Kitchen Cabinet Painting

We don't just paint over kitchen cabinets, we refinish them to LOOK NEW again!

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Welcome to PAINTING Guys - High Quality Kitchen Cabinet Painting & Refinishing Services

History and Experience

The PAINTING Guys have been in the high-end painting & wood finishing business since 1975.

It’s interesting to see how home renovation trends have changed over the years. What once was taboo, is now the thing to do. 
Back in the 70’s we were staining and clear-coating cabinets with products like shellac, lacquer, and varathane. Today we are painting them all sorts of colours and shades of white.

In 2005 kitchen cabinet trends changed and people started asking us about cabinet colours and if we could paint their old cabinets like they saw in popular home improvement shows. 

Because we were already well experienced in wood finishing and refinishing, we saw cabinet painting as a great opportunity to include in our business portfolio. 

Today we are refinishing these stained cabinets with durable, long-lasting, non-yellowing acrylic paint that comes in thousands of colours and shades of white.

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Demystifying Kitchen Cabinet Painting

For educational and promotional purposes, we've built our painting website to help demystify and educate potential clients, painters, content creators, and enthusiasts interested in kitchen cabinet painting.

We realize not everyone achieves the same results as the next guy (including ourselves), which brings us to this chapter on how to paint kitchen cabinets to look new again.

Let's get started... 

What do kitchen cabinets look like painted?

  • Do they look painted or do they look new? 
  • Does the paint last?
  • How smooth is the finish?
  • Will painted cabinets add value to a home?

Where is the best place to spray kitchen cabinets?

On-site vs off-site spray painting 

When we first started painting cabinets we had to spray everything onsite. We would remove the doors and drawers, mask and tape the cabinets off, and spray the boxes on the walls. 

We would use a portion of the home to spray the doors and drawers and although this process worked okay, the dust and fumes from all the sanding and over-spray are extremely unhealthy and problematic. 

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Off-site spray painting is best

To improve the finish of the doors and drawers we knew we needed an off-site painting shop equipped with a spray booth, air extraction, and drying racks so the doors and drawers could dry and cure properly in a dust-free environment.

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Why would anyone paint wood kitchen cabinets?  

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Is painting kitchen cabinets a good idea?

Painting kitchen cabinets is one of the easiest and most affordable ways to give your kitchen a brand-new look. If you are happy with the layout of your cupboards, you do not need to replace or reface them.

Can all types of cabinets be painted? 

All wood products including laminates, melamine, and even thermofoil cabinets can be beautifully painted. 

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When do you decide to paint your kitchen cabinets? 

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Who do you hire to paint kitchen cabinets near you?

Today, thousands of painters claim to be "kitchen cabinet painters". The question is, who is painting kitchen cabinets correctly, and who is giving the rest of the painters a bad name?

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Who should paint your kitchen cabinets?

Painting cabinets is a tedious process that requires above-average painting skills. It's important to know your expectations and how good you want your cabinets to look before you start. 

DIY - Do-It-Yourself

Most people who've painted their cabinets would never do it again. However, this doesn't mean you can't do it yourself (DIY).

If you are on a budget and are good with a brush and roller you can save thousands of dollars painting cabinets yourself. 

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Where should you spray kitchen cabinets, on-site or off-site?

  • On-site means you spray kitchen cabinets "on-site" as in the home you are working in.
  • Off-site means you spray kitchen cabinets "off-site" as in a shop

Before you hire someone to spray paint your kitchen cabinets, ask them if they spray the cabinets on-site or off-site.

Painters without painting shops spray cabinets on-site. They "tape, mask, and blast" a fast-drying thick coat of paint on the cabinets similar to the image below. 

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Although on-site spray painting works, this method can have serious quality issues including, health related issues for the home owner and painter. 

 

Dust produced from sanding and spraying is unhealthy and very problematic to how smooth the finish will be. Dust from sanding old finishes fills the space you are working in making it the absolute worst environment to be in. 
Off-gases are extremely toxic which is why we use carbon filter masks and spray everything in our shop that is equipped with an air extraction system. 

WE  NEVER spray paint cabinets on-site (in someone's home) for good reason!

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Quality of work

Once cabinets have been painted poorly, it may cost a lot more to fix them than it’s worth. 

Do the scratch test

If you hire a house painter who paints cabinets on the walls, do the scratch test. Does the paint scratch off easily? 

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Why is this cabinet door cracking open?

