Acrylic vs. Wood Kitchen Cabinets – Which Ones Are Better?

To be clear, acrylic and wood are not comparable as one is a finish and the other is a building material. Therefore, choosing between the two is unnecessary as you can have both at the same time.

You can get wooden kitchen cabinets made and have an acrylic finish on them. Or you can try a different top coating option over your cabinets.

Kitchen Cabinets

Kitchen cabinets are generally made of wood. However, there is a variety of wood species and treatments.

Some cabinets are built with wood-like materials such as fiberboard or particle board. Nonetheless, the final look will show a wooden structure.

Simply put, the basic structure of the storage units installed in kitchens is constructed with timber sourced from various trees.

Some makers may choose maple for construction, while others may go with hickory. However, in the end, the homeowner gets hardwood cabinets.

Once you have the cabinets installed, you can move on to adding a finishing touch to them using any of the various finishing materials such as acrylic, laminate, lacquer, wood stains, paint and veneer.

Acrylic is one of the most commonly chosen kitchen cabinet finishes because it offers many benefits that other materials may not.

Acrylic Kitchen Cabinets

Acrylic is a synthetic, non-toxic finishing material that is applied on top of kitchen cabinets.

It gives the storage units a glossy look that not only adds to the aesthetic of the space but protects the cabinet structure from damage.

There are endless benefits of using acrylic cabinet finish, such as


Perhaps the most impressive quality of acrylic is its unmatched durability. It is created with top-grade compounds that make it scratch resistant.

So, if you get an acrylic finish on your cabinet, it will last a long while without getting dull over time.

For many people, the longevity of kitchen cabinets is the most important factor that is generally hard to predict.

However, with acrylic cabinets, you can rest easy knowing that they will stay intact for several years.

Visually Appealing

Besides being durable and withstanding routine wear and tear, acrylic cabinets are beautiful to look at. They bring a charming touch to any kitchen.

Acrylic finishing is ideal for people who want their cabinets to be the most prominent feature of the kitchen.

Sure, kitchen cabinets remain the focal point of attention as they occupy a large area in the kitchen but they may not necessarily look pretty enough for visitors to stare at and appreciate.

Therefore, adding an acrylic finish to your cabinets is the way to go if you want them to have a shiny, reflective appearance.

Vast Variety of Choices

Another positive of acrylic is the vast variety of options it offers. From colors to designs, there is a wide range of choices for you to pick from to match your kitchen’s interior.

People interested in harmonizing the interior décor in their house want as many options as possible for all interior design elements. That rings true for the kitchen as well.

Designing a thematic kitchen can be tricky as you may not find similar color choices for two different items you have to use.

That is, let’s say you put up an exotic-looking backsplash but you cannot find a complementary cabinet color or design.

Due to this, you have to forego your wish to bring a well-designed kitchen to life.

However, if you choose acrylic kitchen cabinets, you don’t have to worry about coordinating the hues between them and any other article in your kitchen, because they have such a massive variety of options.

Simply put, choosing acrylic kitchen cabinets is much more convenient, thanks to the host of choices.


As already mentioned, most kitchen cabinets are built with wood, which is prone to water damage.

However, if they are finished with an acrylic sheet, they become safe from water damage as it is waterproof.

People who don’t use acrylic finishing usually have to apply a sealant to protect their cabinets from moisture, but you don’t need to do that if you opt for acrylic cabinets.

In short, storage units in the kitchen have a better chance of staying safe from dampness that can otherwise ruin wooden structures.

UV Resistant

If you have an outdoor kitchen to have summer barbecue parties, you should protect the cabinets with an acrylic finish as it is UV resistant, unlike most other finishing materials.

This means even when you don’t use the cabinets for a while in the summer, they will not degrade due to the UV rays.

Moreover, they are resistant to the outdoor elements, which is why they will also last long in the open.


Acrylic is pretty lightweight and can be easily moved and fashioned as you want.

Low Maintenance

Another plus of acrylic cabinets is their uncomplicated upkeep needs. Unlike many other cabinet finishes, acrylic is easy to clean and maintain.

All you need to do is dip a piece of cloth in a mixture of water and mild soap to wipe the storage units in your kitchen.

Like most things in life, acrylic cabinet finishing comes with a handful of drawbacks that you should know about in order to make an informed decision.

Drawback 1: Expensive

Acrylic finishes can be quite expensive, which is why many people hesitate to apply them. However, since acrylic is incredibly durable, spending a hefty sum of money on it is certainly worthwhile.

Drawback 2: Difficult To Install and Replace

Applying acrylic on kitchen cabinets can be tricky. It’s a job that requires expertise that only professionals have. Therefore, don’t try to DIY it, and contact an expert instead.

Since acrylic is difficult to install, it is safe to say that replacing it will also be challenging.

If, after a few years, you want to switch the acrylic finish on your kitchen cabinets, you will have to spend quite a decent wad of cash as doing so is a complicated task

Wooden Kitchen Cabinets

Normally, all kitchen cabinets are wood-based, so there is no difference there. However, the wood species may not be the same.


The best feature of wood is that it is robust and cannot be damaged much with regular wear and tear.

Unlike most other building materials, wood maintains its sturdiness after a few years, unless it is exposed to water.

It’s a well-known fact that water is wood’s arch-nemesis that warps the material. Therefore, it is worth noticing that timber cabinets will stay in good condition as long as they are safe from water.


Solid wood is one of the most durable building materials out there. So, you don’t have to worry about changing your kitchen cabinets in a short amount of time after their installation.

Earthy Charm

It goes without saying that wood adds an earthy charm to any space. So having real wood cabinets will surely enhance your kitchen’s aesthetic.

Drawback 1: Prone To Water Damage

Wood is susceptible to water damage, so it must be kept away from moisture. Therefore, wooden kitchen cabinets must never be exposed to water so that they remain intact for a long period of time.

Tips on Choosing Kitchen Cabinets

The type of cabinets you choose for the kitchen is entirely your decision. However, a little guidance never hurt anyone! With that in mind, here are some tips on picking out kitchen cabinets.

Know Your Budget

Sometimes the excitement of getting new kitchen cabinets can get the best of us, and make us ignore our budget when choosing an option.

To save yourself from this mistake, be sure to set a budget aside and keep it in mind at all times. When you do that, you will only check out cabinets that you can easily afford.

Hence, you will not have to worry about the money.

Pick a Theme

Do you want to keep things modern or bring back a little bit of the classic kitchen look?

If you don’t have a design theme for your kitchen yet, think of one, as it will help you streamline your kitchen makeover project.

Once you know what you want your kitchen aesthetics to be, you will be better prepared to choose the cabinets and their finish.

Decide Cabinet Hardware

What kind of knobs do you want on your kitchen cabinets? That’s an important question that you must ask yourself before choosing the storage units in your kitchen.

To do that, you must consider the finish you wish to have and whether the hardware you are choosing will go with it or not.

In simple words, considering the overall appearance of your kitchen after the cabinets are installed is crucial.

When choosing cabinets, be sure to give function precedence over beauty, as they are storage units that will hold your kitchen supplies.

As a general rule of thumb, go for really spacious kitchen cabinets because a kitchen never has enough space!

Ending Note

If you cannot decide if you should get acrylic or wooden cabinets because each has its own benefits and drawbacks, you can get both together.

It’s certainly possible; all you need is a wooden structure of the cabinets and an acrylic finish on top.

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