What finish should I choose for my new kitchen: gloss, high gloss, or matt? Should I get a matt kitchen? What exactly is a matt kitchen? Aren’t matt kitchens difficult to clean? How do you clean a matt kitchen correctly? Questions, questions, questions… there are a lot of them to ask when choosing a new kitchen. And when it comes down to it, there are fewer more important decisions to make than choosing your kitchen’s finish.
This is why we have put together a comprehensive guide about matt kitchens so that you have all the information you need – everything – enabling you to make an informed decision about whether a matt kitchen is right for you.
The importance of your kitchen finish: Matt or Gloss?
These days, a lot of homeowners fall into one of two distinct camps when it comes to choosing the finish for your kitchen: Team Gloss and Team Matt. The former has a reputation for being sleek, ultra-modern, and flashy; Matt is all about practicality and warmth – but all with a decidedly on-trend, contemporary feel.
Ours is not to say which team is the winner. After all, here at Kitchen Warehouse we love them both equally. However, if you want a calm and serene ambience for your new kitchen, it’s very difficult to look beyond a matt finish.
If you are undecided, we need to shed some light on whether or not a matt finish is for you.
What exactly is a matt finish?
Matt has become the genuine alternative to a gloss finish. But what is a matt finish exactly? Well, in a nutshell, the finish is essentially the opposite of gloss. A gloss finish reflects light. However, a matt finish absorbs light instead. This creates a more muted and subtle effect overall, but it still looks completely contemporary – providing a smooth and streamlined look for any kitchen space.
A matt finish brings with it many, many qualities. Firstly, matt kitchens provide a greater consistency of colour than you get from a gloss or high gloss finish. This is because a matt surface doesn’t reflect light to keep its definitive tone. What you get is a solid base of colour. It doesn’t matter from which angle you view a matt kitchen from, it will look smooth and seamless. A gloss kitchen is far more inconsistent in terms of its appearance.
The smoothness of a matt kitchen provides a refined and luxurious look. A matt finish is the epitome of understanded elegance and classy styling.
So, how do you clean a matt kitchen?
As well as the understated, elegant and textured look that a matt kitchen provides; a lot is made of the fact that a matt finish means that scratches, fingerprints and smudges will be far less visible than they will be on a gloss or high cabinet. This much is true – and, of course, this is certainly an advantage. But, sadly, it doesn’t mean that a matt kitchen doesn’t need to be cleaned every once in a while – and here’s how to do it…
Here’s how you clean a matt kitchen.
How to clean a matt kitchen – Use soapy water
Although they won’t be as visible as they would be on a gloss kitchen – over time – all kitchen cupboards and doors will suffer from a build-up of dirt and grime, eventually. It’s unavoidable in such a busy place as the modern family kitchen. Smudges, cooking grease and oil, spills… they will all accumulate.
The good news is that cleaning a matt kitchen is easy. All you need is some hot water in a bowl, a clean microfibre cloth, and some washing-up liquid.
It’s a simple 4-step process:
- Fill a washing-up bowl with hot water and a drop or two of washing-up liquid. Stir well.
- Soak a clean microfibre cloth in the bowl and simply wipe down the matt surfaces in the kitchen. Pay particular attention to the hinges and handles, as these areas are particularly prone to a build-up of dirt.
- Soak a new fresh cloth in warm water and wring it.
- Rinse the doors and cabinets. Finally, use another fresh cloth (this time dry) to wipe away any excess moisture.
Clean a matt kitchen with vinegar
If you clean your matt cabinets and doors regularly, soap and water will normally do the trick. However, there are alternatives for when you need to clear more stubborn areas of dirt. Vinegar is a wonderful cleaning ingredient – and just about the best thing there is to clear grease, grime, and oil. Vinegar is acidic, but as it is a natural acid, you don’t have to worry about it damaging your matt kitchen surfaces. Essentially, just follow the above process but substitute the washing-up liquid for vinegar.
It’s always a good idea to clean a matt kitchen using vinegar every once in a while to avoid stubborn dirt accumulating. As we said before, with regular wiping it’s entirely possible that stains, scratches, and smears won’t show up for a while with a new matt kitchen. However, when imperfections do appear, it can be challenging to deal with them.
So, it pays to stay one step ahead.
Dealing with stubborn stains
If you do find yourself having to deal with stubborn stains, the miracle cure is a mixture of vinegar with bicarbonate of soda. Mix a small quantity of vinegar and bicarbonate of soda into a smooth paste. Soak a clean cloth in the paste and dab the dirt-affected area. Allow the paste to stand for a moment or two then gently rub the surface. Finish off by rinsing the surface with clean water and a dry cloth.
