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Senior Estimator
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anyone with N-Hance refinishing experience-

I just had my Merillat oak cabinets refinished with the N-Hance system. The subcontractor used a cherry colored tint to give the cabinets a darker finish.

My questions concerning the N-Hance process and expected result are as follows. 1) How long after the process should I wait until I can touch the cabinets? 2) How durable will the finish be after it has dried? 3) What texture to the finish should I expect? 4) What is the N-Hance finish life expectancy?

My sub started the project last Thursday the 26th. His crew spent the day taping and removing doors and draws. On Friday the 27th they applied the N-Hance process. They completed the work by that afternoon.

I have been very careful around the cabinets and the new finish. However, on Sunday evening the 29th, I noticed a “flake” on one of the doors. When I touched it lightly a larger peel came off. This caused me concern to such a point that I took one of the draws out and scraped my finger nail over the back side of the drawer. The finish peeled off with very little effort.

I contacted the installer and he came out Monday the 30th. I showed him the peeling and he said that the cabinets have not yet “cured” and the peeling should be expected until the finish cures. He further told me that I can expect the finish to take up to 30 days to reach final hardness. He refinished the peels with a brush (which does not reproduce the same finish quality as spraying).

Over-all the subcontractor had a very dismissive attitude towards my concerns of the finish and how it will hold up to years of use. I’m not even one week into the N-Hance finish and I’m concerned that I may need find another solution to changing the finish on the cabinets. Or replacing them entirely, which was my point for using the N-Hance system.

If anyone can give me insight as to why you believe my finish is reacting as I have described. And most importantly, what I need to do to be sure the finish stays permanent.

Thanks,

Ernie D. Stefely
 

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Dan-Liquid Art Design
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53 Posts
The all-in-one products like this one, or like Minwax's polyshades seem to be the same. The durability leaves a lot to be desired. Prestige is right though. 'Curing' aside, there shouldn't be bonding issues. Perhaps it wasn't prepped right. And maybe some extra topcoats will fortify the durability.
Then again, N-hance is a Home Depot company so it has to be good.! :)
 

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Senior Estimator
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
N-Hance continued delaminating

My Denver installer has called me to give me an explanation for the delaminating. However, I have yet to hear from the manufacture.


LAD from Chicago had this feedback:
“The all-in-one products like this one, or like Minwax's polyshades seem to be the same. The durability leaves a lot to be desired. Prestige is right though. 'Curing' aside, there shouldn't be bonding issues. Perhaps it wasn't prepped right. And maybe some extra topcoats will fortify the durability.
Then again, N-hance is a Home Depot company so it has to be good.!”


My Denver installer suggested that the cabinets in the bathroom may have had a “residue” on them which inhibits the curing process. He still insists that additional cure time (30 days) is needed. He suggested that because the cabinets are in the bathroom, the wood surface is some how different than the cabinets in the other rooms, (which I have yet to test for peeling.)

He mentioned that his guys doing the installation needed to do additional “sanding disk” work to remove the residue. I reviewed the N-Hance web page and found terms like “sanding is now a thing of the past.” And “Deep clean the floor surface. Hand clean cabinet surfaces.”

I admit, I should have done this research before buying the N-Hance product. However, now I’m thoroughly confused by how the N-Hance finish is to be installed. The installer says more sanding disk work was needed, the web site say no sanding, but hand clean. Feedback from contractors around the U.S. say the prep was done incorrectly.

I’m disappointed in the N-Hance Utah office and its ability to mitigate this problem. The Denver office is back-peddling as to how the problem will resolve itself. All while I’m in my house looking at open cabinets and draws waiting to touch them, in fear the result will be continued delaminating.
 

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Particulate Filter
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4,430 Posts
The coating failed. Make the sub come back, sand it off and start over. They probably didn't do any sanding in the first place and that is why there is no adhesion.

You don't use pledge around your house do you?
 

