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Walnut Kitchen Cabinets

If you’re considering walnut as your kitchen cabinet choice you won’t go wrong. The dark colored heartwood will add rich beauty and stunning elegance to any kitchen. Walnut has historically been a prized wood for uses in furniture, flooring, and cabinetry. The strength and durability makes walnut an excellent choice for kitchen cabinets.

The Beauty of Walnut

Black Walnut and Persian Walnut have a hard, dense, and fine grained appearance. You’ll find that older trees produce timber colors ranging from creamy white in the sapwood to dark brown in the heartwood. Depending on whether kiln dried or air dried also determines the color outcome. When kiln dried the color tends to be more of a dull brown and when air dried it becomes purplish-brown. Because it has an open grain the texture that occurs naturally in the wood is very apparent. Walnut is a very stable wood of medium hardness and weight.

Veneer or Solid?

Veneer - If budget is an issue then you might consider walnut veneer glued to a cheaper wood. It will give your kitchen a rich and handsome appearance yet saving you thousands of dollars.

Solid Wood - Because walnut is an exotic and scarce wood, if you choose to use all solid wood construction it’ll cost a pretty penny. An average 10 x 10 kitchen would run around $4,000 to $6,000. Solid walnut cabinets can only be obtained through custom cabinet makers.

A quick comparison in cabinet wood species

Birch – the most commonly used in stock cabinets and the least expensive of all cabinet materials. The color is very pale and the wood is very porous so if you stain it the color may not turn out uniform.

Alder – a newer arrival in the cabinet materials line, this wood has little grain and is very pale however it does accept stain easily.

Ebony – this is a very, very dark wood with noticeable black grain. It is very expensive but, if you’re after a more exotic kitchen then this is a great wood.

Hickory – very durable and hardy wood; will hold up well over years of abuse. Used in most country kitchens. Has a very pronounced straight grain.

Maple – this is one of the most popular choices in today’s kitchen. No matter what style of kitchen you choose this wood blends in well. It can be stained in many different shades yet the most popular shade is deep brownish red. It has a smooth and uniform grain and will add elegance to your kitchen cabinets.

Mahogany – this wood is very dark with a straight grain making it a great choice for kitchen cabinets. This is one wood species that’s really gaining in popularity as a fine cabinet material.

Cherry – cherry has a smooth and uniform grain and is very elegant. Found mostly in upscale kitchens this wood can be stained in many shades however the most popular shade is deep brownish red.

Oak – another very popular kitchen cabinet material. It has a coarse texture that can be more pronounced with a dark stain. This is a very durable wood and doesn’t expand with humidity like other woods tend to do.

Pine – an inexpensive wood perfect for a rustic cabin or less formal kitchen, this light colored knotty wood accepts stains well and will add a lot of character to your new kitchen.

More great reading

If you’re considering walnut for your kitchen cabinets, it’s hard to go wrong. The dark-colored heartwood can add rich beauty and stunning elegance to any kitchen. Read on to see if it’s the best choice for yours.


If you’re set on walnut kitchen cabinets, then it’s important to first decide whether you want to go with a less expensive walnut veneer glued to a cheaper wood, or if you’d rather have solid walnut cabinets. Solid walnut custom cabinets cost $4,000 to $6,000 for a 10x10-foot kitchen, while veneer would cost substantially less. Other price variables include size of kitchen and cost of labor.


It is a heavy, strong and durable wood.

Lends a high-end elegance to wide range of design styles.

Stains and finishes are easy; walnut takes well to the change in color.


Walnut is fairly rare wood, so solid walnut cabinets are only available from custom cabinet makers.

More expensive than other cabinet making materials.


Used for flooring, furniture and cabinetry, walnut is considered a very strong and durable hardwood.


In addition to excellent durability, walnut kitchen cabinets are also very easy to maintain. Here’s how to keep yours looking great.

  1. Begin by dusting the cabinets with a clean, soft cloth.
  2. Make a cleaning solution from hot water and oil soap, such as Murphy’s Oil Soap. Apply the solution with a clean sponge.
  3. Apply the soap directly onto tough stains with a clean cloth.
  4. Rinse cabinets with clean warm water and a fresh sponge.
  5. Dry and apply furniture polish to protect the maple from grease and dirt.

Common Questions and Answers

What colors are available with walnut cabinets?

Older walnut tress produce timber colors ranging from creamy white in the sapwood to dark brown in the heartwood. Depending on whether it’s kiln-dried or air-dried also determines the color’s outcome. If kiln-dried, the color tends to be more of a dull br

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