How to Pick the Finish for Your Cabinets

Once you’ve found the perfect cabinet design for your kitchen or bathroom, the next step of how to pick the finish for your cabinets may seem daunting. Between colors, materials, stains, and decorations, there are endless possibilities when it comes to customizing your cabinets— but that’s also what makes it the perfect way to make your home unique to you. Read on to find some of the most helpful hints for your next cabinet customization.


The first step in finishing your cabinets is finding the perfect building material to suit your home. If you’ve already decided on hardwood cabinetry, there are a range of wood types to choose from, each with a particular feel and appearance. Traditional, classic woods include cherry wood, oak and walnut, which often have richer, darker colors and textures, while modern styles often use maple and rift oak.

If you’re looking for a glossier or veneered surface, Conestoga also offers a variety of alternative materials for custom cabinets. Decorative Laminate Veneer is heat-resistant and easy-care, with the appearance of fine-grained wood, while thermo-structured surfaces can be used for deep panel impressions and textures. These materials can be optimal for a more affordable kitchen redesign, or for environments with high pressures and temperatures.


If your kitchen is designed for a more traditional style, you may want to focus on lighter, simpler colors, like cream or white, or simply staining your cabinets to amplify their natural wood. White cabinets look great in Shaker-style kitchens, while wood grain can accentuate a rustic or farmhouse style.

Consider the size of your space, too: if you’re working with a smaller kitchen or a bathroom, lighter colors and stains can help open up the area and let the lighting shine.

With a more modern style or a bolder look, you may want to consider color combinations for your new cabinets. A pop of color, like a bold blue or yellow, can make one aspect stand out in a simpler room, and complementary colors like light and dark brown make a more neutral but dynamic look.


Finally, the knobs and mouldings on your cabinets can be a great way to add another personalized touch to your kitchen and make the storage stand out even more. For a classic kitchen, you may want a simple yet elegant touch such as a country valance or light mouldings, along with knobs that complement the color of your cabinet wood.

If your style is more decorative, there are even more options— try a crown moulding for the cabinets or mullion doors to show off their contents, or consider installing a beautiful yet functional add-on like a wine or plate rack.

For a comprehensive look at all the finish options for your custom cabinets, check out the Cabinetmaker’s Choice Color Guide and the full list of Cabinet Finishes in our Catalogs Page.