Is painting cabinets a good idea?
Like our founder says, if painting cabinet doors and drawer fronts was a better approach, then that’s what we’d do.
At Kitchen Refresh, though, we only repaint the cabinet BOXES, and then we ALWAYS manufacture and install NEW Doors and Drawer Fronts in our one-piece, solid, durable, engineered wood with an easy-to-clean Thermofoil finish.
We use this approach for 7 very important reasons:
Cost: Due to the labor involved, repainting doors - and doing it “right” - is almost always cost prohibitive.
Time: Proper door preparation of sanding, priming and the actual repainting requires weeks or months of additional time with your kitchen in disarray. Additionally, there is always the struggle of deciding what to do regarding the backs of the doors and drawer fronts … paint? Don’t paint?
Results: Repainting doors and drawer fronts doesn't deliver the stunning, dramatic, clean, new results that a Kitchen Refresh transformation provides (can you say, “Brush marks, drips, runs, and uneven coverage"?). The doors should all really be removed and then when trying to paint them, typical 5-panel shaker doors will experience paint pooling in the low areas and actually running through the areas where the panel joins the frame - leaking paint into the front or back of the door and causing hard-formed drips and strings of paint that must be addressed.
Longevity: Hands, fingers, fingernails and jewelry all take a heavy toll on painted doors and drawers, resulting in signs of wear in a matter of months as shown in photos below. So, even after doing everything right - you can expect the paint to chip, scratch and stain - making all of that work fruitless.
Quality: With the change in seasons, the cabinet door wood will expand and contract, and painted doors will show cracking from drying as well as splits where the frames and panels join together (our doors are a single, solid piece of engineered wood).
Hinges: If you have exposed hinges making your doors look busy, you’ll still have those exposed hinges after the door painting - unless you go through the very difficult, expensive and time consuming task of trying to buy new hinges and reverse engineer them to work for your doors and your cabinets. With Kitchen Refresh, we manufacture all NEW doors (ad drawer fronts) and they receive new concealed, soft-close hinges. Also, most homeowners underestimate the pain of removing and reinstalling hinges and so they start by removing them, then after comprehending the difficulty, transition to saying, “I’ll just paint around them,” and that always ends with accidentally getting paint on them, which leads to saying, “I’ll just paint the hinges,” and results in unsightly, painted hinges that crack, chip, rust and just look bad.
Hardware: Want to change up your pull hardware? If you have knobs and want to upgrade to something that gives your kitchen a stronger design presence, it’s extremely difficult to cover and fill in old knob holes without them showing through the paint (you can see that in photo examples below). Plus, it’s very difficult to relocate hardware and keep it precisely level across all your doors and drawers if you’re looking at upgrading to a different size hardware. All of our hardware is precisely located and machined using a robotic system that insures location precision.
Also, we’ve “saved” at least a dozen kitchens where either the homeowner, or a hired professional, started a cabinet repaint and later gave up due to the sheer amount of time and labor involved to do the doors and drawer fronts correctly. As such, the homeowners really paid twice - once on the repaint attempt and again when we came in to complete our process.