How to Paint MDF panels for Doors and Cabinets?

painting mdf doors and kitchen cabinets

MDF panels or Medium Density Fiberboards are suitable materials for producing home furniture, custom kitchen cabinets, and doors. These inexpensive wood products are engineered composite materials made from sawdust and resin, fused in considerably high pressure and heat. MDF panels come in various sizes and finishes. However, unlike other industrial wood substances, these fiberboards are free of knots, rings, and natural wood grain. Thus, cutting MDF doors with a CNC router is very easy, and as a result, they are often utilized for such applications as custom cutting and kitchen cabinets. Moreover, the hard and smooth surface of MDF doors takes paint and veneer with the highest quality.

MDF Doors and Panels Painting Process

Painting MDF doors or panels for kitchen cabinets requires a full understanding of the material. The smoothness of MDF panels comes from the factory sandings, and the face is already ready for further painting. However, the edges are often more porous and will need prep for a uniform, smooth finish. Additionally, the material’s porosity makes the MDF doors unsuited to water-based products for coating purposes. Follow the guidelines below, and you will achieve the best results.

Step No.1 of Paintig MDF Doors

Step one of painting MDF doors and cabinets starts with removing any additional hardware and setting them aside until thoroughly drying the paint. It is essential to protect the workpiece and area with extra clothes for making the cleanup easier. Doors and cabinets made from MDF panels will produce a considerable amount of dust when sanded, and the particles can irritate the lungs and eyes. Thus, using protective goggles and a dust mask is crucial.

Step No.2 is Cutting and Sealing the MDF Panels Edges

Whether the MDF doors or cabinets have a factory edge or feature custom cabinet cutting, the edges must involve sealing for accepting the paint and being matched with the smoother surface of the product. The painter should seal the areas by running a coat of drywall compound on the material with fingers. After the drying is completed, the product requires smooth sanding with sandpaper, and the scratches on the surface of the MDF panels should be filled with a special compound. Then the entire piece should be sanded with sandpaper. After sanding is completed, the carpenter should wipe the product down with a tack cloth for removing the fine dust and any remaining dirt.

Step No.3 is Mainly About Painting the MDF Doors

The third step of painting interior MDF doors or kitchen cabinets involves priming the MDF panel with solvent-based primers, which are available in various models in the market and online shops. It is crucial to avoid water-based primers as they cause swelling in the wood fibers, resulting in a surface that seems to have a raised grain even if there is a lot of effort put into the sanding process. It is practical to utilize a brush, roller, and spray gun to apply the suitable primer for the project.

Step No.4 is Applying the Primer

The fourth step of painting MDF doors and panels is the most critical stage and needs to be done with high precision. This step involves applying the paint and the preferred primer with applicators that can be brushes, roller, or spray gun, whichever is the best for the demanding project. After the first layer or coat of paint feels dry to the touch, apply a second layer of primer or paint if the work requires it. In case of spotting any patchiness, scratches, or other inaccurate finishes, the painter should cover the entire MDF door with another layer of paint. This will help the painter create a high-quality surface for the project, and it will also increase the durability of the MDF doors.

Step No.5 is Allowing the Paint to Dry

Step number five starts with allowing the paint to dry thoroughly on the MDF door surface. Then, this step involves applying the preferred sealer, including lacquer, polyurethane, wax, etc. If there is an expectation of the MDF panel project to have daily use in order to preserve the paint finish, the paint sealing must be done precisely. For instance, painted kitchen cabinet doors can benefit from an extra protective layer that protects the product from tear and wear. On the other hand, MDF panel crown molding will definitely be out of reach, and therefore it will not require a sealer.

Step No.6 is Assembling the Hardware

The last step of painting the MDF panel for doors and kitchen cabinets is to allow the paint to dry on the product’s surface. When the MDF door is dried thoroughly, the painter should replace the removed hardware and step back to compliment the work. After the paint finish is dried, the MDF paneled door will look similar to other painted wood. It is a fact that DIY people can create custom wainscoting, trim, or furniture partly with MDF panels and other practical wood materials. Once the product is painted, the final piece will blend seamlessly.

How We Make Drawer Box for Your Kitchen Cabinets (part 2)

making kitchen cabinets drawer box

The kitchen is the heart of any home, where occupants and guests gather around to enjoy their time and meal. Thus, interior designers focus on creating aesthetics and a warm feeling for the area with different elements. Kitchen cabinets are the essential factor when renewing and decorating the space equivalent to the house’s overall design. However, many people consider how manufacturers and carpenters make custom kitchen cabinets. One of the components of kitchen cabinets is their drawer box which should be functional while satisfying the aesthetic needs.

Manufacturers utilize various methods for making the drawer box for kitchen cabinets. In the first part of the article, we discussed the standard tools for making kitchen cabinets, materials used for the purpose, and measuring the width and height of the drawer box. This article provides more information about the production process.

