In Efforts to provide our customers with effective information, the following list are the most frequently asked questions. 

  • Paint Finish vs Stain Finish
  • Lacquer Paint vs Latex and Oil Base Paints
  • Stain Toning
  • Glazing
  • Prefabricated Cabinets vs Custom Cabinets
  • Cabinet Doors and Their Make Up


The Birth Place of Wood, Earth Minerals, Composite Acids, Sun light, and Grain Density, All Influence the Stain Color of Wood.


Natural wood is God’s way of saying, “I have made you special and unique”.  Uniqueness’s are created from many years in the making, even as early as the tree’s first day of germination.  The organic makeup is from the minerals and acids from the place of origin, as well as how much sun light is received.   Because of this, an oak tree grown in Oregon, will not have the same grain color, and makeup as a Georgia Plantation Oak tree. 


When harvesting the wood for millwork, wood grains, pigments and natural grain colors exhibit different color changes when exposed to light.  Most wooden parts are constructed using different cuts of the species, and each piece may change color in different ways.  The color change is caused by variations in minerals and acids from the soil in which the tree was grown.  These natural variations in grain are what give the unique look to stained wood.  Once stained, these variations can be considered attractive features to the wood.  It is the beauty and nature of wood to have these variations.  Many times, these same special features are misunderstood as defective parts of wood finishes. 


Density or the size of grain porosity, will dictate how much stain is absorbed in wood.  The more stain absorbed, the more likely the wood received a dark richer look, thus causes darker stain patches to occur.  To get a furniture grade finish look, correcting patching can be achieved by spraying a Toner mix.  Same stain color mixed with a clear sealant.  This special mix closes the pores of the wood, as well as darkens the lighter areas to give the overall wood color uniformity.


Paint Finish vs Stain Finish


Matching an Existing Stain Color:

Many call it an art.  Others call it impossible.  Stain matching is a subjective process, but it can be accomplished.  Years of ultra violet rays from the Sun, cigarette smoking, cooking smoke, and grease, and other secondary factors can contribute, affect and adjust the original stain or paint color on cabinets.  

Matching stain colors can be done with a knowledgeable finisher understanding the basics of color mixing.  There are three primary colors -- red, yellow and blue. If you mix any of these colors together, the mixtures are called secondary colors. If primary and secondary colors are mixed together, they are called the tertiary colors, and if tertiary and primary colors are mixed, you have what are known as quaternary colors.

   To make a stain, the amount of colorant used in each quart will vary from 2 ounces to 5 ounces or more in some colors. These colorants can be added to most petroleum distillates, like naphtha, mineral spirits and toluol. You also can add a small amount of lacquer thinners to these distillates or use a combination of solvents when creating a stain.

Unfortunately, these solvents are not easily available in the “Do It Yourself” stores.  They are sold in the wholesale professional sector.  Seasoned finishers know these products, have experience using them, mixing them, and have a color match success rate of 95 to 98%.   

Matching Paint Color:  Not quite as complex to match, paint color matching can be as easy as taking the paint color card to your preferred paint supplier, and having them paint match your selected color.  A well seasoned painter can match the sample with a success rate of 97%.

Lacquer paints or stains are widely used by cabinet paint finishers and in the furniture manufacturing industry. 

Lacquer Paint vs Latex and Oil Base paint

Good quality latex and oil base paints can be used on home cabinets; however, Lacquer paints are the cabinet painter’s best choice.  Latex paint is water based and non flammable.  Oil base paint is made up of solvent products, and has a great viscosity thickness which makes it practically a non flammable paint.  Because of this non flammability, they are safer to use than lacquer paints. 

Even though Lacquer is a solvent type paint that can lean towards being flammable, because of the solvent, it is a great paint to use because it dries much faster than the other two optional paints. 

Drying time is critical to receiving a smooth finish product.  Micro particles and dust can easily land on your finish product, while it’s drying and ruin your final finish.  Lacquer paint can dry 10 times as fast as the water base or oil base paint, and can help minimize paint runs, as well.   Lacquer paint is normally sold in the wholesale sector and not to the public, because of safety concerns. 

In addition, using Lacquer will give you a smooth, furniture grade finish that will be easy to clean, and offer a long lasting beauty you will enjoy for years to come.


Stain Toning

Ever noticed patchy spots on a stained piece of wood?  Different types of wood carry different size grain porosity. The large the grain pores, the more stain will be absorbed.  The tighter the grain pores, the less stain color is absorbed.


Furniture finishers correct the ‘patchy look” by toning the wood.  Toning is commonly used to give symmetry to troubled areas.   A special mix, along with the stain color, is sprayed on to give an even tone to the finish.  The end result is a beautiful furniture grade wood finish.




Designers today, along with “Do It Yourself” shows, are quickly introducing the decorative finish of Glazing.  It is becoming one of the biggest requests in the cabinet finishing industry.  You can glaze on both paint & stain finishes.  The most common colors are Light Brown, Dark Brown, and Black.  Visually, glazing brings out the decorative profiles on the doors and drawers that normally may not be seen.   See pictures below.

Glaze Upper Cabinet.jpg


Since glazing is applied by hand, it is very subjective.  It can be applied heavy to reflect a strong accent, or applied light to give a gentle non aggressive look.  It all comes down to the preferences of the customer, and how they want the finish to look.



Prefabricated Cabinets vs Custom Cabinets

Article Under Construction


Cabinet Doors and Their Make Up

Cabinet Doors

5 Piece Panel Doors - Frame and panel construction (also called "rail and stile") is a woodworking technique often used in the making of doors, wainscoting, and other decorative features for cabinets, furniture, and homes. The basic idea is to capture a 'floating' panel within a sturdy frame, as opposed to techniques like slab drawer fronts which are simply single pieces of material with exposed endgrains. Usually, the panel is not glued to the frame - it is left to 'float' within it so that seasonal movement of the wood comprising the panel does not distort the frame. 


The stiles and rails often have a profile cut into the inside edge of the outside face - usually a smaller version to match the profile of the panel. In some panel styles, a profile may also be cut on the outside edge of the outside face