Natural Wood Expectations
“In nature, nothing is perfect and everything is perfect. Trees can be contorted, bent in weird ways, and they are still beautiful.”
- Alice Walker
It’s hard to believe, but the materials for your dream space had a life long before you. And it is that history that makes them perfect for your home. Before they took residence in your home, they lived in nature. And, in many ways, nature lived in them. This is evident in the grain of the wood, the pinholes, the knots, the burls and the eclectic coloration left behind by mineral deposits. If you look closely, you can read the story of their former life. As with all organic material, there are also things to expect as the wood adjusts to a new life in your home.
Discover the selection of wood types available from KraftMaid and find out for yourself how wood and finish combine.
Wood is in a constant state of expansion and contraction. This normal movement may cause some hairline cracks at the joints in the finish surface on cabinet doors and face frames. This is a natural occurrence and does not weaken or diminish the strength of the joints.
End grain surfaces are softer in composition than other areas of the wood. As such, they absorb more stain and often appear darker. This is a natural reaction and potential variances cannot be prevented.
In nature, mineral deposits may form in the wood as the tree extracts nutrients from the soil. Common in many wood types, these mineral deposits cause blackish-blue streaks in the grain. When a finish is applied to mineral streaks, it may appear lighter or darker than other areas of your cabinetry.
Show through or “telegraphing” of wood characteristics may happen when paint is applied to any specie of natural wood. These characteristics, such as open grain, pin holes, knots and mineral streaks, may be visible through the paint. Telegraphing may happen on doors, face frames, moldings and any decorative end panel or enhancement made of natural wood. Take this into consideration when choosing our finishes that feature paint as the base technique, including paint with glaze and vintage techniques.
Certain wood, such as cherry, will continue to mellow and darken over time. This brings warmth to lightly-stained cherry and increases depth below darker stains.
A wood product is typically affected by environmental conditions that may alter its appearance from what it looked like when it was new. Here are a few conditions to keep in mind:
- As wood ages, the appearance of the finish may change or darken over time due to environmental factors such as interior lighting, sunlight and humidity.
- Finishes react to prolonged exposure to tobacco smoke, resulting in discoloration, which is especially noticeable on white and lighter finishes.
- Ovens and ranges emit heat and steam during operation. To protect the finish of adjacent cabinets, we strongly recommend the use of heat shields. On thermofoil cabinetry, heat shields are required.
- Showroom cabinetry samples, depending on age, room lighting and environmental factors, may look different from the new cabinetry installed in your home. To ensure satisfaction with a finish color, it is best to view a new sample in your home environment.
All KraftMaid finishes are hand-crafted. As such, each door will be consistently unique. In addition, the natural characteristics of wood lend themselves to color variation, and this is also true when finish is applied. Veneer wood absorbs more stain than solid wood and will appear darker. Some door styles are built with a solid wood frame and a veneer center panel, which will show more color variation than doors with all solid wood components.