In 2019 and beyond, one cabinet color has been more popular than perhaps any other. Black has been rising in popularity steadily for years, and more specifically, matte black. When cabinets are painted or finished with a wood finish, the homeowner has to choose a gloss. Gloss reflects the most light, creating the shiniest appearance. Semigloss is a step down, and satin is another step down. Matte is the flattest finish. It reflects the least amount of light and, in many ways, looks the most natural. There are several reasons that matte black is trending. Some reasons are aesthetic and some are practical.
From the standpoint of practicality, matte black is a very easy to maintain color. Oftentimes, dirt and oil are readily apparent on cabinets because the dirt and oil obscures the light reflecting off the surface of the wood. Oil is particularly problematic for kitchen cabinets that are over the stovetop. Matte does not reflect much light anyway. Therefore, dirt and oil will not show up as easily. Furthermore, dark black will hide most oil and dirt.
Homeowners who don’t want to have to work to maintain their cabinets every few days should consider matte black. It’s especially useful if your cabinets do not have pulls; the dirt and oil from fingertips will eventually show up as dark smudges after repeated use.
Lastly, it is very easy to touch-up matte black cabinets. With glossy finishes, the gloss tends to fade over time. So, when you reapply some paint or stain to cover up nicks and scratches, the new finish will be noticeably glossier. In contrast, a new application of a matte finish won’t stand out as much.
In addition to the practical maintenance reasons, matte black is popular because it looks great. Matte cabinets don’t stand out very much, which makes them easy to pair. They can be paired with white walls to create good contrasting colors. Additionally, many cabinets are made of some kind of stone. Most stones are black, gray, white, or some combination of the three. That could look very good against the cabinetry.
Black cabinets have been trending for years and, unlike many recent trends, they promise to remain popular for years. You can paint your cabinets with a matte black paint to finish them in one step. Alternately, you can stain them with a wood stain and then finish them with a matte polyurethane.