Unfinished Cabinets: Benefits and Appeal

Installation of kitchen cabinets the drawer in cabinet.
Unfinished cabinets are a great option for anyone looking to renovate their kitchen. Not only are they cheaper to buy, but they also provide homeowners with the ability to personalize their cabinets to match their decor. With unfinished cabinets, you have the freedom to choose the color, style, and finish of your cabinet doors, making them the perfect choice for a kitchen remodel.

Benefits of Unfinished Cabinets

There are many benefits to using unfinished cabinets in your kitchen. The first is the cost savings. As mentioned, unfinished cabinets are cheaper to buy than pre-finished cabinets, and you also have the option to finish them yourself. This can save you a considerable amount of money, especially if you are looking to renovate your entire kitchen.

Another benefit of unfinished cabinets is that they provide you with the ability to customize your cabinets to match your decor. You can choose the color and finish of your cabinets, allowing you to create a look that is unique to your kitchen. Whether you prefer a classic, traditional look or a more modern and sleek look, unfinished cabinets give you the freedom to create a kitchen that is truly your own.

Unfinished cabinets are also a great choice for those who appreciate the natural beauty of wood. The unfinished wood allows you to see the grain pattern and natural color of the wood, which can add warmth and character to your kitchen.

If you are looking for a more natural look, you can choose to stain your cabinets rather than paint them. Staining the cabinets will enhance the wood grain and bring out the natural beauty of the wood.

Unfinished cabinets are also a great choice for those who are looking for a more durable kitchen. Unfinished cabinets are typically made from high-quality, solid wood, which is a strong and durable material that will last for many years.

Whether you are looking for a traditional look with reddish brown oak, or a more modern look with maple or cherry, solid wood kitchen cabinets will provide you with a kitchen that is both beautiful and durable.

Styling Options for Unfinished Cabinet Doors in Your Kitchen

Unfinished cabinet doors offer homeowners the flexibility to personalize their kitchen cabinets and match their decor. Whether you are looking for a modern, farmhouse, industrial, or white kitchen, there are many ways to use unfinished cabinet doors to achieve the look you desire. Below are some style recommendations for each type of kitchen.
brown wooden chair beside white wooden table
photo of clean kitchen cupboards

Modern Kitchen

Use sleek, contemporary door styles: For a modern kitchen, choose door styles that are sleek and contemporary. Options like slab doors or shaker style doors with clean lines will provide a modern look.

Opt for light wood finishes: Light wood finishes like birch or maple are great for modern kitchens as they provide a clean, modern look. Natural material and light wood type doors will work great here.

Consider a high-gloss finish: High-gloss finishes are popular in modern kitchens as they provide a sleek and shiny look.

Farmhouse Kitchen

Use rustic door styles: Rustic door styles like beadboard or shaker doors with a distressed finish are perfect for a farmhouse kitchen. Consider straight grain for your wood doors as well.

Choose reddish-brown finishes: Reddish-brown finishes like cherry or alder will give your cabinets a warm, farmhouse feel.

Add a pop of color: If you want to add a pop of color to your farmhouse kitchen, consider painting your cabinets a soft blue or green.

Industrial Kitchen

Use metal door styles: For an industrial kitchen, choose door styles that feature metal accents or a metal finish.

Opt for gray or black finishes: Gray or black finishes will provide a sleek and industrial look.

Consider a matte finish: A matte finish is perfect for an industrial kitchen as it provides a sleek, no-shine look.

White Kitchen

Use simple door styles: Simple door styles like shaker or slab doors are perfect for a white kitchen.

Opt for white finishes: White finishes will provide a bright, clean look in your kitchen.

Consider a textured finish: A textured finish like a linen or an eggshell finish will provide a subtle texture to your cabinets and prevent a flat, one-dimensional look.

There are many options for using unfinished cabinet doors in your kitchen. By following these style recommendations, you can choose the door style and finish that best matches your kitchen decor and personal style.

Whether you are looking for a modern, farmhouse, industrial, or white kitchen, unfinished cabinet doors provide the flexibility to create the look you desire.

Is it Cheaper to Buy Unfinished Cabinets?

