Stain-grade versus paint-grade kitchen cabinet doors

By Woodrow Aames Columnist

Whether you're choosing stock or custom cabinet doors, you'll want to know about the grade of materials in costing the project. In today's market for replacement kitchen cabinet doors you'll find a wide choice of woods and faces, along with a range of prices based on the quality of the materials, the workmanship of the product, and the finish. Let your pocketbook be your guide.

The two major distinctions of products offered in custom and stock replacement kitchen cabinet doors center around the grade of wood or veneer: stain-grade and paint-grade. Let's have a look at what goes into the grading.

Stain-Grade Custom Cabinet Doors

When wood products receive the stain grade distinction, it typically means that premium hardwoods with even grain distribution and patterns are used. There are few irregularities or deformities that need to be covered up with thick paint. Doors are traditionally made of elegant cherry, fir, oak, knotty pine, ash, mahogany or maple. The stain shows off the natural grain. You'll find stain-grade doors near the top of the price range.

Paint-Grade Replacement Cabinet Doors

Paint-grade usually means that the original grain in the wood or veneer is less than perfect. Paint covers the imperfections or blots. Typically paint-grade doors are made of medium-density fiberboard (MDF), particleboard, or soft maple. If you have a choice, ask for oil-based primers over latex primer. Sometimes poorly primed MDF particles can expand or swell. You'll find paint-grade cabinet doors that look great and cost less than stain-grade products.

Again, let your overall design and budget call the tune when it comes to selecting replacement kitchen cabinet doors.


About The Author

Woodrow Aames has written articles and profiles for Yahoo, Microsoft Network, Microsoft Encarta, and other websites and print magazines around the world. He holds an MFA degree and has taught English abroad.

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