Cabinet painting, cabinet refinishing, cabinet makeover. Call it what you will, but to get the results you desire just make sure you get someone who has the capabilities to produce a furniture like finish. That is how your kitchen cabinets should be treated.
This one was a fun project and the first time I've used 3 different colors. The process went as follows:
1) Remove all doors, drawers and hardware. Label everything. I even like to label individual hinges because sometimes they have moved or bent slightly over time. We want everything to line up the way it was (unless adjustments need to be made, we can do that in the end).
2) With all the doors and drawers off and labeled, they are removed from the site and loaded into the vehicle. All hardware is labeled in individual bags and stored inside the cabinet boxes.
3) Clean, clean, clean. Every step is important but this one may take the cake. When you have processes, the quality of the preceding step is always dependent upon the one before. When you build a house the foundation is the most important, right? Without solid ground and a good foundation, your house can have many future problems.
I take a greenie pad and ammonia and water get rid of all contaminants from the surface. This will get your foundation rock solid and ready for sanding. If I sanded first then all that contamination could get worked into the surface material....we don't want that.
4) Sanding is essential for great adhesion. By sanding with a 220 grit sandpaper, we will create microscopic valleys for the primer to sink its teeth into. Don't be fooled by the "no need for sanding" gimmicks, that is taking a very important step out of the process. Professionals will agree. You're also smoothing out any minor imperfection during this process. Oh, and don't worry too much about dust because I've invested a pretty penny into a vacuum system that attaches to the sander.
5) Masking & Floor Protection. All cabinet opening, floors, appliances, countertops, walls, get covered and protected. It's all part of the job of spraying inside a home.
6) Priming. You want to use a primer that will not only adhere well, but block stains and tannin in your wood. I have found pigmented shellac to perform very well for cabinets, and it sands so beautifully smooth. Oil base primers are very good for this too but since we live in a VOC regulated state (MD & DE), oil based products are not available in large quantities.
7) Sanding between coats is an important part of fine finishing. Taking the time for this will yield extraordinary results.
8) Finish paint. I have recently switched from a waterbased alkyd urethane (WAT) to an acrylic lacquer. I feel that they are both great products but there are less worries with the lacquer since it cures way faster than the WAT. I've experienced up to a month of cure time with the WAT compared to an overnight dry with the lacquer. When the coating is not cured, it leaves room for marring on the finished surface if handled wrong.
9) Packaging the doors for transport. Pretty self explanatory, but I like to use large foam pouch bags. I have yet to have any issues transporting the doors in these.
10) Reinstall all doors and hardware. Since everything is bagged and labeled, this part should be a breeze. I drape a moving blanket over a surface and work on that. When everything is installed, adjustment can be made to line anything up that needs it and new felt bumper pads are installed.
Enjoy your beautiful, new kitchen!!! A lot of hard work and care went into it. 😊