Wood Finishes

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There are several different types of kitchen cabinet finishes out there to choose with each choice having its own strengths and weaknesses such as moisture’s resistance and durability. Remember your kitchen cabinets will have to stand up to years of grease, moisture, scratching and doors slamming so choosing the finish which is right for you is not something you should jump into.

Below you’ll find a list of the most common finishes on the market.

Conversion Finishes
Linseed Oil

Conversion Finishes

Conversion Finishes are perhaps the most protective of all wood finishes, they have high durability as well as high moisture, heat and solvent resistance. Although this seems like a lot of plus points there are a few drawbacks in that they contain air polluting fumes and toxic solvents.

Conversion Finishes
Catalyzed lacquer
Conversion varnish
Epoxy finish
Two-component polyurethane
UV curing finishes


Lacquer is seen as the number one choice in terms of finishes for furniture since the early 20th century at least, it’s a fast drying finish which gives good protection, provides great clarity and depth, rubs out well and repairs aren’t too difficult. Due to its fast drying anywhere from 3-5 coats of lacquer can be applied in a single day.

Lacquer Finishes
Nitrocellulose lacquer
CAB Lacquer
Catalyzed lacquer

Lacquer Application
Lacquer can either be sprayed or brushed on depending on your equipment though spraying is often preferred as it dries quicker.

Before spraying you should first thin the lacquer according to the Manufacturers specifications

1. Spray on the first coat and then using fine sandpaper, 280 grit or less, sand the surface to remove any loose wood fibres.

2. Next remove any dust created by the previous sanding step.

3. Apply another spray of lacquer, this time when finished only sand down the surface if you notice any dust protruding or imperfections in the lacquer else you should proceed to apply another coat.

4. Repeat the above steps till you have applied about 3 to 5 coats.

Linseed Oil

Linseed Oil is an inexpensive easy application penetrating finish which seeps into any pores on the surface of the wood forming a thin soft film which isn’t very protective so is perhaps not a very good choice for kitchen cabinet finishes. It also cures very slowly and turns more yellow as the years go by. Its use is more geared towards decorative items which aren’t exposed to the elements or touching.

Linseed Oil Application

Application can easily be done using a with a cloth or rag, simply wipe onto surface and allow about 5 minutes for it to penetrate the wood then wipe away any excess, allow 24 hours before apply additional coats.