Other questions to ask about matt kitchens
If you have a particularly small kitchen space, then – regardless of how much you might be coveting a brand-new matt kitchen – you might have to concede that matt is probably not the most sensible choice for your home. It won’t make the kitchen appear any bigger or brighter. Indeed, choose a darker shade and it could make the space appear smaller – even claustrophobic. Light will be absorbed rather than reflected, so the size of the space should be a major consideration.
What about a larger space – is matt a good choice? Yes, because of its light reflection qualities, a high gloss kitchen can be a smart choice if you have a smaller kitchen. However, conversely, if you are already blessed with a large kitchen – especially with an open-floor plan – gloss or high gloss can be a bit too much. It can be a case of overkill.
More cleaning tips
If you want to clean a matt kitchen, it’s really all about getting into good habits and using the correct cleaning products. You should avoid the likes of scourers and dusting wipes. Scouring sponges – like many cleaning products that can be in the shops – are abrasive and aggressive. Good as they might seem, they could do irreparable damage to your kitchen cabinets. Not only are dusting wipes not good for the environment, they create static. This will actually cause more dust to appear.
Every now and again, it is a good idea to go for a thorough deep clean in the kitchen. However, getting into good habits will make everything so much easier. If you do have a spillage or you notice a stain on your matt cabinets, you should clean it immediately. Matt is more susceptible to stains because of its smooth and velvety texture.
Frequent maintenance will definitely make your life easier – just as long as you remember not to use the likes of scourers on your cabinets.
Is a matt kitchen right for your home?
So, you might be swaying towards a matt kitchen for several reasons. Maybe you have a middle to large-sized kitchen which will work well with the light absorbing qualities that a matt finish brings to the table. Perhaps you attracted by the knowledge that matt kitchens are good at not showing every single mark and stain – bound to occur in a busy family kitchen, after all – and the easy-clean methods that you now know you can follow. However, you might remain slightly unconvinced by the prospect of a look that is muted or dull – or even boring.
Does any of this sound like you?
Well, the first thing to be crystal clear about is that ‘subtle’ or ‘understated’ do not mean ‘boring.’ Indeed, a ‘subtle’ or ‘understated’ kitchen is anything but boring. It usually just means that it has been well-chosen and fits seamlessly into the décor, interior design, and ambience that is in the home.
But, if you’re still worried that a matt kitchen won’t turn heads in the way you want it to, consider creating contrasts. There is nothing wrong – of course – with having the same colour across all the cabinets and doors in a kitchen design. It’s still the norm – and it still looks fabulous. However, increasingly, designers and homeowners are opting to go for a contrasting colour scheme in the kitchen. Mixing two different matt colours will create contrast, for sure. Furthermore, it will create a genuine point of interest. You’ll want a look that draws attention to the eye, but one that isn’t too overbearing or overpowering. Contrasting matt shades will do just that.
The choice of cabinet door is another important consideration. An uncomplicated and unfussy door design can add interest and character to the space. There are plenty of appealing designs on the market. Take a Shaker-style door as one – very good – example. The classic styling will naturally create extra depth and interest on the surface. Remember, the Shaker is possibly the most versatile of all kitchen looks. It can help a space look homely and traditional – or futuristic and ultra-modern.
Conclusion: Weighing up the pros and cons of a matt kitchen
As with anything to do with kitchens – and interior design, in general, at the end of the day it comes down to one thing: Choice. Of course, choice is a good thing but when there is so much choice, it can all get a bit overwhelming.
The best advice is to take your time, do your research (this blog is exactly that) – and take stock.
Impulsive buys and being immediately swayed and seduced by an idea or by glossy pictures on a website or in a brochure are never recommended. After all, a new kitchen is a big-ticket purchase. You don’t want to be making mistakes about this. You won’t want to be regretting a decision. Remember, you could be stuck with the kitchen you use for years.
Matt: Is it for you?
So, even though matt cabinets and doors have become totally on-trend in recent years. And, although matt has proven to be a great choice in both contemporary and traditional homes. Even despite all the popularity of a matt finish, it still might not be the best pick for your kitchen and home.
It’s important not to get caught up and swept away by a trend. New trends are always popping up from time to time. There’s always something that is taking the market by storm. That sometimes looks like the obvious way to go. Often though, people end up not being as happy with the choice they have made.
It can be hard to resist the latest trend – but it has to be right for you.
Are matt cabinets ideal for your kitchen?
There’s no doubting that a matt finish has many advantages, it’s also fair to say that it also comes with a few disadvantages. Every kitchen style or interior design choice does. Nothing is perfect. Therefore, it is always sensible to be crystal clear about what those advantages and disadvantages are. Weigh up the pros and cons. This will ensure that you aren’t just swept along in all the excitement. Rather, you will be making a careful and considered decision. At the end of the day, getting the decision right is the most important thing by far. Save the excitement for when your brand-new kitchen is fitted and when you can sit back looking at it admiringly, knowing you’ve got it right!
