painted cabinets on site or pre-finished?


Hi all:
Can anyone provide some guidance on a problem I'm having. I'm redoing basically every cabinet in the house (kitchen, bathrooms, etc.). I am going with a high quality maple cabinet, and want it finished in an antique white paint with perhaps a glaze. Right now, I am attempting to decide between completely custom, built and painted on site cabinets, and pre-finished, custom cabinets. The prefinished cabinets are dura supreme, which are measured on site, then built in a factory in Minnesota. I'm in california.
Because we are going to be using a painted finished, which chips and scratches easily, I am extremely concerned about durability. I am hearing completely different things from different people. Some say that pre-finished is the only way to go because they can apply various chemicals in minnesota that they can't in California, and these chemicals protect the finish a lot more. These people also say that pre-finished cabinets can have a "baked on finish" that you just cannot get with on-site application no matter what state you are in.
On the other side of the coin, the custom guys say that the whole "you can't apply such and such a chemical in California"-thing is an urban legend, and they are promising that they can make as durable a paint finish as I can possibly find with a pre-finished model.
Putting aside the entire custom vs. non-custom debates, as far as finished go, does anyone know the truth? Are there in fact things that are being done in out-of-state cabinets that can't or aren't done on in-state cabinets?
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post this question in rec.woodworking to get opinions from the pros.
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Is it 1970 again?

I don't think it is quite an urban myth, but the local guys may be able to give you a good finish. California has some of the toughest laws on volatile organic compounds and has a lot of restrictions on spraying finishes, chemicals that may be carcinogens, and a bunch of other issue. Surely theguys telling you this must have samples for you to look at and decide if it meets your needs.
OTOH, if a finish is that fragile, do you really want it on your cabinets? Looks aside when new, what will they look like in 5 years?
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In my experience, a factory finish will always be smoother, harder, and more durable, than anything you can apply in the field. If special-order custom cabinets can be made to fit your needs, I'd go that way. If I Really Wanted local artisan-built custom built-ins, I'd go with some other finish that can be field applied, like a stain and sealer. It won't have the gloss or dirt resistance of a shiny factory finish, but can still look great. There are very few shiny or satin field-applied finishes that look good, IMHO. YMMV, of course.
aem sends...
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use solid stain NOT paint
stain does not crack like paint does
"baked on finish" what a crock
the best finishes are hand rubbed it can be done in a factory or on site.
| Hi all: | | Can anyone provide some guidance on a problem I'm having. I'm redoing | basically every cabinet in the house (kitchen, bathrooms, etc.). I am | going with a high quality maple cabinet, and want it finished in an | antique white paint with perhaps a glaze. Right now, I am attempting | to decide between completely custom, built and painted on site | cabinets, and pre-finished, custom cabinets. The prefinished cabinets | are dura supreme, which are measured on site, then built in a factory | in Minnesota. I'm in california. | | Because we are going to be using a painted finished, which chips and | scratches easily, I am extremely concerned about durability. I am | hearing completely different things from different people. Some say | that pre-finished is the only way to go because they can apply various | chemicals in minnesota that they can't in California, and these | chemicals protect the finish a lot more. These people also say that | pre-finished cabinets can have a "baked on finish" that you just | cannot get with on-site application no matter what state you are in. | | On the other side of the coin, the custom guys say that the whole "you | can't apply such and such a chemical in California"-thing is an urban | legend, and they are promising that they can make as durable a paint | finish as I can possibly find with a pre-finished model. | | Putting aside the entire custom vs. non-custom debates, as far as | finished go, does anyone know the truth? Are there in fact things | that are being done in out-of-state cabinets that can't or aren't done | on in-state cabinets? |
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I also recommend staining and varnishing. Do not paint new wood!
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