Unfinished Wood Kitchen Cabinets
SAVINGS - SAVINGS - SAVINGS
If you need to really watch your wallet, buying unfinished wood kitchen
cabinets can be an economical way to go.
If you are purchasing stock kitchen cabinets (i.e. factory built) it will
save you upwards of 30% or more to stain and finish (or paint) your own kitchen
Even if you purchase custom built cabinets (if you're up to tackling the
project) ask your cabinet maker if you can finish the cabinets. You may be able
to save 10 to 25% or more off the cost of you cabinets.
My husband and I owned our own custom cabinet shop, and at times would have
customers ask about finishing their own project. Usually, we ended up finishing
the cabinets once they considered the extra effort involved, but sometimes the
customer would tackle it. Most often they would undertake the project when the
cabinets needed to be painted, for example white.
PAINTING YOUR CABINETS WHITE - EASIER AND ECONOMICAL
If you are going white with your kitchen, consider painting your own unfinished wood kitchen cabinet boxes and frames, and purchase the doors, already white.
You can go with another color other than white, but be sure to match the door
color (from where you order your doors) to that with the paint or lacquer you
purchase for your cabinet exteriors.
LOOK FOR THERMOFOIL DOORS
White is an easy match for paint, and you can easily get your doors in the
top notch quality of thermofoil. Thermofoil is a plastic, vinyl-like
material that has been
thermally heated to your door, versus being a rolled on vinyl. Rolled on
vinyl's may (over time, use, and humidity changes) bubble, pucker, swell, peel
and flake. Thermofoil doors won't.
The photo at right is of a white laundry room we built and installed.
The doors are thermofoil, while the frames are painted with a white lacquer that
was sprayed on with an airless sprayer, and the ends of the cabinets are a
Thermofoil is added to high quality MDF (medium-density fiberboard) doors.
MDF is an engineered wood, made from compressed and bonded wood fibers.
The reason Thermofoil is adhered to MDF is because MDF is easily machined, very
dense, and stable (it won't shrink and swell with your homes changes in humidity
like real wood doors, especially if sealed with Thermofoil). Thus, the
Thermofoil won't be strained and crack, etc.
One thing to remember about MDF, however, is that it can flake apart,
especially if you are putting screws into it, do something wrong, have to take a
screw out and re-screw. Your screw may be loose (literally!!). Take
care when screwing into MDF. They can also "strip-out" easily.
Custom cabinet shops will have access to thermofoil doors, if they don't,
look for another shop. You'll have to inquire with your local lumber or
home center if they have thermofoil available for separate purchase (if you are
planning to purchase factory built).
Using the above method, you can purchase unfinished wood kitchen cabinet boxes, but use already finished doors, making your finishing job a whole lot easier.
OAK: A GREAT WOOD TO STAIN (USE MAPLE OR BIRCH
The "easiest" wood to stain and finish when purchasing unfinished wood
kitchen cabinets, and the most forgiving, is oak. Oak is also the best
wood to build kitchen cabinets out of (see
Best Wood for Kitchen Cabinets
The photo at right is of an oak island my husband built featuring a
Cambria Quartz countertop (approximate weight of the countertop alone is 500
lbs.). The island is nicely highlighted by built-up corners and corner
blocks. The added depth gives sophistication to the island. The rest
of the kitchen in this home is white, resulting in a really nice, overall
Click here, from our
Unfinished Wood Kitchen Cabinets page to the How to Stain
Your Kitchen Cabinets page for a simple how-to in staining your
If you are going to paint your boxes and frames, a couple of great woods to
work with when painting are birch or maple. Birch will be more economical
than maple, especially "paint grade birch". If you are remodeling, you
will have to work with what you have.
Click from our Unfinished Wood Kitchen Cabinets page to
the Repaint Your Kitchen Cabinets page for ideas
on how to paint (or repaint) your cabinets
WHAT ABOUT HARDWARE?
Hardware for unfinished wood kitchen cabinets can be purchased first, then
match stains to fit your hardware, or you can wait until your cabinets are
finished, and match your hardware to your stain or paint.
Often, dark stains and paints look exceptional with lighter handles,
especially polished chrome, stainless steel, or even white..
The contrast of darker handles against white cabinets can be breathtaking.
Polished chrome and stainless steel also look classy on white.
cabinet pictured at right are some we built and installed. The dark
countertop and dark handles really show-off the white.
The Woodworker's Depot for numerous
handles to choose from.
OTHER RELATED SITES:
Unfinished Pine Kitchen Cabinets
Gorgeous, Money Saving things you can do to finish them.
Staining Kitchen Cabinets
Your Time, Your Success - Tips you Must Know.
How to Stain Kitchen Cabinets
6 Easy Steps, Plus 13 Things You Must Have BEFORE You Start.
Kitchen Cabinet Finishing and Refinishing
know tips and techniques.
Repaint Your Kitchen Cabinets
Yes, you can repaint your kitchen cabinets. Easy, step-by-step
The Woodworker's Depot -
Online hardware store. Great prices, great hardware.