I have been getting a number of questions around Acrylic versus Laminate finish, where to buy Acrylic Laminates in Bangalore and how to use them for Modular Kitchen & Wardrobe Shutter construction, hence thought of penning this down as a dedicated post.
Even before we get into a discussion on Acrylic versus Laminate Versus Paint its important to step back and understand what the discussion “really” is about. What I have understood from customer interactions is that when they say that they need an Acrylic finish what they really mean is that they are looking for a “Hi Gloss” Finish.
A Hi Gloss finish can ultimately be delivered via using acrylic, laminate, Duco Paint, UV Coating, PU Paint etc. etc. and, mind you, none of the above techniques are superior or inferior than the other. The usage of one over the other really depends on the application (Kitchen or the Wardrobe, or the Cot or somewhere else…), the design (whether the surface is plane or curved), the level of maintenance that the user can manage and finally the choice of colour and whether the specific colour that the customer desires is available in the chosen finish.
With that preamble let us now look at the characteristics and suitability of each finish
This is sold either as 1 mm sheet that can be stuck on top of MDF/ Ply or as readymade 18mm board, pre-laminated with the 1mm acrylic sheet. Modular vendors cut these boards to the required size, apply the edge bands in matching colour and deliver the finished shutter to end customers/ designers. The thing to note here is that both Acrylic sheets and Pre laminated acrylic boards available in Bangalore are direct imports, usually from China, and none of the regular brands in India (Greenply, Century, Euro etc.) produce these. Hence the sourcing and sale of acrylic based products is largely unorganized with really no standard pricing. You will hence find prices of the finished shutters ranging from 600 per sqft all the way to 1400psft in the market with little or no marked difference in the product.
That said, acrylic gives a great hi gloss finish especially when the shutters are factory made from pre-laminated boards. Pasting of acrylic sheets on board on site is not recommended as this leads to waviness due to non-uniformity of the surface of the board or of the layer of adhesive.
Application & Use
In terms of its application, acrylic can be used only for plane/ straight line applications such as Kitchen and Wardrobe shutters. It cannot be used for profiled shutters nor in other “non straight line” applications.
From a maintenance perspective like any other glossy surface Acrylic tends to catch finger marks as well as scratches. Its scratch resistance is however higher than that of regular Hi Gloss Laminate.
Colour Shade Availability
Acrylic is available in limited colours and the shade book of each vendor varies – hence it is quite an effort in case you are particular about the specific colour you want
2. Hi Gloss Laminates:
These are similar to regular laminates but with a Hi Gloss finish. They are available from all the standard laminate manufacturers in India, some of them offer two varieties – the standard range and the hi scratch resistant range. In addition, the colour option availability is fairly exhaustive.
Here again it is best to go for factory made shutters as waviness is a standard issue in all Hi Gloss surfaces. At the same time, on site pasting is possible with Hi Gloss Laminates as carpenters are conversant in its use. Care needs to be taken to apply a 4 mm MDF sheet on top of ply to minimize the waviness. Also in case of shutters made on site the shutter size should be limited to 4 feet as longer shutters may bend due to the difference in expansion coefficients of ply, mdf and the laminate sandwitched together.
Application & Use
Due to the relative ease of use, cost & availability Hi Gloss Laminates can be used in a variety of application from Kitchen Shutters, Wardrobe shutters to Wall Paneling etc. When using for making shutters take care to find the matching edge bands so that the edges can be seamless. Matching edge bands are NOT available for the entire range and personally that has been one of my biggest complaints with the laminate manufacturers.
Also, as with Acrylic, the use of Hi Gloss laminates is limited to plane/ straight line applications. Hi Gloss Laminates do catch finger marks as well as scratches like other hi gloss surfaces. The Hi Scratch resistance variety is preferable but it is available in limited colour shades
3. Duco Paint:
Duco is the most versatile method of achieving a hi gloss finish. It is the same paint that is used for painting cars and hence works great on angular, non straight line & curved surfaces. While Duco can be sprayed on well prepared & smoothened Plywood, it is easier done on plane MDF. Applicators hence insist on pasting a thin MDF sheet on Ply go get a smooth finish without having to do as much preparation. On the other hand, the “Glossiness” of Duco is lower than that of Acrylic or Hi Gloss Laminate. Duco also tends to crack up along the joints, it is hence best to minimize the number of joints in the furniture or hide them under the MDF packing or via a bit of smart design
Application & Use:
Due to its versatility Duco can be used for most applications including cots, book shelves, partitions, shutters and wall panels. However, Duco is not recommended in furniture & spaces that see hi traffic such as the Kitchen & Wardrobes. This is because even with a small hit or scratch the paint peels off and over time this results in an unkempt look.
