The choice of wood finish for kitchen cabinets is often the defining stylistic decision in kitchen remodeling projects.  Our in-house millwork shop has created many stunning kitchens with a wide variety of wood finishes.  As you consider a kitchen remodel, the color and grain of the wood will feature prominently in the final plans.  Here’s a quick overview of the most popular wood finish choices and their unique characteristics.


Cherry is a well-loved furniture and cabinet wood and for good reason—the natural reddish-brown color and smooth grain are extremely attractive. Cherry cabinets fit well with any design style, from traditional to sleek and modern.  Cherry looks great when combined with glass and stainless steel.  It comes in a wide range of color variations, giving options for any color palate.


Hickory cabinets make a dramatic statement.  Hickory’s distinctive look will ensure that your cabinets are one-of-a-kind.  From pale off-white to reddish-brown, hickory has naturally beautiful patterns.  Hickory is very versatile and can be stained to a darker color or bleached to a lighter color.


Maple and birch, along with oak, are among the most popular woods for kitchen cabinets in the U.S.  Maple and birch are dense, heavy woods prized by furniture and cabinet makers for its versatility and durability—so much so that they are often used for countertops as well as cabinets.  Because of their fine, uniform grain, maple and birch work well with almost any finish.  They work well for a variety of design schemes, including Scandinavian, Early American, French Country, and more.


Mahogany is heralded as the world’s premier wood for fine furniture, so it’s clearly a higher-end choice when it comes to kitchen cabinet options.  Mahogany polishes to a high luster and often has unique variations in the grain that can produce highly attractive designs.


Oak is a good choice for traditional, rustic or country kitchen designs. Oak cabinets are easily stained and will last a lifetime.   Oak also offers a wide variety of color options including white, red and yellow hues. Oak has a very distinctive grain that, depending on your finish choices, can be very pronounced.

Contact our design experts today to discuss your kitchen remodeling project and find the perfect wood finish for your custom cabinets.