Unfinished Kitchen Cabinets

Learn about the features of unfinished kitchen cabinets to see how this affordable option can give you unique and beautiful cabinets on a budget.
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Photo by: Thomas Northcut

Thomas Northcut

By: Amy McEvoy

If you're in the market for new kitchen cabinets and also looking for ways to keep your project under budget, one extremely affordable option is to explore the many styles of unfinished kitchen cabinet styles available.

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A Variety of Textures

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Modern Accents

Depending on the type of wood and style of the cabinets, unfinished cabinets can be an economical and efficient way to give your kitchen a brand new look. When you start your search for unfinished kitchen cabinets, the first decision you make will be the style of cabinet you want to feature. Do you want to add a sleek, contemporary or modern look to your kitchen, or are you interested in a more traditional design?

Clean, crisp lines and angular cutouts will work best with a modern or contemporary design, whereas Shaker or craftsman-style cabinets tend toward a more traditional look for your unfinished kitchen cabinets. Decisions regarding the style may also influence the material you use for your kitchen cabinets—more traditional styles generally feature wood almost exclusively, whereas modern and contemporary styles may feature artificial materials, which are less likely to be available in an "unfinished" state.

Once you've decided on a style, you'll need to choose your material. Cherry wood is a very high-end choice, popular for its extreme durability and an attractive natural color, which can range from deep brown to red. Maple, oak and hickory are also high-quality wood choices. Pine can be a great choice for a rustic, country kitchen look. More exotic woods like mahogany, ebony and bamboo are much higher-priced options, but they're known for ultimate durability and a truly unique unfinished appearance.

When your wood is chosen, you'll need to decide if a fully unfinished look is right for your kitchen, or, alternatively, if you want to paint or stain your new kitchen cabinets. Generally, a fully unfinished look can pair well with a country or rustic kitchen style, but it can also feature well in a range of traditional kitchen styles. If you do choose to finish your kitchen cabinets yourself, you'll want to keep in mind that certain woods accept stain and paint better than others. If it is your plan to stain your unfinished kitchen cabinets, do some research beforehand to ensure that your wood choice will accept the stain and preserve its natural beauty at the same time.

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