A good finish is everything, especially when it comes to kitchen cabinets and wardrobes. They can elevate the beauty of your space while protecting your cabinets in the long term. You can do them up in laminate, membrane or acrylic. 

Acrylic and membrane are the most popular choices for the kitchens of today. Here’s how you can choose between the two:

Acrylic vs Membrane Finish: What is acrylic finish?
Acrylic vs Membrane Finish: acrylic kitchen cabinets in red

If you’re looking for a glossy finish for your wardrobes and kitchen cabinets, acrylic is the way to go. The almost mirror-like surface is a non-toxic finish that gives a sheen look to your kitchen and plush appeal to your bedroom. While shades of red are a popular choice for acrylic finish, you can choose from a range of colours to suit your style.

Acrylic vs Membrane Finish: What is membrane finish?
Acrylic vs Membrane Finish: kitchen and wardrobe membrane renolit

If natural vibes are your thing, a membrane finish would be a suitable choice for your kitchen cabinets and wardrobes. Membrane is a Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) foil. You can find them in matte, glossy and even wooden finishes. This is created when the foils are wrapped around medium density fibreboard under high pressure. One among the most popular choices, membrane is generally the go-to option for modular kitchens.

Pros and cons of acrylic and membrane finishes

Acrylic vs Membrane Finish: Aesthetics

  • Acrylic: There’s no denying it – acrylic is a stylish and elegant finish. The ultra glossy option is typically used for high-end kitchens. There’s also been a steady rise for homeowners to use acrylic finish for their bedroom wardrobes to create a plush space.
  • Membrane: This finish has a rich, unique and natural appeal. It’s smooth to the touch as well! Membrane finish works well in traditional and contemporary homes.

Acrylic vs Membrane Finish: Color and Varieties

  • Acrylic: These are available in vibrant colours to bring out their sheen best.
  • Membrane: These are available in various colors and textures like matte, gloss and wooden-like finishes.

Acrylic vs Membrane Finish: Maintenance and Durability

  • Acrylic: This can take a lot of wear and tear, thanks to its hard wearing nature. You don’t have to be concerned about it losing its sheen, hue or brightness for several years. It requires regular cleaning with water and mild soap because it can easily attract fingerprints and stains.
  • Membrane: These are water and weather resistant, making it a good option for kitchens. The foil can peel off with time though. Also, constant exposure to sunlight can cause a little discolouration. Just like acrylic, membrane too requires regular cleaning.

Acrylic vs Membrane Finish: Cost

  • Acrylic: This is a premium finish. For modular kitchens topped off with acrylic, the cost could start from ₹2,00,000. For wardrobes, the finish starts from ₹25,000.
  • Membrane: While it does give off a rich finish, membrane is a cost-effective choice. A kitchen topped off with membrane starts from
    ₹1,80,000. For wardrobes, membrane finish starts at ₹18,000.
Acrylic vs Membrane Finish: What is the best finish for your kitchen cabinets?
Acrylic vs Membrane Finish: L shaped kitchen design

Acrylic finish works best for a modern designed kitchen. On the other hand, membrane suits both traditionally-styled and modern kitchens. If you’re looking to create a stylish statement and can afford to spend a little more, seal the units with acrylic. Another idea is to have the upper cabinet in acrylic and lower cabinets in a less costlier finish.

Acrylic vs Membrane Finish: What is the best finish for your wardrobe?
Acrylic vs Membrane Finish Wardrobe Option

Unlike kitchen cabinets, wardrobes aren’t exposed to a lot of wear and tear throughout their lifetime. If you’re looking for a plush bedroom, an acrylic finish can elevate the overall look. But if you’re looking for an economical choice, membrane is the way to go.

Of course, the best way to figure what works for you is to discuss your style, budget and lifestyle with your designer.

If you liked reading this, take a look at The Complete Guide to Modular Kitchen Materials for better understanding.

Send in your comments and suggestions.

— editor@livspace.com