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Thread: Cabinet door finish

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Northern California
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    60

    Cabinet door finish

    Good afternoon everyone. I have another finishing question. Attached are pictures of a cabinet door in my fifth wheel trailer. The first one shows the whole door and the second one shows a closeup of the finish. The paperwork says that the are maple doors. I am trying to duplicate the finish on some doors I am making. I have been using shellac to seal the wood first and then have been trying different stains and dyes. Some mixed with shellac and some gel stains. My problem has been getting an even color with little variation like the doors have. Obviously these are production doors but I would like to get close. I have spray equipment and can mix and match as needed. Any thoughts or suggestions? Any advice is appreciated. Thanks.
    Cab door.jpgCab door closeup.jpg

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    WNY
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    8,116
    In the closeup photo it looks like the color is lighter on the tongue of the raised panel. That suggests to me that the color was derived from a spray applied, colored lacquer and nothing more. If so, your best approach at duplicating the both the color and look is to add dye to your topcoat and spray it straight on the raw wood. I often put Transtint dye in my waterborne clearcoat to make a toner that I use to color a piece, sometimes as the only color, sometimes as a means to adjust the color.

    Of course there are other options. You could dye the doors and then use a clear topcoat, or your could use a stain followed by topcoat. But I think the toner gives you the best option of having them look like the originals. Take some scrap and try out whatever approach you think best and see how close you can get, adjust, try again, etc. and go from there.

    John

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    So Cal
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    Kinda looks like beech to me.My screen is small and not very good old ipad.So if it's maple i agree with John tinted Lacquer.

  4. #4
    Looks like beech. The finish would be called maple by some.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
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    It does look like beech. However, beech is not commonly used in furniture in the US. It is more common in Europe. Was this trailer built in Europe?

  6. #6
    We got a few beech boards in a bundle of birch once and were told by supplier that a certain percentage of beech is allowed since they are cut in same areas. True or baloney? I don't know. But no nuttier than specs that say sap wood "is not a defect".

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Northern California
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    60
    Thanks for the responses. John, I thought about a colored lacquer but wasn't sure how they look. Finishing and wood identification are not my strong points. I will try a colored lacquer topcoat on some scraps and see how it looks.
    Andrew and Mel. It wouldn't surprise me if it was beech. The paperwork stated that real wood maple doors were an upgrade. This RV manufacturer is pretty fast and loose with it's advertising. I hade a lot of issues with things not built as advertised.
    Jamie, the fifth wheel was built in Oregon.
    I will try some of the suggestions and see how close I can get. Perfect is not a requirement for this project. Again, thanks for the responses.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    WNY
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    Mike, the most important thing about toners is to get the color right, and lighter than the final hue. That allows you to spray two or three coats to get to the darkness you want and also results in a more uniform overall color. Don't try to do it with just one coat.

    John

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Northern California
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    60
    Will do John. One final question. What does everyone think this door is sprayed with, lacquer or something else?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    WNY
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    The finish might depend upon Oregon's VOC laws as much as anything, if that's where the doors were made. Normally, I'd say NC lacquer, but that would not be correct if Oregon has low VOC laws. You could put some lacquer thinner on a Q Tip and wipe it on an inconspicuous place on one of the doors. If it takes off the finish really, really quickly it's plain old NC lacquer. It the color comes off with it, too, then you'll know that the lacquer was colored. If the lacquer thinner takes a lot longer to damage the finish, then it was some other type of finish, maybe catalyzed lacquer, or a waterborne acrylic. Could be a lot of things. You could try calling the manufacturer and ask what was used.

    John

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