Being in the painting field since 1995 I have a great appreciation for the skill and talent that it takes to be a painter. There are so many different types of painting that you can gain experience in. Wall painting, trim and door painting, restoration, refinishing, fine finishes, spray application (with many types of sprayers), residential, commercial, and the list can go on.
Having spent a large portion of my career in spraying and wood finishing I have always enjoyed making wood look it's best. The time I spent doing residential re-painting was valuable in teaching me how important prep work is in creating a sound surface for the finish coat. Applying a beautiful finish means nothing if it is not going to stand the test of time. It takes a lot of experience to truly understand that concept, you really have to block out all the bad information that is put out by many paint manufacturers and sales people. There are very few painters out there who really care about the long term of their work in this way, it takes much more effort and you can't be the cheapest price.
This is why cabinet refinishing became my passion.
How do I know if a company specializes in painting cabinets?
If you are having the walls or trim in your home painted, let your painter do that part of the work. if you have a good contact for that keep them around, we need good painters! When it comes to your cabinets hire a professional. Kammes Colorworks is here when you need them!
I designed our website with that in mind. I want people to know what to look for so that cabinet painting does not get a bad name. There are already many unfortunate victims of bad paint jobs, and as demand rises, more inferior painting companies are rising to the occasion to make a few bucks.
What do they do for prep?
Remember, just because they sand doesn't mean they are refinishing. Sanding is so very skimmed over in painting.
Do they have a shop to finish your doors?
If they don't have a place where they do their work they are not serious. Proper climate control and equipment is necessary to do the job right. Without ventilation and airflow combined with consistent temperatures you cannot produce a true factory finish.
Do they have a good reputation?
No reputation is usually a bad reputation. Always hire someone you trust to do your work.
Is cabinet painting their primary service?
You do not want a house painter who dabbles with cabinets, that is a recipe for disaster. Would you want a painter who does exterior painting all year long, or a wall painter to come apply a fine finish on the cabinets in your home?
Does the company know the right products to use?
Using the right products for your cabinetry is essential. You need to block wood tannins and stains with the right primer, then you need a topcoat that is made for cabinets. The door and trim paint sold at paint stores is often not re-finish friendly. This can cause more difficulties later down the line when it is time to freshen up.
It seems logical initially to hire your painter to do your cabinets. The price is competitive and they know how to apply coatings right? They may even have spray equipment.
I can tell you first hand that cabinet refinishing is a field all it's own within the realm of painting. It is so different that it is like another business all together.
A professional must realize this difference in order to refinish cabinetry correctly. One must throw out all of their basic thinking regarding surface preparation, and stop listening to all the bad advice that is waiting around every corner.
A typical painter is going to offer the same services you see on a DIY website or TV show. This is more like a "band-aid" and your cabinets are not going to stand the test of time, even if they manage to make them look good. Your cabinetry is worth investing in, the cost to do the job right is often times no more expensive than what you paid to have it done poorly.
The Prep Work is most important, but it's not the only thing that matters....
Can I just hire my painter to paint my cabinets?
I have found that applying fine finishes is another area very few painters and painting companies understand.
I have seen so many projects done by others where the trim and doors have more texture than the walls! Other times they will look like leather from being brushed dry. Spray jobs will have an orange peel look accompanied by drips, runs, and grit sealed into the coating.
When it comes to your cabinets I encourage you to invest in a specialist. Cabinets are expensive to replace and they are a focal point in your home which can make or break resale value down the road.