Kitchen Cabinet Finishes

Cabinets 101: Our Cabinet Finishes and what to choose to suit your home

A kitchen is perhaps the busiest, most social part of the house. As it adds to the overall value of a home, it makes sense to invest in making your kitchen look the best it can.

An important part of your kitchen’s overall visual appeal is your cabinetry. Cabinets come in various styles and materials, from wood to metal, and they can be finished in a variety of ways.

The choice of cabinet finishes depends on the style of cabinetry you want to create, the material of the cabinets, and the amount of maintenance you want to give them. It should also match your kitchen benchtop and tie all your kitchen features together.

Main types of cabinet finishes and what to choose for your kitchen

What is a cabinet finish?

A cabinet finish is the coating used on cabinetry, and picking the cabinet finish that suits your home is essential since it is usually a one-time investment. 

Let us walk you through our cabinet finishes so you can get a better idea on what cabinet finish to choose based on intended use, interior design, and budget.


Melamine may be the most reasonably priced cabinet finish available, but its affordability does not necessarily translate to low quality. A melamine finish is generally made from MDF substrate covered with plasticised paper. The outer layer is coated to give the final appearance. A matching edge strip is applied to the edges of the panels to make them smooth and uniform.

Cabinets with a melamine finish are somewhat resistant to scratches and chemical reactions from cleaning solutions. They can be matte, textured, or glossy. Melamine cabinetry is also durable and not easy to dent. However, its visible edge strip line may be an eyesore for some.


Vinyl wrapped cabinets are made from an MDF substrate covered in a layer of vinyl that is heated and applied to the MDF using a vacuum method. Vinyl cabinetry is moisture-resistant and has some realistic woodgrain finishes. It is the most requested type of cabinetry material for homeowners wanting a contemporary or hamptons kitchen design. 

Cabinets with vinyl finish are not overly heat-resistant which makes it unsuitable for contact with hot surfaces.

 2 PAC

2PAC is a hardened paint finish that begins as two liquids: a special kind of acrylic paint and a hardener. It results in a thick, smooth, and hard finish similar in quality to a car paint job.

2PAC cabinetry lets you have more design control over your kitchen’s colour and profile, adding more character and personality to your kitchen. However, it is significantly pricier — roughly 40 percent more than your standard laminate finish.

How to choose the right cabinet finish for your home

As mentioned earlier, your cabinet finish ideally must match your kitchen benchtop. However, there are not many “rules” for which cabinet finish to choose for your kitchen. Trust the professionals and contact the team at McColl Cabinetmakers today for quality advice and a tailored solution for your kitchen. 

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You can also check out our showroom and get started with us for your kitchen renovation project.