Which ply/solid wood for cabinets?

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Forum topic by Duality240 posted 12-13-2012 02:12 PM 1387 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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32 posts in 1048 days

12-13-2012 02:12 PM

Topic tags/keywords: oak question cabinets kitchen wood plywood

One of my upcoming projects will be new cabinets for my kitchen. They are not replacing the old cabinets. I am terrible at identifying wood and need your help. I have included a picture of the existing cabinets and need to know what type of wood it is so that I can match it. I believe it is birch or particleboard with a birch veneer. Yes, they are the cheap construction grade cabinets. I have considered building the new cabinets out of Oak and refacing the old cabinets but I don’t have the budget for that at the moment. If you were trying to match these cabinets, what type of wood would you use? Also, if anyone can identify the color of stain to use, that would be awesome!

-- I've been doing this for years but I am still a newb

10 replies so far

View sarahss's profile


258 posts in 1688 days

#1 posted 12-13-2012 02:14 PM

looks like oak to me. keep us posted on your progress!! best of luck.

View Cosmicsniper's profile


2202 posts in 2197 days

#2 posted 12-13-2012 02:14 PM

That’s oak.

-- jay,

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1512 posts in 1400 days

#3 posted 12-13-2012 02:14 PM

Red oak

-- Clint Searl....Ya can no more do what ya don't know how than ya can git back from where ya ain't been

View bondogaposis's profile


3374 posts in 1390 days

#4 posted 12-13-2012 02:33 PM

Red Oak

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Charles Maxwell's profile

Charles Maxwell

1046 posts in 2846 days

#5 posted 12-13-2012 02:40 PM

fake oak

-- Max the "night janitor" at

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6791 posts in 3018 days

#6 posted 12-13-2012 02:40 PM

That’s red oak with a pickled finish.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View Duality240's profile


32 posts in 1048 days

#7 posted 12-13-2012 02:43 PM

I never would have guessed oak because I live in a bi-level in a subdivision and all these cookie cutter houses seem to use the cheapest possible materials. Though maybe when it was built, over 20 years ago, oak veneer was the cheapest possible material! Thanks for the fast responses.

-- I've been doing this for years but I am still a newb

View Cosmicsniper's profile


2202 posts in 2197 days

#8 posted 12-13-2012 03:42 PM

Oak is cheap. With contractor grade cabinets, they go through stacks of the stuff, much of it mismatched from a scrap heap, mix it with veneered particle board, and throw it all together. With good finishing techniques you might not even realize that everything is like fake wood except for the face frame and the door frames. The raised panels for your doors may or may NOT be real. If they are real, then you can do what I did and construct new doors using your existing panels and just updating the frames. It’s a way to create new doors without needing to make new panels.

On mine, I re-rout the panel profiles (from ogie to a bevel) which reduces the overall size, but because I wanted wider rails and stiles, it works out perfectly.

Because your panels aren’t raised, that an issue since they probably aren’t real. But it goes to show that perhaps some parts are salvageable and can be repurposed should you want.

-- jay,

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2169 posts in 1889 days

#9 posted 12-13-2012 04:30 PM

Just a caution about the pickled finish. It’s the hardest dag blag thing to copy in the whole palette. Everybody had his/her own recipe in those days, and some put double coats of pickle, some didn’t, some wiped down early, some late. Some started with something else before the pickle, some didn’t.

Sorry to rain inside on this one, but I wanted you to be prepared.



-- " his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View Duality240's profile


32 posts in 1048 days

#10 posted 12-15-2012 03:31 AM

Thanks for the input Cosmicsniper. I love the look of raised panel doors but have yet to make any. I may try to make one and if it turns out o.k., I might replace the old cabinet doors. Of course, if I do that, what do I do with the face frame? I’ve never worked with veneer (and would have to buy the iron and trimmer before I could even start) and I’m not sure I can get the old face frame off without destroying the cabinets. Like most of my projects, this is bound to cost me more than I bargained for.
Lee, thanks for the warning. Like raised panel doors, I have never attempted the pickled finish. Googled it and your right, there are a number of ways to do it. The more I think about it, the more I think I should reface the old cabinets at the same time that I’m building the new cabinets. Guarantees a better match and adds more value to the house. What the heck, it’s only money right?

-- I've been doing this for years but I am still a newb

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