what finish for kitchen cabs -- Waterlox, lacquer, or? . . .

saydeJuly 26, 2010

We are restoring 80+ year old gumwood doors and will be making new frames out of some as-yet-to be determined wood that we would color to match -- birch, alder, poplar ....? (As we are dis-assembling the old cabs we're finding that they contain a good deal of some kind of mystery wood -- the gumwood was used for the showy parts but not all the framing).

The question is -- what to use for a finish. Waterlox, or some kind of lacquer or varnish? The cabs were coated with poly. Everything will be sanded to bare wood. The gumwood will not be stained but the surrounding trims will likely need some kind of coloration. The kitchen is well used but gently used by just the two of us.

Would appreciate guidance!

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Why would you not use gumwood? Gumwood is Eucalyptus and can be ordered through a lumber yard or over the web. Also, you could use veneer which you could order from a place like Constantine's Wood Supply.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2010 at 7:22PM
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The product you would use on your cabinets depends on your skill and equipment. Waterlox would probably be a good product to use in any case because it's a craftsman type of finish, easy to apply, and relatively durable.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2010 at 2:34AM
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The cabinet finish needs to stand up to the steam and grease released when cooking, and the inevitable cleaning of the cabinets.

Cleaning them with paint thinner to avoid finish damage is not done very frequently, but a wipe down with some mild soap and water is (especially around knobs).

Film forming finishes are usually preferred.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2010 at 10:41AM
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Minwax Wipe-On Poly is easy to apply and offers good protection, similar to Waterlox. It is a lighter color than Waterlox and much cheaper. Or you could thin Minwax Fast-Drying Poly into a wiping varnish consistency. I might finish some of my new cabinets with the Minwax. But I am also considering Smith's Penetrating Epoxy for a super-durable finish on the most demanding cabinets, like under the sink.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2010 at 4:03PM
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