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Senior Estimator
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the insight

You are correct with the sanding and preping issue. We don't use Pledge. However, the contractor was very quick to prepare the surface and then coat it. I'm in contact with the material provider (NHance) and the contractor who installed it. The contractor will be back on-site next week. I'll post his response and solution to the problem.

Thanks.
 

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Delamination and Flaking of Nhance wood renewal

This topic is a bit old at this point but without seeing it, I am about 100% sure that you are dealing with a prepping issue and possibly a material issue as well.

Nhance is a "Get rich quick type of scheme". It's less expensive than hiring a professional refinisher and there is a reason for it. I am not an expert on the products, process, or company so from what I can find here is what it looks like they are doing. First they don't sand your cabinet surfaces which takes more time, labor, prep, etc. Second, it appears to be tints mixed into the clear coat. Let me go into detail a bit.

1.) They should have first degreased all surfaces with a strong degreaser. This can range from Acetone to TSP. Most likely they did this or at least we would hope.
2.) They should have physically sanded all surfaces after degreasing them. Let me make this very clear to all who may read this and hopefully it will save you or a friend thousands of dollars. Nhance does their refinishing faster than others because they apply a no-sand chemical to the surfaces. This is a harsh chemical that basically eats away at the surface to create a more three dimensional surface to gain mechanical adhesion between the paint coating and surface of cabinets. Let me make this clear to everyone out there, I have done a lot of research and asking around from professionals all across the the U.S. and they all sand with sand paper. I hate it myself and sanding is the worst part of any job but it is probably the single most important step you can take in the recoating process.

With no-sanding chemicals, there is no way to know where you stand with the chemical doing it's job. A chemical on a Lacquer will react very differently compared to a conversion varnish, polyurethane, pre-cat lacquer, latex, oil, and the list goes on and on. Do they know what clear coating is on your cabinets? When you sand with sand paper you accomplish two things;
A.) You know where you stand by looking at the scratch marks and sheen change. Usually shiny sheen changed to a flat dull finish when sanded. If you use a 180 grit or 220 grit you know where you stand.
B.) Equally important, a no-sand solution will not level your existing cabinet surface. Meaning it will not smooth out dings, previous dust in the surface paint, etc. So if you want a perfectly smooth factory finish, don't use a no-sand type product. These products have a place for a small DIY project but not your kitchen cabinets.

3.) I have looked into NHance to see what the product coating is that they use. I believe they say it's a proprietary coating. I can promise you that it's nothing special and in fact I would put my money on it being either a Conversion Varnish, Pre-catalyzed Lacquer, or Polyurethane. Most likely a polyurethane. All have different drying times and curing times. All are durable but not equally durable. Cabinet Manufacturers usually use conversion varnishes and Pre-cat Lacquers for the record. If you want to learn more about kitchen cabinet finishes take a look at www.KCMA.org which is the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturing Association. To be a member, they have guidelines as to the correct process in cabinet finishing for professionals and manufacturers.

I would like to get the input from other professionals on the NHance topic. I shutter to think of the problems their process could cause down the road. For anyone thinking about refinishing their cabinets or wood work of any kind, ask the contractor to spell out the steps they will take in the painting, staining process.

They probably are correct about the 30 days to cure. Many paints are like that so they may have been honest with you. The real question is how the Nhance product is holding up at this point since the original posts was written in 2010. Would love to hear a follow up.

Hope this helps someone.
 

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Senior Estimator
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for your reply. I contacted the francise owner, he came out and inspected the product. After some thought on his part, he refunded the complete invoice. I later hired a professional refinisher. After complete sanding, prep and 2 coats of oil based paint, the cabinets look great and hold up to almost anything. Many thanks to the many craftsman out their doing what they do best - quality work.
 

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Painting Contractor
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Ernie.Stefely said:
Thanks for your reply. I contacted the francise owner, he came out and inspected the product. After some thought on his part, he refunded the complete invoice. I later hired a professional refinisher. After complete sanding, prep and 2 coats of oil based paint, the cabinets look great and hold up to almost anything. Many thanks to the many craftsman out their doing what they do best - quality work.
Glad it all worked out.
 
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