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Old 09-21-2007, 12:08 PM   #1
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Choosing a painter.... Kitchen Cabinets Painted


Need some advice on how to choose a painter... We want to paint our kitchen cabinets. The cabinets have wood doors/drawers and frames but the sides are laminate. We have gotten a few esitmates but they vary by a lot I am not sure who to choose! All of the contractors said they would clean the cabinets and caulk any spaces in the doors frames so gaps wouldnt appear after painting, but other than that they vary on technique...

Painter #1 $700 he would not do much sanding but instead use this product called XIM for the primer...(http://www.ximbonder.com/) that would allow him to paint on any surface without the paint peeling or bubbling. He would then use an oil based enamel for the paint. He would brush the frames but spray the doors/drawers.

Painter #2 $1600 he would remove sand everything down and use an oil based primer (i think he mentioned a dunn edwards product) and paint . He would remove the doors and drawers and do those at his shop. Everything would be sprayed.

Painter #3 $2900 he would sand everything down and apply an oil based primer but use a latex enamel for the paint coats. He would also spray everything.

We are still getting a couple more estimates, but I have no idea how to choose... what method is best... what price is reasonable? Any advice would be much appreciated!
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Old 09-21-2007, 08:26 PM   #2
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Choosing a painter.... Kitchen Cabinets Painted


Hmmm...well, it's hard to say from here whether I'd do XIM, BIN, or a quality oil-based primer
We'll have to assume that the cabs are in good enough shape that an oil-based is fine...with the proper prep
XIM or BIN is never a bad idea for cabs either

So that leaves the "paint"
You don't say that any or all said one coat or two
You'll want two

#1) said oil-based enamel
#2) said oil-based paint
#3) said latex enamel

You'll want an oil-based (alkyd) or waterborne enamel
Latex enamel could mean a contractor/commercial grade cheapo (wall) paint
Nothing wrong with oil-based "paint" either, but you want enamel
Perhaps there's a miscommunication in the specific terms, but you'll want to double check exactly what's in the "scope of work"

How many coats and exactly what type/brand/line of coating

Other than that, how many "units" are we talking about?
A "unit" being a floor cab or wall cab ...it doesn't matter if they have doors or drawers
A wall cab over a floor cab with drawers would be 2 "units"
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Old 09-21-2007, 09:41 PM   #3
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Choosing a painter.... Kitchen Cabinets Painted


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Originally Posted by slickshift View Post
How many coats and exactly what type/brand/line of coating

Other than that, how many "units" are we talking about?
A "unit" being a floor cab or wall cab ...it doesn't matter if they have doors or drawers
A wall cab over a floor cab with drawers would be 2 "units"

Ok... They all said two coats after the prime (forgot to mention that). No one mentioned waterborne enamel so I will have to check into that. What would you consider "proper prep" for the XIM stuff?

The cabinets are in fairly good condition - they are 10 years old... the wood parts are oak, the finish may be wearing thin in a few places, but it is not cracking or peeling.

Not sure that I understand the units... All our wall cabinets are doors... there are a total of 11 doors on the wall (4 of those being the smaller doors above the fridge and micro-hood)
the base cabinets are all doors with a drawer above we have a total of 9 (9 doors/ 9drawers)

Thanks for all the input!
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Old 09-21-2007, 10:19 PM   #4
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Choosing a painter.... Kitchen Cabinets Painted



Over the fridge would be two units
Next to the fridge would be two floor units, one of which is drawers
Above that two more
This would be 6 "units"

It sounds like you have about 20 "units"

God bless the $700 guy if he can really do 20 units for that price
It's low enough that I can't possibly imagine how he does it properly
It's low enough for me to suspect something isn't right there, and I really hate to say that w/o knowing the details
He must like Raman Noodles I guess?

The prep for either oil, XIM, or BIN, primer is basically the same
A light scuff sanding and tack cloth cleaning
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Old 09-22-2007, 09:56 AM   #5
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Choosing a painter.... Kitchen Cabinets Painted


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Originally Posted by slickshift View Post
It sounds like you have about 20 "units"

God bless the $700 guy if he can really do 20 units for that price
It's low enough that I can't possibly imagine how he does it properly
I think 20 units is right...

I was worried about that price being so low.... he was the first estimate we recieved and he said something to the effect of the XIM stuff is expensive so that is why the estimate was so high???

I have to say that the first guy works by himself, the second painter works himself but has a few other guys working for him too, the third painter was more commercial and has a whole fleet of painters working for him. So maybe that would account for the differences?

Thanks for all the suggestions.... I will make sure whoever we choose uses an oil/bin/waterborne enamel (or maybe XIM) for primer after sanding and wiping down and does at least two coats of oil-based enamel. Sound about right?
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Old 09-22-2007, 04:07 PM   #6
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Choosing a painter.... Kitchen Cabinets Painted


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Originally Posted by STARL View Post
I think 20 units is right...

I was worried about that price being so low.... he was the first estimate we recieved and he said something to the effect of the XIM stuff is expensive so that is why the estimate was so high???
Huh...I'm not sure he knows what he's doing
Again, I really hate to say that, maybe he has a process down, but I don't see how

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the second painter works himself but has a few other guys working for him too, the third painter was more commercial and has a whole fleet of painters working for him. So maybe that would account for the differences?
The fleet guy may need that kind of money (I actually thought he was high) or may be pricing himself "out" as he really doesn't want cabinet (or under 3K jobs), or using the "whatever I think I can get" pricing method

The traditional diy book/site/mag "conventional wisdom" way to choose a contractor, get three bids and pick the middle, is not the best way to pick a contractor (it's a good way to get an idea of how much something will cost you though)

In this case though, you may have a classic example

Quote:
Originally Posted by STARL View Post
Thanks for all the suggestions.... I will make sure whoever we choose uses an oil/bin/waterborne enamel (or maybe XIM) for primer after sanding and wiping down and does at least two coats of oil-based enamel. Sound about right?
Oil/Alkyd, XIM, BIN for the primer
2 coats of waterborne or oil-based (alkyd) enamel for top coats
Todays waterbornes are great, technically the oils are a bit more durable
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Old 09-23-2007, 11:41 AM   #7
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Choosing a painter.... Kitchen Cabinets Painted


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Originally Posted by slickshift View Post
Oil/Alkyd, XIM, BIN for the primer
2 coats of waterborne or oil-based (alkyd) enamel for top coats
Todays waterbornes are great, technically the oils are a bit more durable
Ok Got it! Thank you so much... I have just one other quick question I was looking the BIN website and they say "Best of all, there is no need to sand the surface when you use B-I-N, thus eliminating the dust and messy clean up often associated with cabinet refinishing. "
Would you agree with that?
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Old 09-23-2007, 12:53 PM   #8
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Choosing a painter.... Kitchen Cabinets Painted


Uhhh...well that's very kind of them...lol
And may technically be true
I can't tell you that it'll be OK as I have never, ever, not sanded in this type of situation
It's not a sand off type of deal, just a little scuff sanding for a little more tooth
IMHO well worth it to ensure that there won't be an adhesion problem
I can't risk having to come back a few weeks later to a peeling cab and an upset customer
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