Okay, so you decided that your cabinets need a facelift. What are your options, and what are you in for? Outdated cabinets are a common plague and there are cottage industries sprouting up virtually all over the place trying to provide a quick, effective, affordable solution. The big-box stores are ahead of the game because they recognized the trend early.
They have been offering the highest-priced. Solution, which is complete cabinet replacement, and the second highest option, which is new doors and refacing. Both of these options are beautiful – I’ve seen them in my client’s homes – but, they run in the $10,000 – $20,000 range or more. The big boys often make this possible through in-store financing options, so you’ll be paying for those cabinets for quite a while.
Or you could go “old school” with the complete stripping and refinishing of the cabinets. And while it is possible, in my years in the painting business, I have rarely seen it done successfully, and never by a do-it-yourselfer. Don’t get me wrong, we’ve all seen a great piece of stripped and refinished furniture, so we know at some level it is possible to do the same with cabinets, but those who try, soon realize the daunting task they have undertaken. Every door can be like a piece of furniture, so imagine refinishing fifty to a hundred pieces in your kitchen alone; it is not for the faint of heart.
So then you think to hire a professional to do this tedious work. The key word is “tedious”. The pro knows what this entails and will charge accordingly. So unless you’ve got access to someone who has recently escaped from a “Siberian gulag” and will therefore work for pennies per day(and he’d better have worked as a furniture refinisher before), then it’s time to look for more practical alternatives. The technique we’ve found to be the best overall is lacquer.
We all tend to think of clear topcoats here, but lacquer can have a sheer tint like a stain, or solid coverage of color like a paint, so it can be used in any design scenario. And it has tremendous practical benefits. It is the hardest, most durable finish, which is why it has traditionally been used as a topcoat. (In fact, if your cabinets were factory-finished, there is a 95% chance that they were done with lacquer.) Its adhesion qualities are excellent. It also dries incredibly quickly, thus allowing for multiple coats to be sprayed in one day (so you can get back to your newkitchen faster). It’s a no-brainer.
It’s perfect for those of you wanting to retain the rich look of stained woodwork. By adding stain-like tints to clear lacquer, we can turn your old, “Little House on the Prairie” cabinets into up-to-date, espresso-toned beauties. Or walnut, or whatever type of wood stain you wish. Honestly, you have to see it to believe it. The future is cabinet refinishing and if you’re looking for a company with the knowledge, equipment and crews experienced in lacquer spraying, call me at Proud Precision Painters in Wauwatosa.
By the way, this technique typically runs 20 – 50% of the cost of cabinet replacement, so you won’t need to take out a loan to bring your kitchen into the twenty-first century. Not to mention all the space that’ll be saved in the landfill. Save a tree, lacquer your cabinets!
Of course, another way to refresh your cabinets is to simply paint them with oil- or water-based paint. I do this as well and, if you don’t want the stained look, this works beautifully. I recommend using colored lacquer rather than traditional paint. It is roughly the same procedure and look, yet lacquer is usually more durable and definitely quicker to apply. So this means the workers should be out of your house sooner, and therefore the overall cost will be cheaper. We use traditional paint mainly when we’re going to apply a decorative glaze or antiqued finish on top. Otherwise, lacquer wins, hands down.
If you have any questions or want an estimate for budgeting purposes, give Proud Precision Painters a call now!
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