High Gloss Kitchens Make Rooms Shine

High-gloss kitchens look modern and exclusive. But they can do more than look good: Their glossy fronts reflect the light and mirror the room. This effect visually widens small kitchens, often making them appear larger than they are. But kitchens with high-gloss fronts also have some disadvantages, which we have summarized. We also show the most beautiful examples, compare the different coating options and give tips on proper care.

Modern high-gloss kitchens make your home shine. With fronts in elegant anthracite, you'll be right on trend in 2024
Modern high-gloss kitchens make your home shine. With fronts in elegant anthracite, you’ll be right on trend in 2024.
Photo: Häcker kitchens

Advantages of High Gloss Kitchens

  1. Glossy, reflective surfaces make small rooms look larger.
  2. Small kitchens appear especially large when the glossy kitchen fronts are white.
  3. The high-gloss look stands for timeless, elegant, and high-quality design.
  4. The high-gloss kitchen can be planned and installed in many ways, whether as a complete eat-in kitchen or just as an eye-catcher in the form of a kitchen island.
  5. Stains on lacquered fronts can be easily removed with a damp cloth and – if necessary – some washing-up liquid.
  6. High-gloss kitchens can be excellently combined with other furniture and kitchen countertops made of different materials – they offer a wide range of color design options and harmonize very well with built-in appliances in stainless steel look.

Disadvantages of High Gloss Kitchens

  1. One disadvantage of high-gloss kitchens is that damage such as scratches, dents, or dings caused by swollen substrate material is visible and can affect the overall appearance.
  2. Small scratches and dents cannot be easily touched, polished, or sanded down.
  3. High-gloss kitchens with real lacquer fronts are costly to buy.

The Spatial Effect of Kitchens With a High-Gloss Look

Glossy surfaces reflect kitchen lighting, set highlights, and create optical depth. The resulting reflections make high-gloss kitchens look much livelier than fronts with a matte look and have a magnifying and brightening effect. Therefore, using high-gloss, bright materials is particularly worthwhile in small kitchens. The gloss is always associated with luxury; the elaborate lacquering process for the surfaces looks high-quality and radiates exclusivity – a real dream kitchen.

It's a great place to linger: open shelving, pink accents, and a wood countertop make this modern high-gloss kitchen feel homey
It’s a great place to linger: open shelving, pink accents, and a wood countertop make this modern high-gloss kitchen feel homey.
Photo: Schüller

Different Coatings for the High-Gloss Kitchen

It doesn’t always have to be real lacquer for the high-gloss kitchen: although it is more robust and durable than all alternatives, it also has its price. The radiant look of the high-gloss kitchen can be created with a wide variety of materials, from affordable to high-priced. We will give you an overview below.

High-Gloss Kitchen With Foil

It is particularly inexpensive to foil the kitchen. The plastic foils are pressed under strong pressure onto the carrier plate, mostly made of MDF. Since the foils can be printed, creating a diverse range of colors and patterns is possible. Foil fronts for the kitchen in high-gloss look are very easy to clean but also quite sensitive to scratches. In addition, there is a risk that the film will peel off over time, especially at the ends and corners, or bubbles will form under steam.

High-Gloss Kitchen With Acrylic

On the one hand, fronts made of acrylic are available from solid acrylic sheets or, alternatively, from carrier plates coated with acrylic. They are particularly robust, easy to clean, and scratch-resistant after a special sealing. They resemble fronts made of glass but are much more affordable. Their surface allows colors to shine deeply and is antibacterial, easy to clean, and ecological.

High Gloss Kitchen With Lacquer Laminate

Fronts made of lacquer laminate are laminated with a plastic, lacquered film. As a result, the kitchen fronts of high-gloss kitchens look much higher quality than those provided with unpainted films. The surfaces processed in this way are much more resistant and scratch-resistant and provide a wide range of colors to choose from.

High-Gloss Kitchen With Real Lacquer

Lacquered fronts are the most high-quality and noble type of surface design for the high-gloss kitchen. Here, the carrier plate is painted in several layers – consisting of a base coat and a hard lacquer – and then polished to a high gloss. Due to the various elaborate work steps, a high quality is created, which has its price. In return, you get the typical glossy finish and an extremely robust, hard-wearing, durable, fully sealed, waterproof surface in a huge range of colors.

High Gloss Kitchen With Glass

The most beautiful shine in the high-gloss kitchen is achieved with glass fronts. For this purpose, safety glass panels are placed on a carrier material and fixed. For a color effect, the glass plates can be painted from behind so that no color wish remains open here, too. The advantages of glass are its insensitivity, ease of care, and heat resistance. The disadvantages are the price and the high weight. And if something does happen, read here how to remove scratches from glass.

High-gloss kitchens look particularly sophisticated, especially when the kitchen block in soft beige is topped with a marble countertop
High-gloss kitchens look particularly sophisticated, especially when the kitchen block in soft beige is topped with a marble countertop.
Photo: iStock/vicnt /Ikea

Cleaning and Care for a Streak-Free High-Gloss Kitchen

No matter how high-quality your high-gloss kitchen may be, streaks and smears will soon spoil its elegant appearance. But don’t worry: The fact that a high-gloss kitchen is difficult to clean and requires a lot of care is simply a myth.

When choosing a cleaner, the philosophy is that less is more. Usually, it is enough to wipe the fronts with a damp cloth or chamois leather. In addition to a few drops of washing-up liquid, a glass cleaner, in particular, promises a new, streak-free shine as it dries without leaving streaks. Aggressive cleaning agents, scouring agents, or products containing abrasive grains should not be used under any circumstances, as they will dull the high-gloss surfaces and make them unsightly.

Battery-powered window cleaners with appropriate cleaning agents are also suitable for cleaning a high-gloss kitchen. Always use just a few drops of your preferred cleaner and some clear, lukewarm water applied to a damp chamois or cotton cloth. Microfiber cloths are not suitable, as they can leave fine scratches and abrasive marks.

Don't overdo it with the care of your high-gloss kitchen, because it will only lead to streaks and the shine will quickly be gone
Don’t overdo it with the care of your high-gloss kitchen, because it will only lead to streaks and the shine will quickly be gone.
Photo: iStock/MihailDechev

High-gloss kitchens do not require further care: greases, oils, impregnators, or similar care products should be avoided. They are not suitable for kitchens with a high-gloss look. Their ingredients settle on the surface and thus reduce the light reflections necessary for the gloss.

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