Cabinet Painting

The Beautiful Painted Cabinets You Desire ARE IN REACH!

Customers most often have us paint:

  1. Stained Oak (with our custom grain filling process)
  2. Stained Maple, Birch, Alder, and other (grain filling not required)
  3. Previously Painted Wood Cabinets

Successful Cabinet Painting is NOT for the Faint-of-heart!

The process is tedious, detailed, and many details are overlooked by standard DIY efforts.  With years of experience, and pulling from the expertise of our team, Colorwheel has developed a cabinet painting system that brings you the results you desire.  In a nutshell, here’s what happens, (we’ll share much greater detail with you in person):

  1. careful labeling of all components including hinges, doors, drawers
  2. removal of doors and drawer fronts and transport to our workshop
  3. all surfaces remedy, fixing defects such as clear coat drips, drags, sags
  4. all surfaces cleaning and abrasion to remove hand oils, residues, polishes, cleaning product, etc.
  5. all surfaces priming, with further remedy to any adhesion or severe bleed-thru stain issues
  6. seamless-look creation to boxes and adjacent trims, using caulks and fillers
  7. top coating to all surfaces
  8. reinstallation of all items

Our Expert Cabinet Painters (with over 100 years of combined experience) On Staff Are:

  1. Dan Duffy
  2. Bill Becklund
  3. Jamee Glenn
  4. Sheryl Zahn
  5. Mo Salazar

This work has an unbeatable, unmatched warranty.  We typically are there within 2 weeks to handle any issue that can arise.  Just reach out to your sales rep who’ll be happy to help.  Read about the warranty here!

 

The Most Common Mistakes by Competitors or DIY Efforts

The lack of expertise, understanding process, product, sheer patience, and not having a strict system in place can turn what seams like an exciting update into a horrible nightmare, waste of time, and tremendous waste of money.  Here’s what we most often see go wrong:

  1. RUSHING, every product has manufacturer listed dry times that must be adhered to
  2. THIN COATS, every product also has manufacturer listed mil-thicknesses that must be adhered to.  These are most often violated by those who try to spray doors in upright positions
  3. Using the wrong primer…. compatibility of products on a molecular level is extremely important
  4. Using the WRONG PAINT… beyond the general lack of “classiness” or “professional look” this will affect durability, capability of touch up, long term wear and tear
  5. Not using paint… it’s stunning, but competitors out there are using the absolutely WRONG PRODUCT on cabinet jobs… lacquer or pigmented lacquer is prone to breakdown by all moist areas, it also is not a compatible system unless one is positive lacquer was used in prior cases, and the number of coats of lacquer on lacquer is highly problematic.  Expect chipping and sheet failure.
  6. Poor application method, even the best product can’t cover the sins of a bad technique and/or bad brushes and incorrect rollers, leading to thick or thin spots, excessive brush marks, inconsistent sheen, horrible stipple, or even drips/drags/sags in a project containing countless corners, edges, and tight spots that cause headache to the average painter or homeowner
  7. Spraying without ISOLATION… isolating a kitchen to spray paint is a major dilemma, we’ve frequently seen paint get on all sorts of things it shouldn’t get on, paint “dust” will drift through the home landing on everything in sight, paint can easily enter HVAC systems, clog furnace filters, and more
  8. Failure to properly clean surfaces, combined with over-reliance on primer….   primer is NOT a cure all, do all product.  While it can overcome some issues, it’s not a shortcut for cleaning.
  9. Failure to label hinges leads to chaos at the end, with doors not hanging like they did before, spacing and gap issues, swing issues like reluctance/drag or slamming, closing issues (like the door just won’t close anymore at all), and more
  10. Failure to label all doors and drawers, leading again to spacing issues, alignment issues, and vast wasted time trying to “sort out the puzzle” in an effort to get it all back like it once was
  11. FIRE RISK….  that box fan the competitor wants to place in the window to “exhaust fumes” is NOT explosion proof… and what about turning off a furnace, water heater, etc.  Some products have flash points as well that pose tremendous risk.  Sadly, most painters never think of this!

FAQ's

Can the cabinets be painted?

In most cases, yes; however, we do not recommend painting laminate or melamine surfaces.  We also do not recommend painting when the cabinets themselves should be replaced (sorry!).

How do I know if mine can be painted, or if it’s worth painting them?

If you like the profile of the cabinets, that is, the general shape, contour, style, etc., and it’s only a color issue (stained or painted color) or they are worn out, then yes, it is likely worth it to paint them.

Can oak cabinets be painted?

Yes.  And they turn out fantastic!

But what about the grain?

