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Painted Kitchen Cabinets

The Beauty and Durability of Painted Kitchen Cabinets

Painted kitchen cabinets
Painted kitchen cabinets

In North America, between 60% to 80% of kitchen cabinets sport a paint finish, whether they are painted, stained, or simply finished with clear lacquer. These cabinets are suitable for various types of homes, from modern new builds to century-old houses undergoing renovation. Painted cabinets aren't limited to regular homes either; they can be found in celebrity residences and multi-million-dollar oceanfront properties in LA, Malibu, and Florida.

Typically, painted kitchen cabinets can be categorized into three main groups:

Cabinet Boxes

1. Particle core

Cabinet boxes are typically constructed from either plywood or particle board. Neither material is inherently better than the other; it largely depends on your preferences and budget. High-quality particle board can be more expensive than plywood, but both can last for many years. Particle board may only be susceptible to water damage, which is usually a minor concern unless there are significant water issues in your home.

particle board cabinets
particle board cabinets

At our factory, we use 3/4-inch (19mm) particle board with a thermally fused laminate (TFL) finish. Depending on the customer's color choice, we source materials from Canadian (Uniboard) and European manufacturers (Cleaf, Finsa, Egger) to craft our cabinets. Particle board can also be laminated with high-pressure laminates (HPL) like Fenix NTM or ARPA, making it a popular choice for commercial projects, such as banks, hotels, and restaurants.

2. Plywood Cabinets

Plywood cabinets are another popular choice, prized for their water resistance and natural wood appearance. 3/4-inch plywood consists of multiple thin veneer layers glued together, making it a strong and durable material for kitchen cabinets. Typically, it features a UV lacquer finish, looking like maple wood. This option allows homeowners to showcase the warm and appealing appearance of wood.

plywood kitchen cabinets
plywood kitchen cabinets

Plywood can also be laminated with high-pressure laminates (HPL), offering a wide range of color options for cabinets while maintaining water and warp resistance. When display cabinets are needed in the kitchen, plywood boxes can be painted with various designs. At Devix, we use superior 2k urethane paints (similar to automotive paints) in a variety of sheens, from super matte to eggshell, semi-gloss, and high gloss. Choosing plywood means you get the durability of wood with the price advantage of particle board, making it a win-win in many situations.

Doors and Panels

Most kitchen cabinets in the US and Canada are equipped with either 5-piece wood doors or MDF doors. Painted cabinet doors are typically manufactured in the following way:

  • Doors go through a sanding cell, a large machine with brush and wide belt sandpaper units. This process sands both the backs and fronts of the doors, ensuring they are perfectly smooth and defect-free.

  • After sanding, doors move to the spray booth, where they are painted with 2k polyurethane primer. This elastic primer prevents cracking, resists scratches, and has no formaldehyde emissions, unlike some cheaper paints.

  • Both sides of the doors are painted with 2 coats of Italian PU primer for a flawless finish.

  • The doors are meticulously sanded to perfection before the final finish coat is applied. Devix offers various top coats, including matte, high-gloss, and semi-gloss.

  • The doors are baked at 140°F in a special oven, eliminating any residual odors and making the finish extra durable. This process ensures that the paint is completely dry and free from harmful emissions.

painted cabinets
painted cabinets

Two primary materials used for doors are wood and MDF:

  • Wood doors may develop telegraphing and hairline cracks due to the natural expansion and contraction of solid wood. While some may see these as a sign of quality, it's a phenomenon unique to wood doors. They are water-resistant but can still suffer finish damage.

  • MDF doors, on the other hand, don't suffer from telegraphing issues because they are made from a single piece of MDF. They maintain their appearance throughout their lifespan. However, they are susceptible to water damage if the finish or edges are scratched or dented.

Painted kitchen cabinets offer both beauty and durability. Whether you choose plywood or particle board for your cabinet boxes and wood or MDF for your doors, you can find the perfect combination that suits your style and needs. Painted cabinets are not just functional; they are also a stunning addition to any kitchen, adding value to your home and enhancing your daily cooking experience.

Drawer Boxes

When it comes to optimizing your kitchen's storage and functionality, drawer boxes and pull-outs play a pivotal role. They come in various styles and materials, each with its unique benefits. Let's explore two of the most common drawer box systems:

1. Metal Sides with Custom Bottom/Back (e.g., Legrabox)

Legrabox drawer box
Legrabox drawer box

Drawer boxes with metal sides, such as the Legrabox system, are a popular choice for modern kitchens. These drawers are characterized by sleek and minimalist designs, making them an ideal fit for contemporary kitchen aesthetics. Here's how they're typically constructed:

  • Metal Sides: The sides of these drawers are crafted from durable and corrosion-resistant materials like steel or aluminum. They offer a high degree of stability and can handle heavy loads.

  • Custom Bottom/Back: Unlike traditional drawers, these modern systems often feature custom-made bottoms and backs that match the rest of the kitchen cabinetry. This ensures a seamless and cohesive look.

Benefits of Metal-Sided Drawer Boxes:

  • Contemporary Appeal: The clean lines and modern aesthetics of metal-sided drawers enhance the overall look of your kitchen.

  • Durability: Metal sides provide excellent support and can withstand the rigors of daily use.

  • Easy Maintenance: They are easy to clean and maintain, making them suitable for busy households.

2. Dovetail Wood Boxes

For those who appreciate a more classic or rustic kitchen style, dovetail wood boxes are an excellent choice. These drawers are known for their timeless appeal and craftsmanship. Here's how they're typically constructed:

  • Wooden Construction: Dovetail drawer boxes are crafted from solid wood, often hardwoods like oak, maple, or cherry. The joints are cut in a way that resembles interlocking fingers, providing exceptional strength and durability.

  • Traditional Aesthetics: The warm and natural appearance of wood complements a variety of kitchen styles, including traditional, farmhouse, and rustic.

Dovetail drawer boxes
Dovetail drawer boxes

Benefits of Dovetail Wood Drawer Boxes:

  • Classic Charm: Dovetail wood boxes add a touch of timeless elegance to your kitchen, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere.

  • Exceptional Strength: The dovetail joint is renowned for its durability and ability to withstand heavy loads over time.

  • Customization: Wood drawer boxes can be stained or finished to match your kitchen's color scheme and design preferences.

Choosing the Right Drawer Box System for You

The decision between metal-sided and dovetail wood drawer boxes ultimately comes down to your personal style, budget, and practical needs. If you're aiming for a sleek, contemporary look and value durability, metal-sided systems like Legrabox may be the perfect fit. On the other hand, if you prefer the timeless beauty of wood and a more traditional feel, dovetail wood boxes are an excellent choice.

In many cases, homeowners opt for a combination of both, selecting metal-sided drawers for larger, heavier items and dovetail wood boxes for smaller drawers or those on display. This way, you can enjoy the best of both worlds, achieving both functionality and aesthetics in your kitchen.

Investing in high-quality drawer boxes and pull-outs can significantly enhance the usability of your kitchen, making it a more organized and efficient space for cooking and daily life. Consider your personal preferences and kitchen design when making your choice, and you'll be well on your way to creating the kitchen of your dreams.

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