Skip to main content

So, you’re thinking about sprucing up your kitchen with high gloss cabinets, huh? They’ve got that sleek, modern look that’s sure to catch the eye. But before you dive headfirst into the glossy world, let’s take a moment to weigh the good and the bad.

High gloss cabinets can transform a drab kitchen into a contemporary masterpiece. They reflect light, making your space appear brighter and more spacious. But, they’re not without their downsides. Fingerprints, scratches, and the occasional stubborn stain can rain on your shiny parade.

In the next sections, we’ll delve deeper into the pros and cons of high gloss kitchen cabinets. Whether you’re a clean freak or a laid-back homeowner, this guide’s got something for you. Stick around, and let’s figure out if high gloss cabinets are the right fit for your kitchen.

Pros of High Gloss Kitchen Cabinets

There’s something appealing about the mirror-like finish of high gloss kitchen cabinets. This high gloss effect, first and foremost, gives your kitchen a modern look. If you are a fan of contemporary designs, you’ll find high gloss cabinets a perfect choice. The sheen does not wear off quickly and preserves the fresh and clutter-free aesthetic of your kitchen.

A second advantage of high gloss cabinets is light reflection. Glossy surfaces are known for their ability to bounce light rather than absorbing it. This light reflection will make your space appear larger, brighter and more welcoming. That’s a significant benefit if your kitchen is compact or has limited natural light.

Moreover, the surfaces of high gloss cabinets are usually non-porous. This characteristic means they’re resistant to common kitchen problems such as mold, mildew, and bacteria. They’re pretty easy to clean too! Just a simple wipe with a clean, damp cloth and your cabinetry is as shiny as new. However, remember to promptly clean up any spills to prevent staining.

More importantly, these cabinets are also popular for their durability. High gloss finish cabinets often use materials like acrylic and laminate which are known for their robustness. This sturdiness provides longevity to the cabinets, maintaining their luster and appeal for years.

Lastly, they offer flexibility in color choices. High gloss kitchen cabinets are available in a multitude of colors ranging from whites and creams to brighter, bold colors like reds and blues. You have a vast array of options to choose from, allowing you to add your personal touch to your kitchen design.

Despite their glossy charm and myriad of pros, high gloss kitchen cabinets have a few associated cons.

Cons of High Gloss Kitchen Cabinets

All that glitters isn’t gold. Just like anything else, high gloss kitchen cabinets come with their own set of drawbacks that you should be aware of.

You May Be Interested In:  The Kitchen Armoire: How to Feature an Armoire in Your Kitchen

To kick things off, these glossy surfaces are fingerprint magnets. If you’ve got active little ones or there’s a lot of cooking happening in your kitchen, you’ll notice smudges, fingermarks, and splatters all too easily. Regular wiping and cleaning become an essential part of your routine. Not fun on a busy day, right?

Moreover, high gloss finish tends to amplify any imperfections. If your cabinets have any chips, dents or scratches, the gloss finish will highlight them rather than hide. So you’ll need to be extra careful not to damage your cabinets or a cabinet resurfacing may be in your near future.

You also need to consider natural wear and tear. Overtime, high gloss kitchen cabinets are prone to losing their glossy finish. Elements like direct sunlight and heating appliances around the cabinets can speed up this process.

Next up, while glossy cabinets reflect light beautifully, they can also create a glare. This is particularly problematic if you have a kitchen with a lot of natural or artificial lighting. It might not be the best choice if you’re sensitive to light or if your kitchen area gets a lot of sun.

Additionally, price can be a roadblock. High gloss kitchen cabinets often cost significantly more than their matt or semi-gloss counterparts. So, if you’re working with a tight budget, these might not be the best option for you.

When choosing your kitchen cabinets, remember to weigh in these cons against the pros raised in the earlier sections of this article. Don’t rush your decision. Instead, consider all the factors and picture how your choice will affect your daily life in the kitchen. Because, at the end of the day, you want to invest in kitchen cabinets that not only look good, but also suit your lifestyle and needs.

Reflection and Brightness

Just when you’re thinking about the downsides of high gloss kitchen cabinets, there’s more to the story. Let’s dive into the world of reflection and brightness. Glossy cabinets aren’t just labeled that because they have a shiny surface. This specific feature amplifies the impact of light and contributes significantly to the brightness in your kitchen.

Imagine waking up to a kitchen that’s instantly illuminated by the rising sun. The rays hit your glossy cabinets and the light spreads throughout the room. Sounds radiant doesn’t it? That’s the power of high gloss kitchen cabinets. They reflect light wonderfully, meaning that even with minimum natural light, your kitchen will never seem dark or gloomy.

To give this perspective a bit more clarity, let’s look at some light reflection comparison data between high gloss cabinets and its mate finish counterparts.

