Dec 21, 2018

Types of Cabinet Finishes & Helpful Hints

When it comes to planning a home remodeling project, more specifically your kitchen cabinets, it’s essential to choose the best wood finish.  The five most common types of cabinet finishes are natural, stains, glazes, veneers, and paints. Regardless of the finish that is used, most cabinet manufacturers use a baking process so that the end result is strong and durable.  Designating the most fitting kitchen cabinet finish allows the heart of your home to be personalized and polished.  Here’s what you need to know about different types of cabinet finishes before starting your home remodeling project.

Natural Wood Finish

Natural wood finish cabinets seals and protects the wood without using stains or dyes.  This is accomplished through a clear or opaque finish. Clear finishes include lacquer, shellac, varnish, oils and polyurethane. Applying a clear finish allows for the natural grains, markings and color of the wood to show through. An opaque finish uses a combination of paint and lacquers.  These are sometimes used to make two different pieces of wood look similar by changing the color of the wood. Lacquer is also used as a cabinet finishing and must be pre-catalyzed or acrylic-based in order to protect the wood from moisture. Premium natural wood cabinets use a minimum of three coats of lacquer that is sprayed on, sanded between each coat with the final coat being wet sanded, and compounded with wax to get a clear, glowing finish. Varnish offers a similar natural finish cabinet but is more enduring than a lacquer, neither being stronger than using a polyurethane finish.

Wood Stain Finish

Wood stain finish is used to enhance or change the appearance of the wood. Using a stain alone doesn’t provide protection, though. Manufacturers add a UV protectant to prevent sun fading and apply a sealer in addition to preserve the wooden cabinets.

Cabinet Finishing Glaze

Glaze for cabinets is a a transparent, colored material that changes or amplifies the color of the cabinet. Finishing glaze is also used to give the appearance of age of a more heavily grained wood and add character and depth to a wood surface. To give it a special look, glazes are applied by hand ensuring the uniqueness of your cabinet.

Cabinet Veneers

A veneer is a thin piece of wood glued to another piece of wood or plywood, usually about .5 mm. Veneers can be painted or stained and are used to provide stability in damp areas. Usually rare, exotic woods are used as veneers because of the uncommonness and cost of the species.  Veneers are often used on the sides of cabinets. If they are sealed properly, they should last a lifetime. Poor sealing of veneer finish cabinets will lead to chips and damage as moisture enters the particleboard causing the piece to swell and fail.

Paint Finish For Cabinets

Paint finish offers an unlimited amount of color choices, compared to wood where you’re confined to browns and stains. Latex paint finish for cabinets needs to have a clear, protective topcoat to maintain the look. Lacquer paint is stronger than latex, manufacturers use two coats of paint and a clear coat of lacquer to attain a clean smooth finish.

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"Even though this last repair was a very small fix, Eric was very understanding and worked with us with getting the garage back to its original appearance. We have had four large jobs contracted through Lindus and have not been disappointed by any.  We refer anyone we talk to, who’s remodeling, to contact Lindus. From the receptionists to the project managers, everyone has been great to work with."

Rita F.
Inver Grove Heights, MN
June 15, 2023

"In the past 2 years, Lindus has built me a beautiful new deck, replaced my aging fascia and exterior doors, and remodeled my main bathroom. I went with this company initially because they seemed so professional and knowledgeable, and I was not disappointed.  I love what they've done for my house, and if I need any remodeling or building work done in the future, I'm definitely going with Lindus!!"

Romy O.
St. Paul, MN
February 18, 2023

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Jean W.
Hammond, WI
May 26, 2022

"I am very happy with my remodeled bathroom...it looks great !!  I always knew what was going to happen ahead of time with great clarity, that took a lot of the normal stress out of it. Also, each tradesman who came to my house told me what and how they were going to do their piece of the project. They all seemed like nice guys and easy to be around! I have in the past and hope to in future to contact Lindus for projects."

Thomas N.
St. Paul, MN
January 31, 2022

"We have used Lindus Construction in the past and have always been very pleased with their work. We knew we wanted Lindus when considering a total kitchen remodeling project. Jason was the lead carpenter on the project with his assistant Brock. They repaired a cupboard and drywall that was damaged from too much weight in the cupboard. After our ceiling repair, Jason constructed a soffit for that area that blended in beautifully with the flow of the room and looked like it had always been there. They were also able to adjust the hole in the quartz countertop for the cooktop to fit as it should. They did a great job on the entire remodeling project. We highly recommend Lindus Construction." 

Justine B.
Coon Rapids, MN
September 7, 2021

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Hudson, WI
April 28, 2021
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