  • They weren’t cleaned and sanded properly;
  • They weren’t primed properly;
  • They weren’t caulked properly;
  • They weren’t painted properly.
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If your goal is to paint kitchen cabinets to look new again, consider hiring a professional cabinet refinishing painter

  • Cabinet painters are fine finishers able to hand paint details to MATCH high-quality spray finishing;
  • Cabinet painters usually have a painting and refinishing shop equipped with a spray booth, air extractions, and drying racks to produce new results;
  • Kitchen Cabinet Painters would have the ability to pick up and deliver what they refinish without damage.
  • Cabinet painters refinish kitchen cabinets to look new again.
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Costs

The average cost to paint kitchen cabinets is between $3,500 and $6,500. This includes sanding, spray finishing, all labor, paint, and supplies.

Costs are based on:

  • Number of cabinet doors and drawers there are in total;
  • Type of wood (oak, maple, pine, melamine etc);
  • Profile and design of cabinets;
  • One or more colors;
  • Overall condition.

How to paint kitchen cabinets to look new again

Process:

  1. Align doors and drawers before disassembling;
  2. Remove and label cabinet doors, drawer fronts, and hardware;
  3. Clean the cabinetry (DO NOT soak or use TSP);
  4. Patch and repair scuffs, nicks, and dents and allow to dry;
  5. Sand exterior cabinets, doors, and drawers;
  6. Vacuum or air blast everything;
  7. Apply shellac primer until opaque;
  8. Caulk solid seams and cracks and allow everything to cure for a minimum of 24 to 48 hours;
  9. Sand everything again and prime where needed;
  10. Paint the kitchen cabinets;
  11. Reassemble;
  12. Install new felt bumpers on doors and drawers.
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Do you need to paint inside the cupboards?

Most cupboards are laminated with a durable surface so it's not necessary to paint inside them. However, if they are open shelves or behind glass doors, you will want the inside to match the exterior of the cabinets or decor.

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Colors

We use Benjamin Moore paint so you have over 3500 colours to choose from! We color match as well.

Two-tone cabinets

If you want more than one color or shade of white consider painting an island or even the top and bottom two different colors. Larger kitchens in two-tone colors can look awesome. 

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Paint vanities, bookcases, mantles and more!

We often paint bathroom vanities, built-in cabinets, laundry room cupboards, bookshelves pantries, and even fireplace mantels. This can be a huge savings if you choose to have everything done at the same time.

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The average cost to paint a bathroom vanity is between $350.00 to $700.00.

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How long does kitchen cabinet painting take?

Start to finish is usually about 10 days.

PAINTING Guys shop is fully equipped with a sanding room, spray booth, air extraction and drying racks. 

We can dry 140 doors and drawers at a time.

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Our Process

Overview

Realign all cabinet doors, disassemble doors and drawers, clean, sand, patch, and caulk and apply 2 coats of undercoat, apply 2 coats of finish coat, and allow everything time to cure. Reassemble, add new felt door and drawer bumpers and we are done! 

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Spray-painted doors and drawers

A big part to cabinet painting revolves all around how well the doors and drawers are refinished. When they look good, everything looks better! 

Our doors and drawers look awesome.

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Clean before painting

Never use Trisodium phosphate (TSP) heavy-duty degreaser as a substitute for cleaning or sanding. TSP will cause a chemical incompatibility issue with primers. Always read the labels before you use the product.

If you are washing cabinets before priming do not get an excessive amount of water between the gaps and seams of the doors and drawer because this will cause swelling and expansion.

The best way to prep cabinets for painting is by using a scraper and sanding

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Sanding

When it comes to refinishing older kitchen cabinets, if you do not sand everything properly, the finish will not only look cheap but it can also scratch or peel much easier. Sanding the old finish down to clean wood, patching dents, and fixing cracks is how to properly refinish cabinets to look like new again! This process is particularly important when refinishing darker stained cabinets to a lighter color and shade of white.

Sanding is the nasty part of cabinet refinishing and there is no fast and cheap way to do it without compromising the end result. Refinishing the doors and drawers requires about a week to sand, clean, patch, and allow the spray finish to set and cure properly before reassembling back in the home.

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Dealing with dust

We use Festool HEPA filter vacuum sanders and their world-class air extraction system on-location and in our shop. Our process is very clean.

Drying racks!

Freshly spray-painted doors and drawers that are placed on drying racks in a vented dust-free environment ensure a satin smooth finish every time!

