What's the Best Appliance Finish for Your Kitchen?

Appliance Finish Comparison

If you're installing new kitchen appliances in your home, you're no doubt considering your options for appliance finishes. There are so many choices today, it can be an overwhelming decision. At Reno's Appliance, we’re experts on appliance finishes and wanted to give you some insight on some of the most popular options.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel has been the go-to appliance finish choice of homeowners for many years, and for good reason. From traditional to modern spaces, stainless works with a variety of styles.

  • Where it works: One of the most popular kitchen styles right now blends traditional cabinetry and wood floors with more modern elements such as light countertops and stainless steel appliances. For those with wooden cabinetry in brown tones, stainless breaks up the monotony of all wood and gives it a modern twist.
  • Where it doesn't: Stainless steel easily shows fingerprints and smudges. It's easy to clean, but if you want something maintenance free, then stainless steel is probably not the right choice.


One of the newest appliance finishes out there, slate is a low-reflecting medium grey color with beige undertones.

  • Where it works: Slate is perfect for both the modern and rustic kitchen. It serves as an anchor that grounds your kitchen with its earthy tone. It's also easy to clean.
  • Where it doesn't: Slate is great for kitchens with grey-based colors and neutral tones, but not necessarily bright or bold kitchens. Know that your slate appliances may dictate the aesthetic of your kitchen for years to come.


Black appliances are very "in" at the moment and can be a chic addition to your home.

  • Where it works: Black appliances work best in large open kitchens because they won’t overwhelm the space. Placing black appliances against white cabinetry works extremely well to create a truly classic black-and-white look. However, you can also pair black appliances with dark cabinetry for a more cohesive look throughout your kitchen.
  • Where it doesn't: It’s best not to install shiny black appliances in small kitchens. Black appliances can easily make compact spaces feel smaller than they are. Also, avoid putting black appliances in kitchens that don’t receive a lot of natural sunlight. Dark appliance finishes will only make the kitchen feel darker.

Black Slate

Black slate appliances are relatively new on the appliance scene and perfect for those who want the look of black appliances without the shine.

  • Where it works: Again, black slate appliances typically work best in larger kitchens. The matte look is also smudge and fingerprint-proof, so it's an ideal appliance finish if your kitchen is a high-traffic area.
  • Where it doesn't: Black slate will make a small, dark kitchen feel smaller and darker. However, if you really have your heart set on stale black in a compact kitchen, then consider installing undercabinet lighting as well. This will help brighten up the kitchen without producing the glare that you would expect with traditional black.


Some consider white to be too "safe" or boring. However, there are new finishes with interesting textures and polishes that elevate boring white into something more sophisticated.

  • Where it works: White appliances look best in kitchens with white or light cabinetry. They also help kitchens that don't have a lot of natural light or are compact look larger and brighter. Also consider white appliances if you have light countertops so that all of your surfaces blend together for a seamless look.
  • Where it doesn't: If your kitchen cabinetry is painted or stained a dark color, then avoid white appliances.

Paneled Doors

From traditional or transitional, shaker or contemporary, paneled doors can be matched to your cabinetry for a streamlined look.

  • Where it works: Paneled doors are ideal for compact kitchens where big appliances like refrigerators and dishwashers would look out of place.
  • Where it doesn't: Paneled doors are customized, which means that they may be among the most expensive options. So, while they work with almost any décor, they won’t work if you have a limited budget.

Color Finishes

Last but not least are colored appliance finishes. They're not for everyone, but perfect for making a bold statement.

  • Where it works best: Bold reds, sunny yellows, and bright blues look great in modern kitchens. Choose colors like cream, green, or pink if retro shabby chic is more your style.
  • Where it doesn't: Colored appliances are too bold for traditional or country-style kitchens. As you can see, every appliance finish has pros and cons.

Stop by Reno's Appliance to view our extensive inventory of appliances in a wide variety of gorgeous finishes. Our friendly sales staff will help you find the perfect appliance for your home.