Depth of Kitchen Cabinets Drawer Box

Determining the depth of the kitchen cabinets drawer box is more complicated than defining other dimensions. For getting the most practical use of the products, the primary driver for the depth is the size of the glides to use. Experts choose the depth for providing the occupants with the full advantage of the extension feature. However, the size of the slides should be equivalent to the cabinet construction and the size.

Carpenters measure the inside depth of the kitchen cabinets where the drawer box should be installed. They do the measurements by sizing the back of the cabinets to the front section. If the products have overlay sections, where the box front sits in the front of the cabinet’s body, it is essential to measure the depth of the products and look for slides that are slightly shorter than the measurements. The dimensions of the slides determine the length of the outside depth. If the kitchen cabinet design requires inset drawers, where the box’s fronts should be installed flush with the front of the cabinet, then carpenters account for the thickness of the drawer front.

Drawer Box Sides, Front, and Back Length

After determining the outside dimensions of the kitchen cabinets drawer box, it is time to figure out the length of each part that makes up the external perimeter of the product.

  • Drawer Box Sides: The drawer box sides’ length is simply the product’s overall external dimensions.
  • Box Front and Back: The front and back of the drawer box fit between the sides, so they need to be shorter than the outside width. For determining the front and back length, carpenters take the overall exterior width of the box and subtract two times the thickness of the side sections. This measurement will vary depending on the material used for the kitchen cabinets, whether it is plywood or MDF panels (medium density fiberboard). It is essential to verify the thickness of the MDF panels with special tools.

Layout and Cutting Sides, Fronts, and Backs

Manufacturers always mock up the wood cutting process and plan before starting the procedure to reduce waste as much as possible. Using one more minor MDF panel for creating raised panels or flat panel doors for kitchen cabinets and drawer boxes can reduce the cost. Most carpenters include the cut width in the plans and do not wind up short pieces.

Generally, kitchen cabinets drawer boxes look better when the length of the piece follows the wood’s grain which is why carpenter’s layout the side sections along the longer end of the MDF panel. It is better to make the rip cuts first and then trim them to length using cutting tools such as a miter saw or table saw. It is essential to make sure there are a few centimeters at the end of each ripped section if there is a need to extend the length of any components.

The bottom section of the kitchen cabinets drawer box fits into the groove or dado cut into the bottom of the side, back, and front pieces. It is essential to note that it does not get glued into the place but rather floats in the dado to allow the material’s expansion. The table saw is the most practical tool for doing the cutting accurately. Cutting MDF panels is also possible using a circular saw, and the cut should be guided with a router. For people who prefer doing the DIY job, using a circular saw and guide will be efficient.

Assembling Kitchen Cabinets Drawer Box

After doing all measurements and cutting, manufacturers start the assembling phase of the kitchen cabinets drawer box. This stage involves drilling four pocket holes on the back and front pieces using a suitable jig. The holes must be drilled on the opposite side of the dado cut. Drilling the holes over the dado will damage the box, and spots are required for larger drawers applying additional pockets. Once the holes are ready, the box must be screwed together. Then the bottom section is installed on the box with screws and glue. The assembly is finished by applying different coats for further protection.

How We Make Drawer Box for Your Kitchen Cabinets? (Part 1)

drawer box for your kitchen cabinets

Kitchen cabinets are the essential components when constructing or renewing custom kitchens for developing aesthetic interior designs. These products contain various elements that complete their functionality. The drawer box is one of the crucial parts of the kitchen cabinets that allow occupants to use their storing products more functionally. Manufacturers utilize various standard methods for developing the drawer box. However, the construction procedure can seem daunting for non-experts. But there are only a few straightforward measurements to take for getting the correct dimensions. We utilize pocket holes joinery, MDF panel materials, and suitable hardware to make a drawer box for your kitchen cabinets more accessible.

Materials and Tools

Most kitchen cabinets are made from wood products such as MDF panels and plywood. We use the primary material for the sides of the drawer box. Additionally, using tempered hardwood or MDF material is suitable for the bottoms. When making a drawer box for your kitchen cabinets, we usually utilize eight pocket hole screws per box. However, the number of pocket hole screws varies depending on the size of the kitchen cabinets our customers demand.

The equipment is almost similar to the tools needed for making a cabinet.

We utilize the standard carpentry tools and modern devices such as CNC routers for cutting cabinets. However, the primary equipment required for making drawer box are as followed:

  • Table saw, or circular saw featured with a guide for cutting the MDF panel.
  • Router, circular saw, or table saw with directions for cutting dados.
  • Miter box or power miter saw for cutting to length (table saws are also suitable for the purpose).
  • Jig for creating pocket holes
  • Mechanical or Electrical drill
  • Simple tape measure
  • Straight edge

Kitchen Cabinets Drawer Box Construction Overview

Before getting into the drawer box making details, it is essential to know the typical kitchen cabinets drawer construction. There are various methods of building these products for the kitchen, and some require special equipment and skills while others feature simple processes and are not very attractive. Using pocket hole joinery creates a balance between appearance, cost, ease of build, and strength for the products. Thus, most carpenters and kitchen cabinet manufacturers utilize this specific method.

