hand painting

Hand Painting vs Spray Painting

We never spray paint cabinets in clients homes for a variety of reasons:

Even though we could spray everything, we don't. We also don't have different processes for good/better/best workmanship. Why would anyone do a cheap job when you know there is a better way to do something. Therefore... we always do our best to achieve pro results.

When it comes to the finishing touches, there are always sections beyond spraying that require detailed hand painting to match spray finishing. Hand painting is an art in itself. The art to making a kitchen look amazing is all in the hand finishing and sealing of joints, cracks and seams. We are professional painters that learned how to paint long before we started spraying cabinets.

Hand Painting
Kitchen cabinet painting

Hand Painting

Crown mouldings, face frames, edging, side panels, gable ends, valances, shelving, inside microwave boxes, around built-in (overs, dishwashers and refrigerators), kick plates, behind  fridges plus anything with a crack requires caulking and hand finishing.

Hand finishing is the big difference to why our work looks so beautiful. We are successful cabinet painters because we are excellent hand finishers.

The hand painting and reassembling usually takes a few days to complete.

Finishing Back in Your Home

What to Expect

painting cabinet frames in Victoria

After spraying doors and drawers we return back to your home to hand finish areas of the kitchen cabinets which can consist of:

  • crown mouldings
  • gable ends
  • face frames
  • kick plates

This process usually takes 2 days to complete.

 Step three: 

After everything is painted we install the freshly painted doors and drawers.

The Finished Kitchen

 I knew they were going to look good but not this good, WOW!

Victoria kitchen cabinet painting

Professionally painted kitchen cabinets look great, feel silky smooth, clean well and should last for years. Painting vs replacing is a fraction of the cost to buying new cabinetry. See our examples

Mistakes Painting Kitchen Cabinets

Never paint your kitchen cabinets like this!

No one is more meticulous than professional cabinet finishers so here are some pointers to consider before hiring or painting kitchen cabinets yourself.

This video IS NOT how we would ever recommend cleaning, preparing or painting kitchen cabinets. In fact this is how you ruin a beautiful kitchen. Watch and never do what they are doing.

The Cabinet Painter is a specialized Trade: Follow these steps and your cabinets should last years!

Preparing and painting older cabinets that have already been installed requires many more steps beyond the traditional staining and clear coating methods. Here are the basic pointers that we follow.

  • Kitchen cabinet painting cannot be done well in a cold or dirty garage. A spray painting shop and specialized equipment for cabinet refinishing is essential
  • Remove and label everything that can be logically removed from the kitchen itself but never remove the shells from the walls.
  • Properly seal crowns, corners and wall openings for a reason. Painting wood apposed to staining wood is far more meticulous and requires 3 hats to do it all properly.  Cabinet builders stain and varnish wood and do not normally repaint existing cabinets. They understand staining and open grain and do not need to worry about dark cracks because its called "character".  Cabinet makers have little need to know about removing 20 years of grease and how to paint around walls, fridges, stoves, flooring etc. Cabinet painting is a specialized art that goes way beyond wood finishing. Kitchen cabinet painters are a combinations of wood finishers and house painters all in one.
  • Fill and caulk cracks in proper order and let products cure between coats..
  • Do not caulk or fill problematic or subjective cracks that can open up over time. Cabinets panels are made to move! (shrink and expand!) Just because you can caulk doesn't mean you always should.
  • Kitchen cabinet painters should be excellent fine finishers AND home interior painters able to hand paint details to MATCH spray finishing. Your  kitchen looks like NEW, not like DIY repaint.
  • Always SAND varnish off for a reason.
  • We DO NOT USE TSP, incompatible d-greasers and deglossers for a very good reason.
  • Use razor knives to meticulously clean corners and debris out of cracks where grease builds up over years. You cannot rely only on household cleaners to remove grease in corners, grain and cracks. Sanding is essential.
  • VERY IMPORTANT - Hand rub sanding sealer into oak grain so the open grain gets filled. You still want to see the grain but you do not want the grain open. It looks great when its filled.
  • Use a vacuum system for extracting dust out of shop
  • Label everything so your kitchen goes back together perfectly
  • Remove and re install new hardware
  • Use the non grain raising primers, undercoats and top coat with acrylic paint
  • Protect and deliver freshly painted cabinets flawlessly so everything looks amazing at the end of the job.

Cabinet builders stain and varnish new wood, they normally do not repaint existing/ 20 year old cabinets that have grease etc embedded into cracks and corners where paint will without question, break away and look terrible a year later. They understand staining and open grain finishing, but do little about dark cracks as this is all part of how wood looks.  Cabinet builders have little need to know things regarding removing 20 years of grease then how to get paint to stick to old varnishes, then get sprayed finish to match paint around the shells attached to preexisting walls, fridges, stoves, flooring etc. Cabinet painting is a specialized trade. They are a combinations of wood finishers and house painters who can fine finish all in one. 

de-greasing cabinets - painting guys


Typical Wood Cabinets We Paint

There isn't a cabinet you can't paint

The key to good cabinet painting is prep, priming, the spray shop and experience in both spray finishing and onsite hand finishing. We always bonding primers and Benjamin Moore paint.  Our finish is smooth and durable and the  colours look amazing!

We are confident you will be pleasantly surprised. In fact most people say they knew they we going to look good but wow!

Before after - kitchen cabinet painting

Cabinet Paint

The key steps to a "good better best" paint adhesion starts with excellent cleaning, sanding & priming. We never use TSP and we always choose stain blocking wood primers and acrylic top coat paint for the job. We never refinish cabinets with pigment lacquer over old lacquer as it does not age well.

Acrylic Paint vs Alkyd or Lacquer

We always use high quality acrylic paint which is more flexible to alkyd and lacquer. Acrylic paint never yellows. See examples of bad lacquer finishes we are now repainting.

(Note: we are no longer painting cabinets with exposed hinges) See example

Painting Kitchen Cabinet Wine Racks

Painting vs Repurposing Kitchen Cabinet Wine Racks

If you don't like your kitchen cabinet wine rack, consider repurposing the cabinet box as a shelf, microwave box or matching doors,

Painting wine racks.

Most kitchen cabinet wine racks aren't easy to paint because they are often glued together and have areas where it’s literally impossible to paint well. Most wine racks are originally sprayed in pieces, then inserted inside a cabinet box, then trimmed to finish.

Some wine racks are also glued to the box substrate which makes them impossible to remove without damaging adjacent cabinets. 
Another issue is not being able to sand inside them properly.  Sanding is a crucial step that helps paint bond. Wine bottles can chip poorly sanded areas very easily. 

Being said, we have painted the inside of wine racks by hand but it’s often extremely difficult or impossible to get in corners. Because of these issues, we recommend covering over them with (oak, maple or MDF) or have a local cabinet shop build a matched profile insert prior to us painting the entire kitchen. This way you’ll have a seamless look all colour matched making the kitchen look new again and matched beautifully.