Are Two Pack Kitchen Cabinets Worth the Cost?

Two pack kitchen cabinetry has been increasingly popular over the years, offering a durable and highly customisable finish for the home. With a higher price tag in comparison to laminate and vinyl wrap kitchens though, one does wonder if two pack cabinets really are worth the cost. Well, that all depends on what is most important to you in your kitchen design or renovation project!

What is Two Pack?

Two pack is a type finish that is used for cabinetry. It is essentially a painted cabinet however, the paint is applied in the same labour intensive fashion as one would apply paint to a car for example; the paint is sprayed on to achieve a smooth and even finish. A hardener is also combined with the paint to create a hardened enamel-like finish on the cabinetry making it super resistant to chipping, fading and wearing over time. This two part solution can be customised to suit your own personal colour preferences as well as your preferred sheen level, allowing for high gloss options, sleek matte looks and everything in between.

What is the difference between painted cabinetry and two pack cabinets?

A common cause for confusion when fishing for custom cabinetry quotes, standard painted cabinets are of course different to two pack finished cabinets and will therefore cost much less. When you are asking your Cabinet Maker, Builder or Designer for painted cabinets, it is important to specify which option you prefer as the cost difference between these two options is quite dramatic!

A standard painted kitchen cabinet will consist of an MDF board that is simply painted with a brush (or paint spray gun) using traditional paint (minus the hardener!), making for a cost effective yet still beautiful finish in the home. Two pack painted cabinets on the other hand are applied in a considerably different fashion (as mentioned above, the process is very similar to applying paint to a car!) where certain additives are included with the paint to create a super-hard enamel-like finish on the cabinets. Aside from the obvious material costs, there is also a higher labour cost involved when it comes to creating two pack finished cabinetry; each cupboard or drawer face must be carefully arranged and painted in a highly controlled environment in order to ensure there are no contaminants in the paint, followed by a significant drying process in order to ensure a smooth and even finish.

What quality can I expect from a Two Pack finish?

A good quality two pack finish will not show any imperfections in the paintwork – It should be smooth and spot-free without any speckles, bumps or mottled reflections.

A bad quality job can often show up a textured surface (think orange peel textures!), drips in areas where the paint was sprayed on too thick, dust or dirt embedded in the paint or streaking in the paintwork. Any reflections in the paint work should show up quite clear in a quality job whereas a poor quality finish will show mottled, bumpy reflections.

It is important to note these differences early on in the project to ensure you are satisfied with the end result (before you’ve already spent all your money it!) A good Cabinet Maker will create a sample piece for you where you will be able to not only approve the colour choice and sheen level but also the actual quality of the job before going ahead. As mentioned above, the process of creating a two pack finished kitchen can be quite lengthy and labour intensive so these samples are not usually free; you can expect to pay around $50-$100 for a sample piece to be made up – A small price to pay for peace of mind in my opinion!

The Benefits of Two Pack Kitchen Cabinets

The Drawbacks of Two Pack Cabinets

So, is it worth it?

Well, that all depends on what’s most important to you! If the benefits listed above outweigh the drawbacks for you, then go for it! You’ll end up with a luxurious kitchen that is completely customisable when it comes to selecting colours, sheen levels, handles and door styles. If however, the price is of a concern as well as the potential for marking and fingerprints, perhaps vinyl wrap is a better match for you. Vinyl wrap will still allow you to choose a unique door style however, the colours and sheen levels are not customisable and a traditional handle will be needed as routered styles cannot be achieved with a vinyl.

Tossing up between two pack and other finishes for your new kitchen? Checkout our comparison guides for more information:

Continue the discussion in our Facebook Group: Home Design & Decorating 101!

Images: Pexels

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