Close Up on Craftsmanship – Finish Strong

8 Min.

The overall design of a kitchen is directly impacted by the finish and color of the cabinetry, making this decision one of the most important parts of the kitchen renovation journey.

Wood is good. There’s no denying the beauty of natural wood, the unique grain patterns, and movement in each species can be incorporated into almost any design plan. The kind of finish best used on natural wood depends on the level of sheen you want your wood to have. To create a glossy shine we use a water based clear coat urethane. For an understated matte finish, we apply an oil – tung oil or a product like Rubio Monocoat, a natural oil that protects wood in a single coat and is a Zero VOC product.JF-10-3-14-2878

Design is key. Determining which product is best for your wood cabinetry or surfaces comes down to looking at where and how they will be used. Is the area high traffic? A food preparation zone? Near running water? Part of your design process should include how and where you will use each area of your kitchen.

Jewett Farms 9 12 Newburyport 2

Stains and tints. There’s a great middle ground between natural wood and painted cabinetry, the color tinted stain. At JF we tend to use Rubio Monocoat to create custom tints that range from light and white to dark black stains. The grain of the wood is able to shine through the color creating a look that is both rustic and modern.



Color your life. Simple white, barn red or luxurious navy – color adds personality to your space. Of course, anyone who has been face to face with a paint color chart knows, selecting the perfect hue can be challenging. Over the years we have developed our favorites, colors that we have seen to be consistently elegant and timeless. To help narrow down from the myriad of colors we offer the JF standard finish options. These are meant to provide assistance but not limitation, our finish department will match any color you choose.

Details that make the difference. In the JF shop, we use Maple or Poplar for our painted cabinetry because of their dimensional stability, which means they expand and contract less than other wood species. At Jewett Farms + Co. we are committed to using only water-based finishes in our shop, we do this for the health and safety of our team, our clients, and our environment. We have worked extremely hard to find the best water-based paints and finishes available.


Sprayed finish. A Sprayed painted finish is smooth and sleek, there are no brush strokes and the even finish has a beautiful end look. Sprayed finish is typically less expensive than hand painted because all the painting is done in-house at the JF shop. With a sprayed finish there is also the option to create a high sheen contemporary look – check out our modern display in our Boston Design Center showroom.


hpsqHand painted finish. This method is a little more labor intensive but gives a truly custom final product. Our finish team hand paint the primer and first coat in the shop, then after the cabinets have been installed they go on-site and do the final coat. The result of this is cabinetry that looks as though it was built in place with moulding seamlessly connected to the cabinetry. There are some visible brush strokes, so the looks is a little more classic and less contemporary. These also make small touch ups a lot easier if, down the line, someone dings a cabinet, a small touch up (yes, we provide touch up paint!) is an easy job.

Questions to ask:

  • Will your cabinetmaker match your chosen color
  • Do they provide samples
  • Are the finishes VOC free or water based – if not what is the off-gassing period
  • Is hand painting an option
  • What materials are used for painted cabinets


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