Colour Shade Availability
Since Duco is a type of paint, it is available in almost infinite colours. You even get metallic shades that can be quite unique but need a fair amount of judgement – more around where NOT to use than where to.
That covers I guess, as always would welcome your comments, questions, suggestions & inputs
75 thoughts on “Acrylic Versus Hi Gloss Laminate Versus Duco– Which one to use for that perfect Hi Gloss finish for your Modular Kitchen, Wardrobe and other Furniture”
Do you recommend doing a deco for a bed ? What are the precaution to be taken care for edges?
Great post!! I was looking for Acrylic for my kitchen and was wondering why it is so uncommon to find acrylic sheets. Also your post clears the air about unknown brands in the market.
One query. Where can i find trellis in Bangalore? It is for external use, so should be able to withstand the elements. There is some imported stuff in the market but it is very expensive (about Rs 130 per sft), It seems on the higher side.
Thanks a lot for this wonderful blog.
I have a question about the metallic edge banding. I'm not able to find the metallic Chrome edge banding in Bangalore. Can you help me look at the right place. I'm presently getting a sliding wardrobe done and wish to have Chrome type edge
Is membrane also one of the candidates here. Please share when to use membrane.
Hi Gloss options are available in Membrane, however the finish of Acrylic & HG Laminate is better.
Hi Nandita… very nice article…
We have a acrylic kitchen… what would you suggest for the side panels and bottom part of top cabinates.. which are visible .. duco or acrylic sheet??
Visible Side panels have to match the Front Acrylic. The bottom or any wall facing side panels (Invisible panels) can be in regular Laminate
Chrome edge bands are fairly common. Any large Hardware store will be able to supply – you may try Masterpiece near Ragiguda Temple or at Razzle or Ranka Hardware on RV Road
Trellis is not very common in Bangalore, its best to get one made in steel or wood based on your specific need.
Yes you can do Duco on cots. Round off the edges to reduce the risk of edge chip off.
I was looking for Acrylic sheets for my kitchen Shutters. I've checked Prestige interio OpuLux Acryl Glass. What is your opinion about its quality. Is there any other brand you can suggest for the same?
This article is very useful. Your post really cleared my doubts and thanks for the info.
BTW, do you provide your service in Hyderabad ?
is it necessary to use calibrated plywood for acrylic. Can you suggest any good brand 19mm plywood for glueing acrylic on.
Almost all Acrylic vendors are importing the sheets, pasting them on a base (Ply, MDF etc) and selling as a finished product. There is really not much to compare across different vendors hence you may decide based just on the availability of the colour/ shade that you are looking for.
Look for ready made acrylic shutters. Pasting the sheets on a base (Ply/ MDF) onsite may be cumbersome and you might get waviness which will not look good.
I am currently restricted to Bangalore
One query.. what, in your opinion, is the best option to use on wardrobes shutters? Laminates, acrylic or pvc? And which can be easily done by carpenter too!
Thanks a ton for this blog as I was Keen to get acrylic sheet shutters for my wardrobes and my carpenter brought some pvc laminate catalog telling me that both are same and can be easily pasted onto the board, on site. My questions are answered in your blog. Thanks again
If a Carpenter has to do it then the least risky will be Laminate
Thanks a lot for your blog!!
I have a few doubts
(1) What are a few good brands that sell acrylic prelaminated on plywood 8×4 19mm?
(2) Can acrylic prelaminated boards be cut by the carpenter without damaging?
(3) Between (a) getting factory finished acrylic-on-ply shutters with edge banding and (b) getting acrylic prelaminated ply cut by carpenter with aluminium profile, what would you recommend?
