Post by Stacey Walker. Stacey mostly works behind the scenes for Walker Woodworking, managing day to day operations, and marketing. Stacey has helped many clients create their dream space.

More than just a finish

The first thing that is noticed in a kitchen is its cabinet finish. Whether it is paint, stain or glaze, it can set the overall feel of the space. Each one has its benefits and particular strengths. 


Painted cabinets are a popular choice in the design world because they open a host of color options. The tighter the wood grain the smoother the paint finish, coarse-grained types of wood such as oak will give a textured look to the finished product because the grain will be partly visible. Painted cabinets are a great way to give a contemporary feel and style to the kitchen, creating a sleek finish to the design. Remember that this can be used as an accent feature for the kitchen as well. 

Some of our clients have chosen to stain the majority of their cabinets and add a splash of color to the space by painting their kitchen island a complementary color. This option is a great way to combine traditional with a hint of contemporary. It is important to note that wood naturally expands with the seasonal temperature changes which can cause micro-movements at the door joints. Over time it may seem like a small fracture or seam at the joint but this is a natural characteristic of painted finishes on wood. Read more about painted verses stained cabinets here.


Staining is a great way to enhance the natural beauty of the wood while bringing in some color to the design. Fans of wood grain often find staining is a great way to preserve and highlight the natural beauty of the species since it allows the grain to shine through perfectly balancing color and texture. The finished product is cabinets that showcase the simple elegance of the grain and will retain a timeless look making it easy to resale if desired. 

It is important to keep in mind that the lighter the stain the more natural character of the wood will come through so it is vital to like the wood as it is before proceeding to stain them. On the same note, a darker stain lends to a feeling of elegance and sophistication to the overall style of the design. No matter which shade of stain chosen, it will leave you admiring the wood’s unique features.


Depth, dimension, and texture are a few words that describe the effects of adding a glaze finish to cabinets. This type of finish is applied to cabinets once they have been stained or painted. It can add that extra pop or touch to the finished pieces and give depth to the overall look of the kitchen. 

Glazing can be used to accent or highlight certain features on the cabinets such as molding and special details. It is a great way to create a unique style that blends elegance with timeless. Glazing never compromises the quality of the cabinets but seeks to enhance what is already present.

View our gallery to see more cabinet finish examples, maybe it will give you the needed inspiration for your own project.

custom cabinets kitchen design ideas