It Was a Dark and Stormy Night—For Kitchen Cabinets

Everything old is new again. That age-old adage is proving itself to be true in the cabinet world according to a recent article, which stated, “… after years of white or neutral tones, and the emergence …of brightly colored , finishes [on cabinetry] appear to be making a comeback with home buyers.”

The article suggests that this return to kitchen cabinet yesteryear may be attributable to: 1) today’s open floor plans and 2) the upscale look dark cabinetry conveys. “No longer separated from other living areas by walls … home buyers looking for a seamless transition between spaces might be inclined to use cabinets that complement other home furnishings,” the article rationalizes of the first reason. Of the second, it suggests, “For some buyers, white cabinets suggest entry-level melamine kitchens or those found in multifamily rental apartments, while darker finishes project luxury.”

A leading manufacturer of kitchen cabinets, including a selection of wood door styles, finishes, and decorative cabinet hardware, can afford homeowners a full spectrum of cabinetry choices. In terms of wood species, cherry, an elegant, multi-colored hardwood, is a nice option. In its raw state, it has a pinkish-brown hue with occasional shades of white, green, pink or even gray. Natural or light stains accent these color variations. Small gum pockets, streaks, pin knots and figures are common. Cherry wood will darken or “mellow” with age. This mellowing is a natural occurrence and a benefit of owning solid cherry cabinetry.

However, the same darkened effect can be achieved with lighter woods through various finishing techniques. Stained finishes like cognac, cabernet, chestnut, chocolate kafee and peppercorn provide a rich look to kitchen cabinets. To create the look of freshly restored heirloom cabinetry, homeowners may want to consider an antique glaze finish like antique chocolate with mocha glaze.

Traditional glazed finishes like chocolate with mocha glaze, garnet with ebony blaze and chocolate with ebony glaze lend sophistication to kitchen cabinets as well. During this process, a base stain is applied to the wood and followed by a glaze flood coat to add richness and warmth.

For those homeowners who are seeking upscale appeal, burnished finishes are a nice option. A base stain is applied to the wood, which is then followed by a glaze flood coat to add richness and warmth. Burnished chestnut, chocolate, autumn blush and cabernet burnished finishes look as attractive as they sound.

Finally, a cost-effective way of achieving the dark wood effect is with painting. Several coats of heavily pigmented stain saturate the wood for rich, beautiful color. These finishes are semi-opaque, meaning some of the natural beauty of the wood grain may be visible.

Homeowners who would like to darken up their kitchen cabinets have a lot of choices to choose from. They can opt for wood that has a natural dark finish or they can choose a lighter wood and obtain the same effect with various finishing techniques. A kitchen cabinet manufacturer that specializes in wood door styles and finishes can help them select the rich cabinetry they’re craving.

Carmen Fontana is a Web Services Manger for Western Reserve Internet Services. You can check out a whole variety of cabinet colors using the Kraftmaid color selector at

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