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8 Stunning Stain Colors for Kitchen Cabinets

September 22, 2016

Transform raw wood for custom-looking cabinetry with a stain that fills your need for color but lets the grain show through.


There are purists when it comes to wood cabinetry — those who believe that it should never be painted, and stained only in woodsy shades of brown — and there are those who enjoy seeing how wood can be dramatically transformed. Perhaps most of us fall somewhere in the middle. 

I admire the inherent beauty of wood left unadorned, but I am also digging the many uniquely hued stained kitchen cabinets I've been spotting on Houzz. Staining your cabinets an unexpected color is a terrific way to put a custom touch on your kitchen cabinetry. It's also a great option for those who want to be able to see and appreciate the grain and texture of wood, but like to have a little fun with the color. If custom-built and -stained cabinetry is out of your budget, and you have some experience staining wood, this could be a good DIY project. You can buy unfinished cabinets and stain them yourself or strip and refinish existing wood cabinetry. But if you have any doubts about your stripping and staining skills, it's definitely worth hiring a pro.

Here are eight fantastic kitchens with interesting stained cabinetry, along with three eye-popping palettes featuring exotic stain colors to consider for your own kitchen.



1. Soft green. This lovely light and open space gets a custom touch with green-washed kitchen cabinets. Because the color is soft, it looks very natural. The result is fresh, fun and unique.




2. Warm dark gray. This is a gorgeous deep and rich hue, cooler and more gray than typical cabinet stain colors. It pairs well with the modern stainless steel accents and the beautiful marble backsplash shown here; everything comes together brilliantly in this elegant kitchen.







3. Silvery gray. A light gray stain will give your cabinets character, is unexpected and allows you to retain a soft, light, neutral look that easily works with many design styles, finishes, materials and colors. This kitchen has a lot of wood in it, but because the cabinetry color is not a typical wood tone, there's enough variation to keep it from appearing too woodsy.




4. Grayish green. Another beautiful and unique kitchen featuring dark grayish-green wall cabinets. This stain color is a fantastic neutral that allows you to easily work in other colors, or you can keep the palette earth tone and neutral — as was done here — for a cozy and inviting feel.



5. Deep red. Red stained cabinets make a bold statement and work best in a kitchen with minimal adornment, especially if the space doesn't get a whole lot of natural light.










6. Greenish black. A greenish-black stain on wood that has strong linear graining is a bold choice and works well with the bright aqua island in this contemporary kitchen.



7. White. White stained, or whitewashed, cabinetry has been around a long time, but it's getting a fresh look in decidedly more modern spaces, such as in this rustic modern beauty. 









8. Ebony. We've seen many gorgeous black painted and stained kitchen cabinets on Houzz lately; this one is a handsome and elegant feast for the eyes.


Example palette: Watery blue wood stain

Soft blue stains, like this example from Sherwin-Williams, make a cool pairing with stainless steel accents and dark charcoal-gray flooring, such as this sheet flooring from Marmoleum by Forbo.


Example palette: Yellow-orange wood stain

Take the yellow-orange hue inherent to many wood species up to the next level by staining the wood a vibrant mustard color, like this one from Minwax. The quartz countertop here, Blanco Maple from Silestone, has a subtle amber-colored aggregate in it that picks up on the glowing wood stain color. Cool it all down with a soft gray floor tile, such as StonePeak Ceramics' Parkland in Artic.


Example palette: Fresh green wood stain

Cabinets stained a leafy deep green from Sherwin-Williams would look amazing atop a rich black walnut wood floor. Keep the countertops simple with a medium-gray quartz material such as Caesarstone's Concrete.

Tell us: Are you a fan of colorful stained cabinetry? Or do you think wood should be left in its natural state whenever possible?


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