The Finishing Touch: Cabinetry

Artistic Kitchens & More is based in Marietta Georgia and services the following areas:

Marietta, Smyrna, Vinings,Woodstock, Canton, Roswell, Sandysprings, Johns Creek, Alpharetta, Cumming, Norcross and a few other nearby communities.

The Finishing Touch: Cabinetry

By: Art Mancino

Homeowners today want to be more involved in the final look of the cabinetry in their homes than ever before. They are no longer happy with plain white Thermofoil cabinets or a golden oak stained kitchen.

In my last article, I wrote about several types of woods and the various styles of cabinetry with which they work well. This article will cover some of the more popular finishes for cabinetry. Combining the two properly will not only enhance your final design, but will give you years of enjoyment.

Wood Stained:Wipingstains are applied by spraying the stain onto the wood and immediately wiping off the excess material with a rag. This is the easiest and by far the most common finishing method in the wood industry. A more expensive stain process is a Premium Spray No Wipewhich is applied by spraying the material onto the wood and allowing it to dry. There is no wiping of the wood to remove excess material. The color is controlled by the amount of stain that is applied. This process is recommended on Maple, Birch and Pine for a more consistent blotch freelook. Companies that provide this option tend to be the more expensive custom product manufacturers because of the higher investment in equipment and the more experienced finishers needed. Stained cabinetry comes in glossy, satin and furniture finishes, the last being a low sheen matte finish.

Solid Tone Painted: A Solid Tone finish is composed of solid color pigments mixed with topcoat. A coat of primer is applied first. After drying, the product is scuff sanded and then receives a coat of solid color. The type of spray equipment and the proper mixing of product are factors that influence the final outcome. It is mostly available on Maple, Birch, Cherry and Alder. Today there is an almost infinite variety of colors available because many of the custom cabinet makers, for an extra fee, can match the paint charts of companies such as Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams. There is also a Solid Tonewood grain finish which is primarily available on grainy woods such as Red Oak, White Oak and Ash. The process is the same minus the primer. This finish allows the grains to show through and be visible.

Glazing: This is a specialty finish, in which a color is applied after the stain and seal coat, and then dry wiped or solvent wiped to create an aged look that is unique to each piece. When using a glaze, it is recommended that you first choose profiles in the doors, drawers and trim that allow glaze to cling to it. Glazing adds dimension, shadowing and age, providing a sense that the cabinets have been there a while. It does that by simulating the look of aging by darkening the areas around the edges and in the grooves and valleys, where dirt and dust would accumulate over time. This also has the effect of bringing out the detail of carving and molding. It can also be applied to smooth surfaces to create an artistic or antique effect. It can be used over stained or painted wood. Over stains, it will deepen and bring out the grain of the wood.

Distressing: Distressing an object allows just a peek of the previous paint job to show through, so some sort of contrast is a must or the technique won’t be seen. The base and top coats should be varied in color (usually a brighter color underneath a more neutral shade). For example, one great country look is a bright yellow underneath an ocean blue. Another is the natural color of the wood underneath a black solid tone.

There are also Simulated Distressingoptions such as screw or nail impressions, wear marks, worm holes and simulated cracks. They are typically randomly placed throughout the wood to again provide that aged and worn appearance.

Old World Styling: This design allows you to recreate the look of the early 1900s. It is a casual, comfortable broken-in look that shows the wear and tear of usage. The finish can be painted or stained with a distressed and matte finish rather than a high polished or glossy finish. In some cases the edges of the doors and drawers will have rounded or radius corners.

While these extra finishes can add a significant cost to the cabinetry, they will help a homeowner create the unique kitchen of their dreams. If the exact product you want is not on hand, it is suggested that once you sign a contract you have a sample door made. This is recommended prior to the placement of the final order. This will erase any doubts and also provide you with a sample to match countertops, tiles, and other materials for your remodeling project.

Art Mancino is President of Artistic Kitchens & More llc., specializing in custom refacing and complete kitchen remodels. He can be reached at 770 998-0248 &

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