kitchen cabinets interior

Thinking of Painting Your Kitchen Cabinets? Don’t Make These Mistakes!

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A kitchen cabinet refresh is one of the best and fastest ways to spruce up your kitchen and improve your home’s resale value. 

Did you know that painting and refinishing your cabinets offers an ROI of up to 200% when it’s done right? Assuming your cabinets are structurally in good shape, that’s a better investment than a full cabinet replacement. It’s a more environmentally sustainable choice, too.

Maybe you’re getting your home ready to sell, or maybe you’re just hoping for a nicer, brighter kitchen where you can cook your next family dinner. Whatever your reason, you want to make sure you get the most out of your cabinet refresh project. The best and surest way to get a great result is to work with a professional cabinet refinisher in your area, but if you’re planning to DIY, you’ll want to avoid these all-too-common mistakes that homeowners often make:


Not preparing properly

Good preparation makes all the difference. In fact, it’s just as important as the actual painting. Here’s how to get your cabinets and your kitchen ready to paint:

  • Remove cabinet doors, drawers, and hardware before painting
  • Clean everything thoroughly to remove grease and dirt (and let it dry completely)
  • Protect your entire kitchen with drop cloths and painter’s tape (not masking tape) 
  • Sand your cabinets so the paint will go on smoothly (and make sure there’s no dust or debris left behind)
  • Don’t forget primer!


Regretting your color choice

If you’re hoping to add value to your home, choosing the right colors is important. You want your cabinets to appeal to potential buyers, but you also want to make sure that you love them! Although you can never be 100% sure how a color will look until the project is done, here’s how you can minimize the risk that you’ll regret your choice:

  • Bring paint swatches into your kitchen so you can look at them in the right lighting
  • Use a paint sample to cover a large poster board and hold it up in your kitchen
  • Stick to neutrals if you want to play it safe (but if you love bright colors, go for it!)
  • Consider hiring a professional who can work with you to choose a color that suits your personality, complements your kitchen, and makes your home more attractive to potential future buyers


Choosing the wrong paint and painting tools

Choosing your paint color (or colors) is typically the most fun aspect of a kitchen cabinet refresh, but choosing a great color isn’t enough to ensure a great result. You also need to consider:


What type of paint you use

Most people want their kitchen cabinets to have that lovely sheen that we’re all familiar with. You’ll also want a moisture-resistant paint to prevent all that hard work from being ruined when you boil water. At Bluenote Painting, we prefer a lacquer primer and topcoat because it’s incredibly durable and provides a beautiful sheen.


Paint quality

When it comes to paint for cabinets, you get what you pay for. In general, cheaper paint is less durable, and the last thing you want is to spend hours beautifying your cabinets only to find them marred by chips, cracks, and scratches within a few months.


What type of surface you’re covering

Some surfaces are easier to paint over than others. Laminates are trickier than wood, for example. Make sure you know what your cabinets are made of and choose appropriate products and materials.


The tools you use

Cabinets tend to be less forgiving of minor imperfections than walls are. An experienced cabinet painter using a high quality sprayer is the only guarantee of a proper finish. Cabinets painted with brushes or rollers will leave a job “streaky” or “bumpy”. 


Underestimating the time commitment

In addition to investing in high-quality paint and equipment, you’re also spending another valuable resource: your time. 

Painting kitchen cabinets isn’t a simple weekend DIY project. It’s a big undertaking, and getting good results requires a lot of time. Not blocking out enough days to complete the job can result in rushed work or a kitchen that’s out of commission for longer than you want.

Plus, your time is valuable. Even if you do your research and avoid all these mistakes, getting good results takes time and effort. And if mistakes do happen, they can be complicated, expensive, and time-consuming to fix. Hiring a professional tends to be much faster, because we already have the best quality tools, materials, and equipment to get the job done efficiently. When you work with the right painters, you can rest assured that you’ll get a beautiful result that’s protected by a warranty.


Consider working with a locally-owned and operated painting contractor

Cabinet refinishing and painting is one of our specialties at Bluenote Painting, but our process is a little different than other cabinet painters.

We don’t take your cabinets out of your home to paint. We actually turn your kitchen into a fully protected, fully sealed paint booth! Our process is faster, cleaner, and better for your cabinets. Not only does it keep them safe and sound indoors, but it also prevents their beautiful new paint job from being damaged during transport.

Here’s what we’ll do, step by step:

  • Tape, mask, and cover all your kitchen’s appliances, countertops, and floors to protect them
  • Meticulously clean your cabinets with eco-friendly cleaners to get rid of all grease, wax, and other buildup
  • Sand down your cabinets to eliminate damaged spots and fill in gaps
  • Apply a lacquer primer to all surfaces
  • Sand the primer to achieve the smoothest possible surface for the application of the topcoat
  • Paint your cabinets with a lacquer topcoat  that minimizes odor and allows you to stay in your home the whole time
  • Reassemble your cabinets and thoroughly clean up after ourselves so you can enjoy the beautiful result


Let us help you transform your cabinets

At Bluenote Painting, we’re proud of our reputation for being the most skilled, honest, and dedicated painting professionals in the Portland area. Our top priority is to make sure you’re 100% thrilled with your new cabinets. 

Ready for a free estimate? Have questions about how we work? Give us a call at (503) 246-8888 to get started.

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