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Kitchen Cabinet Remodeling - Ideas and Estimates

Kitchen Cabinet Surfaces and Finishes

by Miriam Kasdan
KitchensAndCabinets.com Columnist

The more knowledge you have about your kitchen cabinets, the better. Let's go over some basic information about cabinet surfaces and finishes. This should come in handy for when you're planning to possibly reface or replace your kitchen cabinets.

  • Wood. Wood cabinets must be finished on all sides to prevent warping. You can create almost any combination of grain pattern and color, depending on what type of wood and color of stain you use.
  • Laminates. High-pressure laminates will provide the greatest durability. Be sure to apply the laminates to both sides of the kitchen cabinet doors, to prevent warping.
  • Foils and Vinyl Films. These laminate look-alikes are less expensive than the real thing, but aren't as durable.
  • Paint. Painted wood finishes can chip and crack, but adding a finish of a baked-on clear top coat can provide extra durability.
  • Stains and Paint Glazes. Because these finishes penetrate into the wood grain of the kitchen cabinets, they won't chip. Stains enhance wood tones, and glazes add their own color to the wood. Both finishes require a top coat, such as lacquer or urethane, for durability and easy maintenance.

Consult a Professional

As with any home renovation project, consult a professional for advice and ideas before embarking on some new or refaced kitchen cabinets. Obtaining an expert's opinion before the job has begun can save you time and money in the long run, and offer a guarantee that the finished product will indeed enhance this very busy room.

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About the Author
Miriam Kasdan specializes in writing marketing and home improvement features. She earned a B.A. in Sociology from the University of California at Berkeley.