Last week we discussed how it’s possible to get less than desirable results when painting cabinets. This sets us up for this week where we’ll discuss how we set up our cabinet projects. Once you see what’s involved it will help explain why it isn’t cheap and easy to paint cabinets.
Prepare The Area
The first step in proper setup is getting our work area ready. A lot of our customers don’t realize it, but cabinet painting takes over the entire kitchen. We have folks remove all the food / things in their drawers and cabinets so that they’re all empty. Then, we take all the hardware and doors off the cabinets.
After disassembly, everything not being painted is covered. We cover the floor, the countertops, appliances, the sink, and seal off the doorways into/out of the kitchen. The kitchen is officially a work zone at this point.
What do we do with the doors / drawers we disassembled? We prefer to set up half or all of the garage as a temp spray area for those items. We hang plastic from the ceiling to protect the walls and cover the floor. That way we can spread out all the doors / drawers to be efficient when coating them.
Depending on the size of the kitchen, this can take one to one and a half days.
Begin Prep Work
Once everything is covered up and the cabinets are disassembled, we can begin with prep. If we’re dealing with a surface that requires a deglosser, that’s the first thing to be done. If not, everything gets a scuff sand.
Once we’ve scuff sanded the surfaces, we can lay down our oil primer base coat and get that drying. For the doors and drawers remember we have to coat both sides. We coat the first side, wait on drying, then flip and coat the second side.
This is a 1 – 2 day process.
Top Coat Enamel
Once the primer dries, we lightly sand again and we’re ready for top coat. Because the enamel we prefer to use is water based it dries faster, speeding up time between flips and coats. Top coating is a 1 day process.
Once the enamel dries overnight we re-assemble the cabinets. Once they’re put back together, we closely inspect our work and make any necessary touchups. Once the painting is all done, we "unwrap" the kitchen removing all the paper and plastic covering non-painted surfaces. This takes 1/2 – 1 day.
At this point the project is complete and ready for the customer to take their kitchen back!
This is the bare minimum process required, based on our experience, to achieve enameled cabinets that look great and last a long time. If these steps are following using quality products, you won’t have issues with bond or bleed through.
As you can see at a minimum for a small kitchen the process takes 3 days. We’ve spent as long as 8 days on large kitchens with lots of cabinets. Our average cabinet project takes a full week (6 days). For comparison, our average exterior repaint takes 4 days.
On average we paint the outside of a home quicker than we can do a thorough job painting cabinets. Based on my experience, homeowners don’t realize this and are surprised by the cost of painting their cabinets.
I hope if you’ve read this post and the last one about cabinet painting you have a better idea of how much time and effort we put into updating old stain & lacquer cabinets, why we feel we can’t take shortcuts and sacrifice quality, and therefore why our price reflects that.
At a minimum these two posts should help you evaluate estimates you’re getting from painters so that you don’t end up with a cabinet project that looks like the photos we included in the last post.
We’re always ready to work within budgets with our customers if at all possible, so tell us what you’ve got planned for your kitchen and we can find a solution that fits your needs if one exists. Contact us today if you’d like us to paint your cabinets in Overland Park!