Popular Finishes for Wooden Kitchen Cabinets: Which One Is Right for You?

Posted in Design Advice

Modern kitchen with white painted cabinetry and natural walnut accents

Wooden kitchen cabinets are one of the most popular choices for homeowners looking for a durable and timeless option for their kitchens. They can add natural character and everlasting style to any kitchen design. With a range of species and finishes, wooden kitchen cabinets can complement any style, from modern to traditional. In this blog, we will discuss the characteristics and benefits of wooden kitchen cabinets, the types and finishes, and the latest trends surrounding them. 

Characteristics of Wooden Kitchen Cabinets

Wooden kitchen cabinets offer several benefits that make them a popular choice for homeowners. Firstly, they are durable and can withstand years of use without showing significant wear and tear. Secondly, wooden cabinets have a timeless appeal that works well with a variety of design styles. Finally, wood is a natural product, making it an environmentally friendly choice for those who prioritize sustainability. 
When choosing wooden cabinets, it's essential to understand the characteristics of the different types of wood. Wood is a natural product, so the grain and colour of each piece can vary–what is the best wood to use for kitchen cabinets? If you are using a natural stained finish on the wood, you should expect to see some variation. It's important to ask to see a few different samples of the wood so you get a better idea of the colour variation. Some wood types, such as walnut, maple, and cherry, change colour and lighten or darken over time naturally due to oxygen and UV exposure. 

an array of wood stains and types including maple, walnut, white and red oak

Types & Finishes of Wooden Kitchen Cabinets

Wooden kitchen cabinets can be crafted in an extensive range of species and finishes, offering abundant choices and possibilities. Popular wood species for kitchen cabinets include maple, walnut, and white oak and are available in different grain patterns, including flat cut, quarter cut, and rift cut. 
Solid wood kitchen cabinets are made entirely of wood, with no particleboard or MDF used in their construction. These cabinets are sturdy and long-lasting and can be made from a variety of woods. Real wood veneer cabinets are made from a thin layer of natural wood applied to a substrate, giving the appearance of an all-wood piece. 

In terms of finishes, there are many options available for wooden kitchen cabinets. 

Natural and Stained Wood Finishes: 

Natural finishes are popular for those who want to showcase the natural beauty of the grain, arches, or knots of the wood. It is necessary to note that wood is a natural product, and the grain and colour of each piece can vary. When opting for a natural finish, it is best to get multiple samples to ensure that you are happy with the variation in colour and grain.

Stained finishes are another popular choice, as they can be used to create a range of colours, from light to dark. Stained finishes add a wash of colour to the wood while still allowing the character of grain patterns to show through. With other finishes available such as distressed, band sawn, and glazed, you can get the exact look and style you want to achieve.   

Painted Wood Finishes:  

Painted wood finishes are also an option and can be used to create a variety of looks, from classic and sleek, to rustic and distressed. Maple, oak, and other solid wood species will expand and contract with humidity and heat changes, this slow expansion and contraction can cause hairline cracks with a painted finish wherever there are joints in the cabinet door. When it comes to solid wood kitchen cabinets, it is best to choose a stained finish to showcase the natural beauty and character of the wood species.  We recommend selecting our high-grade MDF for painted cabinetry, as it will result in a smooth finish with resistance to humidity and cracking.  

Your Wooden Kitchen Inspiration Starts Here

Trends Surrounding Wooden Kitchen Cabinets

Like any other design element, wooden kitchen cabinets are subject to trends that come and go. Currently, we are seeing a few trends in modern wooden kitchen cabinets. White oak is a still popular choice, but clients are now wanting to add a little stain to it. Dark wood cabinets, such as those with a chocolate brown stain, are also becoming more popular due to the warmth they add to any kitchen space. Walnut, maple, and white oak remain the most popular wood types for cabinets.   
Recently, there has been a trend towards adding colour to wooden kitchen cabinets. Jewel tones, such as green, purple, blue, and red, are becoming popular for homeowners looking to add a unique touch to their kitchens. Distressed and textured wood is also making a comeback, with many clients asking for this finish on their islands for a distinctive touch of detailing. 

