Will My Painted Cabinets Stand the Test of Time?

April 30, 2014No comments

Painted kitchen cabinets, often in white or linen, create a light, bright space, and provide excellent opportunities for creative decor. Yet, our designers are often asked, will the painted finish on my cabinets hold up?

white painted kitchen cabinets

Kitchen designed by Kara Lepley, built by Todd Zitzkat from Simone Development.

The answer is, “yes.” Your painted finish should hold up well to normal use. Our materials, our process, and testing conducted by KCMA all assure you the finish meets high standards of durability. With basic care and maintenance, your cabinetry will be beautiful for many years to come.

Start with the Right Materials

Our painted face frames, drawer fronts, and door frames are constructed of solid hardwood. To prevent cracking and shrinking due to temperature changes and humidity, we craft inset door panels for painted cabinets from medium-density fiberboard (MDF). We developed our finishes with AkzoNobel, a world leader in high-end paints and coatings. Our painted cabinet finish includes a wood conditioner, a flexible vinyl primer, an enamel color coat, and a catalyzed topcoat varnish with UV inhibitors.

Don’t Try This at Home! Our 16-Step, Oven-Baked Factory Process

An excellent paint finish can only be achieved in a factory. There, finish coats can be applied evenly in a dust-free environment, then oven-baked for strength and even coverage. Below is a condensed description of our 16-step process:

  • Wood is sanded with medium grit followed by fine grit, then vacuumed for a satiny smooth surface
  • Wood conditioner is applied to prepare the surface for paint
  • The conditioner is oven cured
  • The first coat of flexible vinyl primer is applied to ensure a uniform surface bond
  • The primer is oven cured
  • The second coat of flexible vinyl primer is applied
  • The primer is oven cured
  • The enamel color coat is applied
  • The color coat is baked for a uniform surface
  • The topcoat varnish is applied to protect cabinets from moisture and fading
  • The topcoat is heat cured for strength and durability

Tested by Professionals

All CliqStudios.com cabinets are KCMA tested and certified. What does that mean to you? Your painted finish has proved it can stand up to serious challenges. KCMA Certification is based on tests conducted in third-party labs, which create, in accelerated form, the cumulative effects of years of normal kitchen conditions on pre-finished cupboards.

Samples for testing are selected in an unannounced visit to our manufacturing plant. A cabinet door first must meet a stringent standard for appearance. Painted surfaces are then subjected to vinegar, lemon, orange and grape juices, tomato catsup, coffee, olive oil, 100-proof alcohol, and detergent for 24 hours, and to mustard for one hour. The surface is placed in a hotbox at 120° F and 70% relative humidity for one hour, allowed to return to room temperature and humidity conditions, placed in a coldbox for one hour at -5° F, a cycle repeated five times. After that abuse, the finish must show no appreciable discoloration and no evidence of blistering, cold checking or other film failure.

Care and Cleaning of Painted Cabinets

A little care and maintenance will keep your cabinets looking their best for many years down the road. A few tips from our Care and Cleaning Guide (PDF):

  • Clean spills with a soft cloth and warm water as soon as possible.
  • Rub grease spots away with a dry cloth or Magic Eraser. Use a mild cleaner if necessary.
  • Touch up scratches and nicks with the kit that came with your cabinets.
  • Avoid setting toasters, coffee-makers and other heating appliances where cabinets are exposed to long-term heat and humidity.
  • Avoid leaving damp cloths in contact with the finish

Now Standard: Painted White Finish on Most Door Styles

Are you considering painted cabinets for your kitchen remodel? In response to demand, CliqStudios now offers a painted white finish as standard on most door styles.  If you have any questions, we encourage you to call our studio (800.576.7930) and speak with a kitchen designer.

Featured design

The featured kitchen for this post was designed by Kara Lepley, a member of the CliqStudios online kitchen design team.