Should You Paint or Stain Your Kitchen Cabinets For an Easy Upgrade?

If you’re looking to change or update the look of your kitchen on a budget, simply changing the face of your cabinets can work wonders. Not only is this a cost-effective option, it can completely alter the look and feel of your kitchen.

Two ways to make a change to your kitchen cabinets is to either paint or stain them. The question is, which option should you choose?

Painting Your Cabinets

If you’ve been paying attention to the world of interior design, you probably noticed that painted cabinets are on-trend lately. Whether they’re steel blue, mustard yellow, emerald green, or classic white, painted cabinets are all the rage.

The exact type of paint that you choose for your cabinets will affect how they look, how well they can withstand wear and tear, and how resistant they are to water. Aside from the color, there are many paint options, including oil-based, water-based, or even varnishes. You will want to discuss each option and their effects (such as lifespan, off-gassing, and so forth) with a paint professional before you make your choice.

Another factor to consider is how the paint will be applied to the cabinets: either sprayed on or brushed on. Spraying the paint typically provides the most even, smooth finish; however, if you ever need to touch it up in the future, it could be a challenge to get a blemish-free finish. On the other hand, brushed-on paint might not have as consistent a finish as a spray-on version, but it will be a lot easier to touch it up as the need arises.

The type of wood also matters if you’re leaning towards paint over stain. In order to achieve a smooth finish, the wood needs to have a completely flat surface and be void of knots and heavy grains.

Paint offers certain benefits that stain simply can’t deliver:

It’s modern

If it’s an updated, contemporary look that you’re after, then paint is the way to go. If you’ve got old-fashioned wood cabinets – such as oak, which has fallen out of style – paint can disguise any grains in the wood that you’re no longer a fan of.

It provides a ton of options

Considering the seemingly endless variety of paint colors to choose from, the options are vast when it comes to creating a truly unique look to your kitchen.

It hides dust easily

Compared to stained wood, painted cabinets hide dust much better, especially lighter colors.

However, there are some downsides to painted cabinets as well:

It’s expensive

Generally speaking, it costs more to paint cabinets than to stain them because it entails a lot more time and elbow grease. If you are having your cabinets painted by a professional, you’re looking at paying anywhere between $2,000 to $5,000, depending on the size of the kitchen, how complex the job is, and where you live.

It can crack over time

Painted cabinets are more susceptible to cracking as time passes which can make the cabinets look worn and dated.

Staining Your Cabinets

If you love the grain of a certain type of wood, then staining your cabinets is a fantastic option. While stained cabinets are more traditional-looking than painted cabinets, they still provide a classic, timeless look.

Stained cabinets let the natural features and grains of the wood show through. You can choose from a variety of stains, from clear to a very dark mahogany or chocolate brown that adds a dramatic touch while still letting the wood’s grain and texture show through. You also have the freedom to choose the type of finish you’d like, including glossy, semigloss, and matte. Some stains even have UV protection.

Stained wood cabinets come with their own set of advantages over paint:

They’re classic

While old oak cabinets are somewhat dated, many other types of stained woods are timeless. As such, stained wood cabinets are still rather popular among homeowners simply because they are less prone to going out of style and are not dependent on the latest trends in kitchen design.

They’re good for resale value

Because of their classic and timeless look, stained cabinets are often better for resale value than painted cabinets.

They’re more affordable

Since staining cabinets doesn’t take as long as painting them, staining is the cheaper way to go.

On the other hand, there are some disadvantages to stain:

The wood needs to be attractive

Stain is meant to show the grain of the wood, so if you are not a fan of the type of wood your cabinets are made of, stain is likely not the best option.

There aren’t as many design options

You can’t get nearly as much variety with your stain as you can with paint colors.

The Bottom Line

When it comes time to make a decision about the finished surface of your kitchen cabinets, make sure you test each option with your actual cabinet material so you can have an actual visual of what the finished product will look like. In addition, have samples of your countertops and backsplashes readily available to match up with the cabinets so you can verify how everything goes together before making your final decision.

Types of Inspections a Property May Need Besides the Typical Home Inspection

A home inspection is one of the most common contingencies to be included in a real estate contract. Even if a home is only a couple of years old, anything can happen, which is why it’s important to take the opportunity to have the home inspected before your purchase agreement goes firm.

While certain minor issues can be quickly and easily fixed with minimal cost and effort, other issues are much more severe and can wind up costing tens of thousands of dollars to fix. It’s these types of issues that may prompt buyers to walk away from a deal, but without a home inspection clause, the opportunity to uncover such issues is lost.

As important as home inspections are, they don’t necessarily cover absolutely everything under the sun when it comes to issues with a home. As such, there are plenty of other types of specialized inspections that can be undertaken in order to uncover certain problems with a home that will require further attention.


It’s easy to spot mice and cockroaches in a home, as well as the damage that they leave behind. Termites, on the other hand, are not readily seen and can wreak havoc behind the walls and under floors of a home. A termite inspector will take the time to look in a property’s crawl space and attic and look for any evidence that termites are around and chewing up the beams. They’ll also look for dry rot that can disintegrate the wood and leave it unable to support the home’s structure.


