What is the KCMA, and Why Should You Care?
by Krista York
If you’re interested in getting your kitchen cabinets painted, you may have seen or heard a phrase floating around. It sounds something like “Are your kitchen cabinets KCMA certificated?”
Chances are you don’t even know. In fact, you don’t even know what that means, or what the KCMA is. Well, today we are going to demystify this for you. Let’s explore exactly what the KCMA is and why their certification matters for your kitchen cabinets.
What is the KCMA?
The Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association (KCMA) is a non-profit organization whose sole purpose is to set quality standards for kitchen cabinets. They also advocate for the industry at large. They aren’t a regulatory body, but having their backing can go a long way in giving a product legitimacy over the competition.
For a product to be KCMA certified it means the product has been tested to ensure a high level of quality and durability. There are two certifications that cabinets must meet.
The first certification is the KCMA Quality Certification. This means that a product has successfully completed a rigorous battery of tests simulating years of typical household use.
There are numerous quality assurance tests cabinets go through for KCMA approval. However, we are mostly concerned with the finish tests. The KCMA labs will put several years’ worth of stress on cabinet finishes to see how well they hold up. Some of the tests include:
- Being set in a hotbox at 120 degrees Fahrenheit for 24 hours.
- Cycling through the hotbox and a coldbox set to -5 degrees Fahrenheit five times, sitting in each for one hour at a time.
- Subjecting the doors, front frames, drawer fronts, and end panels to substances such as vinegar, lemon/orange/grape juice, and ketchup.
The substances sit for 24 hours, and the cabinets must not show “appreciable discoloration, stain or whitening that will not disperse with ordinary polishing and no indication of blistering, checks or other film failure…” according to the KCMA website. That’s especially important if you plan on painting your cabinets white. It also shows that KCMA-approved finishes can be cleaned with traditional household cleaners.
The second certification is an Environmental Stewardship Program. This program takes a holistic approach to manufacturing, examining the process from growth and harvesting of raw materials to manufacturing the end product. It is the first and only program of its kind.
What Do They Say About Kem Aqua Plus?
So, now you may be wondering what cabinet paint you should use. The last thing you want to do is purchase a product that is harmful or is not going to stand the test of time.
That’s why you want a product like Kem Aqua from Sherwin Williams, which meets the KCMA standards while exceeding project expectations. You can find the environmental sheet from Sherwin Williams here.
If you don’t want to follow the link, here’s the rundown on Kem Aqua:
• VOC as packaged <2.08 lb/gal, 250g/L
• Very good resistance to yellowing
• Excellent hardness, block resistance and print resistance
• Excellent mar resistance
• Good flow and leveling
• Better resistance to microfoaming than other latex coatings
• Good flexibility – passes 20 KCMA Cold Check cycles. Air Quality Data
• Non-photochemically reactive
• Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) Theoretical as packaged, less water and exempt solvents <2.08 lb/gal, 250 g/L
• Volatile Hazardous Air Pollutants (VHAPS) as packaged, no reportable VHAPS
Having a KCMA-certified product on your cabinets increases the likelihood that the finish will last for years. That’s why we trust Sherwin Williams Kem Aqua Plus, and you should too.
If you’re ready for a quote on kitchen cabinets, fill out the form below and we will reach out to you for a free estimate.