Hand Tools Archive

Certified finishes

Bill Tindall, E.Tn.
Depending on one's life style and expectations any finish might be suitable for kitchen cabinetry. However, if you want the most durable finish and don't care to do your own testing the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturing Association certifies finishes that pass their stringent testing for kitchen cabinetry. (they certify hardware, construction, etc. too) If a finish is certified this fact will be stated on the finish manufacturer's technical data sheet for the finish in question.

In general the finish must be tolerant of water, heat, cleaning and food types. These factors may or may not be important to an individual. It is assumed that the home owner will not be refinishing the cabinets so this factor if not tested.

Personally, I sprayed a certified conversion varnish. After 19 years it looked shabby in the high use and exposure areas. I sanded it and recoated and hope it lasts another 10. Needless to say, the "furniture grade" constructed cabinets will last for as long as anyone wants to live with them.

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