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I'm ready to finish the vanity. The faceplate and doors/drawers are made of maple. I guess it's an ok grain. It certainly paint grade whatever that means, so I plan on painting it white (satin). But seeing that its real wood (and hardwood at that haha) it pains me just a little. So my question to anyone out there, does it make any sense to leave the inner doors and inside of the vanity natural wood and varnish the inside so it implies that it is not cheap crap fake particale glue board? I'm definately painting the outside wood, and white. but not sure of the inside.



 

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I would paint it inside in out. If you leave the inside clear it would look like the cabinet was originally clear and someone painted over it white. If you paint it white inside and out it will look like it always was intended to be white. If you think someday you might want to refinish it and put a clear finish on it I would recommend you put a clear sealer such as Zinsser Sealcoat on it. That would help keep the white pigment from penetrating into the wood so it would strip easier. For a vanity which is exposed to water a lot I would also recommend you use an oil based enamel. It will wear better than latex.
 

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I would probably paint inside and out, but I understand your point. I would at least do as you said and varnish inside also....just my opinion
 

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I would paint both sides.

Just look on craigslist under the furniture section and you will see nobody has a clue what quality furniture is, so even if you clear coat the whole thing, most everyone is going to think it's cheap pine anyway. Likewise, if you made it out of solid walnut, a lot of people are going to go "oh that's beautiful, what did you stain it with?"

I say just do it uniformly white and know that it's longevity will be the testament to its quality of craftsmanship and materials.
 

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Probably a little late but I disagree. Clear finishing the inside of a cabinet like you are thinking is/was very common in shaker furniture. They did it for two reasons: varnish is easier to keep clean inside the cabinet, and they were showing off in their subdued way. Saving some of the beauty just for the user.

The key is making the transition from paint to varnish very crisp. It doesn't have to look cheap, I recently delivered a $7K china cabinet with french blue milk paint outside, shellac finish inside. It turned out great. And don't worry about the people that don't know furniture, it's not for them.
 

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Probably a little late but I disagree. Clear finishing the inside of a cabinet like you are thinking is/was very common in shaker furniture. They did it for two reasons: varnish is easier to keep clean inside the cabinet, and they were showing off in their subdued way. Saving some of the beauty just for the user.

The key is making the transition from paint to varnish very crisp. It doesn't have to look cheap, I recently delivered a $7K china cabinet with french blue milk paint outside, shellac finish inside. It turned out great. And don't worry about the people that don't know furniture, it's not for them.

What he said^^^^^.if you have trouble keeping the lines crisp, paint the inside of the doors only, and leave the cabinet clear. Note the comment about shellac, if you change your mind make sure the interior finish is one that won't smell forever (nothing oil based) like shellac, waterborne, or lacquer.
 

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Probably a little late but I disagree. Clear finishing the inside of a cabinet like you are thinking is/was very common in shaker furniture. They did it for two reasons: varnish is easier to keep clean inside the cabinet, and they were showing off in their subdued way. Saving some of the beauty just for the user.

The key is making the transition from paint to varnish very crisp. It doesn't have to look cheap, I recently delivered a $7K china cabinet with french blue milk paint outside, shellac finish inside. It turned out great. And don't worry about the people that don't know furniture, it's not for them.
+2. :yes: It's personal taste, but I've done it both ways. Having the interior show wood, looks very nice IMO. Actually, showing wood at all is nice. Anybody can slap paint all over furniture. Having a wood finish inside looks more custom and done that way on purpose.




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You are building the cabinet for your personal use, as both methods are acceptable finish it the way you prefer to look at it for the next several years. Friends don't snoop through friends bathroom cabinets so most people will only see the outside anyway.
 

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I'm going with the doors all white and the inside (maple ply) varnished. It will be easier to keep clean, well, easier than white.
 

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Just a caution: oil based varnish is very slow to cure completely....that process means it outgasses for a very long time. In a small enclosed area, the odor may be noticeable for months. Consider finishing the interior with shellac, lacquer, or a waterborne finish to avoid the smell.
 

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+2. :yes: It's personal taste, but I've done it both ways. Having the interior show wood, looks very nice IMO. Actually, showing wood at all is nice. Anybody can slap paint all over furniture. Having a wood finish inside looks more custom and done that way on purpose.






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\Completely agree.

George
 

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I'm ready to finish the vanity. The faceplate and doors/drawers are made of maple. I guess it's an ok grain. It certainly paint grade whatever that means, so I plan on painting it white (satin). But seeing that its real wood (and hardwood at that haha) it pains me just a little. So my question to anyone out there, does it make any sense to leave the inner doors and inside of the vanity natural wood and varnish the inside so it implies that it is not cheap crap fake particale glue board? I'm definately painting the outside wood, and white. but not sure of the inside.



Almost all of the paint grade cabinets I make are cleared on the inside and painted on the outside. Paint the back of the doors.
 
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