The kitchen cabinets drawer box consists of six primary components: the box sides, front and back, bottom, and exposed drawer front and pull. We utilize two wood screws for securing the drawer box front to the frame, and two machine screws hold the product pull in place. The eight pocket holes and screws which attach the front and back to the sides are not visible. Furthermore, the bottom section is placed in a groove (dado) cut into the sides, back, and front areas.

Choosing Wood Material for Kitchen Cabinets Drawer Box

Before starting the creating process, we determine the type of wood the cabinet design will require for the drawer box sides and bottoms. There are different suitable wood materials for the purpose: solid wood boards, MDF panels, melamine coated particle boards, and veneered plywood. Due to the drawer’s abusive tendency, using MDF panels for kitchen cabinet construction is better as they are durable and versatile. Solid woods are also very durable, but they are much more expensive than other materials. Using tight, closed grain, and light color materials are trendy in 2021 for kitchen cabinets.

We choose the box side thickness equivalent to the strength needed for the customer’s use. For making the bottom area, solid wood panels are not commonly used due to their price. MDF panels and boards are good enough for most kitchen cabinets drawer boxes. However, tempered hardboards are also practical and come in a dark brown hue but are not as attractive as modern MDF or plywood. This particular wood material is strong enough for bottom sections and is easy to find at a lower price than MDF panels or plywood.

Drawer Box Width and Height for Kitchen Cabinets

We use two primary factors to determine the outside width of the drawer box: the width of the opening for installing the box in and the side clearance for slides. It is better to measure the space after constructing the kitchen cabinet carcass. We calculate the front and back for knowing the tolerance of the slides. Then, for determining the outside dimension, we take the inside opening dimensions and subtract two times the clearance at the sides.

When the height of the opening is constrained, we measure the actual dimensions after the carcass is ready. Additionally, we calculate both sides and allow proper clearance for the top and bottom of the drawer slide. On the other hand, for non-constrained height, we use a shorter box height than the front section. For cases in which we need to install drawers into a kitchen cabinet with no separate opening for individual boxes, such as the bottom area of a European raised panel cabinet, we use this technique.

In part two of this article, we will get into more details of constructing drawer boxes for kitchen cabinets.

Constructing Frameless Kitchen Cabinets (Part II)

Constructing Frameless Kitchen Cabinets

Constructing Frameless Kitchen Cabinets is a popular carpentry process for creating practical products for the interior. These products have modern, functional, and European style designs that can improve the house’s aesthetics and interior decoration. However, their design’s main functionality is for the kitchen. Manufacturers and carpenters produce these modern works with various wood materials, including MDF panels and Plywood.

Constructing frameless kitchen cabinets requires years of practice and experience. However, many people want to create their kitchen cabinets with MDF of other wood materials without hiring professionals. Thus, we decided to provide the required information for constructing frameless kitchen cabinets for such people. In part 1 of producing frameless kitchen cabinets, we discussed the basics of the carcass of the cabinets and the base options that the product can have. Thus, this part will provide more information about the process, including the frameless kitchen cabinets back options, tools for making them, and precise steps to complete the production of these functional materials.

Kitchen Cabinets Back Options

When constructing frameless kitchen cabinets, the cabinetmaker has some practical options for creating the back section of the product. Each method and option have exceptional stability and functionality.

  • Full Back: Carpenter can choose to make a full back with the same MDF panels or Plywood used for the kitchen cabinet. This configuration will provide an enclosed product with excellent strength, which is essential when installing heavy countertops or supporting heavy appliances. However, this method can be costly, but the carpenter can lower the expenditure by precisely planning the cutting method with a CNC router.
  • Nailed Back: Some people don’t mind if their cabinets have a back part or not. The nailed back option is the best for saving more MDF panels and other materials. Instead of having a full back, this method features creating two nailing strips out of the MDF panels for the top and bottom of the back, so there is a point to affix the kitchen cabinet to the wall and provide strength and rigidity to the product.
  • Economic Nailed Back: In some cases, people prefer to have an enclosed back system, but they also want to save money. Thus, it is better to use nailery as the previous method and utilize a piece of MDF panel on the back of the kitchen cabinet to provide a finished look. In addition to the lower cost of this method, it also provides a lighter product.

Tools and Materials Needed for Constructing Frameless Kitchen Cabinets

Like producing any other products, some essential tools and materials should be available for constructing frameless kitchen cabinets.

Tools: There are various tools available for making a cabinet that carpenters should have. However, the essential ones are table saw or circular saw while having a guide for making accurate cuts in the material. Other tools that can be practical are jig types and combination squares.

