How to choose between a matt or a gloss finish for your kitchen cabinet doors

How to choose between a matt or a gloss finish for your kitchen cabinet doors

Posted by Derek

How to choose between a matt or a gloss finish for your kitchen cabinet doors

Your kitchen cabinet doors make up a significant amount of the surface area in your kitchen. For this reason alone, you must get the colour and finish right, as this can make or break the overall look of the most important room in the house.

Perhaps your kitchen hasn’t changed in decades, needs a complete revamp, and you need help deciding on your cabinets' style.

Or, maybe you fancy modernising your kitchen, without the hassle (and cost) of replacing everything. In this case, choosing a new style and colour for your kitchen cabinets can dramatically improve your kitchen.

Whatever the reason, this guide will walk you through all you need to know about choosing the ideal kitchen cabinet design for your home. We’ll start with the most important consideration — matt or gloss finish. Then we’ll run through how the size, colour, and lighting of your kitchen are also important factors to think about when planning your kitchen cabinet doors.

Matt vrs gloss Kitchens

Matt Versus Gloss

There is a lot more to it than you might assume when it comes to matt and gloss kitchen finishes. For example, there are four different types of matt finishes and three different types of gloss finish! However, in this guide, we’re going to focus on getting your kitchen cabinet doors just right, so we’re not going to go into the nitty-gritty detail of each here.

Thankfully, we have two excellent guides that tell you all you need to know about both matt and gloss finishes, and we highly recommend reading them when you’re done here.

We are, however, going to go over the most important features of each, starting with the… 

Matt Kitchen Finish

A matt finish's key characteristic is that it has a less intense and more muted look than a gloss finish. Very, very close up, matt finishes are rough and uneven, meaning they reflect less light. The good thing about this is that it results in a nice solid, evenly distributed colour across your kitchen cabinets.

While the slightly rougher surface makes matt cabinets a little harder to clean, this is compensated because dirty marks, fingerprints, and scratches are less visible.

Another great thing about choosing matt kitchen cabinets is that they come in a genuinely huge variety of colours, so you’ll have plenty of scopes to make your kitchen unique to you and your tastes.

Gloss Kitchen Finish

In contrast to matt, the key characteristic of a gloss finish is shine! Because gloss finishes have a very smooth, polished surface, they reflect a huge amount of light, making them very shiny and bright.

The smooth surface of gloss cabinets makes them extremely easy to clean, though fingerprints, marks, and scratches will show up more easily. One thing to bear in mind is that if you choose an acrylic gloss finish, always use a non-abrasive cleaning solution.

There is also a wide range of colours to choose from for most types of glass cabinets; however, if you opt for a gloss PVC finish, you won’t pick darker colours as these show up the irregularities on the surface.

 Now that we’ve covered the basics, we’re going to explore how choosing matt or gloss relates to other key factors, including the lighting, colour, and size of your kitchen.


In most cases, you want to maximise your kitchen looks and feels, and lighting can play a big part in this.

For example, if you have a dark kitchen that does not enjoy a lot of natural sunlight, the best bet for you would be to go for a gloss kitchen. If you go for a nice bright colour, like white, cream or yellow, along with some creatively placed lighting, this will make space seem a lot bigger.

Alternatively, perhaps you have a very bright kitchen with lots of light, in which case many gloss cabinets may be too bright, and a matt finish will give you a sophisticated and timeless look.


Choosing the colour of your kitchen cabinets is a very personal choice, allowing you to express yourself in a room you’ll spend so much time with friends and family in. So, it’s important to hear some key bits of advice.

  • Take your time — This may be obvious, but you’re going to be stuck with your colour scheme for many years, so it pays to take a step back and plan your kitchen colour scheme down to the last detail.
  • Play it safe — It’s tempting to go for a bold, bright red colour scheme, and don’t get us wrong, it works amazingly well in many kitchens. But sometimes, it can be like an impulsive tattoo, and you regret it six months down the line. Neutral tones, such as white, beige, ivory or grey, are a great option and work particularly well in the simple shaker style kitchen. This still allows you to add splashes of bold colour throughout, using your kitchen appliances, artwork, blinds, and furniture.
  • Pick a theme — Another obvious one, but it’s always worth stating: don’t forget about your floor, wall, and worktop colour scheme, as you don’t want your cabinets to clash with these.


Kitchen colours


You would be amazed at how much the right kitchen cabinet finish can change how spacious a kitchen looks and feels.

If you have a small kitchen, the best option would be some gloss kitchen cabinets. Again, using some creatively placed lighting will utilise the cabinets' shine to make your kitchen seem bigger than it is.

With a larger kitchen, it’s more about personal preference. Going for a gloss finish in a large room will give you an ultra-modern, super-sleek look, which is sure to impress any guest. Alternatively, a matt finish provides a more understated, classic style, which would work well in an older country house.

The Final Say 

Hopefully, this guide has helped you think about the different factors you need to consider when picking your perfect kitchen cabinet doors. As you may have noticed, even for this one feature of your kitchen, there is a lot to think about!

If you need more help designing your perfect kitchen, check out our ultimate guide to designing your kitchen.

Alternatively, contact a team member today for some free advice on designing your kitchen.

HiF Kitchens Brand Partners

HiF Kitchens using our years of experience are able to offer our customers the best kitchen, appliances, worktops and consumables in Fife, Scotland.

We work with PWS, Burbidge, Blanco, Indesit, Siemens and Hotpoint to provide our customers the very best service.