The Refabulated Kitchen Cabinet Painting Process: How We Make Your Kitchen Beautiful From Start to Finish

White and navy blue kitchen cabinets


Thinking about taking the next steps toward your dream kitchen? It’s time to get Refabulated!

To help you get a better picture of what our kitchen cabinet painting services involve, we’re going to take you step by step through a typical job.

Here’s what the process looks like when we work on Refabulating your kitchen.


How it all Begins: When Our Kitchen Cabinet Painters Arrive


When we arrive at your home, our first order of business is to verify the colour you’ve chosen. We want you to be delighted with the paint colour for your cabinetry!


Lady picking a paint colour from a paint swatch book


This is important because it’s a big decision, and it is totally normal to be having doubts! When this happens, we often tell clients to go with their first choice, and not to second guess themselves.


We can change colours mid job, but we prefer not to as this costs time and money, so it’s important to be sure.  We can refer you to an interior designer for expert advice. Not everyone needs this, but it’s a service that is available if you’d like to use it.


Before and After Photos


After we’ve discussed your paint colours, we ask for your permission to take pictures of your kitchen. We use these pictures on our website and in our social media campaigns on Facebook and Instagram. You can even be in the picture if you’d like!


kitchen cabinets before and after


These before and after pictures will help us in our advertising, and with other potential clients that may be thinking about painting their own kitchens. Often, people like to see the colours you have chosen or need help envisioning what their cabinetry will look like painted. This is totally optional- you are under no obligation, and are certainly welcome to opt out.


How to Prepare For Our Kitchen Cabinet Painting Crew


Next, we draw a map of your kitchen and number all your doors. This enables us to reinstall your doors later in the exact same spot they came from.


This also helps with adjustments on the back end, as some houses “settle” and each door can be specific to its own spot.


We will also take your instructions for new hardware at this time. If you are changing it out, we can determine the best placement for your new knobs or handles and take a sample with us so we can fill and drill for new holes if required.


Rose gold kitchen cabinet hardware


What some people do when choosing hardware is go to the hardware store and choose a few they think they might like, take them home and try them out. If you keep the packaging you can always return the ones that you don’t like.


In preparation for the in-home cabinet painting experience, many homeowners wonder if they need to take everything out of the cabinets.


The answer is no, thankfully- it can be a task to figure out where to put everything! This is unnecessary, as we are painting only the fronts of the boxes. It also creates extra work for you.


Unless your cabinets are overloaded with dishes or other items, we can usually work around most situations. We do ask that you remove any small appliances, canisters, or decorative pieces you may have on your countertops, as well as any curtains or blinds around your windows. This allows our painters to move freely and unencumbered.


Outdated kitchen


Prior to arriving, we may have asked you to simply remove your knobs or handles from your doors because this helps us out a lot. We also usually ask if you will give your doors a quick wipe down with a damp cloth. It’s another small thing that makes a big difference for us.


Since we will be painting behind your stove and fridge, if you can pull them out and chase away any dust bunnies, this is extremely helpful as well. This is even more helpful if you have pets, as fur likes to accumulate in these areas.


Removing Your Cabinets and Prepping For Paint


paint brushes and paint bucket


Once our map is made, and all doors and drawer fronts are documented in our legend, we will remove them. This is usually a simple task that doesn’t take long.


New doors have hinges with a button that just requires a quick flip and they are off. In most cases, drawers are screwed on and we just take the fronts, leaving everything in them behind. We organize and label all of the parts and load them up in our vehicle.


Our rule of thumb when uninstalling a kitchen is that anything that is easily removable, and can be easily reinstalled. It will be taken down and come to our shop with us to be spray painted. This can include end panels, valances, toe kicks, crown moulding, shelving, etc.


We will then begin to clean all areas of the boxes and panels where we will be painting to remove any debris or grease.


The In-Home Painting Process


Next up is sanding. We generally find we don’t need to sand in home excessively. This is because we do not want to create a lot of dust in your home, and also because we use a really good primer called STIX by INSLX. As its name indicates, it “stix” to everything. You can even paint glass, ceramic, plastic, and more with this primer, so we find it an excellent foundation for the BENJAMIN MOORE Advance Paint.