Materials: Experts always recommend using MDF panels or Plywood materials for both interior doors and kitchen cabinets. These materials come with different appearance grades and can accept various finishes. When using MDF panels, it is better to glue the joints and utilize appropriate pocket screws.

Steps of Constructing Frameless Kitchen Cabinets

Constructing frameless kitchen cabinets for different trendy layouts requires some essential steps. These steps will help cabinetmakers to achieve the best results for their kitchen cabinets.

  1. Calculating Kitchen Cabinet and Component Dimensions: The dimension that the cabinet maker needs for creating kitchen cabinets is the height, depth, width, component dimensions, bottom dimensions, shelf size, back and back dimensions, stretchers and sub toe kick measurements. The application determines the product’s height, and the depth has standard numbers, including the kitchen cabinets door. The cabinet depth is also equivalent to the preferences. The other dimensions are all depending on the first measurements. However, it is better to consult with professional cabinetmakers for better measures.
  2. Attaching Side To Back: This step starts with applying edge banding to the front of both kitchen cabinets sides. Then drilling pocket holes around the top and sides of the product’s back is necessary to attach it to one side.
  3. Attaching Bottom: Next step involves applying edge banding to the front of the bottom section and drilling pocket screw holes for connecting the bottom to the side and back section of the cabinet. Using a square is essential to make sure the alignments are appropriate.
  4. Fixing Other Side: Now it is time to settle and attach the other side to the cabinet assembly utilizing the previously drilled pocket holes.
  5. Stretchers Attachment: Attach the edge banding precisely to the front section of the two stretchers and then drill pockets holes for attaching them to the cabinet. For the first drawer, the bottom stretcher on the front is utilized.
  6. Installing Sub Toe Kick: The sub toe kick helps support the kitchen cabinet and adds rigidity to the finished kickboard after the installation process.
  7. Drilling Shelf Pin Holes: The last step is to drill holes with a jig in the back and front of each side of the kitchen cabinet for shelf pins. After drilling, install the shelf by applying edge banding to the front of the frame and inserting its hooks in the appropriate locations.

Constructing Frameless Kitchen Cabinets (Part I)

Frameless Kitchen Cabinets

Frameless kitchen cabinets are European style products that interior designers offer for their customers to enhance their kitchen aesthetics and functionality. These frameless products are ideal for the kitchen and practical for the bathroom, office, home theatre, and other renovations. This article is not just about constructing these practical products, but it contains everything you should know about these particular products.

Many people desire to make frameless kitchen cabinets for their homes, and learning the constructing process is often challenging due to the shortage of information on the internet. Therefore, people should search and read a lot to find and combine the requiring information for creating these practical products. Thus, we decided to provide all the information you will need, and we tried to make things easier for you.

Frameless kitchen cabinets are affordable and easy to build. They are beneficial for the homeowner by providing extra storage space over face frame cabinets. They are various methods that are used to build frameless kitchen cabinets. However, they all follow the same principles. Construction of these products is relatively straightforward, and the most challenging aspect is planning and sizing.

Frameless Kitchen Cabinets Carcass

Frameless kitchen cabinets have a more contemporary appearance and can be dressed up with elegant doors and trim for having a more classic feeling. The essential step of creating these practical products is building the cabinets carcass. The cabinet carcass is the main body or box of the product, which does not contain doors, drawers, boxes and fronts. It is possible to configure this structural piece in different methods to allow drawers and doors to suit your needs.

The most straightforward kitchen cabinet design to install and provide strength is creating an entire back cabinet carcass with MDF panels or other robust wood materials. It should consist of top stretchers, and it can be constructed from a single sheet of MDF panel. The carcass often has some essential parts, including two sides, shelf, bottom, back, sub toe kick and three stretchers.

Base Options for Frameless Kitchen Cabinets

Each system has its unique benefits and limitations. There are four separate ways to configure the lower section or the base of the frameless kitchen cabinets. These base producing methods are as followed:

Standard Base in Frameless Kitchen Cabinets

The standard base used in frameless kitchen cabinets has the sides and back of the product extend down to the floor. This type of base is notched in the front for providing a toe kick. A sub-toe kick in this system can provide additional support for the bottom and makes it easy to apply finishes such as decorative baseboard with MDF panels over a continual stretch of cabinets for a seamless appearance. Building this type of base is relatively tricky and utilizes a bit more MDF or plywood material. However, it can provide a single kitchen cabinet unit with advantages and fit the area’s layout. It is essential to remember to shim each kitchen cabinet individually for making it level. Most of the semi-custom kitchen cabinets available in the market are constructed with this method.

Common Base Without Toe Kick

Some interior or kitchen designs do not require a toe kick when they need a built-in cabinet system. This type of base has pros and cons similar to the standard base system, except it does not involve toe kick. Instead, this method accommodates with a decorative MDF panel or plywood with the same kitchen doors thickness. They are applied all over the base of all frameless kitchen cabinets after the installation process is completed.

