Cabinet Finishes and Hardware

by | Jan 21, 2023 | Stephens Homes, Stephens Living, Uncategorized

As with all things during a new home build or a remodel, there are tons of options out there. When building your dream kitchen, one of the most important aspects is choosing your cabinet finishes and hardware. This process is only applicable if you’re going with custom or semi-custom cabinets and you’ve chosen the cabinet style and layout of your kitchen. If you haven’t done this, be sure to read the previous blog “Choosing a Cabinet Design” to help you get started. Now, let’s discuss your options, and the pros and cons of each!

Cabinet Finishes

Currently, there are about six types of kitchen cabinet finishes available to you.

1. Stained Cabinets

A stained finish changes the color of the wood you’re working with. This creates a unique look to cabinets, as different parts of the wood absorb various amounts of the stain. You can stain your cabinets to be darker, or if you’re doing a remodel, you can sand off a previous dark stain and replace with a lighter one. The biggest pro to stained cabinets, is that it maintains the originality and beauty of the wood you’re working with.

2. Natural Finish

Nothing is applied to alter the appearance of the wood. The finish will be clear, which provides the natural and organic look and feel of the wood. If you’re in love with the choice of wood your cabinets are made off, and it flows well with your decor, this would be the choice for you!

3. Glazed Finish

A glaze can be applied on top already painted or stained cabinets to accentuate the details and provide a little more “oomph”. The only con to this, is it can be rather time consuming and expensive.

4. Painted Finish 

Painted cabinets can be absolutely stunning. This is most likely what you’re getting in an all white kitchen. Paint finish will diminish the natural appearance of the wood. The biggest con to painted cabinets is the wear and tear on the paint. Paint can chip and wear off over time, especially on the cabinets you use the most.

5. Distressed Finish

A distressed finish will give your cabinets an aged appearance. Think of a mountain cabin in the woods. Since this is technically a paint technique, the same cons apply as from a painted finish.

6. Varnished Finish 

A high gloss finish that creates long lasting durability for your cabinets.

Cabinet Hardware

Firstly, let’s start with the very basics: the long bars placed on drawers are called “pulls” and the knobs are appropriately named “knobs” and are placed on cabinet doors.

Secondly, while there are technical terms for hardware finishes, for now, we can just call them the standard gold, silver, bronze, and black.

You’ll see an entire variety of finishes like “polished chrome”, “satin black” or “brushed nickel”. The best way to find what option you like, is to see everything in person. Since finishes vary by manufacturer, you should stick with the same one for all the hardware in your kitchen.

Hardware comes in a large variety of styles as well, ranging from very sleek, minimal, and modern looks, to more traditional and detailed option.

Cabinet Hardware

It’s a great idea to scroll through the internet for initial options. This provides a sense of what you’re looking for. Utilize your interior designer or builder for suggestions if you’re truly stuck… this is what they’re here for! They know everything about cabinet finishes and hardware and will be able to teach you so much!


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