Kitchen Cabinets - Cherry vs Walnut species?
diyher
January 21, 2014 in Design Dilemma
For the longest time I've had the idea that I want to get Walnut cabinets for our lower base cabinets since my uppers are are painted antique white.
The cabinet maker I have been working with to make decisions is trying to sway me to Cherry cabinets saying he thinks I will be happier with them. He mentioned that Walnut, although cheaper priced on the open market as far as wood species, when it comes to cabinets can get quite expensive. He said that since Walnut isn't a standard choice, they can't match the interior of the cabinets to the outside like they can with cherry wood. Also mentioned that things like corbels, feet, can't be obtained in walnut, so when stained will be very hard to match.
I tend to love wood that is more on the warm brown side, something like English Chestnut in Minwax stain.
Anyone who currently has cherry cabinets, what stain did you choose, and have you noticed a drastic change in color over the years?
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kustombuilt
I am a cabinetmaker and I love walnut. Your cabinetmaker has a valid point about corbels, feet, etc being harder to find in walnut, but you can find lots of things in this wood species online if you shop around. I have only built a couple kitchens in walnut, because of the expense, but it is beautiful especially with a natural finish on it. Cherry is also a very beautiful wood. It will tend to darken more with age, although Usually it is less noticeable with a darker stain on it. If you are looking for a darker brown stain color woodsong American walnut is a nice color which we have used quite often. I avoid minwax stains since I've had issues with it "bleeding" or basically not drying completely. We have some cherry in our own home with that particular stain on it and you cannot even tell it has darkened. Both cherry and walnut are equally beautiful but if walnut is in the budget I would definitely try to get your cabinetmaker to use it. You will not be disappointed, it's stunning just natural without any stain on it. It would save him some time staining also!
January 22, 2014 at 9:50pm        Thanked by diyher
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Studio Marler
We did this kitchen for a client in Walnut using a Monocoat finish to bring out the luster of the wood. If your budget will allow it, Walnut is a beautiful way to go and no staining required.
January 22, 2014 at 10:27pm      Thanked by diyher
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diyher
thank you, appreciate your input. I have a feeling that the Walnut may be a lot higher priced than I originally thought. We are only doing our lower cabinets. I painted my uppers antique white, had purchased a Graco Pro Truecoat sprayer to do all the doors. The island is painted a pretty green, and the perimeter will be the wood that we are purchasing.
I Googled woodsong American walnut but didn't see where they listed the stains.

[houzz=Kitchen updates 2012-2014 1]
[houzz=Kitchen updates 2012-2014 2]

The last photo isn't my kitchen, but when searching for what I was trying to achieve, I found someone who had the type of kitchen I was looking to do. Only difference, my island is painted.
Her cabinets are maple with a brown stain.

[houzz=Kitchen by Maggie Grants]

I did find other companies making stains like General Finishes, (I can buy that local to a store near us) or, found the company that supplies the stain to the cabinet company I am dealing with, it's called Duraguard Finishing products.

Here is a stain color I was also thinking, Bordeaux on Cherry wood.
http://farrowcabinetry.com/images/600_Cherry_Bordeaux.jpg

This can be stressful making these decisions :-/
January 23, 2014 at 7:14am   
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kustombuilt
If you can't find woodsong in your area you might want to check out a couple others, one is "old masters" or "varathane" there are several stock colors available in these two brands. You may have to start with a stock color that is close and have it tinted darker since most stock colors may not be quite as dark and rich as what your looking for. Menards actually sell the varathane and works quite well.
January 23, 2014 at 8:51am      Thanked by diyher
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diyher
thanks, I've heard of Varathane, but never knew if it was one of the better stains. Haven't heard of Old Masters before.
January 23, 2014 at 2:15pm   
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diyher
thanks again. I've heard of Menards here on houzz by other members, but thinking that store is not located here in East Coast US. Looks like they are MidWest. I wish some of these places would sell stain in the 4 oz can lol, so I can at least test it first.
I'm one that tends to mix stain colors to get what I want anyway, maybe I'm trying to be unique :)
Our kitchen is very sunny, Southern exposure with 6 window panes along the outside wall and one glass door on the Western wall along with an open family room next to it. I would definitely not go any darker than the link I posted to the other pretty kitchen :)
January 23, 2014 at 5:37pm   
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kustombuilt
Ha ha nothing wrong with being unique. I have also mixed stains myself trying to match older finishes and things like that, just make sure you keep track of what you mix together so you do not end up with some concoction that you can't ever duplicate. I've also done that! Lol
You might want to consider taking a scrap piece of cherry with you to the paint store and see if they would be willing to wipe a little bit on for you to see before buying a full gallon.
January 23, 2014 at 6:19pm      Thanked by diyher
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diyher
lol, I've done it too where I forgot. You start counting say 3 tablespoons to 1 tablespoon, test it on a piece of wood, think you like it, then one you start counting out to make larger batches, maybe 1/2 cup increments, something will distract me like the phone ringing, then I forget where I left off lol
I was also thinking to buy one of my smallest doors that I intend to replace and later paint, buy one in hard maple paint grade, the other in cherry and keep testing on the cherry until I get what I like. when I'm done, I can paint it for my upper cabinets and use the same formula for the lowers.

I think it's more the top coat that will be a different product I haven't used before. I've used poly, and tung oil before on older pieces, but never laquer. Time to test my sprayer tip I bought for my Graco sprayer specifically for finishing furniture :)
January 23, 2014 at 6:35pm   
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kustombuilt
Good luck with your project! Post some pics when your done, it sounds like it will be very nice.
January 23, 2014 at 7:25pm      Thanked by diyher
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santoslhauper
I used to be a cabinetmaker and IMO walnut kicks cherry's you-know-what. Details like corbels are harder to find, but the other stuff like inside the cabinets matching (when are you ever inside your cabinets?) and the stain matching (just clearcoat it, it's a great looking wood) are non-issues to me.
January 23, 2014 at 8:27pm        Thanked by diyher
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diyher
thank you santoslhauper. I'll see what the quote comes in at. Finances is a problem too. I like Studio Marler's that are clear coated, but I'd need to stain it to be a bit darker because of the colors I already have in the room. Corbels I'm not really worried about because I don't have any corbels in walnut. I would only want them for the island one side which is the color you see above, and my cabinet next to my bisque refrigerator that are off by themselves. I had decided that since all top cabinets are antique white, I just will paint the one cabinet left on that side of the wall antique white and use a Walnut counter on the 24x40 cabinet and put 2 long corbels either side making it look like a piece of furniture exactly like this :)

Also using the beadboard left over we bought for the side of the island where the stools will be and place it in the back splash area either for this cabinet painting it either antique white, the green you see on the center island, or the gold color on the one accent wall that leads into the foyer on the same side of the room [houzz=
]
January 24, 2014 at 1:06am   
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