All You Need To Know About Unfinished Cabinets

All You Need to Know About Unfinished Cabinets

If you plan on renovating a bathroom or kitchen, you should consider purchasing unfinished cabinets. By using unfinished cabinets, you have complete and total control over the appearance of your space. While there is an overload of information regarding unfinished cabinets, we’ve compiled an in-depth article on all you need to know about unfinished cabinets before making your purchase.

What are unfinished cabinets?

If home improvements aren’t your thing, you’re most likely unfamiliar with the term “unfinished cabinets,” not knowing what it means. To some people, unfinished cabinets are known to be dull; however, this is false. Unfinished cabinets are typically made of wood and in their natural color with no painting treatments, coloring, or varnishing.

This implies there is no coat on the cabinets. These cabinets are considered less expensive, so even at a low cost, it makes them more affordable for homeowners. While the expected price of a kitchen renovation may run you around $25,000+, unfinished cabinets can provide better value.

All You Need To Know About Unfinished Cabinets
Purchasing unfinished cabinets can provide various benefits, leaving you with several choices. Below are the top three benefits of purchasing unfinished cabinets.

1. Saves on Costs
One of the most significant benefits of purchasing unfinished cabinets is that it can save you on costs, making it one of the most affordable options for home renovations. Installing cabinets in your kitchen, laundry room, or other home areas is considered a serious investment for your residence. Additionally, you could save more money by installing unfinished cabinets if you have the right experience.

2. Contributes to Existing Cabinets
If you want to add a unique cabinet that has halted its production, your best option is to purchase an unfinished cabinet. This is an excellent option to supplement your existing cabinets by buying the hardware and paint to complement your existing cabinets perfectly.

3. You Can Construct a Customized Cabinet
Buying unfinished cabinets allows you to customize your cabinets however you’d like. However, homeowners can be more flexible and creative when working with unfinished cabinets. So, you can paint, seal, or stain your cabinets any way you’d like.

Say, for instance, you want to keep your unfinished cabinets exactly how they are, in their natural wood state. Later, you may redo your entire kitchen using a different style. Unfinished cabinets are easy to refinish and paint in any shade, complimenting your aesthetic.

Unfinished cabinets come in two different forms:

Solid Wood
With single-wood cabinets, one piece of solid wood is used to make the cabinets. Solid wood is used less in unique cabinets since high-quality plywood is more substantial than solid wood and is resistant to warping. Additionally, solid wood is more durable than using particle board.

Veneer Wood
When using veneer wood this is a more expensive wood, making it more noticeable to the naked eye. However, the main parts of the cabinets are made using cheaper wood. For example, you may choose plywood cabinets with drawer faces and solid wood doors.

What to Consider When Purchasing Unfinished Cabinets

Now, since we’ve covered the benefits of unfinished cabinets, you won’t want to rush when purchasing. Before purchasing, here are some factors to consider.

1. Colors and Patterns
One of the first things you want to do is examine the colors and patterns since this varies depending on the wood type. For example, if you choose dark wood cherry, this might make your cabinets look crowded if you have a smaller kitchen. Choosing pine will give your kitchen a softer appearance and sturdiness.

In addition, you’ll want to ensure that you match the hardware on the doors of your cabinets to the kitchen drawers.

2. Budget
Since unfinished cabinets come at various prices, veneer cabinets (particle board) are cheaper than purchasing laminate cabinets. Once your unfinished wood cabinets become finished, they'll also last longer than laminate! On the contrary, customizable cabinets are more costly than unfinished cabinets.

3. Construction
Before you purchase unfinished cabinets, you should become knowledgeable about the various types of cabinets that are offered. Some questions to ask before your purchase are: what door type will best suit your kitchen? There are many cabinet options available, from artisan to shaker designs.

Are you someone who prefers their cabinets unframed? Do you like your cabinets to have open shelves or glass? These are some examples of questions you’ll want to ask during the construction and design process.

In addition, the cabinet’s structure, such as dowels, rabbets, and dovetails, will allow your drawers to glide smoothly. Although dovetails are the most durable option, they are also more expensive.

How Can I Paint My Unfinished Cabinets?

How to paint unfinished cabinets
If you’re considering painting your unfinished cabinets, you should know that it takes little skill but more time and dedication for a great finishing product. Here are some essential tips to keep in mind when painting your unfinished cabinets.

First, you should ensure that you have the proper materials and hardware needed to paint your cabinets. Many of the materials can be found at your local home improvement store. Once you’ve acquired the necessary tools, go to an open area to sand and stain your cabinets.

It would be best to remove the drawers and cabinet doors. Doing so ensures treatment is a breeze on each side of your cabinet’s face and doors. Next, you’ll want to eliminate the roughness on the cabinet doors, frames, and the fronts of the drawers.

Grab the wood conditioner and gently condition the unfinished cabinets using a foam brush. By using a wood conditioner, this will allow the wood’s pattern to show up more. It also helps smooth the area and reduces the risk of blotching.

Once applied, allow the wood conditioner to sit for 15 minutes. Once conditioning is complete, your smooth wood cabinets should appear rough. Next, you should begin sanding and use a gentle cloth to remove any dust. After sanding, apply a coat of wood stain over the unfinished cabinets.

Once applied, allow the stain to dry for at least 6 hours. If you want a deeper stain, you may need to use a second coat. Lastly, if you seal your kitchen cabinets, you can add a couple of coats of urethane.

Priming & Painting

Before priming and painting your unfinished cabinets, you should consider what type of paint and color you intend to use. It’s essential to note that some paints aren’t compatible with some sealers. Hence why, you should pay attention to the paint direction before applying.

Another thing to remember is that primer comes in water-based and oil-paint primers. When applying primer, use a sash brush and start with small sections and the trim. To cover more extensive surfaces, you can use a roller.

Before applying a second coat of paint, let the first coat dry completely. Another option to paint unfinished cabinets is to use a paint sprayer. Paint sprayers are an excellent choice if you want to avoid noticeable strokes.

Unfinished Cabinets: FAQs

1. Is it cheaper to buy unfinished cabinets?
Yes, it is less expensive to purchase unfinished cabinets than ready-made wood cabinets, offering better value.

2. Can you leave kitchen cabinets unfinished?
You can leave kitchen cabinets unfinished in their natural, unfinished state to give your cabinets a rustic and casual appearance.

3. Should I paint or stain unfinished cabinets?
When staining cabinets, they can last longer than paint cabinets and are much easier to clean.

4. Do I have to prime unfinished cabinets?
While unfinished cabinets can be painted, you should adequately prepare the surface to ensure it adheres and lasts; this includes priming your cabinets.
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