How much will it cost to have my kitchen cabinets professionally painted? That’s what almost every discussion starts with. Although not a complicated question, the answer is generally, “it depends.” It’s like asking, “how much does a car cost?” or “how much does it cost to build a house?”
“Will it look like a factory finish?”, everyone asks.
If you don’t want to read on, the short answer is yes.
We get a lot of questions about using Sherwin William’s ProClassic Interior Waterbased Acrylic-Alkyd or Benjamin Moore’s Advance Interior Paint. We have used both in the past, and here’s what we learned.
Who doesn’t love the beauty of oak?
The truth is, a lot of people don’t. As a professional cabinet painter, I’ve started to worry about oak cabinet jobs because some customers aren’t ready for the end result. They like the color, they like the quality of the work, but they almost always say, “I can still see the grain.”
Yes, oak has a very strong grain that requires extra attention to fully cover with paint, but the actual topography of the wood will not be changed by adding paint. Think about the last time you painted a wall and missed one of the old nail holes – the paint doesn’t fill in holes or repair things.
Over the past five years, I’ve learned so much from my customers. The most important thing I’ve learned is what’s important to them better be important to me too. Here’s a short list of the questions anyone hiring someone to paint their cabinets should ask.
I am so happy that almost everyday I get at least 1 or 2 people contacting me for a quote. About 10% of the time, I hear back from the person telling me that they received a quote from someone else for “a lot less.”
When I was first starting out, those calls concerned me. Was I over pricing my services? Were my costs too high? Was I paying my people too much? Should I be doing less prep work?
The flip side is that my customers are really happy with the results. Most tell us that it turned out better than they ever imagined.
If you’re painting cabinets in a home you’re already living in, use a waterborne alkyd paint. This paint creates a glass-like finish that doesn’t show brush or roller marks and will hold up to your day-to-day wear.
We loved the Benjamin Moore Advance Waterborne Alkyd Paint for kitchen and bath cabinets. Benjamin Moore recommends this paint formula for giving cabinets a furniture-like finish. There are also very similar products from Sherwin Williams and Behr. Since we first wrote this post in 2016 we’ve found an even better paint for painting your cabinets!
Alkyd paints feel like an oil-based paint when you’re using them, with a nice smooth flow and self-leveling. They also have the benefit of low VOCs like latex paints and clean-up with soap and water. I’ll be fine if I never have to use paint thinner or mineral spirits again.
The Best Paints for Painting Cabinets
|Benjamin Moore||Sherwin Williams||Behr|
|ADVANCE® Waterborne Interior Alkyd Paint||ProClassic Interior Waterbased Acrylic-Alkyd||Alkyd Semi-Gloss Enamel|
If you have any specific questions or out of the ordinary applications, leave a comment below or contact us and we’ll try to help you make the right choice.
I started off painting my own cabinets, and they looked like it. To save you from that fate, I’ve decided to write down the step-by-step process we’ve honed over the last 3 years if you want to try on your own.
Pre-Step 1. Take pictures
This process isn’t quick, but it is exciting. Take photos of your journey and document it. If you’d like to share them with me, I’d love to include them in the page and will continue to update it.
We’re now listed as a Pro at Houzz.com. Go check it out!
One thing we have noticed since we started painting cabinets is that the process can be confusing. Nobody knows what expect to see each night when they come home and see what has accomplished each day. I’m not sure why this was such a surprise to us, but it was. It’s one of those things where, when you’re really familiar with something, you assume that everyone knows what you know. But the fact is, they don’t. Otherwise we’d all be cabinet painters!
Painting kitchen cabinets is a very specific process. There’s lots of (tedious) steps involved. And all of them are either dirty, messy, or both. As careful, neat, and organized as we are, we still go home covered in paint each day – but you’ll look marvelous.
So if you’re going to have your cabinets painted, here’s what you can expect to see:
Who says your kitchen island has to be the same color as your cabinets? Why not give your kitchen some much needed style, by making your island stand out?! The current trend of contrasting islands is here to stay. With a contrasting scheme, the island takes on an identity of its own—and makes an interesting focal point. This is a simple way to give your kitchen a custom look, without breaking the bank.
Try one of these options to bring your kitchen to life.
In the Raleigh-Durham area of NC, where hundreds of thousands of new homes have popped up in the past 10 years, sadly a lot of those home received, dare I say it, UGLY builder-grade cabinets. With tract builders, it’s all about putting up the biggest house possible, on the smallest lot possible, and then just finishing it off quickly. There’s no thought whatsoever put into design, color, or even durability.
We’ve run across hundreds of homeowners who think they’re stuck with ugly oak-veneered kitchen and bath cabinets. But not anymore. With something as quick and painless as a new paint job, we’ve been able to transform these sad, cookie cutter designs, into gorgeous, custom-looking cabinets, usually in less than 1 week.
Believe it or not, sometimes we have to tell clients that painting their cabinets isn’t the right solution. Here are some of the fringe cases where a coat of paint isn’t going to help.