How to Use Unfinished Cabinets to Remodel a Kitchen Cheap

When you remodel a kitchen, cabinets are some of the most expensive items you will purchase. From the design of the cabinet to the installation process, kitchen cabinets can set you back thousands of dollars in your kitchen remodel. You can decrease the amount you pay for kitchen cabinets if you buy unfinished cabinets instead. Unfinished cabinets require you to paint or stain them on your own after purchase.

  1. Choose unfinished cabinets made of particular types of wood to save even more money. Oak, hickory and pine cost about the same when you purchase them unfinished. Expect to pay about 7 to 10 percent more if you choose cherry and even more if you choose an unusual wood such as redwood, teak, alder, fir or mahogany.

  2. Opt for unfinished shelving and accessories inside your cabinet. For example, if you add a lazy susan to a corner cabinet, you can save money if it is unfinished.

  3. Pay less for unfinished upgraded features, such as an overlay, engravings or decorative molding on the kitchen cabinet door. If you choose extras to include in your kitchen cabinet remodel, you’ll pay less for those extras when they are unfinished than you would for a finished product.

  4. Buy unfinished kitchen cabinets if the final décor decisions of your kitchen aren’t yet decided. Unfinished cabinets allow you to move forward with your kitchen design, with the understanding that you can come in later and finish your cabinetry the way you desire.

  5. Ask about the level of finishing available when you buy unfinished cabinets. Some unfinished kitchen cabinets are not prepared for finish at all. You’ll pay a little more, but other unfinished cabinets are available for purchase “ready to finish,” meaning all you need to do is apply the paint or stain of your choice without any prep work.

  6. Add your own paint or stain so your unfinished kitchen cabinets are finished when you complete the project. If you’re unsure how to achieve the look you want with your cabinets, check your local craft store or home improvement store to see if you can sign up for a class.

About the Author

Kristan Hart is an award-winning journalist in Springfield, Mo., who provides SEO web copy as a freelance writer/editor. She has a decade of experience and holds a bachelor's degree in mass communications with an emphasis in broadcasting.