I posted this in al.home.repair, but it was suggested I might have
better luck here.
Can anyone provide some guidance on a problem I'm having. I'm
basically every cabinet in the house (kitchen, bathrooms, etc.). I
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
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
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
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
on in-state cabinets?
Now this should be an interesting thread. Doing a lot of finishing
and refinishing, I hear a lot on the boards of some other sites. They
all tell me there are certain things in CA that you can and cannot do
as far as use of high pressure equipment, even to the point of having
gun bodies indelibly etched as HVLP, and the air caps having the size
and psi ratings on them. Anything else in professional or production
work breaks the law. See for additional info here:
If you cabinets are being made in a state with less stringent
requirements, than they may be able to apply something that will cure
harder than a field applied finish in CA. To get harder finishes,
some of the finishers on WOODWEB claim to actually drive to
neighboring states to pick up certain finishes that have been phased
out of CA's market due to compliance issues.
Here are some ideas of the VOC requirements that are effective in
some, but not all of CA as far as paint is concerned:
But for the record, you can get a really tough, hard finish in the
field. One that will last for years, but it depends on the finisher,
his experience, his expertise in industrial finishing as well has
having the correct equipment for application.
I don't know how durable a field applied paint/glaze finish would
actually be compared to a shop applied finish. That type of finish is
much different than paint alone or a clear finish. Many white glaze
finsihes start out as plain white, a hand applied glaze, then a
durable top coat (which in most cases adds amber to the white to make
it antiqued) to finish.
I think your task will be to find the correct applicator as well as
the correct finishing products.
The only thing I could see that would make the factory finish harder
and more durable would be if they took the painted/glazed pieces and
put them back on the finish line and hit them with some warmed pre cat
lacquer and then rolled them down to the infrared drying area to
cure. This would make them coated coated and cured in an almost
(hopefully!) perfect environment for the clear finish.
Can't do that out in the field.
It makes sense to me that a more durable finish can more likely be
applied in a factory. This doesn't mean you can't have a very good
finish applied onsite.
I live in Minnesota and though we are a liberal state it's nothing
like California. The State of Minnesota doesn't like to put
restrictions on people making money. We need the business too
much!!! When tax paying businesses are making money the State tends
to get out of the way and we have the Superfund sites to prove it.
Minnesotans are good hard-working folk who take pride in their work
and you have my personal guarantee that any Minnesota company will
provide excellent cabinets with durable finishes. Just give that
factory a call and ask them how they apply the finish. You will get
straight answers from a Minnesotan.
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