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kimberland30 06-03-2009 12:33 PM

Refinishing cabinets
After reading all the threads here about painting cabinets (and the crappy DIY results that come from it), I think I'm going to start looking into someone coming out and refinishing them.

Most of the cabinets are solid wood, and when the kitchen was enlarged they used some type of wood for new cabinets and painted them all. Unfortunately, this was in the 80's when Williamsburg Blue was a hot color. I want to paint them either white or off-white - depending on what would look better with off-white appliances (bisque to be exact). Most of the appliances have been replaced in the last two years, so there is no room in the budget for new ones.

Is hiring a contractor to refinish cabinets expensive? Eventually we will be tearing out the kitchen to the studs and putting in new cabinetry and moving walls, but in the meantime I have to get rid of the blue mess. I want it to look nice and be durable, but it has to be cost effective in order for us to not go the DIY route and just paint them ourselves (which I know would involve a lot more than just slapping some paint on them).

Thanks for any advice or recommendations you can give me!

NAV 06-03-2009 12:55 PM

Painting cabinets is labor intensive. there is a lot of prep and the painting doesn't go that fast either.

A professional will cost you some money.

if you are tearing them out in a couple years anyway i would recommend doing it yourself. just take your time and use the appropriate materials.

Bob Mariani 06-04-2009 06:37 AM

professional results cost and the difference can easily be seen. Typical costs is about 1/3 the value of the cabinets. If you are only using them for a few more years then doing it yourself is the way to go. A cabinet refinisher does not use paint. Cabinets are finished with lacquer or polyurethane.

kimberland30 06-04-2009 08:21 AM

What would "proper materials" be? Several threads give several options. There isn't much to the cabinets/drawers, they are flat (no type of recess in them) so painting them won't be that difficult - it's the prep that will suck - but something I'm willing to tackle.

I painted an oak vanity in our hall bathroom and it was a big job just to do that (sand, prime, sand, paint, sand, paint, get the picture). But it had recessed panels in the doors so it took a lot of time.

Bob Mariani 06-04-2009 09:32 AM

cabinets are coated with nitrocellulose lacquer. This offers a much more durable and smoother finish then any paint can. High end polyurethanes are also used but are much more difficult to work with and not a DIY project. But these products are all sprayed, not brushed on. If you want a lower end job you can brush on a "cabinet paint" from Sherwin Williams.

kimberland30 06-24-2009 11:20 AM

Thanks Bob!

Unfortunately we had a leak in our dishwasher pipe that caused a flood under our cabinets, so we need to replace some kickboards and wall areas - and since we can't match the existing paint (nor do I want to), we'll be painting our kitchen earlier than expected.

From other posts, I see that many people are using a alkyd base, oil based enamel for primer and paint. Is this the way to go? I plan on brushing on the paint since I don't have a decent sprayer, nor do I know how to use one.

Bob Mariani 06-24-2009 03:15 PM

that is the way to go if you need to use a brush. Add penetrol to the paint to get a better adhesion and smoother finish. Thin the first top coat 10% I would use an enamel underbody for the primer. It fills in nicer and sands smooth. Buy a quality brush.

kimberland30 06-24-2009 05:27 PM

Can it be rolled on or just brushed? I have quite a few Purdy brushes (high quality enough?) but rolling would go a lot faster. I used a sponge-type roller for our vanity cabinet and it turned out okay - but I used a latex kitchen/bath cabinet paint for it.

chrisn 06-24-2009 06:19 PM

oil based enamel for primer and paint.

If you are going to be tearing them out in a couple years,I would not go though the hassle and expense of an oil based finish coat.( fumes,clean up,etc.).Primer, yes, finish in a high quality water borne or just regular semi-gloss, thats just me though.:)

kimberland30 06-25-2009 04:21 PM

Thanks, I'll keep that in mind. We'll be doing most of this indoors because of the heat/humidity, so keeping down fumes would be a good idea.

Just saw that you are in Hagerstown, we go up that way a lot when we head up north. My parents lived in Owings Mills for years and just retired to Falling Waters, WV.

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