As mentioned in the post there are no standard brands that sell acrylic pre-laminated boards. The market is dominated by small / mid sized factories – Marracoat and Prestige Interio are a couple that I am across but have not used them hence cannot comment on their quality. However readymade acrylic shutters are available from regular brands such as Indoline & Evershine.
Yes Acrylic pre-laminated boards can be cut by a carpenter, you will however face challenges in matching a factory finish – especially for the edge banding.
Factory made shutters are preferable any-day
Which one should I use for bathroom door inside.Our Carpenter is suggesting duco.Door outsides are in veneer. also can you give some idea on duco per sqft cost and veneer pu polish cost
Bathroom Door inside can be in Duco or Laminate.
PSFT cost for Duco vary anywhere between 90 – 250 per square foot based on workmanship. Similarly PU will vary between 200 – 300 psft.
I have to get a hydraulic bed done from my carpenter. Any recommendation for hardware for hydraulic lifts? Also are the slatted frame available readily in the market?
Do you any recommendation for WPC (wood plastic composite) brand for interior work in terrace. People are recommending WPC as it can withstand elements.
WPC would withstand the moisture better than Ply however it is likely to warp in the Sun.
WPC is still an unorganized market with a number of dealers selling imported/ Chinese products. I had come across a company called Alstone some time back that is selling WPC in India, Have however not used their product hence I cannot comment on their quality.
Ebco sells both the Hydraulic lifts for "under the bed" storage as well as a slotted frame. You may check with any of their dealers
Thanks. If not WPC then what is recommended for terrace work? I have to get something done which is open to elements
Thanks!! Ebco has the gas struts available but slotted frame is not available from them. It is available from haffle but extremely expensive. I am sure there are local manufacturers but can't seem to find it.
You can construct as shown here https://ebco.in/products/livsmart/bed-and-wardrobe-fittings-and-accessories/pro-lift-bed-fittings
Else you may get a frame fabricated in stainless light steel.
You may use BWP IS 710 Grade Marine ply with laminate. Also ensure to use waterproof adhesive (check this http://www.fevicoldesignideas.com/interiopediaproducts/details/13/fevicol-marine)
We want shaker style cabinets for our kitchen. Can it be done with plywood and laminate? if yes, how can edge banding for same be done. We want to do our home in a traditional look so donot want to use flat cabinets.
What is a Shaker style cabinet??
Hi Nandita, I came across your blog only yesterday and I like it as you have mentioned quite interesting things which are mostly new to me. I have bought a flat in Gurgaon and have started exploring the interior designers/carpenters to get the interiors done. Can you suggest how to package such things at first place, because each vendor has a different story for the same things and suggest different materials.
One suggested to use WPC in kitchen rather than using ply and also using Inox instead of Hettich. Is this a sign I should avoid such vendors or they are making sense?
Each vendor would recommend based on his experiences or based on the financial margin he/she makes using different materials/ brands. The right materials to use (as per me) and my opinion on some of the newer materials and brands in the market (like WPC & Enox) are available in the posts on this blog as well as the comments under each post – do spend some time going through these, especially the comments under the post at https://www.homedesignbangalore.com/2010/09/so-what-is-right-material-to-choose-for
Great blog Nandita!!
Need your suggestion on
-which material/brand would you suggest for shutter panel for my slider and other wardrobes in high gloss?
– I have choosed an option with some samples in acrylic finish from a showroom in gurgaon with samples of brand called oneskin and niemann? Any thoughts? Not sure if they are genuine or just tagged with stickers. Although finish looks good. Also not sure if these are prelaminated boards or boards with acrylic sheet pasted. Which is came to know the difference after reading your blog. Thanks
– any interior designers or wadrobes expert you suggest in gurgaon?
You may use any material, but ensure to keep the weight of the door minimum. Also go through the post below and the comments under it https://www.homedesignbangalore.com/2010/07/sliding-wardrobes-do-it-right-first. Ive used Niemann and it is fine to use, have not used oneskin hence cannot comment. Niemann is a pre-laminated board with the acrylic sheet pre pasted on HDF. The local vendors just cut the sheet into the shutter sizes you need and apply matching edge bands (which also Niemann supplies).
I would not know any designers in Gurgaon and am unable to help
Thanks for the wonderful information.
