How To Finish Underside Of Kitchen Cabinets? Easy Solution [2023]

You may ignore the underside of your kitchen cabinet but it holds major significance. It’s there to provide structural support as well as attach the cabinet to wall studs. That’s why you must give it a proper finish. But how to finish underside of kitchen cabinets?

Using wood or paint finish is the easiest option available. Once you make a choice, use wood for the cabinet box, and then create pilot holes for the wood finish. Finally, paint the underside of the kitchen cabinet and you’ll get a fresh look. 

This process sounds clear, right? But following them is a bit hard. That’s why we are here to guide you through the full process. After reading the whole article, you can easily cover the kitchen cabinet’s underside. 

Why should you finish the underside of kitchen cabinets?

Just like we said, most of us ignore the underside of the kitchen cabinet. And many people just don’t care. Why? They just don’t know what’s the point here anyway. 

Have you ever wondered about the practical point of the kitchen cabinet underside? It’s a great place that is unused in many kitchens. However, it’s a practical space for tidying up your kitchen. How? Let’s point them out: 

  • The kitchen underside is a great space to keep large pots and other kitchen appliances. 
  • You can also keep cereals, cooking items, and spices that you need on a daily basis. 
  • It’s a great space to keep the kitchen clean and neat. 
  • A finished underside of the kitchen cabinet reduces sound from the dishwasher and even blenders. 
  • Not to mention, it’s a cost-effective way to improve how your kitchen looks. 
  • Adds a decorative element to your kitchen. If it’s a small space, you’ll feel the benefit. 
  • The finished underside protects the kitchen cabinet from moisture. 
  • Your cabinets are safe from damping as the underside won’t capture too much moisture. 
How To Finish Underside Of Kitchen Cabinets?
How To Finish Underside Of Kitchen Cabinets?

Things to consider before finishing the underside of kitchen cabinets

Why do people never bother to finish the underside of their kitchen cabinets? The simplest answer to this question would be, they are worried about the finish wearing off. Over time, the finish will get old. And you’ll have to refinish it again. 

It means you need to spend extra money. But there are ways to save money. Almost everything needs care. Of course, most of us use wood for the finish. And you need to re-add the wood finish every time. If you want to save money, a sealer or polyurethane coating over wood can keep the finish intact for a long time. 

On the other hand, you can go for synthetic material. As far as we know, a paint finish is the best option here. Using a primer or double latex paint coating should do the job. 

But applying the finish is not your only task here. You need to take care of it too. Clean water or dirt on the underside as soon as you’re done with your kitchen work. It’s that easy of a task. 

Finally, it’s up to your decision. Do you want to receive the benefits we have discussed here or not–this is the primary consideration here. 

How to finish underside of kitchen cabinets?

There are two popular methods you can follow. We have discussed both methods in earlier sections. Now, we will discuss them in detail:

First Method: Wood Finishing Method

Wood finishing methods ensure you get a polished look underneath your kitchen cabinets. And the process is pretty straightforward too. But you’ll need patience to get a durable and beautiful finish. 

Before that, you need tools for preparation. For wood finishing you need the following tools:

  • Polish or wax
  • a cloth for applying wood conditioner
  • Wood brush for applying stain
  • A clear coat of polyurethane (optional)
  • sandpaper
  • Drill
  • Hammer
  • Screwdriver
  • Tape measure
  • Level
  • Circular saw and jigsaw

Step-by-step procedure:

First step: Sand the surface of the underside. This will help you get rid of any rough spots or imperfections. Better use fine-grit sandpaper to get better results. Prepare the wood using all the tools listed above. 

Second Step: It’s time to apply wood conditioner. The conditioner helps in prep work for your wood. It evens stain absorption. As a result, it prevents blotchiness in the final finish. Use a cloth to apply the conditioner. After applying, wait for the conditioner to dry. Check the manufacturer’s instructions to get a clear idea. 

Third Step: Once the conditioner has dried, apply the stain. It’s recommended to choose a stain that matches the color of your cabinet. You can also opt for a complementary shade. Keep in mind, you need to allow the stain to dry completely. To stay safe, you can apply a double coating if you want. 

Fourth Step: This one’s optional. But we highly recommend you coat the wood finish using polyurethane. It will protect the wood and at the same time give it a glossy look. You need to apply thin coats. Allow them to dry completely. If there are any bumps, sand that area. 

Fifth Step: Finally, we need to gain the lustrous shine. Apply the wax or polish now. If you’re going DIY, follow the manufacturer’s instructions. 

Second Method: Paint Finishing Process

The paint or primer finishing process is a cost-effective way to achieve a lustrous look. Most small kitchens use this process to enhance the look of their kitchen. For this you’ll need the following tools:

  • Sponge
  • Degreaser
  • Paintbrush or roller
  • Paint
  • Cleaning rag
  • Chalk liner

Not too many tools, right? So, what’s the process? Let’s show you:

First Step: Clean the underside of your kitchen cabinet using a sponge and degreaser. Make sure you clean it thoroughly. 

Second Step: Apply painter’s tape around the edges of the cabinet. It’s there to protect the cabinet and the wall from paint. 

Third Step: Apply the primer. Make sure the primer is compatible with your paint. 

Fourth Step: Once the primer has fully dried, apply your paint. Apply a second coat once the paint is completely dry. 

Fifth Step: If the paint has dried, get rid of the painter’s tape. Now, look for any space where you need a little work. 

How To Finish Underside Of Kitchen Cabinets?
How To Finish Underside Of Kitchen Cabinets?


What can I use to cover bottom of kitchen cabinets?

It’s better to use a cushioned liner. This way you can keep heavy cookware and canned goods. 

Should cabinets be flat or glossy?

A glossy look underside of the kitchen gives it a modern, sophisticated, and expensive outlook. However, a flat finish gives a more subtle and cozy look. 

Final Verdict

As you can see, finishing the underside of your kitchen cabinet is simple. You usually don’t need expert hands. But for the wood finish, it’s better to ask for a professional hand. 


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