Everything You Need to Know About Unfinished Cabinets

July 4, 2022

So, you want to replace your kitchen cabinets, but are you willing to leave them unfinished? Unfinished kitchen cabinets provide a plethora of possibilities for personalizing your cabinetry and completing your dream kitchen design, but are they worth the investment?

If you're considering purchasing unfinished cabinets, here's what you should know.

What Is an Unfinished Cabinet?

Cabinets built from unfinished wood that hasn't been exposed to lacquer, stain, paint, or sealant are known as unfinished kitchen cabinets. There are two main categories:

Unfinished veneer wood cabinets: The main body of the cabinets is made of cheaper wood, but the most visible sections are made of higher-end wood. You might have plywood cabinets with solid wood cabinet doors and drawer faces, for example.

Unfinished solid wood cabinets: The cabinets are made of a single type of solid wood. Because high-end plywood is usually stronger than solid wood and warp-resistant, this is less prevalent with custom cabinets. Solid wood, on the other hand, is more durable than particle board (also known as furniture board).

Things to consider when purchasing

There are a few things to consider when purchasing new unfinished wood cabinets. You might also want to brush up on some common kitchen cabinet phrases.


Unfinished wood cabinets can be found on both ends of the price range. Particle board wood veneer cabinets are normally the least priced, and they might even be less expensive than laminate cabinets. Semi-custom and custom cabinets tend to be more expensive than ready-to-assemble (RTA) cabinets.

Cabinets with wood veneer cost around $2,000 each.

The cost of solid wood is approximately $5,000.

Unfinished wood cabinets in the high-end range can cost anywhere from $15,000 to $25,000 or more.

Color and Grain

Choose carefully because different wood kinds have different textures and colors. In a tiny kitchen, dark cherry wall cabinets may appear congested, but pine may be too soft for the durability required in heavily-used base cabinets.


Cabinet drawer structure and connections, such as rabbets, dowels, and dovetails that allow the drawers to slide, have an impact on both pricing and longevity. Dovetails are the most durable, but they are also the most expensive since they employ more wood.

Type and Design

Make yourself familiar with the many styles and types of kitchen cabinets. Which cabinet box and door styles are the most appropriate for your home? From shaker to craftsman, there's a lot to choose from. Do you want your cabinets to be framed or unframed? Glass panels on kitchen cabinet doors, open shelves, and a soffit are all possibilities.


Check that the hardware on your cabinet doors and drawers matches the rest of your fittings.


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