The answer is yes! Unfinished cabinets are cheaper than pre-finished cabinets because you are not paying for the cost of finishing the cabinets. The manufacturer only provides the basic cabinet box, leaving the door and drawer fronts unfinished. This gives you the opportunity to finish the cabinets yourself, which can save you a considerable amount of money.

Do I Need to Sand or Stain Unfinished Cabinets?

Yes, you will need to sand and/or stain your unfinished cabinets. Sanding helps to remove any rough spots or imperfections in the wood, allowing the stain or paint to adhere better. Staining unfinished cabinets can help to enhance the wood grain and give your cabinets a more natural and warm look. When staining, it is important to choose a high-quality stain that is specifically designed for use on solid wood kitchen cabinets.
Kitchen cabinet with kitchenwares

Can I Paint Unfinished Cabinets?

Yes, you can paint unfinished cabinets. This is one of the main benefits of using unfinished cabinets because you can customize the color and finish to match your decor. When painting unfinished cabinets, it is best to use a high-quality paint that is specifically designed for use on cabinets.

How Many Coats of Paint Do I Need for Unfinished Cabinets?

The number of coats of paint you will need for unfinished cabinets will depend on the type of paint you are using and the look you are trying to achieve. Generally, two coats of paint are recommended for a smooth and even finish. You may also need a third coat if you are looking for a more intense color or if the first two coats did not fully cover the wood grain. Keep reading for more tips on painting unfinished kitchen cabinets. 

Staining wood with white spray gun. Application of flame retardant ensuring fire protection, airless spraying device.
a brown kitchen cabinet is painted with white chalk paint
Close up of a carpenter wearing gloves applying varnish onto a wooden surface with a cloth.
Color samples palette design catalog.

How to Paint Unfinished
Kitchen Cabinets

If you have decided to paint your unfinished cabinets, it is important to take the time to prepare the cabinets properly. Good preparation will ensure that your paint adheres well and provides you with a smooth, even finish. Below are the steps you should follow to paint your unfinished cabinets.

Clean the Cabinets

Before you start painting, it is important to clean the cabinets thoroughly. Use a degreaser or a mild soap and water to remove any dirt, grease, or oils from the surface of the cabinets. Be sure to let the cabinets dry completely before you start painting.

Sand the Cabinets

Sanding the cabinets will help remove any rough spots or imperfections in the wood. This will allow the paint to adhere better. Use a fine-grit sandpaper to sand the surface of the cabinets, being careful to remove all rough spots and to leave the surface smooth and even.

Fill Any Holes or Imperfections

If you have any holes or imperfections in your cabinets, you should fill them with wood filler before painting. Simply apply the filler to the hole or imperfection, let it dry, and sand it down until it is smooth.

Prime the Cabinets

Priming the cabinets will improve the adhesion of the paint and provide a smooth base. Use a high-quality primer that is specifically designed for use on wood and apply it evenly to the surface of the cabinets, making sure to cover all areas thoroughly.

Paint the Cabinets

After the primer has dried completely, you are ready to paint your cabinets. Use a high-quality paint that is specifically designed for use on cabinets. Apply two coats evenly, allowing each coat to dry completely before applying the next.

Be sure to paint all areas, including the doors, drawer fronts, and sides, and be careful not to leave any drips or smears.

Apply a Clear Coat

After the paint has dried completely, you can choose to apply a clear coat if desired. This will protect the paint and provide a durable, long-lasting finish. Apply the clear coat evenly to the surface of the cabinets. Be careful to cover all areas thoroughly.
With these steps, you will be able to paint your unfinished cabinets with ease and achieve a smooth, even finish. Whether you choose to paint your cabinets a bright color or a neutral shade, painting unfinished cabinets is an easy and affordable way to update the look of your kitchen.

Shop Cabinet Doors and Drawer fronts to go with your unfinished cabinet boxes. Get a completely custom look to your kitchen for a fraction of the cost. Get started today by shopping Cabinet Doors, Drawer Fronts, and Cabinet Hardware. Explore other inspiration pages to nail down your design style and check out the blog for some great How To articles, including measuring and how to choose boring options for your new doors!