Sanding machine


After a wipe down of all dust, we start priming. Sometimes we apply two coats of primer by brush and roller depending on the darkness of the kitchen.


All surfaces are taped off, and we lay plastic all around your floors, as well as over your countertops and appliances. We check to see if you are painting your walls, as if we get our paint on your walls we want to be able to touch up as required.


We also will determine if any caulking is required. With wood doors that are usually dark, you won’t notice gaps in your kitchen, such as in between crown mouldings and the top of the cabinetry or in corner pieces. So we will fill these places with paintable caulking to create a nicer finished look.


Often, because we are brushing and rolling the in-home portion of the kitchen, we are asked if there will be a difference in the “look” of the doors and drawers as they are sprayed. While the application is completely different, our method with the in-home painting is extensive as far as creating a smooth finish. We wet sand the paint in between coats to create a stroke free finish.


Behind the Scenes: Painting Cabinet Doors in Our Studio


The in-home painting takes an average of 2-3 days, and then we get working on your doors. We remove all your hardware, labeling all hinges in correlation to their original spots in the doors.


Green kitchen cabinets getting painted


Our process is to give everything a really good clean using a product such as TSP (Trisodium Phosphate). Then, we sand out any excessive wear in and around the handle or knobs, as well as those doors by the sink or stove that can require a bit of extra attention.


We prime again using STIX, and sometimes BIN, which is a stain blocker and a sealer. With some woods, there can be tannins and once the paint hits the wood, it draws out and creates staining in the paint. Our solution is BIN to block this from happening.


We sand between coats, creating a smooth finish and removing all dust. Then, we spray the first coats of paint, and when dry sand and spray again. We repeat the process on both sides of the doors. After that, we spray 1-2 coats of primer on both sides of the doors, 2 coats of paint on the back and 3 coats on the front.


Striving For Excellence


When the doors are dry, we double check everything for flaws and imperfections. There is a standard within the paint industry that says if you can stand back and see a flaw, then that is acceptable practice.


Generally speaking, for us our standard is that if there is a flaw in the paint we will fix it.  We like to check with you before we even begin the job for areas you’ve noticed, doors that don’t shut quite right, or areas you might like filled. We can fix or improve these areas in a lot of cases, but sometimes older kitchens can’t be fixed. We will discuss the possibilities with you.


We promise painting your kitchen cabinetry will significantly improve the look of your kitchen and change it in ways you might not be able to imagine, but for the sake of clarity we never claim your doors will be perfect. However, your satisfaction and delight about your newly painted kitchen is our aim.


kitchen before and after


Putting on the Final Touches


When the doors are dry and ready for hanging, we reinstall all the hinges and wrap them up so they are not marked during transporting. We will arrive at your door to re-install.


Most doors go on as easily as they came off, so we unwrap them and we simply snap the doors back into place. Drawers can sometimes take a bit longer.


We will then put on your new hardware and apply rubber bumpers. We’ll also make any adjustments to the doors to make them even or close better is completed.


You can also show us any touch ups that may be required after the in-home painting was completed. We usually apply 3-4 coats of paint for the in-home portion, but realize sometimes it can take a little bit for the paint to dry and settle in.


Caring For Your New Refabulated Kitchen


We will leave you with some paint for touch ups, and instructions on how to do so. We will tell you that the paint will be delicate, and to be careful when opening your doors and drawers. The paint will take between 4-6 weeks to completely cure and harden off.


While we don’t offer any official warranty or guarantee, it’s never our intention to abandon you with a problem, so just give us a call.


We love happy clients- it’s our greatest reward. The best way to thank us is to pass our name along to your friends and family.


Contact us Now to Take The Next Steps Toward Your Dream Kitchen


Does this process sound exciting to you? We know it does to us!


It’s time to make your dream a reality.


If you’d like to take the next steps and get your kitchen cabinets repainted, let’s chat.


Get your free quote now!


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