If the subject property was built before 1980, there’s a good possibility that asbestos is lingering within some of the materials, including insulation, window caulking, and popcorn ceiling. While not dangerous when left alone, asbestos can be hazardous if it is broken up and disturbed. Once its particles become airborne, they can be easily inhaled, which can lead to serious medical conditions, including cancer. An asbestos inspector will look for signs of asbestos and conduct patch tests to identify its presence.


If the soil upon which the home sits is contaminated, a professional soil inspector will be able to confirm this. Testing the soil for contamination is especially helpful for those who plan on doing a lot of gardening. You might also want to have the soil tested if the house is located atop a hill to see if it’s stable enough to withstand incumbent weather that could cause the home to slide away.


Mold can easily be spotted if it’s on the outside of window sills, trim, ceilings, and walls. But if lurks behind drywall, in attics or crawl spaces, a typical home inspector might not be able to find it. A specialized mold inspector will scope out the home and be able to conduct tests on spores and look into areas that may have been subject to past water damage.

HVAC Systems

If there is anything wrong with the home’s furnace or air conditioner, an HVAC specialist will be able to identify if there is anything wrong. If there is, you’ll be informed about the approximate cost to fix the problem, or whether the units will need to be replaced.

Plumbing System

Old galvanized plumbing pipes may need to be inspected by a plumber, especially since the chances of them being clogged are much higher compared to more modern copper pipes. If severe blockages are identified, the pipes may need to be replaced.

Electrical System

If a home is older or has been renovated over the years, it’s possible that the electrical wiring has been played with. If the job was done properly, then there’s nothing to worry about. But if the rewiring work was shoddy, not only will it violate building codes, it can even lead to a fire hazard. An experienced electrician will be able to identify any faulty wires that may need to be rewired to bring the home back up to par.

Radon Test

Radon is a radioactive gas that’s naturally found in soil and rock, and can be found at concentrated levels in a home. Small levels of radon in a home may be fine, but elevated levels can be dangerous when exposed to over the long haul and can even lead to cancer. A mitigation contractor will be able to test for the presence of radon in the home and recommend ways to eliminate it.


A wood-burning fireplace might be an attractive feature in a home, but the chimney that releases its smoke might need to be checked. A chimney inspector will ensure that smoke is being ventilated properly and that the interior bricks and flue liners are in decent shape.

The Bottom Line

There are so many facets of a home that make it extremely difficult for a traditional home inspector to be able to uncover every issue that may be present. Depending on the type, age, condition, and location of a home, you may want to consider calling in specific specialized inspectors to make sure there are no major problems with the home that you’ll wind up taking over.

Affordable Ways To Enhance Your Bathroom On A Budget

Updated Accessories

Accessories can never be underestimated, no matter what room you’re using them in. You can easily create a luxe look by sprinkling your bathroom with opulent accessories such as candles, perfume bottles, soap dispensers, and others to make your bathroom look fit for royalty.

Decorate Using White

If you’ve looked through home design magazines or stayed at 5-star hotels, you may have noticed that the more expensive-looking spaces are those that are spa-inspired. These bathrooms tend to have a monochromatic look that exudes feelings of luxury. Typically, an all-white bathroom is used to create an elegant space. From the wall color, to the vanity, to the linens, all white in the bathroom provides the feeling of richness despite its incredible simplicity.

Add Extravagant Lighting

Don’t underestimate the power of good lighting. One of the easiest and fastest ways to introduce extravagance into the bathroom is to install gorgeous light fixtures, particularly a chandelier. This type of light fixture can make a dramatic impact in the room without occupying any space, which is important when dealing with small areas like the bathroom.

Add Wainscoting

The addition of wainscoting on the walls in your bathroom can instantly give the space an enhanced look. For this project, you might need to enlist the help of a contractor to make sure the job is done right. Once it’s up, paint the wainscoting in a neutral color, such as white, grey, or steel blue to completely change the look and feel of your bathroom.

A Unique Mirror

Nothing brightens up a space more than the reflective properties of a mirror. To give your bathroom a luxurious boost, hang an oversized mirror in an interesting frame that takes up the majority of the space on the wall that it’s hanging on. Install a couple of wall sconces on either side and you’ll really have something that will stand out and enhance the richness of the room.

Diagonal Tiles

While a little more complicated than laying them in a square fashion, tiles that are applied diagonally look a little fancier. Not only that, this type of tile arrangement can also make a very small bathroom appear larger than it really is. Just be sure to use the appropriate tile size in relation to the square footage of the space that you’re working with.

Line your Walls With Wallpaper

Wallpaper has made a splash on the home design scene over the past few years, offering homeowners a host of different patterns to choose from. Adding wallpaper to bathrooms, in particular, has become a popular trend, as the right pattern and color combination can truly being this understated space to life.

The Bottom Line

Who says you can’t have luxury in your bathroom without spending a pretty penny? With these crafty ideas, you can take your bathroom from outdated to opulent in no time, without making a dent in your wallet.