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05 March 2013
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THE MANUFACTURING OF SNAIDERO’S LACQUER KITCHEN CABINET DOORS

We have been a pioneer in designing vibrant lacquer kitchen cabinet doors, offering a wide range of color options developed through technological innovation.

Color is a true architectonic element which can dramatically define space perception and atmosphere, while contributing to creating a room’s emotional depth.

Snaidero has been a pioneer in designing vibrant lacquer kitchen cabinet doors, offering a wide range of color options developed through technological innovation.

The company’s first lacquered, molded doors date back to 1991, with the introduction of the curved lacquered cabinets for the iconic Ola kitchen designed by Pininfarina. In 2000, Snaidero added high-gloss and matte metallic lacquers – an application of automotive engineering to kitchen design. Ten years later, at Eurocucina 2010, Snaidero launched its range of mica-based lacquered doors, another technology of automotive inspiration, taking color innovation for the kitchen to a whole new level.

How does Snaidero make its lacquer kitchen cabinet doors?

The starting base for all lacquer finishes must be suited to support the subsequent varnish applications. To this end, whenever possible Snaidero uses surfaces prepared with polyester or acrylic bottom with UV crosslinking. This treatment helps accelerate the drying process and strengthen the subsequent varnish layers. The surface is smoothed until perfectly uniform and free from chips, holes, or cracks.

Metallic Lacquer Finish
Snaidero’s metallic varnish is created by mixing the color base with powdered metal composed of aluminum scales, which are appropriately processed. A special application ensures that the metal powder stays flat on the surface and is distributed dynamically. Every scale is then able to reflect the light in a unique way. The only limitation of this type of lacquer varnish is that it retains the grey shade that is typical of metals; this, in turn, limits the kinds of colors the varnish can be used with.

Here is the process used to apply this lacquer varnish to the kitchen cabinet doors:

Step 1: A first layer of metallic varnish is applied “wet” to the smoothed surface base. This helps achieve chromatic uniformity.
Step 2: The coat is left to dry out for a short period of time.
Step 3: A second layer of metallic varnish is applied. The metallic scales in the varnish are laid out vertically to enhance the metallic reflections in the paint.
Step 4: A more substantial drying phase follows.
Step 5: Three coats of high-gloss bright varnish are applied, with partial drying allowed after each one. This creates a thicker layer of paint.
Step 6: The door is left to dry out for several days so that the varnish can harden perfectly.
Step 7: The surface is polished using abrasive papers with fine grains to remove any possible trace of dust.
Step 8: Cotton brushes and polishing waxes are used for the final brightening.

The end-result of this process is a signature lacquer kitchen cabinet door: highly scratch-resistant and luminous with a deep, rich color brought to life by the thick layer of varnish. In the matte metallic lacquer version, the polish of Step 8 is replaced with the application of a matte bright finish.

Mica-based Lacquer Finish
Snaidero’s mica-based varnish utilizes the reflective properties of mica to achieve unique chromatic effects. Mica is a monoclinic mineral with a tendency towards pseudo-hexagonal crystals. The mica-based varnish is less reflective but brighter than metallic varnish and can be used with darker and subtler colors, like dark blues and a variety of grey and black shades.

Here’s the process Snaidero uses to manufacture lacquer kitchen cabinet doors in this finish:

Step 1: A first layer of mica-based varnish is applied to the smoothed surface base.
Step 2: The coat is left to dry out for a short period of time.
Step 3: A second layer of the same varnish is applied. This is what really helps create the reflective effect so typical of this innovative kind of lacquer finish.
Step 4: A more substantial drying phase follows.
Step 5: A coat of slightly opaque finishing varnish is applied.
Step 6: The door is left to dry out for several days so that the varnish can harden perfectly.

The end-result is visibly quite different from the metallic lacquer door. The mica-based lacquer features a lighter color and a subtler reflective surface, which nonetheless produces beautiful changing effects depending on the light.

High-Gloss Lacquer Finish
Step 1: The first layer of high-gloss lacquer varnish is laid out on the smoothed surface base.
Step 2: A second layer of the same varnish is applied through a process known as “wet on wet”. This ensures chromatic uniformity and enough thickness for the varnish to be exposed to the subsequent “brushing” treatment.
Step 3: The door is left to dry out for several days so that the varnish can harden perfectly.
Step 4: The surface is polished through abrasive papers with fine grains to remove any trace of dust.
Step 5: Cotton brushes and polishing waxes are used for the final brightening.

The end-result is Snaidero’s high-gloss, luminous, and uniform cabinet door with great surface resistance.

Matte Lacquer Finish
The starting base for this finish is the same used for Snaidero’s high-gloss lacquer and metallic lacquer doors. It can also be used on the surface of doors made from opaque polymeric materials, available for some Snaidero cabinet lines.
The matte lacquer varnish is applied in a single layer, after which the doors dry out for a few days so that the paint can fully harden.
The end-result is a silky, scratch-resistant lacquered door, slightly embossed and with deep and solid opacity. 

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