Separate Base Platform

One of the best ways to construct frameless kitchen cabinets is using the different base platform technique. This system consists of a frame made up of hardwood flat panels, MDF panel, or plywood top providing toe kick with various heights. The most noticeable advantage of this technique is that the cabinetmaker can level the platform before installing the products. Then the only thing required is to place the kitchen cabinets on the panel without having to do much if any extra levelling. This type of base system is also more substantial and more stable than other types attached to the cabinets. Additionally, it is possible to create toe kicks on the sides of the frameless kitchen cabinets where necessary, such as the end of a kitchen island or a cabinet run.

There are other essential things to discuss the frameless kitchen cabinet construction systems we have provided in the second part of this article. We recommend you read it if you consider making a perfect cabinet for you your kitchen or you need to know how manufacturers create them.

Tools Needed for Making a Cabinet (Part II)

Making a Cabinet part 2

Making a cabinet is a process for creating aesthetic and functional products for different residence portions, such as kitchens, chambers, and bathrooms, which requires some essential tools. Experts and experienced carpenters do the job in the fastest and most precise way possible by utilizing these tools. However, making a cabinet with these types of equipment is also possible for individuals who tend to go for the DIY process. In the Tools Needed for Making a Cabinet (Part I) article, we discussed two must-have tools for creating these practical products. In this section, we will introduce other beneficial tools that can be handy for the purpose.

Miter Saw for Making a Cabinet

Miter Saw is a must-have cabinetmaking tool for cutting different wood materials such as MDF. The table saw sits rigidly in its appropriate place while needing feeding woodwork in the blade. It brings the edge down to the working material for the process. However, this tool design is not for ripping the fabric, but they bring the cutting tool down onto the fixed piece, and they help the process. The word miter refers to making cuts with angles for specific joints on trim or frame material. This tool is available in various models, including Standard, Compound, and Sliding Miter Saw. The first model features a fixed swing arm that can be adjusted from 0 to 45 degrees. This type is a simple tool, but most carpenters opt for its more complicated systems for making a cabinet. Compound type can also create 45- and 90-degrees angle cut. However, by utilizing this tool, the cabinetmaker can cross-angle the working piece for creating more aesthetic kitchen cabinets. The sliding miter saw feature arms that allow it to cut much wider stock than the other types

Having High-Quality Saw Blades is Essential

Having sharp and precise saw blades make a substantial difference in making cleaner cuts without frays. Crosscut saw edges are perfect for cutting engineered woods and are suitable for across-the-grain fabrication on trim. On the other hand, for ripping with wood grain, the most practical tool is the Rip Saw Blade. They work at a fast pace and provide safety and efficiency. However, it is possible to get the best of both ripping and crosscut by utilizing combination blades.

Use Drilling Jig for Making a Cabinet

Drilling jigs are designed to help the carpenter make accurate, reliable and repeatable holes in the working piece. Some artisans prefer to construct their unique tool. The particular advantage of the drilling jig is that it can serve as both guides and clamps for creating holes in an exact location with a suitable angle. Most of the drilling jigs are adjustable for achieving customized spots equivalent to the needs. This tool is available in various materials such as wood, plastic and metal.

Scribe Tools

This tool is a piece of must-have equipment for making a cabinet that allows carpenter mark wood or other materials for having a clear pattern of cutting, drilling and other operations. It is perfect for transferring a pre-defined way to a surface destined to bond with it. Experts regularly utilize this tool to trace and transfer irregular shapes to a new cabinet design and counter joints. Most scribes are made from metal materials, and they feature a sharp point to inscribe pattern into a new surface.

High-Speed Hinge Placement Tool

Hing placement on the kitchen cabinet doors must be precise for excellent finish and fit. Shop-made jigs or commercial scribes can slow down the process of making a cabinet. Thus, it is essential to have a tool for fast and accurate hinge placement. The high-speed hinge placement tool works well with various hinges. Some of them feature three spring-loaded punches for transferring drill points at a higher pace.

Self-Centering Bits are Beneficial for Making a Cabinet

Another tool that is practical for both making cabinets and various interior doors is the self-centering bit. It is prepared to many extents and quality standards and comes from different sources. The best bits are often made from hard carbon steel guide barrels while having a tungsten or carbide internal section. The guide barrels align the bit with a fastener or hinge and then line the bit to make a perfectly centered hole. Another essential advantage of these tools is that there will be no bit slippage across a tight grain or error in hinge creep when the carpenter makes self-centering bits.

Dado Set with a Thin Kerf

Making a cabinet requires much more delicate cuts than other typical construction work. For building a high-quality kitchen cabinet, even the most diminutive dimensions make a considerable difference. This is especially true when cabinet making process needs dados and precise cut kerfs. Kerfs are the channels created by a saw blade that is not set to sever the wood material severely. Thus, using a dado blade can help the cabinetmaker adjust the kerf widths. There are unique dado blades that are designed to allow experts to create thin kerfs.

