Painting Kitchen Cabinets

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With the constant changes in the interior decorating trends, those stained cabinets that were once in style are not so trendy anymore. Painting your stained kitchen cabinets can revive your dated cabinets, and with over 3500 colours to choose from, the possibilities are endless.

The initial thought homeowners have when they don’t like their cabinets anymore is to have them replaced. This option is ideal if the kitchen cupboards are in rough shape or if the current layout of the kitchen doesn’t fit your lifestyle anymore. 

However, if there’s little to no damage and the kitchen is still functional, there is another alternative.  Painting your kitchen cabinets can be a smart, cost-effective alternative that many people are not aware of.

With the latest advancements in technology within the paint industry, manufacturers like Benjamin Moore have developed a line of hybrid paints that can be used on cabinets and furniture. With low volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and low odour, these products are durable and can safely be applied inside an occupied residential home.

Cost to paint kitchen cabinets

Professionally painting your kitchen cabinets can be a cost-effective way to get a brand new kitchen look. While a custom new set of kitchen cabinets can cost around $15,000 for an average-size kitchen, having them painted will typically cost between 25% to 35% of the price of a new kitchen. Not to mention saving yourself the hassle of living in a construction zone for a few months and having to eat out all the time.

Our price to paint an average size set of kitchen cabinets starts at $3500+HST.

Factors that can influence the price of refinishing kitchen cabinets:

  • Type of wood
  • Size of the doors
  • Kitchen Islands
  • Glass doors
  • Wine Racks
  • Crown moulding
  • Raised side panels
  • Corbels
  • Replacing handles that don’t match the old holes
  • Location of the house

Will the paint last?

There are a lot of painting contractors out there that claim they can paint cabinets. The fact is that the majority don’t have the knowledge, patience or the skills to paint them properly. 

When the job is done right, and all the necessary steps are followed, painted cabinets can last a very long time. We spray-paint the doors and drawers in our shop that is specifically designed for cabinet painting.

For the cabinet frames and sides that remain in the house, we offer the option to either get a brush and roll fine-finish or have them spray painted for a factory finish look. The product we use for the topcoat is both strong and durable and will stand up to everyday wear and tear. 

How long will it take to paint my cabinets?

The process of painting kitchen cabinets is meticulous and time-consuming. We complete an average kitchen in about 6 to 10 business days. It takes up to 30 days for the paint to fully cure and achieve its proprieties, and during this period you will have to be extra careful around the cabinets.

Warranty and Free Touch-Ups 

We offer a LIFETIME warranty on all our painted cabinets along with a free touch-up program for as long as the customer lives in the house.

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Painting Kitchen Cabinets Step by Step

Painting kitchen cabinets is a meticulous process, and it requires a lot of patience, knowledge and skill. From removing and labelling all the doors, drawers and hardware, cleaning, caulking, gluing, patching, sanding, and finalizing the process with a fine-finish spray painting technique, it is not a job for the faint of heart.

1. Cleaning

With all the cooking taking place around your cabinets, a lot of grease, food residue and oils from your hands can be found on the doors, drawers and the frames. The primer will only adhere to a clean surface free from any of the above elements. We use a strong degreaser called Krud Kutter to scrub all the cabinets. We rinse everything with clean water and dry all the surfaces with microfiber cloths.

2. Patching and Sanding 

Once everything is clean, we shine a bright light onto the cabinets and look for any holes, cracks and any imperfections. We glue any joints that are loose and use a strong compound mixture like Bondo to fill all the flaws. We repeat this process after we prime all the surfaces to make sure we didn’t miss anything. 

We then scuff sand all the surfaces of the cabinets to break the finish and create a tooth for the primer to adhere to. We use top of the line Festool and Surfprep sanders with abrasive foam pads that mould to any contour and design. We couple them with dust extractors with HEPA filters to ensure a dust-free environment at all times.

Even though we’re using dust extractors, there is still a small amount of dust remaining inside the cracks. To ensure a flawless finish, we vacuum all the doors and drawers after sanding. Post vacuuming, we are using damp clean microfiber cloths to wipe down all the surfaces and make sure all the dust is gone. We complete the cleaning process by drying off the surfaces with a dry microfiber cloth. 

3. Caulking 

When painting stained kitchen cabinets to a solid colour (especially white), all the open seams are going to stand out like an eyesore. Before we prime, we use a high-quality paintable caulk to fill in all the gaps in the frames, crown mouldings and the sides of the cabinets where it meets the walls. We do not caulk the seams in the doors or drawers as most of them are built with center panels that are designed to float in the stiles and rails. The center panels can shrink and swell with extreme changes in temperature or humidity and can cause the caulking to crack.

4.Priming

There are a lot of different primers for different applications and using the right kind for the job at hand is imperative. We use a bonding primer from Benjamin Moore called “Stix,” and it’s bonding properties are impressive. We have painted glass, mirrors and tiles with this primer and works like a charm every time.

As amazing as the Stix primer is, it has one drawback: it does not have stain-blocking capabilities. Some woods like pine, cedar and oak might have knots and tannins that can bleed through the primer and the topcoat, leaving a yellowish-brown stain on the surface.

The best way to make the bleeding through stops and never comes back is to use shellac or oil base stain-blocking primers. Our go-to primers for this step are Zinsser Bin Shellac Primer/Sealer and Zinser Cover Stain Oil Base Primer Sealer.

When working with grainy and bleeding woods, we spray-paint our first coat of primer on the doors and drawers and roll the second coat of stain-blocking primer, making sure the primer gets in all the grains.

5. Sand, clean and apply the first layer of topcoat

Once the primer is dry, we buff sand all the surfaces with fine foam abrasive pads and clean all the remaining dust.

We use HVLP sprayers for painting cabinets and the finished product is very similar to a factory finish look. When refinishing kitchen cabinets using a good, durable paint that cures to a hard finish is a must.  Solvent-based paints and lacquers are some of the toughest products out there. Unfortunately, they’re not the ideal choice for occupied homes due to the high content of VOCs they contain, and not to mention the high risk of producing an explosion.

We like to use a waterborne alkyd paint called Advance by Benjamin Moore. It’s a hybrid paint with a low odour that cures to a very resistant hard finish.

6. Sand, clean, and apply the last layer of topcoat.

We repeat the entire buff sanding process with a very fine foam abrasive pad, clean the remaining dust and apply the final coat of paint.

7. Packing, delivery and resembling 

We keep the doors and drawers in the shop for at least 24 hours before we start handling them. Each door/drawer is packaged in an individual foam sleeve to protect them from damage while we transport them back to the house. We reinstall all the hardware to the original location, hang the doors back to their initial position and do the final touch-ups. All the remaining paint remains at the house for touch-ups.

If you’re planning to take this project in your own hands, arm yourself with a lot of patience and be prepared to spend anywhere from a couple of weeks to a few months doing it. On the plus side, it is the most cost-effective method to paint your cabinets and you will only spend a couple of hundred dollars on materials and paint.

If you’re considering hiring a painting company to have your kitchen cabinets professionally painted, ensure you do thorough research and hire a reputable company. It will cost you less money to do it right the first time than having to do it over.

We take pride in being one of those reputable companies and would love to discuss your project and provide you with a free quote.  Please call us at (705) 698-5702 or email at office@ExceptionalPainting.ca.

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