How is acrylic compared to Lacquered (or back painted) Glass for kitchen shutters? What do you recommend? Also where can we buy Niemann / Ornare Acrylic shutters or boards in Bangalore? TIA
Laquered glass shutters are not recommended for the kitchen. For hi gloss finish in the kitchen Acrylic, Hi Gloss Laminate or YV Coated Laminate are your best options.
Niemann shutters are available in Bangalore. you may check with any of the modular vendors
I am from Mumbai and you wound reommended 4 mm back painted glass shutters in profile fitting in kitchen? Should go for pre laninsted acrylic?
Glass shutters in the Kitchen will need a fair amount of maintenance. If you can maintain then go for it
Planning to do Wardobes & Kitchen Cabinets with 16mm, Marine Plywood and pasted on with Rehau’s “Rauvisio Brilliant” line of Acrylic 0.8mm sheets and “Rauvisio Crystal” line of 2mm sheets (latter for Sliding Doors for Wardobe in one Bedroom and Kitchen Cabinets)
I read in one of the posts that poor pasting leads to waviness in Acrylic sheets. But a good workman could deliver an excellent finish, will he not ?
Rehau offers pre-laminated boards (imported from Germany with an MDF-substrate) – which raises the hackles of Interior Designers that MDFs are a bane for Indian Homes
Therefore, will you recommend Rehau’s pre-laminated boards for this application or should I go with the sheets ?
Place : Chennai
Pre lam boards will be a better option. MDF base for shutters is fine as the shutters do not carry the entire weight of the cabinet, just their own.
hi Abdul, did you go ahead with rehau crystal laminate for kitchen. how was it implemented? I am looking for the same option for my kitchen not not finding vendors who wud make the shutters with it. did you get it done thru carpenters or factory?
You could also directly get in touch with Rehau Experience center in Bangalore…you will find it on Google
Can you please comment on 2 mm acrylic sheets? Can it be applied on ply/block board directly (without 4 mm MDF as you have mentioned)? Will it lead to waviness?
I would recommend using an MDF base for acrylic as that is smoother and the chances of error are minimal. If you have to use ply then you may go with calibrated ply with a regular 1 mm acrylic.
Hi Nandita, Can you comment on the following:
which one is better PU paint or Duco? and cost wise which one is expensive acrylic or duco? I don’t like the black edges when done with laminate. So I am planning to do my wardrobe in duco… would that be a good idea? please suggest.
Tanmoy, Please refer the article that I just published, that should answer your question in detail
Thanks for valuable article.
Can you pls guide me can we go for duco paint on TV unit also what core material can be used then?
Can duco paint be done on site after fixing wardrobe on place or it should be done in factory ?
You can use Duco paint for the TV unit, however minimize any moving shutters (Swing shutters or Drawers) as Duco gets chipped easily. Core material can be calibrated ply or plywood with a thin layer of MDF.
Duco can be done on site but will need a good hand. If done in the factory the design will need to be planned well so that the joins are hidden or minimized.
Nice article Nandita ! I have gone through all the questions and your responses it will give good idea for the beginners and even experienced people about materials where and why to use.
Thanks once again and keep posting 🙏.
Hello Miss Nandita,
I’m very much confused to decide whether I shall go for deco paint or acrylic factory finish for a tv unit with draws (complete white colour) at the bottom n designed with rafters on top,beside n below the tv Unit.I want a very high glossy,premium n durable look for the entire tv unit as mentioned.Im getting to hear different versions from everyone.Trust me,I have decided to jus go by ur word.Kindly advice at the earliest,eagerly waiting for ur reply.Thank you.Regards.————Dr.Singh
Sorry for the delay in responding.
Premium + Durable + Hi Gloss = Acrylic.
Duco will be Premium + Hi Gloss but not durable
That said make sure you use good quality and pre pasted acrylic boards with hi quality and matching edge bands for the work
Hi nandita ,
very much informative & helpful , thanks for the effort on sharing details.
Do you think any factories who press acrylic on a base or a pre laminated acrylic boards can achieve zero waves or They can be achieved same as lacqour coat glass by looks , i have been connecting to many shop guys but they all says 80% result nly can be achieved.
Can you guide me to know about those factories in bangalore where we can press acrylic sheets on plywood to achieve best less waves result ?
