Cabinet Durability Information

Cabinet Durability Information

Q: What kind of cabinets do you recommend?

When we build or replace cabinets we use 3/4 maple ply construction. The sides and back are also 3/4 maple ply. Cabinet doors are 3/4" solid maple. We prefer solid maple vs MDF for a few reasons but mainly because we have repaired enough kitchens to know that solid wood is by far the best option. Not only is it repairable and refinish-able (unlike mdf) but it simply withstands the test of time. 

Q: What kind of cabinet finishes are there?

A: Cabinet finishes are different than the actual cabinet construction. When it comes to cabinet finishes there are a few main options: laminate, thermafoil, paint, or stain. Quality of each one of these can vary and actual construction matters as well. 

Q: What is the best type of cabinet finish?

A: I realize I am bias but my honest opinion is paint or stain. Thermafoil and laminate will rarely allow for the finish to chip at all which is why it has become popular. But if you have ever had a thermafoil or laminate kitchen you know that it starts to separate from the material underneath and needs to be completely replaced. When it does fail by separation or if it does chip, it is not repairable. With care, a painted or stained finish will last longer and is usually on real wood where as the other options are typically on mdf or particle board.

Q: What type of finish am I getting?

A: You are getting a painted or stained finish. We paint our cabinet doors and drawers with an atomized spray gun after thoroughly cleaning and sanding. This is just how a factory would do it and we are likely using much better products. We use the appropriate primer for the project and an Enduro Pigmented Poly which is a Urethane/Acrylic Blend. This is a sealer that is tinted to your color selection. On bright whites we add additional poly on top of the Pigmented Poly.  On detailed cabinets or oak cabinets, we also apply by hand and sand smooth to fill in the grain as best we can. On frames, we paint by hand using a self leveling agent and other agents as necessary depending on humidity to prevent brush strokes. You can see our showroom kitchen in person which is painted the same way.

Q: What is your process
A: All cabinets are dismantled and inspected. Frames are cleaned twice, sanded, primed, painted and sealed. This is typically done by hand, in the home, with a self leveling agent to prevent brush strokes. Doors and drawers are brought back to our HQ for further inspection. Joints are checked and often re-glued, rubber bumpers are removed and adhesives are eliminated. Handle holes are drilled and filled prior to paint application. Doors are cleaned a minimum of twice, sanded, primed, painted and sealed. We use an automotive spray gun for thin coats for added durability. We use an acrylic paint with a professional poly. All cabinet doors and drawers get 3 coats of poly on top of our self sealing paint.  Oak doors get a hand application to help fill grain, sanded again, and then the spray process is continued. During install, everything is checked over and touched up and the homeowner is left with a touch up kit. A kitchen renovation typically takes between 4-7 business days. 

 Q: How durable will it be?

A: Typically when people ask how durable it is they are referencing chipping. The products and process ensures a very durable finish however, chipping is a environmental condition. We use the best supplies we can to ensure a beautiful, quality finish for years to come. RF's showroom cabinets have been scratched and kicked (yes, really) and show no signs of wear. Speaking on personal experience, our home had very cheap espresso cabinets that we painted snow white and we have not had any chipping and our employees have raw doors that we painted and have also experienced no chipping. We do not exercise caution with our cabinets and can assure you the public puts our showroom through its own testing. We do have several videos showing durability of the cabinet finish and would be happy to share that with you. We have hundreds of clients and less than 1% have reported chipping.  However as with all painted surfaces, typical wear and fading can occur so we have the following advice to protect your investment as long as possible. 


    Q: Are raw doors better than my existing doors?

    A: As mentioned before, I painted low end cabinetry in my home and never have had an issue. With that said, Yes, raw doors will be more durable and with stand more abuse as they soak in the paint more than a previously finished surface. The bonus is that if we are doing raw doors for you they are 3/4" solid maple (no veneer!) which means they are easily refinishable, super heavy duty and high quality. With new doors we also include soft close hidden hinges and can give you a full overlay door which hides your frame and makes it look like you gutted and replaced your kitchen without all the demo and install cost! We have never had a single touch up request from any client that went this route. 

    Q: What happens if I get a chip?

    A: When a chip happens, it typically happens on an edge or right near the handle. It is important to touch up a chip when it is small as you can simply dab it on with a q-tip. If something more significant happened, reach out to us. 

    Q: Do you have a warranty?

    A: Due to paint being affected by environments so heavily we can not warranty our work. We do standby it though, and if a finish were to fail we would fix it for you. However, almost all paint issues will be an environmental or wear incident which is not the same as the finish failing.  We are no offering a service plan that you are welcome to cancel at any time.

    Q: What is the service plan?

    A: The service plan is an annual payment for us to come out once a year to do touch ups. 
    Service plans can be elected anytime and up to 7 days after your project completion. 
    Find out more about our service plan here.