Tools Needed for Making a Cabinet (Part I)

Making a Cabinet

Making a cabinet serves the interior designers in creating aesthetically pleasing rooms and kitchens for homes. Novice woodworkers or professional carpenters, and even large-scale manufacturers appreciate having proper tools for making a cabinet. The right equipment and tools make the difference between efficient applications with stable structure and sloppy works where nothing fits correctly. Investing and utilizing the best tools will bring a return that will be hard to defeat. Many people love woodwork and show interest in DIY cabinetmaking, but they don’t know what tools they need to complete their work perfectly.

Some tools for making a cabinet are expensive due to their complexity. Thus, they are difficult to master and purchase. However, once an individual learns them, they make the job much faster and more precise. There is no worry for people who don’t want to spend a lot of money on tools because other cabinetmaking tools are more straightforward, smaller, and require less money output to purchase. However, there is some essential equipment that is needed for making a cabinet with a DIY process. We have included all the must-have cabinetmaking tools that are available in the market in this article.

Using Clamps for Making a Cabinet

Making a cabinet without using clamps is almost impossible. These tools are convenient, and they replace human hands in many situations. A suitable clamp assortment is similar to having an assistant in the workshop. They hold materials in the demanding place while the carpenter measures, cuts, joins and fastens the work. There are countless clamp models and design available in the market because there is no such thing as an on-size tool for fitting all types of work.

The oldest mechanical clamp designs are called C-Clamps. Carpenters have been using them for hundreds of years. These tools have a simple steel frame with an open throat which is controlled with a screwed jaw. They come with various size ranges and throat depths. Another clamp tool for making a cabinet is the Pipe-Clamp featuring an iron pipe with one fixed jaw and an alterable clamp face. Sizes of these tools range from long to short. One of the irreplaceable cabinetmaking clamps that utilize a metal bar frame instead of pipe is the Bar-Clamps. They combine the depth of the C-Clamp and the strength of the Pipe-Clamp. However, if the carpenters tend to assemble large structures such as cabinet boxes for kitchen applications, Band-Clamps can quickly wrap or secure the work. The Band-Clamps feature plastic straps and ratcheting controls that allow the cabinet maker to tighten the components. However, it is essential to note that making a cabinet requires specialized clamps such as 3-way face and flush-and-flat face clamps that can make tricky joints simpler.

Table Saw is Essential

Table Saws are considered the heat of a woodworking shop. Artisans with much experience can create excellent cuts on a table saw and make the process safer, which means that these tools can be dangerous in the wrong hands. However, modern table saws feature perfect safety devices in guides, guards, controls and adjustments. If there is one must-have tool for making a cabinet, then it is the table saw. There are various options available in the market for this particular equipment. Making the right choice for the shop can be a little bit confusing. Thus, it is essential to know them individually to make the most efficient choice for the job.

The first type of table saw is the cabinet making one that is centerpieces in a woodworking shop. They feature heavy and rigid machines that fit between the table extensions. These tables saws accept blades with various diameters and can handle large pieces such as MDF boards for doors and cabinets.

The second most popular table saws are Contractors, which are medium-duty machines that many carpenters utilize for their work. These are portable table saws that can make accurate and precise cuts while handling various sizes of blade diameters.

Along with the cabinetmaking and contractor table saw, another tool called Benchtop is practical for the purpose. It is relatively small and compact while being extremely handy for making a cabinet. These tools are also portable that make perfect resources when cutting small materials on the installation process of cabinets.

In Part II of this article, we will discuss other practical tools for making a custom cabinet for the kitchen or bathrooms.

MDF Panels in Interior Design

MDF Panels for Interior

MDF panels are decorating materials that can satisfy almost every type of interior design and project. These materials are becoming very popular among designers and homeowners who consider creating aesthetic and durable interior equipment. The term MDF attains for medium density fiberboard, an engineered wood product with cost-effective and stable characteristics. These boards act as well as a substitute for wood materials. Manufacturers produce these materials with sawdust and other wood residuals while breaking them into their component fibers. Bonding substances fuse these particles, such as wax and binders, into a panel. The standard MDF panel is often available in a thickness range of 4 to 25 millimeters with plain or pre-laminated surface protection. These panels are also available in a variety of finishes and colors.

