Cabinet finishes: gloss or matte?

The term gloss or matte finish refers to how much light your cabinets reflect or their shine. When choosing your cabinetry, you’re often presented with the choice of the two alongside some extra options like “semi-gloss” or “satin”. But how do you know which one will be right for your cabinets? Look no further for our guide to gloss and matte finishes!

Gloss finish showroom kitchen
Laminex Colourtech Baye Gloss

Gloss finish

A gloss finish is shiny and reflects the most light. Its main advantage is how it can transform a small or closed-in space. As it bounces light around, it can make a confined space feel more open and brighter, which is also ideal for spaces that receive less natural light. 

Unfortunately, fingerprints and scratches can be more easily seen on gloss finishes due to their reflective nature. However, smudges can be easily removed with a microfibre cloth. Although not difficult to clean, it’s important to consider the level of maintenance your cabinets will require. 

matte finish scullery
From our Mustang gallery

Matte finish

Matte finishes absorb more light and have less sheen. This can make the space feel more consistent, as fewer colours are being reflected around the room. A uniform colour can also give you some extra wiggle room to experiment with cabinet profiles and statement hardware. Plus, smudges and fingerprints show up less on matte finishes. 

The main disadvantage is that you can risk your area looking flat when lighting and colour are disregarded. Nevertheless, matte cabinet finishes are highly sought after due to their versatility and contemporary style.

wooden cabinetw ith black handles
Formica Tasmanian Ash in Velvet

Other finishes

For a good halfway-point, a semi-gloss finish has some light reflective qualities and a more subtle shine. This option is great if you want a little bit of pop without the intensity of the gloss finish. 

Suppliers often provide a variety of extra finishes that can deviate from gloss and matte with an array of textures, shines and tactility. Although it can feel overwhelming, our team is committed to finding a cabinetry solution that’s the right fit for you.


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