Why are kitchen cabinets not finished?
Many people are afraid to go in for unfinished kitchen cabinets because they feel that they will be second-rate items. In fact the opposite is true. Unfinished does not refer to quality in any way – it refers to the final part of the production process, painting and staining, which have not been completed. A secret that many do not know is that crooked manufacturers often cover inferior wood or wood with defects with paint, polish and stain. In the case of the unfinished wooden cabinet, there is no way to hide the type and quality of the wood being used and therefore manufacturers must use top quality wood without defects because the customer can clearly see what he is paying for. In fact, unfinished kitchen cabinets are often made of the best wood available in a specific price range.
If you are renovating your kitchen and you are a DIY type, Unfinished cabinets can save you a lot of money. If you are on a tight budget, savings can be made by choosing cabinets made from non-premium types of wood if you plan to paint or stain them. The appearance does not suffer as wood such as beech or oak can be stained to look like expensive cherry or mahogany. If you can install the cabinets yourself, you’re looking at even greater savings in terms of labor costs.
Unfinished cabinets give you the option to get exactly the look you want. You can paint them, stain them or just give them a clear coat to leave the look unfinished. A clear lacquer or light maple stain will give a light feel. For a darker finish you can go for a walnut stain or dark paint. A good point to keep in mind is that lighter shades make a small kitchen look more open and dark colors add character to a larger kitchen.
Types of unfinished kitchen cabinet
There are two types of unfinished cabinets:
- The face frame design has a front-facing frame that reduces the size of the cabinet interior. They come in attractive designs but you are sacrificing the space you may need to fit in large utensils.
- Frameless cabinets do not have a front frame and therefore have more interior space. They look best in kitchens with a more contemporary design.
If you are only replacing some of your cabinets, of course, you will have to make sure that the new cabinets match the old ones.
Different woods are used to make unfinished kitchen cabinets – mahogany, pine, hickory, maple, cherry and oak are common. The various types of wood all have different qualities that you need to keep in mind when choosing unfinished kitchen cabinets. Not all woods absorb the stain in the same way. The original color and hardness of the wood will determine what the final shade of the stain will be. Remember that once a wood is stained with a dark color, changing to a light shade is not easy. A safe option is to take some samples of the wood you want and stain them to see what the final effect will be and once you are sure of the shade, go ahead.
Unfinished kitchen cabinets are also made of particle board and plywood, both of which have their own advantages and problems. Make sure you know what you are buying before you spend the money.
How and where to buy unfinished kitchen cabinets
Take detailed measurements of your kitchen. Make a diagram showing the location of cabinets, appliances, windows, wall sockets and plumbing fixtures so you know the size of the cabinets that will fit in your kitchen and where they will go. Study your storage needs and know what kind of cabinet interiors you need in terms of drawers, shelves and racks. If you are not confident that you will be able to do this yourself, get expert help in both making the measurements and making the diagram. This will help not only in the purchase of cabinets, but also fittings and other devices that you may need.
The Internet is a great place to find manufacturers and suppliers of unfinished kitchen cabinets. You should also check the Yellow Pages for cabinet makers and retailers who sell unfinished cabinets. Compare quality, durability and price (including shipping costs).
You can also contact wholesalers of unfinished kitchen cabinets. The prices here are usually considerably lower than those you find in retail stores.