Home-How » Satin Vs. Semi-Gloss Kitchen Cabinets: Which Is Better?

Satin Vs. Semi-Gloss Kitchen Cabinets: Which Is Better?

Have you recently remodeled your kitchen? What finish should you choose for your kitchen cabinets? Choosing the right paint finish can be challenging because they have numerous advantages and disadvantages.

In addition, satin and semi-gloss finishes can complement your kitchen in different ways and create a unique style that will transform it. Even though there are several interior paint finishes for kitchen cabinets, people are usually torn between satin paint and semi-gloss.

So what are the pros and cons of getting satin or semi-gloss paints?

Satin Finish

Satin-finish paints will give your kitchen cabinet a modern look because it is not quite matt nor shiny, which is ideal if you have trouble choosing between the two.

The perfect combination between matte and gloss bounces just enough light in the room without overpowering or overwhelming it. That is one of the reasons it is often confused with eggshell paint.

Even though most homeowners use satin paint for walls and ceilings, it works surprisingly well as paint for kitchen cabinets. So let’s check out the advantages of satin lacquer.




Although satin paint is a medium between glossy and matte finish, it still has enough sheen to enable easy cleaning. You can use a simple wipe or cloth with some detergent to clean the cabinets without breaking a sweat.

In addition, it is relatively durable and highly resistant to wear and tear, so you will not have to worry if you hit the cabinet doors or damage them.

Due to its unusual half-sheen, the stains are not so visible if you are in the mood to clean them every day.

Because it is easy to clean your cabinet with satin finishes, this means that satin finish is the best choice for high-traffic areas in your kitchen. If you cook often, you know the process can be pretty messy, leaving your kitchen with various stains.

In addition, if you use your stove, the steam, moisture, and various splatter can damage your kitchen cabinets and create stains that are hard to clean. On the other hand, the satin finish is long-lasting, and if you go with this option, it is unlikely that you will have to redo it anytime soon.

Because of its flat finish, satin is an ideal choice for masking any flaws in your cabinets. That is one of many reasons people use it in living rooms, kid’s rooms, and even bathrooms or places where durability plays a key role.

In case you are worried about the shades and colors, today, you can pick any color of satin paint you wish, so you will be able to find the color you envisioned.


One of the significant downsides of satin paint is that the process of applying it is usually a nightmare. Saint-paint finishes have a velvety texture, meaning the brush strokes and marks will be apparent, especially under light.

Therefore, it is vital that you hire a professional for this job because you probably want to avoid damaging your cabinets and creating a mess. It will show streaks and bare stops if it is not applied very carefully and skillfully.

In addition, when the paint is applied, there is no room for touch-ups, and everything needs to be done perfectly.

If not, the cost of redoing it will make this an expensive project and could potentially damage your cabinets if you have to apply and remove or strip the paint several times.

It is impossible to touch up some areas if you apply the paint poorly; most likely, you will have to redo the entire cabinet because it is very noticeable. In addition, the satin finish will show and pronounce any surface and paint imperfections.

When cleaning your cabinets with a satin finish, always use gentle cleaning brushes; do not scrub too hard because you might damage them.

Semi-Gloss Pant


If you want something highly reflective, vibrant, and with a glossy finish, consider using semi-gloss paint and see firsthand why it is regarded as the most popular sheen. Furthermore, semi-gloss is timeless.

However, because it is glossy, you can easily overwhelm your kitchen, so before you choose, think about the ambiance it will create and whether it will clash with other objects or shelves in your kitchen.


Semi-gloss paints are highly durable and easy to clean, making them the best choice for high-traffic areas in your kitchen or house. Cleaning grease, grime, and various stains will be a piece of cake with a semi-gloss finish.

Compared to satin, semi-gloss paint will last longer, and because it has more sheen, it might change how the color looks on the wall; it can be either lighter or darker depending on the shade.

This is considered a benefit for some people, while others see it as a disadvantage because it can change the color to a shade they do not want. So, to avoid this, consult a professional and consider what effect the finish might have on your chosen color.

Therefore, semi-gloss and higher-gloss finishers are good choices for daily use, and the color will not fade over time due to cleaning and whipping.

People generally choose semi-gloss finishes because the light bounces off the cabinets creating this wonderfully illuminated look without much effort. However, what makes semi-gloss paint the most popular finish is its resistance to moisture, dents, scratches, and smudges.

In addition, it is water, mold, and mildew-resistant, making it a popular choice for various types of molding, cabinet doors, window frames, and chair rails: areas that often get touched.



Although the shine has numerous benefits, it is a double-edged sword. What does that mean? Well, semi-gloss is easier to clean, but because of the high gloss, it will pronounce and accentuate imperfections on your kitchen cabinets.

Generally, semi-gloss has few disadvantages besides the one mentioned above. However, similarly to satin finishes, it is also vital that whoever applies the semi-gloss finish it is vital that it is done correctly because the gloss will show off the brush strokes and missed spots.

Therefore, if this is your first time doing this, we suggest you hire a professional for this job. Also, even though it is durable, the surface can break over time due to wear and tear, but this goes for any type of finish.

So when this happens to your semi-gloss paint, every scratch, damage, and crack will be even more noticeable.

Should I Consider High-gloss Paint or Oil-based Paints?

Ultimately, whatever finish you choose comes down to your personal preference and your particular needs. High-gloss finish, also known as glass-like sheen, is popular and has numerous benefits.

Before you opt for a high-gloss finish, you need to consider several things. First, a high gloss finish is an imposing addition to your kitchen and will illuminate the entire area.

This highly durable paint makes cleaning your kitchen cabinets a simple and easy job. The splatter and grime can be easily cleaned with a damp cloth, so you do not have to worry that the dirt will seep into your kitchen cabinet.

It is excellent for areas exposed to humidity and moisture, and accents and will elevate the entire kitchen, especially if contrasted with matt walls.

However, it has several downsides. Similar to semi-gloss paint, high-gloss will even further accentuate imperfections, cracks, and fingerprints on your cabinets.

Also, applying a high-gloss finish on a dark shade is not suggested because that will pronounce the flaws even more. The glamorous high-gloss finish is tough to use, and handling this paint can be challenging.

On the other hand, oil-based paint can also be a decent choice that is highly durable, if not the most durable paint on the list. There are different oil-based paints that you can buy, and they have different finishes, ranging from medium glossy to very glossy.

Applying oil-based paint will increase the durability of your kitchen cabinets and will serve you well if you have children or pets. However, these paints are expensive compared to, for example, latex paint.

Furthermore, the drying process can last from six to eight hours and can be recoated in 24h. Unfortunately, only some people have the time and patience to wait, especially if they need to cook and expose the cabinets to potential damage, which will destroy the finish.


Each finish has its pros and cons. When choosing the right paint finish for your kitchen cabinets, you must consider your budget, needs, and personal choice.

Some people with small children might opt for a satin or eggshell finish because it does not show off stains or cracks.

While other people opt for semi-gloss and high-gloss because it is easy to clean and creates this unique, inviting ambiance in the kitchen. Generally, the most popular finish for interior paint is satin.

Ultimately, it is up to you to weigh your options and choose what you feel will work best for what you have envisioned in the kitchen.

Have you tried a semi-gloss or high-gloss finish? Please share your experience with us! Also, if you have any questions or want to share your option, don’t be shy!

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