Textured vs. Smooth Black Appliances

Kim Joyce

Black, white and off-white or bisque are neutral colors less likely to lose favor completely among the style conscious in the way that avocado green, poppy red and turquoise tend to do. Black appliances work particularly well in larger kitchens, adding a touch of sophistication alongside dark countertops or in contrast to pale contemporary cabinetry. Whether you choose textured or smooth black appliances is a matter of availability, style preferences and practical considerations.


Smooth black appliances show dust and fingerprints.

Black is considered a neutral color, and black appliances can be stylish. While neutral colors for appliances have ups and downs in their popularity, no neutral color is likely to disappear completely from the appliance scene. Choices include textured, matte or flat black and glossy black mirror-like finishes.

Fingerprints and Dust

Glossy black appliances tend to show fingerprints and food smears. They even show dust, which may be of particular concern in dry, dusty climates. Careless cleaning can create scratches that are also very visible on smooth, shiny surfaces. Families with small children or teenagers may prefer a textured surface that masks fingerprints and grime, though matte finishes also hide evidence of heavy use fairly well.

Ease of Cleaning

Textured appliance surfaces are fairly easy to keep clean. Use vinegar and water in a spray bottle or another liquid cleaner to dissolve the grime, and then wipe it away with a terry cloth rag or rough-textured cloth. You can also lightly scrub the surface with fine brushes or scrubbing pads. Smooth appliance surfaces are deceptively easy to clean, with no surface nooks and crannies where grime can build up. Making smooth finishes look clean is another matter -- especially glossy surfaces, which show dust, lint, fingerprints and even streaks from some commercial cleaners. Avoid paper towels or any scrubbing pads that will scratch smooth surfaces. Use microfiber cleaning cloths for cleaning and polishing.

Matte or Shiny

Even if you decide that a smooth black finish is right for you, your decision-making is not quite over. Smooth finishes can be either glossy or matte. Glossy black particularly shines where sophistication and elegance are of utmost importance and looks nice in decor that features lots of glass, mirrors and other reflective surfaces. Any scratches or damage you discover during frequent cleaning will be hard to hide. A matte surface is better for a more low-key, low-maintenance lifestyle, because, like textured appliances, a flat black painted surface will hide fingerprints and smears more effectively.