Need source for unfinished cabinets

weedyacresMarch 6, 2013

I'm planning a super low-budget kitchen remodel in a low-price house, and will be re-using some of the existing cabinets (1920 vintage, painted) and adding new ones, plus either modifying the existing door fronts or replacing the doors so they all match. I'll likely buy the lowers (mostly drawer bases) and build the uppers. Thus I need unpainted cabinets so I can paint everything the same color and have a somewhat uniform-looking kitchen.

I've browsed CL for used cabinets, and it'll be a challenge to get the right sizes to fit my piecemeal needs plus many will need modifications (e.g., changing door base to drawer base, buying different door/drawer fronts) that will bump the cost up. Menards also has pretty cheap unfinished oak cabinets (not my first choice for painting) for So far I think the best deal I can find is from Kitchen Cabinet Depot. They've got a vast size/configuration selection of unfinished RTA and prices are about 46% of what Lowe's quoted me for Shenandoah finished cabs. Depending on the salvageability of the existing cabinets, I could probably piecemeal the cabinets I need for $1400-2400.

I've searched these forums and googled as well, and can't find any reviews of them. I know daveinorlando suggested buying one and putting it together to assess the quality, and I could do that. But also wondering if anyone here has experience with them. Or has other companies to recommend for unfinished RTA cabinets. (The RTA is optional, but presumably cheaper, so that's why I'm going that direction).

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

In my last house I repainted painted Ikea cabinets. I used Kilz primer so I didn't have to sand them. They were in my office but held up pretty well for the 10 years I was in the house. I assembled first and then painted them, but I just read a hack online where the poster said to paint them first. You still might be limited in your sizes, but you wouldn't have to upgrade the drawers.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 12:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Barker cabinets has good reviews here and moderate-low prices. CliqStudios (although components app. not made in USA) have good reviews but I don't think come unpainted. Conestoga has also gotten good mentions here, can be bought from various vendors (I got quote from Cabinet Authority) and I think but again not sure can be purchased unfinished-- also in the moderate-low range, about like Barker..
Did you google Kitchen Cabinet Depot BBB? that will bring up any Better Business Bureau complaints or ratings.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 12:55PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm using Home Depot unfinished cabinets in a low budget laundry room redo. We just finished painting last night and they are getting hung tomorrow, so I will try to post pics next week when the counters go in. It was a little challenge getting the sizes to work, so if you don't need custom sizes, they can do the job. I also used these in my master bathroom- 2 separate 30 inch sink bases. They are standard kitchen depth, so a little deeper than most vanities, but they work for us! I painted them black and topped them with carrera marble remnants. I love the look and they have held up fine- 4 years now!

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 12:58PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I've looked at most of the above mentioned.
Ikea: Too limited on sizes (e.g.: 3 drawer base only comes in 15, 18, and 24).
Barker: more expensive than KCD
Cliq: no unfinished
Conestoga: no unfinished, plus you have to buy through a dealer
Home Depot: a little more expensive than Menards, but same generic oak in limited sizes. How did they paint out?

On your recommendation I googled KCD BBB and found a site called Customer Lobby (never heard of them) that had a string of good reviews. So that looks promising...

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 7:01PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

If you are moderately handy ... check for base cabinet plans.

You can alter the sizes.

Here is a link that might be useful: 36

    Bookmark   March 7, 2013 at 3:55PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

If Ikea has the price range that you need, it seems that it is possible to piece together different elements to create a size closer to what you need. For example, I figured out how to get my 21" pantry out of a 15" pantry case mixed with 21" base cabs and drawers, and it still would have been a significant cost savings over Barker.

They do have 30" and 36" base drawer units BTW, they just have a split top drawer.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2013 at 5:08PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I feel like you can get Conestoga unfinished. Worth a call/email. Brian Long at the Cabinet Joint helped (and continues to help) us. These have lovely interiors, too. You get the hang of assembling them fairly quickly (first couple are a little scary, try without glue first time). Quick lead times, too.

Conestoga RTA:

Good luck!

    Bookmark   March 8, 2013 at 7:01AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

One more thought: we were able to customize drawer widths and heights at reasonable up charge.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2013 at 7:05AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Add Scherr's to the list (many threads here).

    Bookmark   March 8, 2013 at 4:43PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Another good option, possibly less expensive and completely customizable, is CabParts. They were featured in an article in Fine Homebuilding, used for an architect's own DIY kitchen.

I very nearly got these, but ended up getting Barker cabinets with unfinished doors, which we then had a local craftsman stain and finish. The Barker website made ordering far easier (than CabParts) which left me feeling more confident that I'd ordered what I needed. The price was very close to Conestoga, a bit more than CabParts.

Here is a link that might be useful: CabParts website

    Bookmark   March 8, 2013 at 5:43PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks for the continued suggestions. I've browsed them all, and, on lazygardens' suggestion, have been looking more into building my own bases. I'm completely confident on uppers, and on lower boxes, just inexperienced on drawers. Multiple youtube videos later, on multiple different drawer construction methods, it's seeming feasible. Or there's Drawer Depot, that sells kits, any size, for $30 per drawer. We're only talking 3 drawer bases, a trash pullout and a sink front.

I'm also thinking of just doing a site-built stretch of cabinets instead of individual boxes. I'll keep sketching and googling...

    Bookmark   March 9, 2013 at 8:08PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
almost done & sharing banquette pics
Dh and I are on the "who knows when" plan...
Kitchen colors....need something happy and vintage :)
I want to try to go a bit vintage with my low-dollar...
palimpset....and others....kitch cabs, dark AND light?
what about light maple upper cabinets and dark lower...
Cherry and White Granite Kitchen Reveal - Lots of Photos!
First of all- this is a thank you post to the Gardenweb...
Undermount sink keeps separating from granite
We recently had granite installed in our kitchen and...
Sponsored Products
Aubergine Ombré Waterfall Valance
$14.99 | zulily
Estate Tub Mat - IVORY (TUB MAT)
$39.00 | Horchow
Mahogany 22 Inch Bathroom Shelf
Spa Collection Hook - Set of 2
Signature Hardware
Right Angles Media Stand
$799.99 | Dot & Bo
Flite Brushed Steel LED Wall Lamp
Lamps Plus
AXO Light | Spillray 30 Chandelier
Crosley LaFayette Natural Wood Top Kitchen Island - KF30001BBK
$370.00 | Hayneedle
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™