How to Choose the Right Wood and Stain for Your Kitchen Cabinets
Whether you want a sleek, modern kitchen or a cozy, warm space, our designers can help you choose the right wood and stain for your new kitchen cabinets.
Upgrading your kitchen cabinets is a great way to change the aesthetic of your space. The type of wood you choose and the color of stain you select can dramatically alter the appearance and feel of your kitchen.
Let’s take a look at some common options available for custom kitchen cabinets. If you have any questions, speak with our team of kitchen cabinet designers.
Types of Wood for Cabinets
When choosing what kind of wood you’d like for your custom cabinets, you’ll need to keep more in mind than just color or grain.
Some wood types are more durable than others. Some can resist water, while others can resist rot or termites. You’ll also want to consider how the wood you’ve chosen accepts a stain and whether you’ll want to stain lighter or darker than the original wood color.
Light wood types are often good candidates for . Stain on a light wood can help bring out the grain pattern of the wood or make a dull wood look more sleek.
Each wood type brings its own character and strengths to your kitchen. Some common light wood types to choose for your cabinets are:
- Ash: Ash is sturdy, domestic, clean, and flexible. It can be white or more of a cream or light brown color. It often has even grains.
- Birch: Birch is a light wood with simple patterns that’s good for staining.
- Hickory: Hickory is durable and solid and can vary in shade from white to more of a tan or a reddish-brown.
- Maple: Maple is a light wood that’s durable and solid. It often looks best without a stain.
- Oak: Oak is a sturdy wood that’s a very popular choice for kitchen cabinets. Its random grain pattern variations make it a great candidate for staining.
- Red Oak: Red oak varies in color from light to medium brown, often with a tint. It is a durable wood with a classic grain that always finishes smooth.
- White Oak: White oak can vary in color from light to medium brown and often has an olive tint. It’s an incredibly durable wood that’s nearly impervious to water, making it a great asset in the kitchen.
Warmer or Darker Woods
Warmer or darker wood types are often viewed as luxury woods. These deeper tones may not require staining or may only benefit from minimal staining to enhance their beauty. Common dark wood choices for cabinets are:
- Cherry: Cherry has a rich, warm, reddish-brown color that may darken with age. It often looks best without a stain.
- Mahogany: Mahogany is an extremely hard, strong, and durable wood that varies in color from light to dark brown, often with a reddish tint. It typically looks best without a stain.
- Walnut: Walnut varies in color from chocolate brown to darker brown, almost black. Depending on the type of walnut, the brown may also have a gray, purple, or reddish tint. Its darker tones offer an immediate level of sophistication to any kitchen.
Common Kitchen Cabinet Stains
After you’ve chosen the wood type for your cabinets, you may want to consider picking a stain. Stains can change the tone of your cabinets, making your kitchen lighter and airier or darker and cozier. They celebrate the natural beauty of your chosen wood instead of covering it with a layer of paint.
Since stains focus on enhancing natural beauty, it’s often best to stick with more neutral colors and to choose a stain that complements your wood type. For example, if you want dark kitchen cabinets, maybe start off with a darker walnut instead of trying to stain a nearly-white birch. At Centennial Woodworking, we offer a variety of stains for different wood types, such as:
- Cocoa brown
Get Started on Your New Kitchen Cabinets
Our custom cabinet makers in Greater Lansing, MI, can help you choose the right wood type and stain for your new kitchen cabinets. Call Centennial Woodworking today at (517) 449-9400, or contact us online for more information.