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catalytic conversion varnish

Posted by karena_2009 (My Page) on
Mon, Feb 9, 09 at 21:41

Hi,

I haven't bought my cabinets yet. I have worked with a KD and she insists that the catalytic conversion varnish is of utmost importance. If this is the case, most custom made cabinetry in my area wouldn't support this type of finish due to California environmental protection laws.

So, is it really worth it to have the catalytic conversion varnish? Any experiences with and without this finish? I'd really like to know before ordering my cabinets.

Thanks!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: catalytic conversion varnish

It is Catalyzed Conversion varnish. It is an excellant finish that offers great resistance to things that would attack a lacquer finish. I am not familar with California laws, but there is no reason this finish would not be allowed. The VOC's are no higher than any other type of finish, it is how it is applied that would have the greatest impact to the VOC's. I owned a cabinet shop for 30 years and it is the only finish I would ever use.
Most National mfg of cabints uses ONLY a Catalyzed varnish finish. What are others recommendind?


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RE: catalytic conversion varnish

Even if the law in your area does prohibit the use of that finish, it would not affect you as the end user. It would only apply to the cabinet maker.


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RE: catalytic conversion varnish

There are a lot of different 2-part finishes that can be used in California. Some finishes are definately more bullet proof than others, but I think it's possible to damage just about anything if you try hard enough, and also almost anything will perform well with care (wipe up water right away, be careful with cleaners, don't use rough scrubbers, etc.) If you find a local cabinetmaker you like, ask what finish he or she recommends and research it. Woodweb is a good source.


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RE: catalytic conversion varnish

Karena, catalyzed conversion varnish can be used in California it's just formulated a little differently for our environmental laws. It still has the same protective qualities and durability. I have a custom cabinet guy here in LA and that's all he uses. Also he can match any high end kitchen out there for a whole lot less. If you'd like the info let me know.


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RE: catalytic conversion varnish

tom999: doing a search on Google either term is acceptable; I got 5,100 hits for catalized conversion varnish and 5,160 hits for catalytic conversion varnish. To be technically correct, I probably should have hyphenated it: catalytic-conversion varnish as it is a compound adjective. And, it's spelled excellent, not excellant. I have not been impressed with the finishing capabilities of two local cabinet makers. It certainly doesn't appear that they have the 17-step process that many manufactured cabinets do--more like up to ten steps. So, I just wasn't sure that local custom cabinets could hold up as well as the national brands.

cuisinista: do you have links or pictures of your kitchen remodel? I want a rather difficult to achieve look: cream-colored painted cabinets with a slightly distressed look and a brownish glaze. I also want dining room side cabinets in the peninsula to have a Kelly Moore "teton blue" color.


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RE: catalytic conversion varnish

That was a pretty amusing retort. Anyway, catalyzed varnishes are a great finish. Don't compare steps look at finished products. Some of the steps they add in are a joke.


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RE: catalytic conversion varnish

We purchased cabinets with the catalyzed conversion varnish (they are just now being installed). We were told it was superior to lacquered finish because lacquer tends to crack/peel and yellow over time.


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RE: catalytic conversion varnish

I have a pool table with a catalyzed finish. It hasn't worn well at all, so I personally wouldn't pay extra for it.

No doubt there are better and worse grades of everyhthing...


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RE: catalytic conversion varnish

Karena, here's a picture of my kitchen remodel. Although the kitchen was completely redone we used a lot of the existing cabinets, stripped and refinished the doors, added the island, french-style butcher block and other cabinetry to match. So it's not the best representation of what he can do if starting from scratch. The type of glazed finish you described is widely used but not well by many. I don't think it's so much about the number of steps as it is the artistry of the finisher. Not sure what part of California you're in or what local shops you've talked to but here's the guys info if you have any questions: John DiSanto 818-693-3777. He does custom furniture and cabinetry specializing in finishes. Way above you average work out LA Tuscan Kitchenthere.


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RE: catalytic conversion varnish

cuisinista: what a beautiful kitchen! I live in northern California (San Francisco south bay). See the link for my color scheme. I love the warmth of your kitchen. I think LA may be a fit too far away. I guess I may need to investigate further with neighbors and so on.

Many thanks for your thoughfulness :-). I may follow up with you independently.

Here is a link that might be useful: Karen's Kitchen Project


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RE: catalytic conversion varnish

Karena, Hi again.
Looks like you're on the tight track. The door in the photo is somewhat similar to a WM OHS door. Who is that one from? Is that not a option? I wouldn't do the deep gouges in the center panel. I once read "there's a line between distressed(time-worn)and damaged." That seems to cross that line a bit. As far as long distance I understand although it's done everyday. Most of the national brands are going to be located far from California. With the limited space you have to work with it might not be as cost-effective as a larger project would be. It depends on the quality you're looking for. I'm sure it'll turn out great either way.


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RE: catalytic conversion varnish

Hi cuisinita,

The sample door is from a company named Rambo out of Oklahoma. The KD I worked with carried these cabinets. Unfortunately, the KD wanted $27K for those cabinets and I've decided that's way too much.

I am in the process of pricing out Cabico and Wellborn. I am trying to keep the cabinet budget to 15K, which I think is generous for such a small kitchen. I am spending quite a bit on the appliances, particularly the La Cornue Fe range and Liebherr refrigerator, and of course, the granite counter top.

I want plywood boxes, full-extension glides, blum soft close on the drawers and cabinets and wood doors. I want to use the latest technology as I plan to live in this house for a long time.

As for the distressed look, I go back and forth on it. I may just give it up to save some more money. I totally agree with you about the gouges :-).

You have a very good eye ;-).


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Question for Cuisinista

Great kitchen, Cuisinista! Can you tell me about the island counter top? It looks like bread-board construction (glued-up boards running length-wise, with "caps" on the short ends to cover the end grain of the boards). And is that a (removeable?) inset butcher-block cutting board on the near end?


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On custom cabinets and finishing

As a general rule, you can get better cabinets from a local custom maker than from a national manufacturer -- both quality of materials and construction -- and at a better price. And if you have a 33-1/2" inch space, a custom builder will make you a 33-1/2" inch cabinet - not sell you a 32" box with a 2" fill strip to make up the difference, the way the manufacturers do.

But when it comes to finishing, if you want anything fancier than a stained/clearcoated or plain paint finish, find a dedicated finishing shop. Glazed/antiqued finishes aren't that difficult -- it's just a very different specialty from woodworking, and most small custom wood shops are woodworkers who will (grudginly) apply a finish to their work. "Fancy painting" isn't their thing :)


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Catalyzed, not Catalytic

"doing a search on Google either term is acceptable; I got 5,100 hits for catalized conversion varnish and 5,160 hits for catalytic conversion varnish. To be technically correct, I probably should have hyphenated it: catalytic-conversion varnish as it is a compound adjective"

It's "catalyzed" (verb transitive), not "catalytic" (adjective). The addition of a catalyITIC agent makes it a catalYZED varnish.

For an explanation of what makes a catalyzed varnish, see the attached link from Finishing Magazine.

Here is a link that might be useful: Catalyzed Varnish 101


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RE: catalytic conversion varnish

Karena,
What cabinets did you end up purchasing? I also live in SF Bay area and am looking into Cabico, QCC, Crystal, vs. a local cabinet maker. My biggest concern is wanting a long lasting finish on the white paint and also getting precision needed for inset cabinetry.
Thanks.
Dawn


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