Don’t let alien terms like Particle Board, Marine Ply, Polyurethane Paint and Lacquered Glass confuse you when it comes to kitchen materials and finish. Selecting the right one is not that difficult!


Getting a makeover for your kitchen can be one of the best gifts you give yourself. A kitchen that is spacious, easy to manage and helps you organise all your cooking needs can be extremely satisfying. And getting there does not have to be a challenge. From materials and finishes to colours and styles, there can be a thousand of options to choose from. So, today, we’ll help you decode and decide the materials for the most basic ingredient that goes in making your kitchen – the cabinets.



Many materials used to make kitchen cabinets can be notoriously expensive. Careful consideration while selecting the specifications can spruce up your kitchen without blowing a hole in your pocket. You can even use different materials for the cabinet box and the shutter! Make your choice depending on the importance you give to the cost, durability and visual charm.


Particle Board
One of the most pocket-friendly options, particle board is more uniform and denser than plywood and natural wood. However, this low-cost substitute does is not as strong and is prone to expansion due to moisture, and therefore, not a good choice for cabinets.


Medium Density Fibreboard is an alternative if low cost is your priority. These days, pre-laminated MDF is available in a variety of colours, shades, and textures, allowing you to explore different styles without moving to an expensive material. Stronger than particle board, MDF is denser and weaker than plywood and usually, the most common use of MDF in kitchens is to make shutters for cabinets as it is easy to finish, especially if you are looking to paint your shutters.

Plywood kitchen cabinets

Marine Ply
The water-resistant variety of plywood, Marine Ply is the most preferred material for kitchen cabinets and drawers as its construction allows it to withstand exposure to long periods of moisture. Which means you don’t have to worry about water-spills or wet utensils! Some grades also resist fungal attack. Clearly, a very durable option!

Image from Google Images

Image from Google Images

Solid wood, in addition to the classic appeal of natural grains and smoothness, is also a sturdy and resilient option. Keep in mind, that this will be your most expensive option!


The overall aesthetics of your kitchen depends largely on the external part of the cabinets – the shutters. The finishes you choose decide the appeal of the space, and each creates dramatically different effects. Bear in mind, that all finishes need a base – either plywood or MDF.

Kitchen woodwork done with laminates

Laminates are adaptable to every interior landscape with a variety that ranges from natural wood-finishes to those using contemporary colours and designs. These can be manually stuck or machine pressed and are available in both matte and glossy looks. You can find laminates in many different price ranges, making them the most popular choice when it comes to finishes.


Veneer is actually a thin layer of wood which is used as a finish of you want a natural wood finish without the high cost. More expensive than laminates, veneer can be waterproofed to make it durable. However, veneer requires regular polishing and maintenance and so are usually avoided for shutters in the kitchen.

Painted polyurethane panels

If paint is what you’re looking to use, then MDF shutters make a better base. Choose either enamel paint that makes the surface waterproof, Duco paint which produces a hard, durable finish or polyurethane (PU) which is typically used to paint automobiles, to give a glossy finish. All three create a water-proof effect, but PU is the most popular one these days!

Shiny and new lacquered glass finish!

Lacquered Glass
One of the easiest ones to maintain, this is a sheet of glass that is painted on one side and stuck onto the base. It is the best to give a pop of colour to the kitchen and the glass surface makes it easy to clean!


That’s it. It is not that difficult!

Houzify’s Advice:
To keep your kitchen design budget friendly, use MDF and enamel paint for finishing. However, this will involve redoing the kitchen in a few years.

For a more durable, cost effective and maintenance friendly option, use Marine Ply as the core. Veneer is the least durable option, so you might want to avoid that and instead use laminates, Duco or PU paint or even lacquered glass.

If you have more questions, write in and let us know and we will be happy to answer!