MDF Panels Characteristics

Just like any interior product, medium-density fiberboards come with unique characteristics. These characteristics made them practical and suitable materials for different applications. The followings are some of the essential properties of MDF panels which any customer should know before purchasing them:

  • One of the advantages of MDF panels is that these boards do not have grains due to their uniform density, resulting from materials composition, unlike solid wood.
  • These panels feature a smooth surface due to their knot-free and internal layers characteristics. Thus, carpenters can saw and make grooves or moldings on these particular materials.
  • The sustainability of MDF boards is perfect due to their structure made from waste products such as sawdust and wood fibers. However, the glue utilized in the binders are often known as carcinogenic, and it is better to look for materials that have a controlled process and additives manufacturing process. This type of procedure can minimize and decrease formaldehyde emissions which can cause health problems.
  • MDF panels have dimensional stability meaning that they will not expand or contract with temperature change and heat as standard solid woods.
  • Manufacturers utilize veneers or laminate on the surface of these boards to create a realistic wood finish on the furniture and doors.
  • One of the benefits of medium density fiberboards is their capability of being painted, polished and varnished.
  • Low-quality MDF panels can swell or warp when exposed to water. On the other hand, exterior grade boards have water-resistant characteristics with engineered and greater strength and density.
  • They are no air pockets or waviness in these composite materials due to the high pressure and temperature manufacturing process. Thus, the cross-section of the panel is also very consistent.
  • The last notable characteristics of MDF boards is their cost which is more economical than solid wood and plywood.

Now you know why MDF boards are growing in the industry, it is time to introduce the interior usages of these practical panels. Any customer should have the basic knowledge of the applications that can benefit from medium density fiberboards.

Cabinetry and Furniture with MDF Panels

As told, MDF materials can overcome humidity and heat changes better than solid wood and plywood. Thus, they are perfect core materials for kitchen cabinetry and bathroom doors. Some shutters commonly used in kitchen cabinets utilize a sheet of membrane wrapped around the material. By molding them into all grooves and contours, creating a single continuous surface without any joints is possible. The furniture which is made with these panels is generally lightweight and less sturdy than other wood materials. The lightweight characteristics of these products make them easy to install and decrease labor costs.

MDF Panels Partitions and Wall Paneling

Another practical usage of MDF panels is in wall paneling for exhibiting acoustic and insulation properties. Thus, they are suitable for providing sound and thermal insulation characteristics for both homes and offices walls and partitions. Due to their density and stability, they dominate solid woods and plywood in many ways.

MDF Flooring

Manufacturers often use MDF as a core material for laminate or engineered flooring creation. As MDF is resistant to humidity, the sides of the board should not be exposed to water. Thus, manufacturers must completely seal these products surfaces to prevent further damages. Experts often recommend not to use these panels for bathrooms and powder room floorings.

Walls with Extra Texture

Medium-density fiberboards lend themself to imaginative and creative experiments in interior decorations. Designers utilize them to create textured walls that can feature three-dimensional relief work such as organic shapes, moldings, and waves. They can also be beneficial for textured paint finishes or walls that showcase specific designs.

Cornices and Moldings with MDF Panels

Due to the structure of these boards, which contains fine particles, they can be cut easily and shaped with routers. Artisans can carve them into moldings and cornices to create decorative interior furniture and items. After shaping them, they can receive different types of paints and finishes to match the overall harmony of the design.

Advantages of MDF Kitchen Cabinets

MDF Kitchen Cabinets

MDF is shortened form for an engineered type wood. Medium Density Fiberboard is the full name of the product. It is made of thin panels, which have resin, wax and fiber in their structure. When it comes to using engineered type wood, MDF is often considered superior to other types. Engineered woods are varied by density, glue type, size, wood species, thickness and moisture content. Many people tend to look down on this wood with the discernment that it cannot perform as well as solid wood products. They are definitely wrong in this case. MDF is a strong, dense and very durable type of wood. Thus, it is approvable for any kind of application, which needs woodwork. MDF Kitchen Cabinets are one of the most common and popular products of this type of wood and there are many reasons and advantages which brought reputation for them.

Durability

Durability is one of the most important factors for MDF kitchen cabinets. This type of wood has an ability not to warp or crack. This ability is due to the structure of the product, which is moving as a unit. MDF can expand and contract when temperature and humidity oscillation occurs. Even extreme changes in these two factors should not be a worrying issue.

Paint Finish

MDF does not have noticeable grain due do its fine particles. This is more obvious when a smooth and better finish is applied to the product especially when it is painted. MDF kitchen cabinets are more likely to be painted in comparison to solid wood material such as raised panels. There are different types of paint finishes for this material. Oil-based and latex paints are the most applicable ones of all methods. These paint finishes are perfect choice to apply on MDF in order to give the product aesthetic appearance. As long as the painter is experienced and has skills, the finish procedure will be safe and easy.

Suitable Style

One of the major advantages of MDF kitchen cabinets is their extreme versatility, thus they are very suitable for any type of design desired. It can be used both for contemporary cabinets featuring simple, pure and clean lines, and classic look doors that integrate decorative moldings. These products are available in different shapes and colors that makes them great choice for kitchen harmonizing. Another important characteristic for MDFs appearance and texture is having uniform coloring and not having any knots or roughness.

Easy To Customize

Kitchen cabinet doors come in variety of types. There are flat-panel doors, raised-panel doors etc. Thanks to these varieties customization of MDF boards have become very easy. In addition, these materials are very appropriate for being drilled and cut in many different methods without being damaged. The front frame can be glued easily to the case. To avoid twisting the glue-up, these products require dead-flat assembly surface, which is done by an easy procedure. Other frame parts can be joined using every kind of tools such as half-laps, Tenon and pocket-hole joints. There is another usage of MDF, which is closing the space and gap above the kitchen cabinets.