NOW TRENDING: Kitchens with Coloured Stained Wooden Cabinets
Project Lakeshore: Green Stained Angled Grain Walnut
A modern custom kitchen with green stained walnut and hazelnut stained walnut wood. Macro detail shot of angle grain walnut wood stained in a green tone.
NOW TRENDING: Kitchens with Distressed & Rustic Wooden Cabinets
Project Clapp

A transitional custom cottage kitchen with painted white cabinets and a distressed black island and range hood.

Project Cowper

A rustic custom cottage kitchen with distressed black cabinets and reclaimed wood island.

Project Lee Valley

A traditional custom kitchen with a three-tone cabinetry design including white, grey, and band sawn wood.

When it comes to finishes, homeowners are opting for a more customized look with wooden kitchen cabinets.  While it is easy for any cabinet company to match a paint colour, doing different wood stains and finishes requires a higher-end cabinet company with the expertise to handle complex finishes.

At Chervin, our team masters the art of custom cabinetry servicing homes across Oakville to cottages in Muskoka–breathing new life into your kitchen cabinets. You can trust that our quality stain and paint finishes are the best on the market. Whether you envision a charmingly distressed appearance, a refined glazed finish, a wire brushed texture or even a uniquely coloured stain, we have the capability to fulfil your every preference.

Our commitment to excellence ensures that your kitchen cabinets will radiate a truly individualized charm.

Wooden kitchen cabinets are a popular and timeless choice for homeowners due to their durability and natural beauty. Clients have a range of options to choose from when it comes to wood types, finishes, and grain patterns. While white oak and darker-stained wood cabinets are trending, there is also a rising interest in bold and unexpected colour stains on wood.  Investing in our high-quality custom cabinetry guarantees a flawless finish and specialized custom wood stains for a truly unique and personalized kitchen.   
Whether you opt for modern wooden kitchen cabinets, solid wood, oak kitchen cupboards, or any other type of wooden kitchen cabinet, you can trust that it will add value and style to your home for years to come. Overall, handcrafted wooden kitchen cabinets are a long-lasting investment that can add both value and style to any home. 

Discover why Chervin Kitchen & Bath is the ultimate destination for where to buy kitchen cabinets that exceeds expectations from quality to creative flair to customer service and beyond.

Our Sales & Design team are always available to provide you with detailed information on choosing between painted or stained wooden kitchen cabinets. They will happily answer your questions, inform you of our wide variety of options, and recommend the best material for your lifestyle, space usage, and overall design style. Additionally, our designers can help you meticulously evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of each option to select the ideal material for your high-end custom kitchen.


Don't wait any longer! 

Schedule an appointment with our knowledgeable design specialists to transform your dream project into a reality. Visit one of our showrooms in Waterloo, Oakville, or Muskoka to get inspired!

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Kitchen Cabinet FAQs

  • What is the most popular kitchen cabinet finish?

    It depends on your personal preference and the look you are trying to achieve. If you want to showcase the natural beauty of wood, choose a stain. Or go for a bold, unique look with painted cabinets.

  • What is the best wood to use for kitchen cabinets?
    If you want long-lasting, high-quality wood cabinets, select a hardwood such as white oak, pine, walnut, or maple and finish it properly. This will ensure durability for years to come!
  • How do you clean kitchen cabinets without removing the finish?
    Clean your kitchen cabinets using a soft, damp cloth. Add mild liquid dish soap to warm water for deeper cleaning. Rinse with a clean, damp cloth and dry with another soft, dry cloth.
  • What is cabinet wood grain?
    Cabinet wood grain refers to the texture, pattern, or orientation of wood-cell fibres that give wood its unique markings.
  • What is the warranty on Chervin cabinets?
    We guarantee a flawless final product. Get a full warranty for 5 years on all cabinetry and a lifetime manufacturer’s warranty on hardware. Although our warranty caps at 5 years, you can expect your cabinets (including their finishes) to remain beautiful for many years to come.
  • How do I get started with custom cabinets?
    If you're ready to transform your kitchen with new cabinets, contact the Chervin team. Stop by one of our showrooms in Oakville, Waterloo, or Muskoka to get inspired!
  • Can you paint wooden kitchen cabinets?
    Certainly. Painting cabinets is still a trendy way to add a pop of colour to your kitchen. However, when painting solid wood cabinets, there is a risk of cracking due to the expansion and contraction caused by different humidity levels in your home.

Part Of The Chervin Family

Chervin Kitchen & Bath is part of a family of companies that work to provide you with inspired interiors through an incredible service experience and the highest product standard.

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