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Are kitchen cabinets always finished with polyurethane

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Forum topic by skatefriday posted 06-24-2015 04:15 PM 654 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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skatefriday

380 posts in 946 days


06-24-2015 04:15 PM

The subject line pretty much says it all.

I did a set of bathroom cabinets with water based poly and that
went ok, but I wanted the warmer color of oil. So I decided to
do my kitchen cabinets in oil and I HATE THIS STUFF! I can’t
get it to lay down properly. Tried both brush on and thinned
wipe on and it looks horrible.

Is there an easier finish to use? What did people use before
poly was available? If you don’t have a spray booth what do
people typically use on cabinets?

Massively frustrated with this stuff.

The brand I’m using is Varathane.


6 replies so far

View BinghamtonEd's profile

BinghamtonEd

2281 posts in 1833 days


#1 posted 06-24-2015 04:47 PM

Not that you can’t get a great result brushing, but most commercial cabinets are sprayed (either by person or machine).

I’ll be starting my cabinets in a couple weeks, and I plan on using an Earlex 5500 with Target Coatings EM6000. Target has a variety of water-based finishes, along with some that are meant to give a look similar to an oil-based finish.

I’ve never worked with Varathane, but I’ve wiped on other oil-based blends. My favorite is Arm-R-Seal, because it’s foolproof right out of the can. If your Varathane isn’t formulated for wiping, you may need to thin it out like you did, but how thin did you make it? What looks horrible about it? I typically end up wiping around 4 coats, I buff with 0000 steel wool, or 400-grit paper, after the second coat. Then rub out the final coat with steel wool and paste wax. If you’re finishing plywood, you may need an additional coat or two, depending on how much the plywood soaks in.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

View Fred Hargis's profile (online now)

Fred Hargis

3938 posts in 1956 days


#2 posted 06-24-2015 05:19 PM

I suspect purchased cabinets are never finished with poly-anything. they likely use some fast drying conversion finish that meets production criteria. there are some water borne finishes that now have an amber tint added to mimic an oil finish, you might try finding one of them…I think GF Enduro Var is one of them.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View WoodNSawdust's profile

WoodNSawdust

1417 posts in 640 days


#3 posted 06-24-2015 05:24 PM

A common technique is to seal and color the wood with shellac and then spray water based clear finish. You can get various colors of shellac to select the color you want. I have wondered if various shellacs could be mixed to get intermittent colors.

If you use shellac make sure you are getting de-waxed shellac.

Shellac can also be placed over existing finishes and provides a barrier between different types of finish,

-- "I love it when a plan comes together" John "Hannibal" Smith

View Drew's profile

Drew

304 posts in 2563 days


#4 posted 06-24-2015 06:57 PM

Not to highjack the thread, but I would highly recommend you use 8000 or 9300 instead of 6000!
Feel free to PM me if you have questions


Not that you can t get a great result brushing, but most commercial cabinets are sprayed (either by person or machine).

I ll be starting my cabinets in a couple weeks, and I plan on using an Earlex 5500 with Target Coatings EM6000. Target has a variety of water-based finishes, along with some that are meant to give a look similar to an oil-based finish.

I ve never worked with Varathane, but I ve wiped on other oil-based blends. My favorite is Arm-R-Seal, because it s foolproof right out of the can. If your Varathane isn t formulated for wiping, you may need to thin it out like you did, but how thin did you make it? What looks horrible about it? I typically end up wiping around 4 coats, I buff with 0000 steel wool, or 400-grit paper, after the second coat. Then rub out the final coat with steel wool and paste wax. If you re finishing plywood, you may need an additional coat or two, depending on how much the plywood soaks in.

- BinghamtonEd


-- TruCraftFurniture.com

View SirIrb's profile

SirIrb

1239 posts in 694 days


#5 posted 06-24-2015 07:00 PM

Every single job I did when I was working in the shop was in lacquer with the rare exception of water borne lacquer. Never poly. The dry time on poly kills production.

-- Don't blame me, I voted for no one.

View skatefriday's profile

skatefriday

380 posts in 946 days


#6 posted 06-25-2015 01:12 AM

I may not have prepped the panels on my frame and panel doors
well enough. I did some sanding with too coarse a grit on one and
went straight through the veneer. I then scaled way back on
sanding on the others.

My first brushwork went on way too thick. I had a Purdy brush, but
it wasn’t new. I then tried wipe on with a rag thinned 50/50 and BUBBLES GALORE!

I then bought a new Wooster brush, china bristles, and tried not to lay
it on so thick. That is drying now. I used 0000 steel wool prior to laying
on that layer. I need to find someone to pay to do this for me. With a
proper spray booth. Called one guy, and he charges $50 per linear foot
of cabinet, although will do the entire cabinet. But I’m using prefinished
plywood for the carcass, so that seems like a lot of money. However he may
know he has me over a barrel if I can’t figure out how to do this with a
brush in my garage.

Although did you know you can’t buy mineral spirits in Southern California
anymore? I though mineral spirits was one of the more innocuous solvents.
The “brush cleaner” replacement is essentially acetone and acetone goes
straight to my brain. I hate using that stuff. I do have, and do use a
3M respirator with organic vapor cartridges, but still don’t like to use acetone
for anything.

You can’t buy lacquer in Southern California anymore either.

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