Cabinet Finish... Satin? What do you have?

2LittleFishiesOctober 6, 2012

Hey All,

The cabinetmaker uses a catalyzed laquer or varnish (I forget the terminology) to "paint" the cabs. He does a clear satin finish. Is satin a typical sheen for cabinets? I'm wondering if I it's too shiny? It probably makes them easier to clean.

Here is a kitchen he did with the satin... I actually think it will be good but let it not be said I didn't ask GW about just about everything! LOL

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Our cabs are lightly stained cherry. We were able to choose or specify the sheen level. The manuf. made up a few sample doors for us in various sheen levels (e.g. 10% sheen, 15% sheen....).

Perhaps they could make a sample for you, showing the proposed sheen/satin finish to see if you like it?

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 10:28AM
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Hey Fishies, my cabs are painted with pre-cat lacquer in BM Cloud White. The finish is satin and they aren't shiny at all, just a subtle glow that gives them warmth.

BTW, did you ever make a final decision with your yellow locations?

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 11:33AM
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Mine aren't lacquered, just painted in BM Satin Impervo Waterborne. Like Linelle, I think the subtle glow is beautiful. They aren't shiny shiny, just soft.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 11:39AM
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Mine are stained with an oiled finish. It doesn't say satin, but that would be my guess. It's more like a glow than a shine, IMO. Yours don't appear to be shiny to me. I like your finish.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 11:43AM
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breezy- Your cabinets are actual paint? I know DIY cabs are usually painted but I assumed cabinet makers all did a spray finish? Guess I shouldn't assume! : )

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 11:43AM
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Mine are satin also - which equates to 20% sheen. Not shiny at all

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 12:04PM
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breezy- Don't mean to hijack this post but could I get some feedback on your finish and how it is holding up? The reason I ask is that our lower cabinet frames are going to be painted, not sprayed. I am looking into different paints and want something really durable. Also, do you notice brush marks. It's not that I mind brush marks but since the rest of the cabinets won't have them, I'd rather brush marks not be noticeable. Thanks so much!

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 12:06PM
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Yes, my cabs are actual paint. They are sprayed. My cab maker is a small-time, one-man shop. He hires out all his finishing so he can just build. Painting is done by his high school friend who works as a house painter and decorative painter. I didn't really understand what a cat laquer was when I hired him. If I had, I would have tried to find someone to do that. Live and learn...but I was GCing a whole house reno with an infant and pre-schooler; DH travels a lot; I dont have a daytime babysitter; my DDad was going through two bouts of prostate cancer; and I was slightly stressed out. :)

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 12:10PM
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breezy- your cabs are beautiful! Didn't mean to make you feel they were anything but that : ) Just didn't realize some cab-makers spray paint. It's all new to me.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 12:37PM
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What a beautiful color that kitchen is, fishies!

I'm painting my own and will go satin because it hides imperfections well and looks soft. I doubt I'll varnish because I'll probably want to shoot myself by the time it's done.

I have some high gloss of the color I finally figured out. I had planned to use it, but over the months since I painted a sample cabinet, the high sheen bothers me. Too "hospital".

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 2:58PM
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Thanks everyone! I'll go with the satin : )

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 3:17PM
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You've already decided, but we also have BM Satin Impervo (no clear finish over the top, as the experts on the painting forum said the paint was a better finish). Ours is the oil/alkyd based, since we needed the deeper color. We have Waterborne in the kids' bedrooms... DH said the oil based went on better (he sprayed most things... I just brushed smaller areas, and things like shelf faces... and it seems to be a little more durable.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 4:35PM
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Having trouble with the computer and completely forgot to say that I also love the soft sheen. Pretty without being obvious, and does nice things for the color, compared to a glossy finish.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 4:36PM
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Fishies--You didn't make me that my cabs aren't beautiful. I just know now (or at least have been told here enough) that cat lacquer is better. This was my one and only shot at a new kitchen so it's not like I can say "next time I'll know."

Sis2two--My cabs *are* sprayed, but using BM paint instead of a cat lacquer. We saw a sample of the painter's hand brushed work and weren't happy with it. The brushstrokes were awful and not the look we wanted. I suspect that other painters may do a smoother job with a brush than my painter did.

The paint seem to be holding up fine over the past year as far as the finish goes. One of the kids must have run into a cab door in the peninsula in the DR with a pointy toy as I discovered a dent that broke through the paint last week. I have no idea what it was, but I'm sure it would have damaged a lacquer finish also. Overall, the cabs look great. HTH!

And sorry for the OT, Fishies!

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 1:28AM
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I don't know about a catalyzed lacquer necessarily being better. The advantage of a painted finish is that you can touch it up easily with paint that you keep at home. I don't have experience with both types, but the touch-up argument makes sense to me.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 4:12PM
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