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Kitchen Cabinet Finishes

Kitchen cabinets take a lot of abuse over the years: spills, stains, grease, moisture, door slamming, and nicks and scratches. How the kitchen cabinets stand up to that abuse depends in part on how they’re finished and sealed.

Pickled finishes are currently enjoying popularity on kitchen cabinets. These consist of white pigment rubbed into unfinished wood. It lightens the appearance of the kitchen cabinets and can make a traditional-style kitchen cabinet look equally at home in a contemporary or country setting.

Advantages of Polyurethane Finishes on Kitchen Cabinets

Polyurethane finishes form a coating on the kitchen cabinet surface and can be applied over the wood, stain, or a paint wash. Brown paste waxes are also good finishes, applied over a sealer coat of shellac, varnish, or oil. One advantage of a polyurethane finish is that it can seal in formaldehyde gases, cutting down in emissions in your home. But to be effective, it must cover all surfaces and edges, and remain intact.

Polyester and Lacquer Finishes on Kitchen Cabinets

Among the newer choices for cabinet finishing are polyester and lacquer finishes, which give a high-gloss appearance. Polyester is harder and more durable than lacquer, making it more damage-resistant, but it’s more difficult to repair. The polyester coating is either clear or pigmented. Polyester is solvent-resistant, but lacquer can be washed off with a solvent, recoated, and retouched.

These high-gloss kitchen cabinet surfaces aren’t recommended if you have young children in your household; toy automobiles, tricycles, and other mobile items can easily chip the cabinetry. Breaks are less visible on a grained, softer-gloss finish.

For a custom kitchen cabinet look, you can order unfinished kitchen cabinets and have them finished onsite. Many homeowners overlook the decorative possibilities that can create the look of a custom kitchen cabinet when beginning with unfinished kitchen cabinets. Kitchen cabinets are blank canvases waiting for your creativity to explode on them with color, texture, and pattern.


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