Kitchen Cabinets – Replacement versus Painting
Kitchen cabinets age no matter what. What was in vogue yesterday is out of style today. That’s pretty much a fact for any interior design element, but once your cabinets start to look dated, it makes the entire space seem like a bad scene out of the past.
If you are considering an update to your kitchen (or bathroom) by replacing your cabinets, you may experience a bit of sticker shock once you begin to add up the expenses. At first glance, tackling this project looks pretty doable. You stop by the big box store, price out a few cabinets and you think, “I got this”. But, after the measuring is all said and done and you decide you prefer an upgrade to real wood and you add in the costs of the hardware and installation plus factor in the down time for your kitchen, it all starts to get a little daunting. This, you realize, is not the simple update you were expecting. All of a sudden, this seemingly inexpensive project easily tops 10k, more often exceeding 15k or even 20k. If you happen to have a large kitchen, the price just goes up from there.
If you are financially suited to take on the costs of new kitchen cabinets and you find a style that you are crazy about, then by all means, I recommend it.
However, if you want to keep within a certain budget or you simply prefer to preserve environmental resources, you may wish to consider painting your kitchen cabinets.
Wood cabinets are the best substrate for painting (verses MDF, laminates or melamine) and we can achieve impressive and durable results with our process. We offer options to paint or glaze, depending on your preference, with the costs ending up substantially less than replacement. You can also paint or glaze in just about any color, so your options are endless.
If you choose to paint, we will generally de-gloss, prime, prep and apply two coats of paint with an airless sprayer. The costs of painting are roughly 1/4 to 1/3 the cost of replacement. Glazing is a high-end finish and requires painting as described above, hand applied glaze and top coating with polyurethane. This finish is spectacular. I prefer my glazed oak cabinets over any new product on the market and the cost is roughly 1/3 to 1/2 of replacement – potentially saving you thousands of dollars! The clear coating over the top of the paint and glaze gives you an extremely durable end product as well.
I recommend that you hire only the most reputable companies to paint or glaze your cabinets. Cabinet painting requires special skills and products, and this is one project you will want to leave for the professionals.
Things to think about before painting starts
While painting your kitchen cabinets will update your home and improve your property value, it is also a detailed undertaking and can be disruptive. Here some ways to prepare for this type of painting project.
Be prepared to lose access to your kitchen for a few days. Please empty the drawers and remove just enough belongings from the boxes to allow enough wiggle room to tape off for painting. It’s a good idea to have your wine, coffee, and other small appliances that you’ll need moved to another space, so you’ll have access to these items for the duration of the project.Painting the boxes is our priority to get you back into your kitchen as soon as possible.
Do not use your oven during the painting. This is dangerous and could cause a fire. Please make other arrangements for meal preparation.
We will make a tent to protect your house from excessive dust. However, the tent is not airtight, so please expect a little extra dusting after the project is completed. One of the reasons people hire us is because we are meticulous, but cabinets require a ton of sanding. There’s no efficient way to contain the dust 100 percent.
The system that we use to paint the doors requires us to drill holes in either the top or bottom of the door. We use these holes to install hooks, so we can hang the doors to paint all six sides at once. The holes will be filled and will not be visible once the doors are re-hung.
The cabinets will feel dry to the touch within hours; however, it can take a month or longer before they fully cure. No need to worry! Just take a little extra care and avoid chemicals when wiping up spills.
If you are planning on installing new hinges or drilling new holes for handles, we recommended that they be fitted BEFORE painting. We can do the installation and charge time and material.
Most importantly, relax and enjoy the process!