You May Be Interested In:  7 Simple Steps to Paint Perfect Kitchen Cabinets
Finish Type Light Reflection
High Gloss 90-100%
Matte Finish 20-30%

As you can see, there’s a big difference in the light reflection capacities. This added brightness can bring an open, airy feeling to even the most compact of kitchens. On the downside though, if your kitchen receives excessive direct sunlight, the powerful reflections from glossy cabinets combined with intense sunlight might create excessive glare and make your kitchen too bright. It’s clear then that light and brightness is a double-edged sword with high gloss kitchen cabinets.

Keep in mind this interplay of light when choosing your kitchen cabinets. While it may not seem like a major factor, but the amount of light reflection can significantly alter the mood and comfort level in your kitchen. Also, don’t overlook the cabinet color choices – darker colors reflect less light compared to lighter ones! And in case you’re already smitten by the gloss and shine, remember to install anti-glare window treatments to help balance out the brightness. This will ensure your glossy kitchen isn’t just stylish and modern, but also comfortable to use.

Prone to Fingerprints and Smudges

Let’s mindfully shift gears to a less bright, but equally important aspect about glossy cabinets—fingerprints and smudges. Yes, that’s right. Any surface that’s shiny and smooth is easy prey to the unforgiving mess of fingerprints and smudges. High gloss kitchen cabinets are no exception.

Hold on, don’t let this deter you from your shine-loving attributes. It’s important to keep in mind that with the glam and gloss, comes a tad bit of upkeep.

You see, glossy surfaces reflect light, and with that, they unapologetically display any stain, smudge, or fingerprint that decides to make them its facade. This characteristic leaves them needing frequent cleaning, sometimes, I’m afraid, more than their less glossy counterparts.

Think about a time when you hosted a get-together at your place. You know all too well the aftermath in the kitchen. Muddy tracks of careless fingers and unintentional smudges painting your glossy cabinets. They stand out blatantly against the otherwise flawless facade, marring the aesthetics you took pains to create.

Now here’s a cheat trick—choosing darker colored glossy cabinets might help hide the blemishes, as compared to the lighter shades which make the blemishes more visible. Yet, reality check! At the end of the day, you’ll need to keep a cleaning cloth handy, or perhaps invest a bit of time into your cleaning schedule.

While you take this point into consideration, don’t forget about the plus sides we discussed earlier—the light-loving trait of glossy cabinets which amps up the brightness and airiness of your kitchen. You see, every shine has its shadow, and acceptance is key.

You May Be Interested In:  Buying vs Building a Kitchen Island: A Cost Comparison

Potential for Scratches and Stains

Transitioning from the consideration of smudges and fingerprints, another aspect you should brace for with high gloss kitchen cabinets is their potential for scratches and stains. Bear in mind, these illuminating finishes, while breathtaking, reflect light on multiple levels, which makes any damage or staining manifestly noticeable.

Scratches. The glossy finish can, in particular, be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it brings a superb modern elegance to your kitchen. On the other hand, it can cruelly highlight any scratch, however minimal. High traffic kitchens where pots, pans, and utensils are in constant motion are hence more prone to experiencing this drawback. If you have a busy lifestyle or a house full of children, the risk of scratches may increase.

And here comes the most important part. Stains. Sure, a spill of wine or a drop of olive oil might not seem much. But on a high gloss surface? It’s a different story altogether. These surfaces will show stains more sporadically and will need swift cleaning.

What’s the silver lining to these? Adequate maintenance.

With regular and prompt clean-up routines, you can keep your high gloss cabinets looking pristine and new. Emphasizing prompt clean-up routines here because the longer a stain remains, the harder it becomes to remove. A quick response can prevent potential staining disasters. Darker colors might mask minor scratches and stains better than their lighter counterparts, but they can’t hide everything.

So, to keep your cabinets shining and scratch-free, regular cleaning is non-negotiable. One important tip to keep your high gloss kitchen cabinets in the best condition possible is to avoid any abrasive cleaning tools. A soft, damp cloth will usually do the trick.

While these cabinets may require a bit of extra attention in terms of maintenance, many people find it worth the efforts for the contemporary aesthetic and airy feeling they bring to the kitchen.


So there you have it. High gloss kitchen cabinets can be a bit of a double-edged sword. Yes, they’re sleek, modern, and can make your kitchen feel brighter and more spacious. But, they also come with their fair share of downsides. Those shiny surfaces can be a magnet for scratches and stains, which means you’ll need to stay on top of your cleaning game. And while darker colors might hide some of those imperfections, they won’t eliminate them completely. It’s a bit more work, sure. But if you’re after that high-end, contemporary look, it could be a trade-off worth making. Just remember – a little extra elbow grease can keep those cabinets looking as good as new.

Leave a Reply