White Oak Cabinets - How To Use In Your Kitchen

White oak cabinets are a timeless and versatile addition to any home. The simplistic appearance of natural white oak showcases true workmanship and provides quality that will last for years to come. The earthy and light appearance makes white oak a great option for farmhouse style kitchens, or any modern aesthetic.

white oak wood

A common characteristic with oak woods is the durability, in fact it is one of the most durable woods on the planet it’s something oak wood is known for. White oak is no different, it is a strong and durable wood. This wood is a great material for not only cabinet doors, but also drawer boxes and cabinet boxes. The durability of white oak will stand up to the test of time and be a timeless feature in your home.

The water resistant characteristics of white oak make for an excellent choice for kitchen and bathroom cabinets. White oak is a closed-grain wood, with many of its pores plugged with Tyloses. This makes the wood more resistant to water, decay and rot, water simply runs off the surface rather than soaking in.

Fun Fact: In the late 1700s, America’s first wooden warships used White Oak, including the U.S.S. Constitution, whose sides were entirely made of this hardwood and not iron? Talk about a sturdy wood!

It’s important to note however, the water resistant properties of white oak does not make it water proof. Spills and splashes should still be cleaned up right away to prevent damage. Sealing your wood with a finish will help to preserve the beautiful characteristics for years to come.

Applying a finish over the natural or stained wood will help protect it and make it easier to clean. A benefit to using a finish over the natural wood, is that it will enhance the natural, neutral colors of the wood and help protect it. Some finishes might pull out different tones of the wood, be sure to decide on what tones you want to show and pick a finish that will compliment that.

There are many finishing products on the market, all doing something a little different. If you need help choosing the right finish for your product, give us a call, we’d be happy to guide you!

Despite the name, white oak cabinets have a range of colors they lean towards, from warm wheat to a green-ish tone. The wood can even appear gray in some instances. While embracing the natural color of white oak cabinets is an excellent choice, it may not be the look or style for everyone.

Painting your kitchen cabinets is an easy way to change the look and feel of a space. Oak wood takes paint very well, making it easy to change the style and look of your kitchen and is easy to do on a budget.

When you choose to paint, you’ll notice your painted oak cabinets with white grain showing is a characteristic of the natural oak wood. Oak’s grain is prominent and while it is an easy wood to paint, it can be hard to achieve a smooth finish.

If you are wanting a smooth finish and not see the grain, the only way is to use a wood filler to fill it in prior to painting your cabinets. If you go this route, be sure to use a filler that can be sanded and sand after it dries to maintain a smooth finish.

For a modern kitchen design, you would want any oak elements to differ from the flat cut grain patterns of older oaks. White oak grain patterns feature newer styles that fit better with modern kitchen aesthetics. One example of a modern cut is a straight grain, which is achieved through the quarter sawn method (see picture above).

Popular Styles

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Styling white oak kitchen cabinets is pretty simple once you have an overall design aesthetic you are wanting to achieve. Pair the cabinets with a warm white countertop, extending the counter into the backsplash for a warm and bright style. Incorporate textures like brass lighting fixtures and knobs and pulls to bring everything together.

If you are going for a more of a cool tone in the space, pairing white oak cabinets with white countertops is the way to go. Either extend the counter into the backsplash or go with a simple white tile to finish it off. Using silver knobs and pulls will help finish this style.

Any color oak cabinet will offer a high-end design at about a 20% lower cost than many other hardwoods. Many interior designers opt for oak cabinets because of it’s reasonable price and impressive quality. If you are renovating your kitchen or bathroom, oak is a great choice for cabinets.