How to Choose the Right Cabinet Door Finish

How do you decide on the right custom door finishes for an IKEA Kitchen? Our Designers and Clients are usually able to select their door profiles right away. Most people already have an idea as to the shape or style of the doors and drawer fronts for their project. Then, when it comes to decide on the finish for their doors it can sometimes take months to decide. This week we provide tips and info that can make it a little easier to decide.

What’s in a Finish?

When you are deciding on a finish you are actually deciding on 3 different factors: Material, Color, and Texture. Which means there are several things to consider. In this post we will focus on the most common materials used to finish cabinet doors. From there we will cover the various color and texture options available using those materials.

Veneer Finishes for Cabinets Doors

Classic, quality, wood veneers make for some amazingly beautiful cabinetry. Whether you are putting custom fronts on an IKEA Sektion Kitchen system or you’re going fully custom, veneer fronts can deliver both modern and traditional looks. It really depends on the door profile you have chosen for your cabinetry.

As long as you have chosen a quality hardwood veneer, you have chosen a durable door. However, depending on the species, might also be looking at the most expensive finish options. What’s undeniable is the texture and the stylistic depth that veneer finishes provide.

Laminate Finishes for Cabinets Doors

Some of the most common finishes for low and mid-budget cabinet doors are Laminate. A Laminate finish consists of multiple layers of high grade paper and rosin. The best quality version of this type of finish is called a high-pressure Laminate, or HPL.

Laminate sheeting being made of paper means that if we can print it, we can put it on our doors. As the technology for printing improves, the options for elaborate laminate designs and colors increases.

Also, with there being multiple layers of paper and resin there is room for creating certain textures on your laminates. You can achieve a very realistic woodgrain finishes using paper laminates.

While traditional paper-based laminate manufacturing has become pretty sophisticated, it is vulnerable to heat and moisture. Over time you can expect to see chipping and pealing, especially around sinks and ovens.

Thermofoil Finishes for Cabinets Doors

Thermofoil finishes use varying grades of vinyl wrap over a wood or engineered core. Our most elegant, durable, and popular laminate finishes are our our SmartMatte and SuperMatte. The SmartMatte has enhanced fingerprint resistance and repairs itself from scratches and abrasions.

One major advantage of thermofoil finishes is their durability and resistance to damage. Vinyl can take scuffing that would damage most laminates and painted surfaces. Being vacuum-sealed Vinyl means the wood or MDF core is protected from moisture. And the top benefit of Thermofoil wrapped doors is that vinyl printing is very high quality, resulting in some of the best possible color tones.

While early versions of Thermfoil were made of less durable materials ours are made of quality vinyl that is heated, glued, vacuum sealed, and pressed to the face of the door. The primary drawback of vinyl wrapped doors is that, depending on the grade of vinyl used, prolonged exposure to direct sunlight can result in yellowing.

Acrylic Finishes for Cabinets Doors

Acrylic doors have a distinct look that can be achieved in several ways. The most common types of Acrylic doors are acrylic laminate or a solid acrylic door. Acrylic wrapped doors have engineered cores, which provides the same approximate feel and durability as your other types of Laminate doors.

Solid Acrylic doors, while weighing slightly less than MDF core doors, are far more durable. Solid acrylic doors are not in anyway susceptible to humidity or breaking.

If you like bold colors and reflective cabinet doors, Acrylic might be the right choice for you. A lot of our clients that go with a two tone kitchen often get Acrylic uppers (usually white) and either black or woodgrain for their base cabinets.

Painted Finishes for Cabinets Doors

Painted doors are immensely popular because they are far more customizable than most other types of cabinet door finishes. Also, most people consider painted cabinet doors to be more traditional in general. And, really, you can’t argue with having any available Sherwin Williams finish for your cabinetry.

However, custom painted doors for your IKEA Kitchen, or any cabinetry, is going to be expensive. Additionally, painted door finishes are not very durable, which means they can eventually make the door itself susceptible to moisture and the relative humidity of the space they’re installed in.

Unfinished DIY Cabinets Doors

Anytime a client is contemplating painted doors, but they’re working with a limited budget, we recommend our unfinished DIY Doors. While there aren’t many unfinished door profiles available, you can put together a custom IKEA Kitchen for half the cost of most other types of doors. Of course, going the DIY route requires both confidence in your DIY skills and plenty of patience.

Our DIY Shaker Door | Our DIY Slab Door

Patina Doors for Cabinets Doors

Industrial? Psychedelic? One thing you can be sure of is that these Patina Metal finishes are unique. Some of these finishes offered are semi-reflective and retain some of their texture after they are polished.

Certainly our most high-end cabinet door finishes (highly durable yet expensive), they make for the perfect accent-bank. Most clients that have ordered the Patina finished doors install them as custom Sektion Kitchen Islands, Pax Pantries, or other select banks of cabinets.

Written by Todd Zimmerman

Producer of the John Webbccast

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