Finish Recommendation

I am looking at getting some unfinished oak kitchen cabinets. I do not want to stain them, just spray some finish on them with a HVLP sprayer. What would you recommend?
Mike D.
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I like conversion finishes for this application. Precatalyzed lacquer or a conversion varnish would be a couple of options.
todd
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Mike,
At a minimum, you'll need to a "sealer", then a protective finish - which can be lacquer or polyurethane (given that durability is required for kitchen use). There are other options for durable finishes, but I happen to like polyurethane.
If it were me, I'd sand everything with 220 grit sand paper (orbital sander). Then as a sealer, spray a diluted coat of shellac (1/3 pound cut). You can buy clear shellac at Home Depot, then dilute by 50% to achieve the 1/3 pound cut). The dilution makes for easier HVLP spraying . You may not need to dilute as much, but this always works fine for me, especially as a sealer coat. Know that shellac may slightly tint the wood to a light amber color (to my eye looks natural and doesn't detract from the beauty of the wood). Otherwise, you can simply use Minwax's oil-based "Sanding Sealer by Minwax". Works good and dries fast like shellac. You'll need denatured alcohol to dilute shellac, and mineral spirits if you wish to dilute the Minwax Sanding Sealer.
After the shellac dries, sand lightly with 320 grit sandpaper. Wipe and vaccum the surfaces to remove all dust. Spray the polyurethane (dilute to somwhere between 70% and 50%, ). Allow the poly to dry completely, then scuff sand and repeat as necessary. Bear in mind, that Oak is very porous and unless you prefill the pores (a separate process before sealing), the oak may require several coats of polyurethane to fill the pores.
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