When selecting your wood species from Outside the Box, we recommend that you take the time to really understand all of your choices. We take great pride in offering a variety of wood species for you to choose from depending on what look and feel you are going for.

Remember, any time that you are doing a stain finish on your doors, there will often be some color variation and the wood grain will show through. This is a very common trait in any natural wood species and is in no way considered a defect. We believe in letting the natural aspects of the wood show and this is a very important part of our custom stains.

With this being said, below are descriptions and characteristics of all of our wood species. We only build doors from the very finest wood materials available and all of our wood doors have been factory dried to a perfect moisture content so there will be no fear of cracking or warping as the years go by and the seasons change.

Select Alder Raw Door

Select Alder

Alder is a fairly hard wood that is a light tone yellow when in its natural state. Our select alder has limited grain and is fairly consistent in its coloration. It is a somewhat softer wood than maple and it tends to take our stain colors a little darker than our select maple as well. It will be a lighter weight door, so if you are looking for a choice that looks very nice with our stains but is not as heavy as our maple doors, select alder is a perfect option.

rustic alder raw door

Rustic Alder

Rustic alder is similar to select alder as it is also a light color wood with medium density. However, Rustic alder is loaded with lot of grain, knots, and custom characteristics. It is great in a natural or light finish to let the wood do the talking instead of the stain. If you are looking for a rustic cabin look or a southwest theme, rustic alder is a great option. Keep the stain colors toward the lighter side, and maybe consider adding a dark glaze. This look is absolutely amazing in the right application.

However, rustic alder is not for everybodyit is very rustic. It may have knots that go all the way through the door and may also have some very crazy and unique grain. It is a custom look and and should not be considered lightly. Just make sure that you are looking for that rustic aesthetic before selecting this wood species.

cherry raw door


Cherry is a timeless wood species that never goes out of style. Many believe that the natural color of cherry wood is red but instead it ages into a beautiful rusty reddish brown with beautiful grain variation. What many think is cherry is just the stain color not the wood. It does take stain with a warm tone and gives a regal look when finished properly. If you are looking for a warm and elegant look for your kitchen, natural cherry is a great option.

Cherry is susceptible to natural light and will change color depending on how much it gets. Because of this, we do not recommend our natural finish on cherry, as it will change color too quickly and at different rates depending on where it sits in the kitchen. Stick with a darker stain choice on cherry, and you will be very happy with the look.

maple raw door

Select and Paint-Grade Maple

Maple is a hard and nearly grainless wood used for door construction. Select maple wood doors are our hand selected wood doors made from the very finest options of hard maple. These are perfect for any of our custom stain applications.

Our select maple is a very light yellow and is consistent in color. When you choose select maple, you give us the perfect pallet to put our custom stains and glazes on. It is an ideal choice if you are looking for a beautiful, subtle wood species that will not over power your custom stain.

We only offer our painted finished on maple doors; other woods are either too soft or have too much grain for the high end, fine painted finishes that you are looking for on your kitchen cabinets. The tinted lacquers lay smoothly due to the maple grain and the door itself will be solid and durable.

The difference between our paint grade and select grade is that paint-grade may have sap marks in the wood before finishing. These sap marks are dark lines caused during the growth cycle of the tree but do not affect the wood in any way. Sap marks would show through our stains but once the paint-grade maple doors are finished in our primers and tinted lacquers, they are completely invisible. 

Natural Stain Hickory


Our hickory wood species is a very wild and grainy option for that unique, custom kitchen look. The color of hickory ranges between white and dark brown all on the same door. Hickory is a very hard wood as well as a very dense and heavy. Like its counterpart rustic alder, it is a very custom look. We finish hickory in a light natural color with a dark glaze.

Hickory looks great in a mountain cabin or a country home and is by far the most inconsistent wood species we offer at Outside the Box. You want to make very sure that you understand exactly what hickory wood looks like before you order it. In the right setting, hickory will look amazing. Do your research, double check your samples, and make sure Hickory is going to look good in your entire kitchen before you start.

natural stain sapele shaker cabinet door


Sapele is our answer to the mahogany cabinets of the past. This wood has a sophisticated look and is perfect in a modern setting. Sapele comes from a large, native African tree and is a very warm tone wood with a ribbon type grain, flowing straight in one direction. In a natural finish, it looks very much like Mahogany wood cabinets of the mid nineteenth century, with very warm lighter red and brown tone. As you get into darker stain colors, it begins to look very contemporary, and have a ultra-modern look to it.

We recommend this wood species if you choose a slab door or a shaker style door. We do not recommend this wood species if you want a traditional raised panel, high-end door style, or warm look in your traditional home.

Sapele is the perfect answer to your high rise down town condo or your modern bungalow. Remember, the ribbon-like grain will show through any of our custom stains. It is a unique look that lends itself very well to that certain style some homes are looking for.

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