Search the forums

Loading

Which Plywood for Kitchen Cabinets?

pino's picture

I'm gettiing ready to tackle my second set of kichen cabinets.  The first, for my parents, were done in red oak, dyed, stained and turned out great.  Now it is our turn and my wife wants painted/glazed cabinets to match our existing 1916-era built-ins.  So I am looking for advice on plywood and face frame wood species. 

I was thinking hard maple, but a neighbor suggested birch.  The entire thing will have full inset drawers and doors.  Any advice is much appreciated.

 painted/glazed cabinets (post #202836, reply #1 of 13)

 painted/glazed cabinets

heresy, plain heresy painting indoor wood....

if ya gotta paint it, baltic birch, lacquer vs paint

agreed, but my wife prefers (post #202836, reply #4 of 13)

agreed, but my wife prefers paint and I'm not going to win this one.

If paint is the finish, then (post #202836, reply #2 of 13)

If paint is the finish, then I would use MDF, not plywood.

It's cheaper, very stable, machines well, and takes paint better than plywood.

If you want painted plywood without grain (post #202836, reply #3 of 13)

Use MDO (Medium Density Overlay) plywood.  It is design for making exterior sign panels, void free very water proof, and completely smooth, so there is no grain to show through.   MDF, also take paint really well and has no grain, but is susceptible to water damage.  Combining the two, MDO & MDF would be the best bet in my mind.  Use the MDF for the sink and dishwasher cabinets, (where you know there will be water exposure), and the MDF for the rest of the cabinets. 

If you want the grain to show use either birch, maple or even doug fir, cabinet grade plywood. 

For painted face frames I would use western soft maple, or clear doug fir.  But, that is a matter of availability and price in my market.  What you have available will probably be different.  You want something hard enough that it doesn't ding up too easily, and has a good tight grain so it doesn't take a lot of work to hide it in the paint. 

Thanks for the insight (post #202836, reply #5 of 13)

I've never worked with MDF or MDO; think I'll give one a try on my prototype.

we use pop;lar for face (post #202836, reply #6 of 13)

we use pop;lar for face frames and baltic birch for the boxes

 

 

Oh Well,

We did the best we could...

Just my opinion (post #202836, reply #7 of 13)

Use mdf if you're fond of making a lot of nasty dust and enjoy lifting very heavy objects. Use mdo if you are positive that you won't muck up the paper face when trimming edging or whatnot. Otherwise use any good grade of tight grained hardwood: birch, maple, poplar, etc that is found in your local area. 

Both mdf and mdo have their place, but not in my kitchen.

Same advice as my father-in-law (post #202836, reply #8 of 13)

He just called and cautioned against MDF and MDO for the same reasons.  Of course he also offered a 4x8 sheet of 3/4" MDO if I want to use it on my  I think I'll price birch and maple plywood tomorrow before making my decision.  My kitchen is not that large, so material costs shouldn't really be a killer no matter what species I use.

 

Thanks to all for your input.

pino (post #202836, reply #10 of 13)

When looking for hardwood veneer plywood I'd caution you to look close and ask.  As everything it seems, the veneers are getting even thinner.  I've found on my recent purchases that domestic made ply has a bit thicker  veneer than imports at least through my supplier.  The cost wasn't that much higher-5-10 dollars more a sheet depending on top finish.

Also, if shop grade is offered and you can look at the sheets, you can better the price knowing how you can eliminate the imperfections.  Many are edges, some in the field.

best of luck, good to see you back.

A Great Place for Information, Comraderie, and a Sucker Punch.

Remodeling Contractor just outside the Glass City.


http://www.quittintime.com/

 


If, on the other hand, you'd (post #202836, reply #9 of 13)

If, on the other hand, you'd like to see SOME grain, decent quality oak plywood is the way to go.  It has a visible grain (that will show through most paints) without being overpowering.


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

Pino, (post #202836, reply #11 of 13)

Don't buy a China plywood. It may look like good ply on the face but it is junk. It warps, twist, bows and is full of voids.

I vote for MDO for painted, second choice would be any USA ply.

 

KK

You'll note I said "decent (post #202836, reply #12 of 13)

You'll note I said "decent quality" oak plywood.


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

Dan, most look "decent"............ (post #202836, reply #13 of 13)

the change comes when you look at the veneer from the edge and/or cut into it.

A good plywood distributor would be able to advise, at least that's the case here.

A Great Place for Information, Comraderie, and a Sucker Punch.

Remodeling Contractor just outside the Glass City.


http://www.quittintime.com/