Water Resistance

MDF kitchen cabinets should have high resistance when exposed to humidity due to the presence of moisture in this portion of the house. These materials are often designed to be naturally water resistant. However, there are different types of MDF boards, which are made to be better materials in such areas. One of these products is called MR, which is made with moisture-repellent resin. However, these MDF cabinets can be made waterproof with simple procedure. This can be done by applying a high quality wood sealant, stain, moisture-resistant paint or varnish in order to prevent humidity affection on the board. It is important to notice that using waterborne polyurethane is not recommended due to its low ability of binding to the products surface.

Size variety

MDF boards are produced in variety of sizes approvable for different taste and applications. They are often produced in larger sizes than solid woods. If a cabinet demands to have large wood without any joints, then these boards will be the most suitable choice. However, there are some standard dimensions, which most products are made of. The most common MDF kitchen cabinets are having following options in size: 2400×12000 mm, 2700×1200 mm, 3600×1800 mm and 2400×900 mm. Most of these sizes are available in every thickness, although they are some exceptions, which are unique and custom designs. For moisture resistant boards, 2400×1200 mm or 3600×1200 mm is highly recommended.

Affordability

The last advantage of MDF kitchen cabinets is their affordability. These products are cheaper and more affordable compared to solid woods, but they are strong and can last long if maintained properly. The cost of the material does not mean it lacks in quality.

Best Paint Finishes for Kitchen Cabinets (part 2)

Paint Kitchen Cabinets

As told in part 1 of this article, changing the set of kitchen cabinets can extremely cause expenditure increment. Thus renovating the products using different paint finishes can be economically beneficial and will instantly improve aesthetics of the house portion.

People often get stuck into a dilemma of choosing old-school oil paint or latex paint which is available widely for their cabinets. Latex material is often recommended for kitchen applications due to its offering which is lower levels of unstable organic compounds production and its drying pace which is higher than the oil material. However, oil paint gained its popularity due to its easy applicability and long lasting characteristics which is ability to be scrubbed and clean regularly.

Latex Paint and Oil Paint Finish Comparison

Oil paint finish is popular due to its resilient specification, thus using this type of can be very efficient for kitchen applications. Opening cabinet doors with sticky or greasy hands can cause strains on the material, however oil paints have the ability not to be scratched and get cleaned easily with simple scrubbing without taking any damage. This paint takes a long time to dry in between coats, and the time is approximately up to 16 hours which can be considered as a draw back from some people’s perspective. Waiting for the paint to dry while having no good circulation especially inside MDF cabinets can become an issue. Keeping equipment and also some dry foods out of the cabinets for a day is surely annoying. Latex-paint, unlike the oil finish can be dried and ready for another coat in about two to four hours. This means the job can be done easily in few hours and the kitchen will be put back together instantly.

Having fast pace drying characteristic is not the only reason for using Latex as a paint finish. Two biggest pros of Latex are about its VOCs and yellowing. Water-based latex often has no VOCs unlike the oil paints which release higher levels of volatile organic compounds. Using paints which are known to produce VOCs on the cabinets which are surrounding for consumable materials such as food, eating utensils and spices is not recommended. These emissions can cause health damage and conditions in organs such as nose, eyes and throat. The surfaces which are covered with oil-paint are expected to take yellow hue over time and the cabinets might start to look dingy. Also, these paint finishes are prone to yellowing in low light conditions, thus painting inside of the kitchen cabinets which have slab doors, flat doors and etc. is not recommended.

Latex paint while having many advantages are much easier to use as painting material for kitchen cabinets. Nowadays, most of these paints are produced with greater durability for cleaning. This is an important factor for kitchen application, thus choosing a washable or scrub able finishes needs to be considered.

It is important to mention that if the material used for cabinets is MDF or Solid Wood, their surface need to be properly prepared before applying latex paint. This paint finish is more likely to show variances in the texture and grain on the wood unlike oil paint which goes on smooth. If a smooth and good look is desired after finish, some prep work beforehand is necessary.

There is an additional situation for using latex-paint which is when a kitchen cabinet is already painted instead of being pure wood. When the type of the paint which is already applied on the material cannot be identified, using water-based paint formulas having latex are the safest option. Oil-paint never adheres well over latex material; however, the latex-paint can be applied to a surface with any type of paint finish.

Simple Application Tips

If the cabinet has flat doors, they can be renovated with quick work of painting application with simple usage of painting roll having ¼ nap. Paneled cabinets obviously require more precision and work. For evenly coated surfaces and inset areas, paint brush can be very handy. It is also important to choose a synthetic bristle brush if latex paint is applied. The water-based paint can swell the natural bristles.