Wood grain variation is a natural feature of wood that occurs when the growth rings of a tree become visible on the boards after it is cut. These lines reflect the tree’s growth and are influenced by environmental factors. Although many people prefer to use hardwood or solid wood for kitchen projects because of the natural and organic look of wood, the variation in grain can sometimes affect the overall finish of cabinetry. Even if the finish is uniformly applied, the unique patterns of grain variation present in each board may result in an irregular appearance.

Each board has a distinct pattern of grain variation, similar to a set of fingerprints, and this can affect the absorption and drying rate of coatings and finishes. However, most manufacturers offer a variety of finishes that can either enhance or subdue the variation in grain. Some finishes can darken the grain lines to accentuate them, while others can be used to mute their presence without eliminating them completely. Ultimately, the variation in wood grain is a treasured quality that adds to the unique and natural beauty of the finished product.