Finish for oven cabinet?

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Forum topic by Charlie posted 06-28-2012 05:23 PM 940 views 0 times favorited 1 reply Add to Favorites Watch
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1100 posts in 2315 days

06-28-2012 05:23 PM

I have built the “hutch” top for our oven cabinet. Trying to decide on a finish for the interior.
The oven cabinet is just slightly taller than a standard base cabinet to get the wall oven (mounted low per the wishes of SWMBO) off the floor. When the door is open it will be about the height of a standard range oven.

Anyways… this “hutch” top as we’re calling it is basically a box with no bottom. It will sit on the walnut countertop that goes on the wall oven cabinet. The hutch top is 16-1/2 inches deep and has 2 shelves. Once it’s in place, there will be a toaster oven sitting on the walnut counter top, a shelf above that for the microwave, and a shelf above that for cookbooks.

The hutch top will be painted on the exterior and clear finish on the interior. The sides are poplar, the shelves are 3/4 baltic birch with a 1-3/8 wide walnut face that “melts” into the edge of the poplar. Almost looks like an inch and 3/8 shelf is dadoed into the poplar, but it’s not because I have to place this thing without the shelves, install electric into it in a couple places, and then install the shelves.

So…. interior finish…. should I just poly it ?
I also have lacquer, but I was concerned about how lacquer might hold up to occasional drips or steam. There won’t ever be a LOT of steam, but when you cook in the toaster oven it sometimes has a trace of steam venting out the front.

Lacquer will dry really fast and I’m kinda under the gun to get this piece finished, but water-based poly dries fast too. I have several days. Not like I need it by tomorrow or anything. I just want a finish that can take some heat (the toaster oven gets pretty warm, but will have 4 inches of air space around it).

I also want something that will make that walnut pop like the waterlox does. I just don’t have tie to wait for waterlox to dry thoroughly.


1 reply so far

View Dan Krager's profile

Dan Krager

4037 posts in 2263 days

#1 posted 06-28-2012 08:59 PM

I’m not a big fan of polyurethane, but it does have its place. Inside your “hutch” might be one of them. The main reason I don’t like poly is because it is very difficult to service it. If it gets worn, dinged, or otherwise damaged, it is very difficult to repair it compared to lacquer, shellac, or even varnish. So, I’ve used both oil and water based and found them both to be very durable, not needing the anticipated touch up. First instance is a set of salad bowls that have seen almost 40 years of service and still look like new with oil based poly. The other is a rocking chair where I was testing the finish for durability to skin sweat and oils with water based poly. After about 20 years it still looks like new. So I think you will do OK with two coats of the faster drying water based poly.

-- Dan Krager, Olney IL One should always prefer the probable impossible to the improbable possible.

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