Typically the grain-reduction process Colorwheel uses on Oak will drastically reduce and nearly eliminate the pitting in the grain, which tends to be the biggest “issue” with Oak.  When it comes to the swirl pattern of oak, it always will be present to some degree, but gets reduced with grain filling and the multiple layers of paint being applied.

How long does it take?

Usually, the boxes (where everything is stored and shelved) take about one week.  Those stay in your home and the week does not generally consist of 8am to 5pm days, but rather, partial days. For example, the preparation of the area and priming might be done on day one by two p.m., at which point we hit a standstill while the primer dries.  Then, sanding and painting a first coat might be done on day two by noon, and then production hits a standstill again while paint dries. The doors and drawers themselves usually take 2 to 2.5 weeks. This allows them to be processed, and fully cured, before being transported back to your home.  Darker colors can take longer.  If anyone is telling you it’ll go faster than that, BEWARE!

How much will this cost?

In GENERAL, Smaller kitchens typically start at $2500 and are often done for less than $3300. The average size kitchen will cost between $3500 and $4500… a range that can encompass an island.  Larger kitchens are typically $4500 to $6000.  Please note, the rates shared do NOT include grain filling, which is an extra process Colorwheel offers to help with OAK specifically.  The rates also do not include artistic endeavors such as distressing, glazing, striping, or high gloss finishes.   Other cost impact comes from repairs to surfaces, changing hardware locations, shelves, open-shelve systems, glass doors, corbels, islands, number of colors being used, crown molding, profile complexity, etc.

Another guy said he could do it for so much less, how is this possible?

We’ve all heard that “you get what you pay for,” and you know what, IT’S TRUE!   Lesser price means shortcuts, plain and simple.  If we could do it for less, we would!   On top of that, nobody has more reputable references in cabinet painting than Colorwheel Painting.   Want to see some?  No problem, we’ve got customers ready and willing to let you in to see our work.   Want to feel samples?  Even easier.  Want to beat on those samples to ensure they’re durable?  Go for it.  We love this work and hope you’ll turn to us!

What do you use for primer?

Zinsser BIN Pigmented Shellac is used in most cases as a universal NON-WATER based primer.  In some cases a water based primer may be used, but it must pass an adhesion test.

Can you use a Prime & Paint in 1-step product?

No. Standard latex primers will not properly adhere to a previously stain and lacquered finish, conversion varnished surface, or even to semi-to-glossy painted surfaces.  Even if it does adhere, it rarely offers the stain blocking properties needed and residual grease, dirt, and cleaning product residue can penetrate through it, causing long-term adhesion issues for the paint.

What do you use for a top coat?

After trying and testing many of the products on the market, we’ve found a brand of paint (not known to most) that offers incredible ability to self-level, spray smooth, and provide beautiful appearance AND durability!  To our knowledge, no other painting contractor in the market uses this product.

How many top coats will I need?

At a minimum, 2. Possibly more depending on surface conditions.  Remember top coats are the PAINT, a priming layer (or two) should occur before this.

What about pigmented lacquer?

Pigmented lacquer is not a good choice in moisture prone areas.  It is also not compatible (from a chemistry standpoint) over many other types of coatings.  We have several competitors stating that it’s O.K. to use, so please be careful.  The same competitors will spray it in your house and throw a box fan in the window for ventilation  (not good, those aren’t explosion proof fans!).   Instead, go for pigmented conversion varnish if you have raw wood, or paint if there is ANY type of previous coating.  Now unfortunately, Colorwheel does not offer these products or services, but we’re happy to make a solid recommendation.

Do you sand between coats?

Typically we sand the primer to make it smooth, and then no further sanding is needed.  Of course if we see a need for it, we go ahead and do it.

How do you prepare the surface?

We use a cleaner and deglosser to remove surface contamination from the surfaces. This happens before priming.  Grease, residue from cleaning products, hand oils (and even pet dander/oils), and general dirtiness must all be remedied and not just painted over!

How do you actually quote the kitchen?

We can quote from photos but prefer to quote by visually inspecting them and being there. A count of the number of doors to be done is crucial, as is a number of drawers or drawer fronts. Forming a plan for what items the customer will handle (if any, such as removing door knobs) also helps.  The downside to photos is we often miss small nuances, which ultimately result in change orders.

Do you caulk gaps?

Yes on boxes, no on doors. This happens after priming. The primer will “highlight” gaps where wood meets wood, and where wood meets the wall. We do not typically caulk any gaps in floating panels at doors though, as they are prone to cracking open in seasonal expansion and contraction.

How do I get more information?

Contact Colorwheel Painting directly. 414-708-6324, use a contact us form on this website, or email customerservice@remodelandpaint.com

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