paint. But not for the cooking or washing area. We hope that this has helped you get enough information to make an informed decision. If you have any questions please feel free to reach us