Advice for a Beginner on Finishing Cherry Cabinets

      Here's some help along the learning curve for a newbie to cabinet finishing. April 24, 2014

(WOODWEB Member):
I'm getting ready to start a kitchen. In the past, the companies that I worked for had someone designated to doing finish. Now that I'm on my own, I'm slowly learning more and more. This kitchen that I'll be starting next week will have cherry frames, drawers and doors. The customers want a natural satin clear coat finish. I'll be spraying it with HVLP. Any suggestions?

Forum Responses
(Finishing Forum)
From contributor L

Click to View Member Profile Shop Gallery Project Gallery Categories

That'll be a breeze. What finish are you using? Do you have a booth? Are you completely clueless, or do you have good idea what you're doing, been at it for a while and just want some input?

From contributor J:
There are a lot of finishes out there and everyone has their favorite. I like a little color to my clear coat when dealing with cherry. So I avoid water white finishes and instead use Duravar, a post catalyzed finish which has just a tinge of color, similar to a poly. It sprays easily and has a nice feel.

From contributor M:
On a side note, don't use standard wood putty to fill nail holes and other defects prior to finishing. Since you are clear coating cherry, the cherry will darken, but the flller won't, and it will stick out like a sore thumb after the cherry darkens. I would highly recommend you make your filler out of fine cherry sawdust and a binder, such as clear coat, that way the filler will darken with the rest of the wood.

From contributor C:
Give Target coatings a call. They are all water based. Everyone has their opinion about what is best. I use 2K urethanes but the cost is high and a good spray booth and breathing system are critical. A nitro lacquer is simple and gives an amber tint but the coat is not very strong. If you use a water based finish on cherry, you might want to add a bit of color. Good luck with your work. Finding what works for you will take some time and effort.

From contributor N:
Ehen I spray cherry with water base clear I use Target em9000. I think they also call it SC (super clear) 9000. It is non yellowing. But first I spray a light coat of shellac mixed from flakes to give the cherry some life. Cherry sprayed with just water based is lifeless.

From contributor I:
This is a good finish to begin with your finishing skills. If you're going just clear coat, I would finish sand wood to 180. Make sure wood is clean. I have tried most manufacturers, and I still like Mohawk. I would finish a couple sides of boxes vertical that will not be seen to get a feel for flow out. I like to thin vinyl sealer at least 20 percent. Their conversion varnish is nice. I would also thin that out and slow drying to avoid any orange peel. If you don't have a booth, a small fan behind you and larger in front to pull will work. But for sure, a good respirator. Their pre-cat is also good, but the CV will serve your client better. If you get stuck, just call Mohawk or rep and they will help you.

Would you like to add information to this article?
Interested in writing or submitting an article?
Have a question about this article?

Have you reviewed the related Knowledge Base areas below?
  • KnowledgeBase: Knowledge Base

  • KnowledgeBase: Finishing

  • KnowledgeBase: Finishing: General Wood Finishing

    Would you like to add information to this article? ... Click Here

    If you have a question regarding a Knowledge Base article, your best chance at uncovering an answer is to search the entire Knowledge Base for related articles or to post your question at the appropriate WOODWEB Forum. Before posting your message, be sure to
    review our Forum Guidelines.

    Questions entered in the Knowledge Base Article comment form will not generate responses! A list of WOODWEB Forums can be found at WOODWEB's Site Map.

    When you post your question at the Forum, be sure to include references to the Knowledge Base article that inspired your question. The more information you provide with your question, the better your chances are of receiving responses.

    Return to beginning of article.

    Refer a Friend || Read This Important Information || Site Map || Privacy Policy || Site User Agreement

    Letters, questions or comments? E-Mail us and let us know what you think. Be sure to review our Frequently Asked Questions page.

    Contact us to discuss advertising or to report problems with this site.

    To report a problem, send an e-mail to our Webmaster

    Copyright © 1996-2019 - WOODWEB ® Inc.
    All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any manner without permission of the Editor.
    Review WOODWEB's Copyright Policy.

    The editors, writers, and staff at WOODWEB try to promote safe practices. What is safe for one woodworker under certain conditions may not be safe for others in different circumstances. Readers should undertake the use of materials and methods discussed at WOODWEB after considerate evaluation, and at their own risk.

    WOODWEB, Inc.
    335 Bedell Road
    Montrose, PA 18801

    Contact WOODWEB

  • WOODWEB - the leading resource for professional woodworkers

      Home » Knowledge Base » Knowledge Base Article