If you’re getting ready to refinish kitchen cabinets, you may be worried about indoor air pollution. Traditional refinishing involves sanding down the wood and applying a solvent-based finish. This produces wood dust and toxic fumes, both of which can trigger short-term illness or increase your risk of chronic health conditions.
But thanks to modern refinishing methods, it’s now possible to refinish cabinets without sanding or solvent-based finishes. With N-Hance® cabinet refinishing services, you don’t need to worry about wood dust, lingering fumes, or unpleasant odors.
Below, we’ll take a look at why that’s such a big deal. After that, we’ll detail how we refinish kitchen cabinets without dust or fumes.
The Air Pollution Risks of Traditional Refinishing
When you refinish kitchen cabinets the traditional way, you need to sand down the previous finish. In some cases, you’re only sanding the finish itself. In other cases, such as when you’re restaining your cabinets, you need to sand down to the underlying wood.
As you sand your cabinets, you’ll generate fine particles of wood dust. These particles become airborne easily, finding their way onto nearby surfaces, settling in cracks and crevices. Even if you vacuum thoroughly after sanding, you can find wood dust months later in unexpected places. Worse yet, if you don’t clean all of the wood dust off of your cabinets, the new layer of finish will be compromised.
But most concerning of all is the health risks of airborne wood dust. Studies have shown that regularly inhaling wood dust can trigger acute respiratory illness, aggravate existing conditions, and increase a person’s risk of chronic respiratory disease.
These risks are even worse when wood dust contains hazardous chemicals. When you refinish kitchen cabinets, you’re sanding away the previous layer of finish. Traditional varnishes and lacquers contain a number of toxic ingredients, which compound the health risks of wood dust.
If you refinish kitchen cabinets with a traditional varnish or lacquer, you need to worry about the fumes produced by these products. Varnishes and lacquers contain chemical solvents, which emit high levels of toxic fumes known as volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
Acute, short-term exposure to VOCs can trigger headaches, nausea, dizziness, and trouble breathing. When inhaled, many VOCs can also increase a person’s risk of cancer or inflict permanent liver, kidney, and central nervous system damage.
Typically, VOCs occur at higher levels indoors, with indoor air containing 2 to 5 times as many VOCs as outdoor air. But when products like varnish or lacquer get used indoors, VOC levels can be hundreds of times higher than outdoor air. Worse yet, these elevated levels can persist for several days after use.
Many traditional varnishes and lacquers require 3 to 4 days of cure time. During this time, the varnish or lacquer will continuously emit VOCs into the air. If you refinish kitchen cabinets with one of these products, you may notice lingering chemical odors for several days after the completion of your project. These odors are typically a telltale sign of toxic fumes, putting you and your family at serious risk.
A Better Way to Refinish Kitchen Cabinets
If you want to refinish kitchen cabinets without having to worry about wood dust or toxic fumes, that’s a lot easier than you might think. Many traditional refinishers still rely on sanding and solvent-based finishes. But there are some refinishing companies — like N-Hance — that produce equally high-quality results without using these techniques.
With N-Hance, you can refinish kitchen cabinets without any of the wood dust produced by traditional refinishing. Rather than sand your cabinets, we prep your cabinets using a liquid abrasion technique. That way, you don’t need to worry about airborne wood dust particles.
We also eliminate the toxic fumes and unpleasant odors that many people associate with cabinet refinishing services. When we refinish kitchen cabinets, we use a water-based polyurethane finish. Unlike solvent-based varnishes and lacquers, water-based finishes emit low levels of VOCs. This makes them a much more eco-friendly and family-friendly choice.
We cure this finish with our Lightspeed® instant-cure system. Lightspeed® ensures that your cabinets are fully cured as soon as your project is finished. This way, you don’t need to wait 3 to 4 days after refinishing to use your cabinets. Also, you won’t need to worry about odors produced by the curing process.
Want to refinish kitchen cabinets without wood dust, toxic fumes, or chemical odors? Call (855) 642-6230 today to get a FREE refinishing estimate from your local N-Hance!