As the age-old saying goes, home is where the heart is, and at the heart of every home is a stunning kitchen. It’s the first place you go in the morning to get breakfast and prepare for the day ahead. The kitchen is where meals are prepared and where everyone gathers after a busy day to spend time with their family and discuss the day’s events.
And because so much time is spent in the kitchen, it’s important to get every last detail of the design just right, including the finish. But when it comes to choosing the finish for your kitchen, there are so many options; it can quickly become a confusing and time-consuming chore.
Well, rest assured because this guide will walk you through everything you need to know about matt kitchen finishes, meaning you will be able to make the right choice for your kitchen.
What is “Matt Finish”?
The best way to describe a matt finish is first to describe its opposite — a gloss finish. Most people are probably familiar with the more popular glossy kitchen finish, which is very shiny, highly polished, and reflects a lot of light. Think of the opposite, and you have a matt finish.
Matt surfaces are rough and covered in millions of tiny, uneven bumps. When light hits a matt surface, it bounces off in many directions, meaning less light is reflected into your eye, and the surface appears dull.
That doesn’t mean matt finishes are dark and dingy, though. While matt finishes are indeed duller than their glossy counterparts, there is a huge range of matt colours, and choosing a nice bright colour — like a white or yellow — will still give you a lovely bright kitchen.
Let’s recap. Kitchens come in a range of colours, and a matt finish is just a duller version of the glossy equivalent; pretty simple.
There are actually four different types of matt finish. But don’t worry, all is explained below.
The Four Types of Matt Finish
Your kitchen style will depend on exactly what type of matt finish you decide to go for. Here, we’ll briefly set out the four main types of matt finish before moving on to the pros and cons of matt finishes.
First up, we have a vinyl matt finish. This is when the wooden core of the kitchen unit is covered in a layer of synthetic resin. This is often a more affordable option in the short term, though the tendency of vinyl matt surfaces to “delaminate” — when the resin peels away from the wood underneath — may mean you are forced to replace your kitchen sooner than you’d like.
Matt Lacquer Finish
Lacquer is a product painted onto wooden surfaces, which then dries in a curing process, resulting in an extremely hard-wearing and durable finish. While typically more expensive than vinyl matt, you’ll get a lovely even finish if you opt for matt lacquer.
This type of kitchen finish is great because it is relatively cheap, very durable, and is extremely resistant to delamination. For this reason, this option is attractive for those looking to renovate their kitchen for the long-term. The downside to matt laminate is that the surface could be a little smoother.
Silk Matt Laminate
If you want all the positives of matt laminate without the downside of a slightly rough finish, then a silk matt laminate is the option for you. The best part is you can upgrade to a silk matt laminate for a modest price increase, which will give you a glorious smooth finish due to the premium quality laminate, which is used. Again, this is a durable option that will last a long time.
The Pros of a Matt Finish
Matt finishes are great for many reasons. For one, it’s harder to see any marks, such as fingerprints or scratches, which may be especially good for those with young children.
Due to matt finishes' more muted effect, you will also enjoy a fantastic colour consistency, giving a solid, even, and impressive look to your kitchen.
Not only that, but a well-done matt kitchen finish oozes sophistication and style.
Finally, as it reflects less light, a matt finish can allow you to tone down a very bright kitchen area.
The Cons of a Matt Finish
However, following on from that last point, if you want to maximise your kitchen area's light, perhaps a matt finish is not for you. This is particularly important to think about if you have a small kitchen, where a dull look can make the room feel even smaller.
If you choose a rough matt finish, it may be harder to clean than a smoother matt finish or, indeed, a glossy finish. For this reason, if you choose a rougher matt finish, this may work well in a Shaker kitchen, a style known for its smooth surfaces and simple design, making them a lot easier to clean.
The Final Say
As you can see, there aren’t too many downsides to choosing a matt finish for your kitchen. You must pick the right type of matt finish to suit your unique requirements and style.
If you’re doing up your small, city-centre apartment, which has a kitchen with hardly any light, it makes very little sense to opt for a dull matt finish in navy blue, as this will make the space seem tiny. However, the same kitchen style may work wonders for an old converted barn house with a huge kitchen.
Seemingly insignificant issues, such as the exact style of kitchen cabinet doors, can make a big difference to whether a matt finish is right for your kitchen, so it pays to do your research and plan well!