Park Cabinets does substantially all its own finishing in-house in the Camrose manufacturing facility. We offer a wide range of standard stain colors and can custom match stain finishes for an additional charge. We also have a range of standard solid color finishes based on common colors we have done previously for customers with off-white colors being the most popular. With both stain and solid color finishes we do a range of "accents".
Clear lacquer is the clear satin finish top coat applied to protect and enhance the stain finish. It can also be used as a top coat to seal and finish a variety of accent finishes that are applied to solid color lacquers. It can also be used as the sole finish when you want to simply have the natural color and grain of the wood.
Currently we use low VOC solvent clear lacquers as we have found water based lacquers to lack the "brilliance" of the solvents. However, the water based lacquers have improved dramatically and we feel a switch from solvent based products will be imminent.
Finishing of wood components is often done with a stain. Park Cabinets offers a wide range of standard stain colors specifically formulated for us in an advanced water base rather than a traditional solvent base. We have been leaders in the use of these water based products. We feel the quality of the finish is as good, and in many case superior to the solvent based stains. The coloring is very uniform and less "blotchy" on difficult woods to finish like maple and it is bright and clear after that top coats are applied.
The environmental benefits are also very substantial eliminating the VOCs and the many negative impacts these have.
Standard Stain Colors on Maple
Solid color lacquer looks like a painted finish. Park Cabinets uses lacquers simply because they are a superior finish to paint in terms of durability, fill factor, and smoothness of the finish. Like paint, it is available in virtually any color through a simple matching process; however, color outside our standard range do come with premium charges. Similar to paint, the finish comes in a range from flat to very glossy. We typically use relatively flat finishes in solid colors so the glossier finish is a premium charge.
One major consideration when using solid color finishes is that when applied to doors that have a five piece construction it is common for the finish to crack at the joints between the rails/stiles of the door or between the rails/stiles and center panel. This is a natural occurance in our harsh climate where humidity and temperatures have extreme variations. It is not a warrantable item and the only way to help prevent it is to maintain good constant humidity levels all year round. Cracking in the finish can be prevented if the color lacquer is applied to a solid one online casino piece MDF door as this type of door does not have any joints to expand and contract. However, solid one piece MDF doors come in a very limited range of profiles.
With both stain and solid color finishes we do a range of "accents". There are a variety of techniques and looks that are possible including:
- glazing (we refer to it as tincture)
- antiquing (sometimes called brush stroke)
- rub through
These special finishing techniques are all a premium charge and can have slightly different outcomes from one company to another. If you have a specific look you want to achieve we find it most helpful to have a sample or picture so that we can then develop the appropriate materials and technique to get to that finished look.
Stain with Tincture
Lacquer with Tincture
Most often utilized in commercial environments, plastic laminates offer a wide range of potential colors and give cabinets a very durable surface that is easy to clean and resists staining or marking. Plastic laminates can only be applied to slab doors with square edges thus no profile options are available with this type of finish. Laminates for doors and cabinets are the same material as that used on countertops and color options are those offered by the major lamiante companies - Formica, Arborite, Wilsonart and so on.
Thermofoil is thin layer of PVC material that is glued to an MDF core using heat and pressure to "wrap" the MDF and seal it covering the face and edges of the MDF panel. Thermofoils come in a wide range of colors and door style options as well. Prices for this product can vary widely depending on the door style and color of the thermofoil. It is often an excellent choice for very high gloss finishes and brilliant colors and is very easy to clean. It is however a product that if it is marked up over time with usage or sustains some minor damage, it can not be touched up. Replacement is the only viable option to repair components that become damaged.