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I am planning to remodel my kitchen come spring time. Tear out a wall, wall up a window, and extend the kitchen. I plan on doing all the work myself, including building the cabinets. The wife wants contemporary, European style frameless cabinets. My big question is on the material to use. I don't plan on using solid wood. They are going to have an enamel finish. (my wife insists on a satin as opposed to a higher gloss finish, but that's another story) I had planned on using 3/4" mdf, but the more I look the more I hear that plywood is so much better. My question is can a quality cabinet be built with mdf? Or am I better off just going with plywood?
 

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I always build my Euro kitchens with MDF. You need straight, and that hasn't been plywood for about a decade. Usually it is a stained kitchen for me, not painted. I use plywood for the backs because it is lighter and putting screws in it works much better.
 

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I can't say I had ever even considered staining an option with mdf. I thought the waxy coating wouldn't play well with a stain.
 

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Veneered MDF.



 

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Duh. I still have my head stuck inside the box. My wife will be guiding most of the asthetic aspects of this project, and she is dead set on a very modern look. Full overlay, European style cabinets. I was mainly concerned about the use of mdf. Sorry if this is a stupid question, but are there different grades of mdf? Like is there a better quality that I could get as opposed to what Lowes or home Depot might carry?
 

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Of course. There are many grades of MDF. You might want to look into the ultra light. I build all my MDF cabinets with dowels because it really doesn't like screws, nails or staples. Face nailing/screwing is fine, it's the edge that will give you problems.

I made a special jig to do the doweling.

http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f27/evolving-build-euro-cabinet-cherry-kitchen-37710/

I used it to build the cherry Euro kitchen show above
 

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Wow. You know what, I do love looking different designs of kitchen cabinets because they are good in my eyes. I love them specially when they good in kitchen :) Thank you so much for posting :)
 

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I can't say I had ever even considered staining an option with mdf. I thought the waxy coating wouldn't play well with a stain.
I know this thread is a few months old, but maybe it isn't too late. MDF is a good substrate to paint, but not to stain. It can be veneered and then stained. If you choose plywood, a smooth faced plywood, like Maple or Birch can be painted.

You could just use melamine for the cabinets, and just edgeband the leading edges, and sand the finished ends for painting. Or add a veneer or panel to the finished ends to be painted. Melamine wil offer a maintenance free interior that's easy to keep clean...needs no finishing.





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I made my kitchen countertops out of MDF. Clear coated it. Looks sort of leatherish.
 
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