Finish First!

Make the best of your cabinets by selecting a finish that enhances your kitchen style.  Painted finishes come in a wide variety of colors. Paint can be used to accent or fully cover the cabinetry. It works best for maple cabinets because the wood is smooth and uniform, but be aware that the natural grain often shows slightly through the paint. Paint finishes chip, hairline crack, and rub off in high use areas. Adding a tinted varnish to natural wood cabinets can create a look that is similar to painted cabinets, but shows more wood grain and is more durable. Staining enhances the wood pattern, but always has a slightly irregular look. Although the variations seem noticeable on individual pieces, when the cabinets are installed, the total effect is complementary and brings extra depth to the design.  However, here are fewer choices in stain colors and finish types. Glaze is a finish type that has some color, but glazes are transparent or semi-transparent, so the color is lighter rather than opaque. Glazes are brushed on over paint or stain, then rubbed off by hand so the color remains in the corners, recesses, and imperfections of the wood. Glazing creates a unique look, but it can be expensive. Most cabinet manufacturers finish all of their natural cabinets with polyurethane varnish to make them harder and more corrosion-resistant. Polyurethane varnishes create a glossier appearance. Some green manufacturers now offer a water-based, ultra-violet (UV) cabinet finish that contains virtually no volatile organic compounds, and emits no toxic fumes or chemicals into the air. The look is basically the same as polyurethane and...

Kitchen Countertop Options

Choosing a kitchen countertop isn’t all about looks! Durability, maintenance and cost are all factors.  If you select a favorite and it doesn’t fit your lifestyle, chances are that there is a similar style in another material that will work.  However, regardless of whether it is granite or concrete, you must care for it appropriately to maintain its beauty. According to the National Kitchen and Bath Association, granite is the top choice in kitchen countertops.  It is available in a wide variety of colors and no two pieces are ever exactly alike. Granite can be polished to darken and shine the stone or honed to make it soft and matte. Similar natural stone materials, like marble and limestone, are softer than granite and require more delicate use. Quartz, a combination of mineral, color, and resin, is not cheaper than natural countertops, but is a durability superstar.  Hot pots, serrated knives, abrasive pads, and most stains are no match for quartz. All natural stone countertops must be sealed periodically to keep them looking great, but quartz does not require sealing. Concrete countertops are gaining popularity because they can be completely customized with pigments. Concrete is available in several different finishes: trowel (smooth), ground (sanded to expose the sand aggregate) and pressed (a tool is used to reveal marble-like veining). Extreme changes in temperature may cause concrete to warp or curl, damp sponges left on the countertop can cause discoloration, and acidic spills may mar the surface. To keep concrete countertops in shape, seal them four times per year and wax them with a paste every two to three months. Wood...

Home Renovation Without the Headaches

Let’s face it: Updating and your home is not always fun.  In the following article, an expert designer shares her helpful hints for achieving the best results without the stress. At the top of the list is choosing the right team for your project. Although online reviews and referrals can point you in the right direction, it is important to have a personal conversation with your home improvement professionals to discuss budget and expectations before you hire. Cornerstone Cabinet Company offers individual attention to every client and has built their success one relationship at a time. Learn more about how to avoid common pitfalls by clicking the link below.  10 Things to Do for a Smooth...