Cabinet Finishing

cabinet finishing

Clear grade bar. Photos courtesy of Topcoat Finishes, Inc. www.802paint.com

Cabinet finishing is one of the most fun types of project that we do at Topcoat because everything involved in the prep, product and material delivery system has to come together in harmony. And, the hands being laid on all of the above have to be, well, having a good day – every day.

Cabinet projects make ideal testing grounds for our HVLP and air assisted airless spray systems. We frequently finish cabinets that are custom built by local cabinetmakers, then brought into our spray shop where they were treated with waterborne finish systems, either paint grade or stain grade. We also do a large amount of onsite cabinet grade finishing, which is more challenging because it is not a controlled environment.

Doing cabinet finishing work of this caliber with waterborne product platforms is a pleasure, in both process and product.

What’s your favorite product and rig combo for cabinet grade spray work?

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Scott Burt

Scott Burt is a contractor and freelance writer whose column "From the Field" has appeared in American Painting Contractor magazine (www.paintmag.com) since 2008. His writing and projects also appear in other print and digital venues. This site is an extension of Scott's publication work, and he encourages readers to leave comments and questions about articles published here. Hope to hear from you!

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15 Reader Comments

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  1. Matt says:

    These days I use my finish pro 395 for stain work. Water base stain through a 208 saves the product and not wiping saves time. Still using my procomp 4900 to do pre cat lacquer. Would it be worth it to go to the new 9.5?

    • Scott Burt says:

      Good question, Matt. We say yes, since so many cabinet grade projects use less than a gallon of product. Much easier to manage a cup at a time than through a hose and pump. Its stressful to chase 2 quarts through the 395, although we have done it. The 9.5 is a very handy option to have. There is also a gravity conversion kit for it, which we will be sharing footage on soon.

      • Matt says:

        Does the 9.5 have the on board compressor for a two and a half gallon pot to replaced procomp 4900? That feature alone makes the procomp worth it’s weight in gold.

  2. Lesley Cangialosi says:

    Very nice work! Love your blog too!

      • Jose says:

        Hello I have a question. When I spray laquer with my HVLP 9.5 Graco, my room gets filled up with that mist. I am doing something wrong? Am I letting too much air thru the hose? At what setting do I spray the material? I see setting 1 thru 7. Thank you.

        • Scott Burt says:

          Jose, there are many factors that could contribute to that problem. Some are related to your settings, such as tip selection, fluid setting, how you are using the artisan valve at the gun, etc. Sometimes technique has a huge impact as well, in terms of how you come into and exit each pass as you spray. Efficiency of trigger engagement I guess is what we could call that. Lacquer is very thin, so make sure that you have the optimal set up and that your technique is tight. Also, it is generally a good idea to have the ability to be moving air out of the spray area. This goes a long way to eliminating over spray. Thanks for stopping by, and let us know how it works out.

  3. Regina Garay says:

    Looks fantastic! We spray our cabinets as well and the stains give us a scare every time, too!

    • Thanks Regina, but allow me to point out that if you mess yours up, you can faux grain/stain and massage them to look better than they would have with a perfect spray job! 😉 Whats cool about what we all do is that moment where craft occurs, where heart, mind and hands join to execute the vision of the finish.

  4. Thanks Dean. That was one of those projects that grabs your full attention and gives it a good shake. Dye stain on cherry, and time sensitive. Its good to scare ourselves once in awhile.

  5. Dean Veltman says:

    Very nice. Those stained cabinets look great.

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