This week we finished the largest cabinet painting job in Summerville SC that we have ever undertaken. There were 60 cabinet doors and 20 drawer fronts, to put it in perspective an average kitchen has around 20-25 doors. So this thing was a monster!
Kitchen cabinet painting isn’t for the faint of heart. You really have to know what you’re doing and know how to adjust and overcome problems as/if they occur. It’s really not something I ever recommend doing unless you’re a professional. Using the wrong products or improperly prepping can result in a massive failure which can only be fixed by replacing them.
On a job of this size, you can only hope your normal system is going to work and not let you down. It’s VERY important to test your products on inconspicuous areas to make sure they will stick and not have any bleed through. It’s the same rule that applies for carpet cleaners, the bottles always state to try a small area first. If you don’t and it bleaches then entire floor it’s on you, a tiny spot under the couch isn’t such a big deal. Well, the same rule applies for paint, test, test, and test some more.
The first day we removed all the doors, drawer fronts, and hardware. Each door is numbered and each hinge goes in a baggie that’s labeled for the door and goes back on exactly where it came off. This isn’t a step you want to skip. Every hinge has adjustments, you have to make sure they go back exactly where you found them otherwise you’ll be spending hours trying to readjust every hinge.
After taking apart the entire kitchen and loading up the doors in the van we cleaned all the frames with Krud Kutter. Then we sanded every surface with our dustless sanding system and went back over it all with denatured alcohol. After all that I tested a spot, gave it an hour dry time and couldn’t get it to come off the surface with my thumbnail. We then went back to the shop with all the cabinet doors and began prepping them the same way we prepped the kitchen cabinet frames.
After the prepping process, I tested a door just like I did the frame. Almost immediately I knew we were in for some trouble. A minute after applying the test spot I noticed fish eyes appearing. Fish eyes are when paint separates from an area and it’s always due to some kind of surface contaminant such as wax, grease, silicone, among others. I switched to a more aggressive cleaning solution and tried again, still, the fish eyes came back. This is when product knowledge and experience comes into play. Cleaning and sanding didn’t work so I had to choose a primer that would get the job done. I settled on Sherwin Williams White Pigmented Shellac tinted to the color which was Pearly White. Did a test spot and the fish eyes were gone, Whew!! Most likely the fish eyes were caused by a cleaning agent such as Murphys Oil or another type of furniture polish. That stuff has a way of seeping into the grain of the wood and is almost impossible to get rid of thru cleaning and sanding. A shellac based is your best bet to combat it, oil primers like Kilz or CoverStain might work and are cheaper but I wasn’t willing to mess around with cheaper products that may or may not work.
Painting Summerville Kitchen Cabinets
After priming all the doors with Shellac and giving them a light sanding it was finally time to paint them. We spray the doors using a Graco ProFinish 395, this isn’t a normal sprayer. This sprayer uses a combination of air and traditional airless spraying, which allows us to spray the paint at less than half the pressure of a normal sprayer resulting in a finer finish. Below is what our spray setup and racks look like when we are doing doors.
The cabinet frames we do a little different, we do them by hand. We use a brush and a 4inch micro fiber mini roller. Spraying inside an occupied home isn’t ideal because spraying makes a lot of dust and the fear of overspray is very real, plus doing it by hand allows our customers to keep everything in the cabinets making the whole process easier. On the majority of kitchen cabinet setups, the frames are mostly hidden by the doors and drawers making them the most important to have the finest finish we can achieve.
Putting it All Back
After everything is painted and dried for the appropriate amount of time we’re ready to transport the doors back and put it all back together. When transporting the cabinet doors we stack them with wax paper in between each door so they don’t stick or markup during the ride. Putting it back together is tedious but easy because all the hardware was labeled when we took it apart.
The Final Product
We painted the walls SW Stone Isle which really made the new white cabinets pop and as you can see below the kitchen looks amazing.
Need a Cabinet Painter in Summerville? Give Us a Call!
Do you have a kitchen that looks outdated? Don’t go through the expense and hassle of replacing the cabinets, instead refinish them! Give Paragon Painting a call for a free quote 843-695-9450. Take a look at our other kitchen cabinet painting jobs in Charleston and Mt Pleasant!