Finishes on kitchen cabinets

Greetings all,
I have a friend who wants me to build new kitchen cabinets for her. I'm not uncomfortable with the woodworking part, but the finish she wants is a deep red cherry she sees at some of the home centers.
I've often wondered about how the commercial cabinet makers achieve their finishes. From the research I've done over the past few days it would appear that they use spray lacquers. I would like to know the following:
1. Am I correct in thinking the commercial cabinet producers use spray lacquers?
2. If I decide to use a spray lacquer, should I tint the lacquer or spray a clear lacquer over a stained wood? (I have used aniline dyes for a smaller project and sprayed a clear coat over that, but I'm not sure if this would be good for a large project).
3. If I am going to color the wood, does it really matter if I use cherry wood or not? Couldn't I just use birch in such a case?
4. I have an HVLP spray setup, but since I don't have proper ventilation I'd prefer using water based lacquers. Anyone had any experiences with these?
Thanks in advance for the help. This project is still in the planning phase, so I have some time to experiment with suggestions.
Regard,
Jerry
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 27 Sep 2004 21:10:22 -0700, GAB snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (Jerry) wrote:

Dye the wood and shoot it with clear

Sure. As long as the grain pattern is acceptable to the customer

almost none of the drawbacks. My favorite for cabinets is the Oxford Ultima by Target Coatings. Get a quart of retarder at the same time you order the lacquer. You dont need much (10%) but it helps the lacquer to level out better. http://www.targetcoatings.com /

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I can't help but am very interested in what responses you get. I made this post only to say that I've seen charts in books that compare the properties of various finishes. I've posted some questions about finishes which mix things like Danish oil and wax -- these books don't treat the mixes (that I know of).
For your cabinets you're probably interested in color, durability, and perhaps water resistence on the inside (since sometimes dishes get returned to the cabinet not completely dry).
I suppose you also need to decide how glossy you want them to look.
GAB snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (Jerry) wrote in message

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I can't help but am very interested in what responses you get. I made this post only to say that I've seen charts in books that compare the properties of various finishes. I've posted some questions about finishes which mix things like Danish oil and wax -- these books don't treat the mixes (that I know of).
For your cabinets you're probably interested in color, durability, and perhaps water resistence on the inside (since sometimes dishes get returned to the cabinet not completely dry).
I suppose you also need to decide how glossy you want them to look.
GAB snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (Jerry) wrote in message

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
@hotmail.com says...

Hi Jerry
Yes commercial cabinet makers use lacquer, most likely a catalyzed lacquer. However a good water based lacquer would do the job. My preference is for Crystalac 2000. Of the several water based lacquers I've used it come the closest too looking like nitrocellulose.
Yes you can add color to the lacquer as long as it is like based, water too water, oil to oil.
In fact the method used by commercial cabinet makers is called toning. One or more colored coats of the finish are sandwiched in between the clear coats.
Doing it that way, since it avoids the usual staining problems, is a great labor saver for the commercial people and can be for you. It also by passes the problem of solid wood not taking color the same way ply of the same species will.
As too whether staining another species rather then use actual cherry. That is pretty much up for discussion between the person footing the bill and the person who has too look at the job day after day.
I'd strongly suggest doing up a couple of samples and a sit down with the person you are making the cabinets for.
--
MikeG
Heirloom Woods
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

and more uniform reds include a glaze coat. This provides an easier and closer match between the pieces of cherry. I did get a close match by selecting the wood, then applying a combination of dye then toner (Transtints from Homestead). GerryG
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
says...

I want to thank everyone who posted answers to my questions. You all have given me a lot to research and practice with. Woodworkers are the greatest!
Jerry
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Visit www.homesteadfinishing.com as Jeff Jewitt designed TransTint dyes that mix with many liquids. He carries Fuhr and Target WB finishes. I've used the Target lacquer mixed with TransTint with no problems beyond what I've caused. Also visit his forums both the general finishing as well as the spray forum.
On 27 Sep 2004 21:10:22 -0700, GAB snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (Jerry) wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
" snipped-for-privacy@vcoms.net" wrote:

Hi Jerry,
Also in Jeff Jewett's book "Great Wood Finishes" he outlines a procedure for "Colonial Cherry", the look of commercial cherry furniture on page 222. The book should be available at your local library.
-- Jack Novak Buffalo, NY - USA (Remove "SPAM" from email address to reply)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 27 Sep 2004 21:10:22 -0700, GAB snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (Jerry) wrote:

I spray a waterborne finish from www.compliantspraysystems.com. I tint it with waterbase stains from http://www.wdlockwood.com/main.html . my goal with this approach is to avoid the "grain reversal" that comes from the stain absorbing more into the softer, usually lighter grain. it just looks wrong to me to have the grain reverse....

I did a dark red over birch recently. I did all of the color as tint mixed into the topcoat. it came out looking good, but it took a lot of coats. I think if I was doing it again I'd apply at least some of the color to the wood first.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Jerry, I can't add anything about the finishing, but let me remind you to stain/color the raised panels (if you use them) before assembling the doors. Just in case the panels shrink or shift....                             Mark L.
Jerry wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.