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Painting exterior sections of the cabinets and cupboards

The exterior sections of the kitchen cabinets, which include the face frames, any exposed cupboards, shelving, crowns, valances, gable ends, and kick plates are always done by hand before finish coating.

These sections should be cleaned, sanded, sealed, and undercoated in place so they do not expose old stains, bleed, or any gaps around the walls and ceiling. This is why you do not remove these section and why you take the time to allow everything to cure.

Other than having cabinets without the doors and drawer fronts on them, you are able to use your kitchen throughout our entire process and you do not have to empty the cupboards!

Continue using your kitchen during the entire process!

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Painting crowns, valances, and trim

When the goal is to repaint any previously stained cabinet "to look new again", do not remove crowns, valances, or any trim that will show old stains between cracks, joints, and seams. Sealing everything in tack is how you do it and always use high-quality paint-able products that do not shrink at different cure speeds of the top coat.

Always allow everything time to cure before finish coating. You do not want anything to crack open 12 months down the road.

Quality vs speed drying painting products

We do not use chemical-based products to speed up the drying and curing process (formulate the coatings). Quick dry chemicals tend to be more brittle and problematic to cracking around seams and joints as seen in the example below. This is why we take time to prep and refinish cabinets properly using latex and acrylic-based products. The downside is these products take a few days to cure between our steps but in the long run these products also stands the test of time.

Lacquer vs Paint, which is better?

When it comes to refinishing older kitchen cabinets to be painted, which is better to use, lacquer, pre- or post-catalyzed lacquer (epoxy formula), or paint?

Below is an example of why we don’t use pre- or post-catalyzed lacquer (epoxy formula). Example of a pigment lacquer cabinet door finish failing only after a few years. Pre or post-catalyzed lacquer (epoxy formula) fails like the rest of the finishes, especially if they weren’t primed properly.

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Why we DO NOT use fast dry painting products including lacquer, alkyds, or catalyst paint.
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Climate and humidity

Most stained cabinet panels are designed to expand and contract throughout seasonal climate changes. When this happens the gaps between the panels are purposefully stained so you do not notice this happening. But when you paint older cabinets for example white… the gaps between the panels and seam can become very noticeable and unsightly. Therefore, when it comes to repainting older cabinets we need to overcome the dark gaps from suddenly appearing and exposing old stains.

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  1. To overcome these issues we must clean the joints, vacuum out dust and hand paint shellac based bonding primer into these gaps and joints. This process cannot be done with sprayers. It must be done by hand.
  2. After priming we use high end caulk and acrylic paint because these products expand and contract far better than composites, lacquer or alkyds as these products are prone to cracking over time.

Painting products that bond and work together to prevent down-the-road warranty problems.

Spraying cupboards on walls

Most residential painting contractors that include "kitchen cabinet painting" as part of their service will set up a "spray net" to help reduce dust and fumes from entering the house.
Once this is done they mask off the cupboards and shelving so they can spray paint everything without getting paint all over the ceiling, walls, inside the cupboards, flooring, etc. 

We DO NOT Paint cupboards like this! 👎🏻

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Why is this not the best way paint cupboards?

Spraying cupboards on walls creates excessive paint build-up and over-spray from the back pressure. You can reduce this pressure using an HVLP but the problem still exists.

When too much paint is applied on the cupboards the paint chips much easier, breaking between the seams and joints. This is especially problematic when painting all open-grain wood such as oak cabinets.
If we could get the same results spraying cabinets on the walls, we wouldn’t need a paint shop and all the equipment.

Detail Hand Painting 

Part of this beautiful built-in refrigerator cabinet was sprayed and other sections were hand-painted. Being able to seamlessly paint what cannot or should not be disassembled is why we have decades of thrilled clients throughout Western Canada. 

Hand painting the shells always looks far superior to taped-off make-shift spraying. Tape lines look cheap and tend to bleed and chip at the seams of the tape lines.

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Some sections of kitchen cabinets cannot be removed to paint properly. 
Part of this built in refrigerator is hand paint to match the spray finishing. Can you tell the difference?

The Finished Product!

On the last day of  the process we return back with the beautifully spray painted doors and drawers to complete the finish coating of the cupboards.

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Mission Statement:

Our goal is to achieve the best-looking cabinet refinishing possible. We never rush and do not call it a day until we've achieved the best results possible.

When everything is put back together the result is always amazing. Kitchen cabinet painting is definitely worth every dime spent. Our clients are constantly amazed by how beautiful their kitchen cabinets look!

Testimonials

Beautiful kitchen cabinet painting 

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