While you may love the look of matte cabinets and countertops for your kitchen, there are some issues to consider. Yes, it may look incredible—it is a very trendy style these days—but it may take a lot more than just routine maintenance to keep it that way.
Fingerprints are a significant concern with matte finishes. It doesn’t take much for the finish to get marked up. The oil on your skin transfers instantly, and even the lightest touch can make a matte finish look messy.
Of course, it cleans up well; the marks are not going to be there forever. It’s sealed and protected, just like everything else in your kitchen. However, beyond that, there probably aren’t too many “pros” to a matte finish, other than the fact that it does look pretty cool.
On the plus side, matte countertops and cabinets are very modern-looking and quite elegant, but you’ll spend a lot more time keeping it that way.
Is A Matte Finish Right For Your Kitchen?
If you prefer a kitchen that is easy to maintain, then we would say that a matte finish is probably not the way you’d want to go.
If you have a large kitchen or an open-concept floorplan, a matte finish will provide a textural element that is truly stunning. It’s an elegant, sophisticated look, but again, it requires some extra TLC to keep it looking great.
Hard To Hide Imperfections
A matte finish is very unforgiving. It’s the first to show smudges, stains, chips, or damage, so it doesn’t do a good job of concealing imperfections.
Harder To Clean
Most of the time, a standard cabinet is just going to have a furniture-style finish. It’s not super shiny, it’s not lacquered, but it’s also not completely dull and flat. Some of the appeal for this type of surface is the cleanability of it. Knowing that you have a top coat on it means that you can wipe it off easily if you get a spill or splash.
On the other hand, if you scratch or mar your matte surfaces, they may be more difficult to clean – and you will definitely be cleaning them much more often. If you want to avoid scratching your matte surfaces, clean them with a microfiber cloth.
Another “con” to matte cabinets is that they don’t reflect light, they diffuse it. This could make your kitchen look darker overall, especially if you don’t have a lot of natural light to begin with. Because of this, smaller kitchens may not be the ideal canvas for matte finishes as it would tend to make the room look more closed-in. If you have a small kitchen, choosing finishes that reflect light, rather than absorb it, may be more appropriate.
An Unfinished Look
Sometimes, when your cabinet is too dull, it doesn’t look finished. It looks like you’ve spray-painted it, like primer on a car. You don’t want the paint to be totally flat and matte because it will give you an unfinished, chalky, drywall kind of look and feel.
When we’re looking at countertops, especially marble or other types of natural stone, it will be honed, which gives more of a matte finish. Today, a lot of the quartz companies will do a leather or a honed or a matte finish too, simply to make it look more like siltstone or marble, which is kind of cool.
When the countertops are a lighter color, it’s easier to get away with. When it’s dark, that’s where it seems to make a huge difference.
With dark countertops, even when they are shiny, you have to be careful because you will see every fingerprint, every water ring, every speck on it. Because it is so shiny, it becomes like a mirror. Everything is super-noticeable on it. Some people may think that choosing a black countertop will help hide some of this stuff, but it doesn’t.
The Matte Trend: Here To Stay?
We definitely have more customers asking for matte finish these days, much more so than a few years ago. It is on-trend, but it’s not for everybody.
Fortunately, if you have your heart set on matte countertops, Cambria makes all of their colors in a matte finish now, so there are a lot of choices – that is, if you are okay with spending a bit more.
Are you thinking about matte countertops and cabinets for your St. Louis kitchen? Give us a call and let’s talk about it – we’d love to help you choose something that you will love for years to come.
Brittany received her interior design degree in 2010 and recently earned her kitchen and bathroom certifications. She sees her job as much more than just picking out pretty colors and materials – it also involves exact measurements, plenty of planning, and determining how to have a space accurately reflect the lifestyle of its occupants.