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Types of cabinet finishes

Posted by sjhockeyfan (My Page) on
Mon, Aug 19, 13 at 12:14

The post about semi-custom mid-priced modern cabinets led to this question for me, after looking at the Bellmont 1900 site.

I realize I don't even know what's available (last kitchen we did was 7 years ago, and that was traditional dark stained cherry veneer on mdf -- I think).

Is there basically wood, wood veneer, thermofoil, laminate? What is laquer (is that just painted something?)? Is one better than the other? I know I will avoid thermofoil if it's true that it yellows with age.

What are the choices in high-gloss?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Types of cabinet finishes

Woods are finished with an applied liquid- mfgs use a fully catalyzed conversion varnish- on paint there are variations between brands just what they do. Local custom tend to use pre-catalyzed or air dry. I know of one brand that has addeda proprietary oil recently- local makers may be willing to use tung oil or the like (with a disclaimer for kitchens)
Lacquer does not mean what it once did- all of what I've worked with since things changed (environmental restrictions) is more brittle than varnish and no longer enjoys the refinishing advantage lacquer once had.

Then there are plastic/synthetics that come in sheets. Properties vary enormously. Foil has gotten to be a generic term which refers to a plastic sheet that is vacu-formed over a door. The budget brands are often just a styrene base (yellows easily)- others can be urethane, acrylic, or other blend which are all superior (and pricier)

Hi-gloss options vary. Depending on door style and desired detailing there are foils, applied flat sheets, and spray options which vary enormously. You really need to read the disclaimers on each and have a conversation with your dealer to evaluate scratch resistance, aging and such.

RE: Types of cabinet finishes

Is melamine generally applied to the inside of the cabinets because a) they're not solid wood so you have to cover them with something and/or b) it's easier to clean than wood? (In our previous home, we had oak cabinets, followed by cherry, but the insides were melamine, which I like -- easy to sponge down). But I'm a little concerned that the outside of some of pedini's cabinetry is melamine, and I don't know how to analyze its quality).

Here's the description of the Pedini Magika line we're considering:

"front finishes include textured melamine with matching edges ( grey oak, dark brown pine, teak, white, red, cream, and dark grey) and a glossy white lacquer."

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