Home Renovation: 3 Questions To Ask About Factory And Onsite Finishes

When remodeling a kitchen or a bathroom, there are a number of things that need to be given due consideration. One of the most important among these things is the finish. The durability of the finish is a critical consideration, particularly where you don’t want the inconveniences of having to regularly look after it or even maintain your cabinetry every couple of years and having to endure the general household intrusion, paint smell, dust and sanding. If considering buying custom kitchen cabinetry, here three questions to ask your cabinetmaker, designer or contractor in regard to the finishing.

What do you use as a topcoat to provide a durable finish?


Apart from the durability aspect, make sure to also ask about the kind of a catalyst being used in the varnish. The majority of local custom on-site or shop finishers do not have the capacity to utilize a catalyzed varnish as the finish topcoat. The main reasons preventing them from using a catalyst include:

• The process requires expensive and quite difficult to main equipments

• The finishers are forced to work in very short cycles due to the limited curing time. In this case, the paint hardens much faster than is the norm causing labor intensive cleanups

All this make their job much more expensive and effort consuming. As a result, they altogether ignore the catalyzing process. But since their options are quite limited, most of them utilize lacquer or polyurethane topcoats. Unfortunately, these do not give the same durability level as that of a catalyzed varnish process. Remember, a catalyst within the varnish is recommended to make the finish hard enough as to be durable.

A catalyzed varnish finish is impermeable to a majority of household chemicals, including acetone which is the major additive in nail polish removers. Without a catalyzed varnish finish, most household cleaners will gradually erode the finish. In simple terms, if your selected kitchen design contractor is using polyurethane or lacquer, then it should be noted that the finish will fast lift away from the cabinets.

How do you dry your finishes between layers in your finishing procedure?

Drying the finishes between layers is a crucial step that factories utilize. They make use of huge ovens with powerful lights to oven-bake the finish, thereby accelerating the drying process. In this case, quite a number of finishes need up to twenty eight steps. Proper drying prior to applying the next layer guarantees maximum adhesion to assure that the finish sticks.

Are you finishing the cabinets on the job site or in your shop?

The main reason for asking this question is much to do with quality control than anything else. In a factory, there is an enhanced control of dust since there are specialized air-filtering systems that filter all the air going in and out of the finishing area. There is negative pressure in this area at all times, meaning that air is constantly being pushed out of the environment so that outside particles can’t find their way in through openings such as widows or doorways. Most of small shops can’t afford this kind of dust or particle control. Because the right kinds of filters are missing, it means they cannot be able to keep the air clean during the finishing process. Spraying the product onsite actually stirs up the air and dust during the application of the finish.

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