Understanding different cabinet finishes

When preparing for a remodel of a space in the home, such as a bathroom or a kitchen, there will be many decisions made on the finer points of the design. Throughout the process, it may become evident there are more options than imagined. One of those choices is cabinet finishes.

There is a cornucopia of cabinet finishes options out there, and they are not always clear cut, so here are some details and features of each type of finish, in order to help distinguish the differences and decide which one is best for your vision of the remodeled space.

Stained cabinet finish

If for the intent is a hardwood aesthetic in a remodeled kitchen or bathroom, a stain cabinet finish is an ideal fit.

You may already be familiar with stain and that it highlights the wood grain, giving a more natural feel than a painted surface.

Stains often enhance the natural character of the wood grain and come in a variety of tones.

Painted cabinet finish

A painted cabinet surface gives a uniformed appearance, typically applied over wood and free of knots and heavy grain patterns.

With all of the paint colors to choose from that help disguise the wood grain, this finish allows for maximum creativity.

Glazed cabinet finish

These cabinets are made when a transparent glaze is applied over the finished surface, in order to create added dimension and depth in the subtle detailing of the cabinet.

Both stained finishes and painted cabinets can be glazed, in order to create a slightly different look. There also are two different types of glazed finishes to consider: flooded or penned.

Flooded glazed cabinets begin the process with the glazed material sprayed onto the entire cabinet door and wiped off everywhere except in the featured areas. Penned glazed cabinets have the material hand-applied to the featured areas.

Opaque cabinet finish

Opaque cabinet finishes offer the color choices of a painted cabinet but with the natural hardwood character of a stained cabinet. The opaque finishing process often is used on high-end cabinets and highlights more of the wood grain through the finish.

Laminate cabinet finish

These cabinet finishes have a thin layer of laminate applied to the external surface, as opposed to any type of finishing treatment applied to the wood itself.

This allows for resistance to harsh cleaning chemicals and more durability. Scratches and dents are diminished for laminate cabinet owners. These types of cabinets are available in both gloss and textured finishes.

Thermofoil cabinet finish

Thermofoil is a vinyl material vacuum-pressed onto the surface of a medium density fiberboard surface.

Thermofoil cabinets are ideal in high humidity rooms, such as bathrooms, and are available in both traditional and contemporary styles, as well as wood grain or solid color patterns.

The finished project

Finding the right cabinet finish, in order to fit your remodel design vision, does not have to be challenging. Quality cabinets can be made to fit the design specifications, offering a long-lasting, practical, and stylish design for years to come.

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