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  • Writer's pictureethan@woodcraft

Is White-Painted Cabinetry Trendy?

Updated: Dec 6, 2018

Beautiful painted kitchen just completed! White painted perimeter with grey island.

Many customers over the past several years have been debating this topic of ‘trendiness’. “Is white cabinetry here to stay, or will it be gone in the next few years”? This is a tough and rather loaded question to ask… so I’ll do my best to diligently answer this question.

Unfortunately, even with our professional advice, we can’t predict the future. But if we did make a guess… this would be our opinion.

Remember before white or painted cabinetry really started to catch on, what the previous trendy color/stain was?

That’s right! The Dark Chocolate Stained Cabinetry! “The cup of coffee in your kitchen”! 😊

Before exiting the Air Force after seven years of service, I toured many friends’ homes in a newly developed area in central California. There were endless amounts of dark chocolate cabinetry in kitchens and bathrooms. It was actually shocking to walk into homes and see lighter stained cabinetry.

Well, after noticing the local Wausau Wisconsin trends right now and collaborating with my father that started this business back in 1979, he too will agree with this statement.

White-painted cabinetry is a trend.

For many customers, we see a light color like white painted cabinetry and can imagine a clean-crisp kitchen with beautiful Quartz countertops… as if we were watching HGTV.

Here is the reality of painted cabinetry.

Painted cabinetry does offer clean lines and typically brightens the kitchen, bathroom or particular space if painted in a lighter color. However, there are some drawbacks to be aware of.

The major drawbacks to painted cabinetry in this local Wisconsin area is the change in climate. When it gets cold during our Winter’s and very hot during our Summer’s, your cabinetry will naturally start to expand and contract. This can lead to a number of problems such as hairline cracking.

We counteract this problem by using a High-Density Fiber product called MDF because it is drilled and cut out of a sheet (not assembled like our wood doors) via our CNC machine. The expanding and contracting with our doors & drawers will not happen because the door is cut from this product.Unfortunately, hairline cracking would happen with wood doors.

However, there is still a chance of small hairline cracks because of this shifting. It can be found in the face frames of the cabinet and in other areas with wood.

This shows small hairline cracking, this cabinet door was constructed with wood, not MDF.

One More Disadvantage:

Imperfections can occur with painted cabinetry through daily use. These slight things can include the hairline cracking, adults or children bumping into the cabinetry with a sharp object and a number of other possible scenarios.

White shows everything! From dust to scratches to hairline cracking… white is not very forgiving. This isn’t to scare you if your heart is set on a painted kitchen, but simply to inform you of the possible things that could occur.

The Silver lining:

The great thing about paint is it can be mildly touched up to cover some of these imperfections that can occur over the years. If this did ever happen, just give us a call and we will send a professional to touch up your cabinetry or make any adjustments.

So then… what will change after this trend? What would you recommend?

In my professional opinion, we will start to see a decrease in painted cabinetry now that so many people have more of it in their homes. It’s tough to know the outcome until we have enough time to analyze the results.

The benefit of stained cabinetry is it’s much easier to hide little imperfections without it jumping out at you.

Stained cabinetry will start to make its way back into more of our homes over the coming years. It won’t be an immediate change, but a slow & gradual change. I can see it already, more customers choosing lighter stain colors with a more modern door & drawer style, hardware, and fixtures. This is the best of both worlds because you have the perfect clash between traditional meets contemporary/modern design.

Final Note:

Personally, I enjoy both design styles of painting and staining cabinetry- they are both equally beautiful in their own unique way. It is simply what your personal design tastes call for! I hope this helps educate and inform you of the trends that we see every day! Our goal is to help you choose exactly what you want for your dream kitchen. We are more than happy to help answer or assist with any questions you may have. Feel free to stop into our showroom to see the differences and discuss your vision for your next handcrafted project!


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