Cherry wood is a popular choice for kitchen cabinets due to its rich red undertones and ability to bring warmth into a space. With proper care, cherry cabinets can last for decades and provide timeless beauty in your kitchen. Here is an in-depth look at everything you need to know about cherry kitchen cabinets.

Benefits of Cherry Cabinets

Cherry wood has many desirable qualities that make it well-suited for kitchen cabinets:

  • Beautiful reddish-brown color – The reddish-brown hue of cherry wood is very attractive and can add a classic, elegant look to your kitchen. The color ranges from pale pink to deep reddish-brown.
  • ** Ages gracefully** – Over time, cherry wood takes on an even richer patina. Exposure to light causes cherry cabinets to darken gradually into a lovely caramel shade.
  • Brings warmth – The reddish tones of cherry evoke warmth and coziness, making it ideal for kitchens and family spaces. The wood’s natural glow can make a kitchen feel inviting.
  • Durable and strong – Cherry wood is relatively hard and dense, making it resistant to scratches and dents. Cherry cabinets will stand the test of time.
  • Polishes to a shine – Cherry takes polish beautifully, allowing it to develop a soft luster. Properly maintained cherry cabinets will gleam.

Considerations for Cherry Cabinets

While beautiful, cherry cabinets do come with some special considerations:

  • Susceptible to sunlight – Cherry will fade and darken when exposed to direct sunlight over time. Window treatments should be used.
  • Prone to discoloration – The wood contains sap that may leak at joints or scratches. Heat and moisture can also cause blotchy spots.
  • Requires maintenance – To retain the wood’s rich color, cherry cabinets need polishing and re-sealing every 1-2 years.
  • Can be expensive – Due to high demand, cherry cabinets are pricier than options like oak or maple. But their beauty offsets the cost for many homeowners.

Best Practices for Cherry Cabinets

Follow these tips to help your cherry cabinets look their best:

  • Install them in a kitchen with consistent humidity and temperature. Excess moisture can warp cherry wood.
  • Keep them out of direct sunlight to prevent uneven fading and discoloration. Use window treatments.
  • Clean using a wood polish and soft cloth. Avoid abrasive cleaners.
  • Re-seal and polish the wood every 1-2 years to protect the finish.
  • Dust regularly using a clean, dry cloth to prevent buildup in crevices.
  • Use cabinet liners to protect interiors and prevent spills from seeping into the wood.

Style Ideas for Cherry Cabinets

Cherry cabinetry suits a wide range of kitchen design aesthetics:

Traditional kitchens – The classic reddish-brown hue makes cherry cabinets ideal for traditional home styles. Pair with antique-inspired hardware for a timeless look.

Rustic kitchens – The wood’s natural patina suits rustic or farmhouse styles perfectly. Contrast it with creamy painted walls.

Contemporary kitchens – While unexpected, sleek cherry cabinets actually work well in contemporary spaces for a striking contrast of old and new.

Transitional kitchens – With their versatility, cherry cabinets suit transitional spaces seamlessly. Complement them with metal accents.

Shaker style – The clean, straight Shaker cabinet door design highlights the simple beauty of cherry wood.

Maintaining Your Cherry Cabinets

With some simple maintenance, you can help your cherry cabinets retain their vibrant color and shine:

  • Dust regularly – Wipe cabinets down frequently with a dry, soft cloth to prevent dust buildup, especially in grooves.
  • Clean spills quickly – Immediately wipe up any water or food spills to prevent staining or discoloration in the wood.
  • Use products specially formulated for cherry wood – Polish and reseal the cabinets every 1-2 years using products made for cherry to enhance and protect the finish.
  • Avoid direct sunlight – Install blinds, shades or drapes on nearby windows to minimize direct sunlight, which can cause uneven fading and discoloration over time.
  • Consider re-finishing – If your cherry cabinets become excessively dried out, faded, or scratched, you may need to sand them down and re-finish the wood for a refreshed look.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long do cherry wood cabinets last?

With proper care and maintenance, cherry cabinets typically last 30-50 years or longer before needing replacement. The dense wood stands up well over time.

Do cherry cabinets go with granite?

Yes, the rich red and brown tones of cherry pair beautifully with darker granite countertops in colors like black, brown, or ivory.

What wall color goes well with cherry cabinets?

Popular wall colors with cherry cabinets include warm neutrals like beige, tan, and lighter mocha browns. Crisp whites also complement the reddish tones well.

Should I get stained or natural cherry cabinets?

It depends on your preference. Stained cherry has a more uniform, deeper color. Natural cherry shows more variation in tone and ages to a lovely patina.

How do you clean cherry wood cabinets?

Use a soft cloth dampened slightly with a wood cleaner or mild soap and water. Wipe in the direction of the wood grain. Avoid harsh chemicals.


With their classic beauty and elegance, it’s easy to see why cherry wood reigns supreme for kitchen cabinets. Paying attention to proper placement, care and maintenance will allow you to enjoy your cherry cabinets for decades. Their rich hue and undeniable warmth make cherry a timeless choice to bring style into your cooking space.