In Beautiful Kitchens magazine this month, a reader asks for some help doing a kitchen redesign as the reader is confused by the terms hi-gloss and acrylic in relation to the cabinetry.
This is a common question as they are indeed many door finishes such as Foil Wrapped, Vinyl, Glass fronted, solid wood, laminate as well as the aforementioned hi-gloss and acrylic, and it can be quite confusing for the lay person to understand the differences in both product and pricing.
As Beautiful Kitchens Neil Lerner said, Hi-gloss is simply a finish to the door and usually comes in acrylic or lacquered materials. Both finishes are hard-wearing options for the modern kitchen and are prevalent throughout the German kitchens of Nobilia, Hacker and Schuller as they are in the UK from other brands suck as Second Nature.
Acrylic is made from a resin and is easy to clean. It’s generally formed in one solid colour, then set directly onto the MDF door and then sealed, and it is this that gives it, its shiny gloss, hi-gloss look and finish which offers more depth than say a foil finish, but not as much as a lacquer. Hi-gloss acrylic is more durable than lacquer and also less expensive.
Lacquer on the other hand is normally formed on an MDF base door, which has a primer or resin-type foil, coated with lacquer. The base layer and the first layers may be in a darker colour as the top coat can be lighter or even clear. The lacquer process is more time consuming, very labour intensive and therefore this added production time is reflected in the cost be being about 10% more expensive than an equivalent acrylic finish.
As touched on, the depth of colour is much improved by the use of a lacquer finish than with acrylic and the finish offers a more consistent colour and lacquer finishes are not just used for hi-gloss but both matt and satin.
Hi-gloss kitchen cabinetry is very easy to clean and maintain and in doing so, it generally often needs a wipe down with warm water and a soft non-abrasive wash cloth, perhaps adding a little amount of washing-up liquid to aid the removal of greasy marks. The use of solvent based cleaners, bleaches and other aggressive cleaning products should be avoided as they can damage the finish.
The kitchen Beautiful Kitchens decided to use as a featured style for the piece was the Blue Hi-Gloss Acrylic from Hacker. As you can see from the above images, its a truly stunning German made kitchen.