Let’s round up the pros and cons of matt cabinets, so that you can make that decision once and for all.
Matt: The Pros
We’ll start with the positives – the good news. Here are the pros:
Firstly, although we’ve just warned about the potential dangers of being seduced by a trend, it’s also fair say that there is something in the current trend for matt finishes.
The matt finish has been around for a while now but when interior designers start boasting how fresh, chic, and modern something is – as they started doing a few years ago – it’s worth taking notice. Matt is ideal for contemporary living and is available in an increasingly wide range of colours. Styles and tones can be chosen according to the demands of most kitchen space.
We’ve mentioned it already – but it is worth mentioning again; it is a huge advantage that a matt finish has over a high gloss kitchen that the surface of the cabinets will not show imperfections, fingerprints, and smudges as easily. This, again, is because light is not reflected on the surface of the cabinets, but absorbed.
This leads to a further advantage of a matt kitchen. Compared with gloss and high gloss, you won’t need to clean the surfaces as often.
Additionally, matt blends brilliantly with other kitchen styles. For example, if you already have high gloss cabinets, you could choose to make some of them matt. This will add character and texture to the space.
Finally, matt cabinets are a great choice for larger kitchens and open-plan designs. Matt kitchens add an expansive feel – without overdoing it. A high gloss kitchen can actually feel a little lost in a bigger space.
Matt: The cons
There’s always the other side. And it’s true to say that a matt kitchen is not completely without disadvantages.
Firstly, although a matt finish doesn’t show up dirt as obviously as some other kitchen styles, cleaning can sometimes be harder than it would be to clean a glossy surface.
Follow all the advice we have given elsewhere in this blog and you should be fine. The cleaning process for matt kitchen is still fairly straightforward. The trick is to stay one step ahead and on top of things. Imperfections might not show up easily. However, when they do, it can be challenging to get rid of them.
Matt surfaces can absorb stains and, if you’re not careful, streaks can appear.
The other potential disadvantage of a matt kitchen is to do with size and light. If you want to try to make your kitchen seem larger, a matt kitchen probably isn’t the best choice. If you don’t have a lot of natural light in the kitchen, think carefully about whether matt would be the best finish to choose.
Making the right decision
Choosing a new kitchen isn’t just about appearances, functionality and practicality are important too. Yes, a matt finish is a trendy option. However, it won’t be right for every home. Ultimately, although everything is completely up to you, it is important that you are honest and realistic about things.
Questions to ask when deciding to have a matt kitchen or not
Should I go for contemporary or traditional? It shouldn’t really matter. One of the key strengths of a matt finish is that it suits virtually every kitchen style.
Uniform or contrast? Another strength of matt kitchens is that they work equally well whether you go for one uniform colour across the kitchen, or you choose to create contrast with different tones – or even styles, such as matt and high gloss.
One way to incorporate gloss is to use it for the upper cabinets. Light will be reflected around the room. What’s more, the gloss will be away from mucky fingerprints. Meanwhile, matt finishes can be positioned on the lower cabinets. This can be the perfect blend of style and function.
Choose your colour wisely
Light drawers and cabinets will help to make the kitchen seem bigger and more open. This is ideal for smaller kitchen sizes. However, remember that a matt finish will absorb light rather than reflect it. The likes of greys, blues, and greens are all on trend – and they are a great choice on medium to larger-sized spaces.
Contrast can add bags of character to a kitchen. Creating a focal point, such as a kitchen island, can also be a really effective way to make a statement.
The bottom line is this – matt kitchens are full of character, add interest, and a sense of drama to any space. A matt finish suits kitchens of most sizes – and it can be blended with other styles.
What’s not to love?
A matt kitchen is a perfect choice for a classic traditional, country farmhouse, or a contemporary kitchen – and that’s one of the big drawers of a matt finish. It really does work with all these kitchen design choices.
You needn’t worry about how you clean a matt kitchen. As we have explained here, it really isn’t too difficult to keep on top of things. Indeed, compared to some types of kitchen, cleaning a matt kitchen really is a doddle.
The other major appeal of a matt kitchen is that it is subtle and understated. If you want a kitchen that is as practical as it is beautiful, a matt kitchen could be your perfect pick. If you would like to have a chat about the matt kitchens we have to offer, get in touch and the friendly Kitchen Warehouse team will always be happy to help. We have a wide range of matt acrylic and matt textured kitchen designs.
All our matt products are made to a superior standard. The smooth silk-like finish simply is to die for. If you want transform your kitchen into an ultra-modern living space, our great range of matt kitchens could be just the job!