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The Right Wood for Your Custom Cabinets


One of the most important aspects of custom cabinets lies in the material that is used to make them. Wood is still the most common choice for making cupboards.

The natural beauty and elegance of the grain make timber a nice contrast to the sleek stainless steel and plastic of many contemporary appliances. It is also a sturdy, reliable, easily available, and affordable resource for your project.

When selecting the type of timber to be used in your custom cabinets, there are a couple of things to keep in mind.

Your vision for your completed space will largely dictate what type of timber you use. But there are still many options in type, characteristics, and finish that will allow you to fully customize your cupboards.



There are many varieties of wood available on the market that are suitable for your custom cabinets. Different timbers are desired for the tightness or evenness of their grain, coloration, ability to be painted, and their resistance to wear.

Think about who will most often be using your cupboards and for what when deliberating on your type of wood.

Oak is the most utilized; it is lightweight, somewhat water-resistant, and the grain stands out even after staining. It is often used to enhance "country" or "rustic" motifs, but it can be used solely for decorative style, too.

Birch and ash are also popular; these woods are very light in color, and they hold stains quite well. Pine, a very yellow wood, is favored in French and English decorative styles, but it is very soft and prone to nicks.

Walnut is sought after for its tight, graceful grain and light complexion. Hardwoods like pecan and walnut are more difficult to stain, but you can't beat their durability and resistance to blemishes.



In addition to types of lumber, you can consider characteristics of the wood itself that might enhance your space. Characteristics can add visual interests to your custom cabinets and provide a more "natural" or "earthy" feel to them. Some common characteristics are bird pecks, sugar tracks, wormholes, burls, mineral tracks, and knots. These traits are unique to each individual tree.



There are several ways that you can change the color and sheen of your wood in order to bring the finished product more in line with your vision. Staining is a popular option used to bring out the natural color of the wood.

Many modern brands come with a sealant that prevents moisture from seeping into your wood. Painting is also an option; adding a base coat will also prevent moisture from warping or rotting your cupboards.

Thermofoil-a process in which a plastic material is attached to the surface of the cabinet-wards off water, as well as unwanted discoloration and minor scrapes and blemishes.