Finishing Cabinet Interiors

Depending on the use, cabinetmakers may match the exterior stain color, or go with melamine or a light wood and clear finish. October 1, 2005

I wondering what methods everyone uses for finishing the insides of cabinets? Do you match the exterior stain, or just clear it? Any help is appreciated.

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor T:
It depends on what type of cabinet. For furniture, we match interiors. For a kitchen or a vanity we go with clear. For dark stains, you may want to go with a match so you don't see the lighter color through your door reveals.

From contributor E:
I always thought that if a client bought a mahogany unit with stain that the interior should be the same, but after building numerous large jobs for four years with nothing but pre-finished maple interiors I can not think of one client that ever objected. I do use matching edgeband so as not to see a different color through the door seams as noted above and that all exposed surfaces or open areas or behind retractable doors always matched the exterior.

From contributor B:
I agree with Contributor T. For bath vanities and kitchen cabinets I shoot a clear over maple. It has more to do with the brightness of the interior and ability of the client to find what they are looking for inside the cab. For furniture, I match the exterior.

From contributor H:
On all our cabinets except for something like an open bookcase, we do a melamine interior. It's quick and looks nice. Just spray your frames before assembling it to the rest of the box. Where the interior needs to be a sprayed interior, we assemble all of the cabinet except for the back, spray the cabinet and the backs, then staple the back on. Spraying the back separately makes your spray job a lot easier as you don't get back-spray.

From contributor G:
If you are worried about time issues go ahead and spray your stain on the exterior parts of the cabinet and when you get to the interior adjust your gun and just fog the interior. They do it all the time out here in California and it cuts down on a lot of work. I hope that I have at least given you another option to look at.