Unable to view your reply, so posted again, pls do help on this doubt…
Thanks in advance
If you are looking for Acrylic finish please look for vendors who supply pre pasted and finished shutters. Do not try and get the acrylic pasted on ply or MDF on your own in a factory as that will never give you a finish that’s good enough
Wont duco paint chip if used inside the bathroom door
Yes it would. You can have a wooden beading on the edges and paint inside it if you want to use Duco
Hi Nandita, I have laminate sliding doors for the wardrobe currently. I want to get a change in the color of those. What would be an option for it? Can I get Duco paint on top of it?
Duco will not stick on Laminate. You can try putting paper lam or wall paper on the shutters, However it will not last very long. The only long term option would be to change the shutter – any other work around would cost almost the same
I have heard acrylic should not be used in kitchen as it creates static energy in bangalore weather.
duco paint more expensive than hi gloss laminate. Myth or true ?
There is no such issue with Acrylic, go ahead if you like the finish.
Duco is more expensive than HGL, however it is a low touch surface – that means it should not be used in hi touch areas such as the kitchen
A wonderful article.
My kitchen cabinets are play with laminate on top, I am planning to change its colors.
Changing the laminate is costing nearly 70K, and putting wallpaper/stickering is not suggested as it is high water/fire/heat contact area.
Any other suggestions which you think, I am looking for a solution for next 6 months-1 year..post which I am planning to redo the kitchen completely.
If you are looking for a temp solution for 6 months then I would suggest just going with a wallpaper of your liking. You can also explore paperlam (https://paperlam.in/)
What are the options to change laminate on kitchen cabinets? Can a new laminate be pasted on the existing one? Will it cause any issue? Other option seems to be Duco, but per your article above, it doesn’t seem to be durable for Kitchen. What are your suggestions for changing laminate colour of kitchen cabinets?
Changing the laminate will cost nearly as much as buying new shutters. In addition, you will never be able to get a good fit and finish. Best would be to go for new shutters on top of the existing carcass.
If it is a temporary fix you are looking for to last a month or 2 then PaperLam can also be an option – but remember, for Kitchen Shutters it will not last very long
Hi mam, I am looking for vanity doors under the wash basin in bathrooms, so which materials do you suggest.
One more question mam
Can we install full mirror on sliding wardrobe of 7ft height made of block board.
My carpenter is saying the door will bend as it cannot withstand mirror wieght.
Kindly suggest mam
Avoid putting the vanity unit under the wash basin, no matter what you use it will start giving issues in a couple of years due to the constant water seepage. If you have to – then use BWP (IS 710) grade ply with Laminate stuck using waterproof adhesive.
Firstly thanks for the great article to minimize the confusion between acrylic and duco..
I want your suggestion for acrylic in case of cupboard how much thick sheet we should use as here Kamblin and Euro is available but in case of kamblin we are getting only 0.8 thickness. I mean for wardrobes shutters ,Lcd panels ;how much thickness is best?
First make sure that you are buying Pre Pasted board and NOT pasting the acrylic locally as that will never get you a good finish.
Coming to your question – while thicker acrylic is considered better there are other things that are also important like the quality of the finish, flatness of the sheet, the base material used & colour availability as per your theme. 0.8 versus 1 mm hence is a minor consideration as compared to the other aspects and both should be fine provided they meets the other requirements
Hi! Are teak ply shutters
suitable for kitchen ?
Just make sure that the Ply is ISI Marked and IS 710 BWP Grade or at least IS 303 BWR Grade
Hello mam could you please help me out to choose materials or explain me is that okay to go ahead with below options –
As per our architect suggestion
– Kitchen — Acrylic glossy cupboards
– Master bedroom — Lacquered glass wardrobe
– Guest bedroom — Acrylic glossy wardrobe
– 3rd bedroom —- Tinted glass wardrobe
– TV unit wall paneling — Plywood with duco paint
& Console area wall
On the face of it no selection of materials is good or bad. Material selection needs to be done based on the lifestyle and lifestage of the family using the home. For example if you have small kids then I would not recommend using glass for the Wardrobe. If your architect has done that homework of understanding you as a family and then suggested the finishes then you should be good to go.