How to Ensure a Durable Finish on Kitchen Cabinets

cairnqueenDecember 29, 2010

I've been lurking and think you all are incredibly knowledgeable and helpful. The folks on the Kitchen and Paint forums suggested that I cross-post this on the Woodworking forum.

I am getting ready to start a kitchen remodel. I've looked at Home Depot cabinets, but believe I'm going with custom cabinets. The cabinet maker I like does not finish cabinets and has said that most painters can also finish cabinets.

Five years ago, my mother built a house with custom cabinets. The finish is peeling and the cabinets look years older than they are. I want to make sure that my cabinets hold up better than hers. I don't want to make a sizable investment in the cabinets and then have them ruined by a poor staining/finishing job.

What types of questions should I ask the painter, cabinet finisher? Are there special products or techniques that should be used? Any input on what type of finish to use over the stain? Any thoughts on how best to find someone who has the skills and talent to make my cabinets beautiful and durable?

I'm considering cherry cabinets with a natural finish or oak cabinets with a cinnamon stain color.

Any help or feedback you can give me would be greatly appreciated.

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I also am trying to decide on a finish for natural cherry cabinets. I don't want to use oil-based poly because I am told it gives a yellow tint and that it hinders the natural darkening of the wood. I recently finished a natural oak floor using Bona AmberSeal as the sanding sealer, and discovered that it really brings out the color and grain of the wood. I applied some a piece of the cherry and I think the result looks really good. One question I have is whether this is a good idea. The AmberSeal dries fairly quickly (it is water-based) and I am worried that I might have trouble applying it with a brush or a cloth. My other question is what do I use as the finish material. I was considering using Bona Traffic, but again I am concerned about the drying time, and whether it can be brushed or wiped on. Are there any other water-based finishes I should consider using?

    Bookmark   December 29, 2010 at 8:00PM
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In my opinion, the cabinets should be finished before installation. In any case, the finish I use is Hydrocote Resisthane Pluse precatalyzed lacquer. It is a waterborne finish. Follow the directions on the can.
Bona finishes are made for floors, not cabinets. It is applied by an 18" wand. Generally, the factory finishes applied to the higher end factory made cabinets, is superior to site applied finishes.
I assume you are having cabinets made because they are cheaper than factory made. If this guy doesn't apply the finish I would be apprehensive.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2010 at 1:14AM
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I would look for a finish that is KCMA certified.

Here is a link that might be useful: KCMA certification program

    Bookmark   January 1, 2011 at 12:57PM
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