painting cherry cabinets
Painting Dark Wood Cabinets White

Do you have dark stained wood cabinets?  Do you hate how they look?  Have you ever asked yourself “Can I paint my dark cabinets white?” (And YES! is the answer!!)

The kitchen is the number one place for you and your family to hang out. Like most of our customers, the kitchen gets the most attention. This attention is from you, your family, and your friends when they come over. But like so many people, the thought of replacing and remodeling the kitchen is too overwhelming, too costly, and too time-consuming. Not anymore.

Here is one of our YouTube videos we have posted a small movie clip that shows a cherry cabinet painted white. Read this blog article about how we are transforming kitchens, (painting them white) changing how you feel about your home, loving the space you’re in all over again!

If you are buying or selling a home, the kitchen is the number one room that can make or break the sale.

Here is our process for painting Dark Wood Cabinets White:

before and after painting dark wood cabinets white
This is the latest project we started

Dark stianed Wood Cabinets

Painting over these types of cabinets is a relatively painful process and we guide you all the way through it. I’ve painted the wooden cabinets in my own home so I know stressful how it sounds. For the past 10+ years, we have refined our process, found the best materials, and have the needed experience to make this remodeling easy for you.

1. Prep Work

We start with the prep work covering floors and countertops.

repairing cabinets - cabinet refinishing geneva
Cabinet Prep Before Painting
cabinet refinishing geneva - how much does it cost to paint cabinets
Protecting Counter Before Painting Cabinets

2. Clean Everything! Before you use Primer.

You are going to need few materials before beginning this process:

  • TSP or other cleaner
  • 220 grit sandpaper
  • Degreaser
  • Denatured alcohol
  • Scuff pads
  • Clean rags

As you see by the photo below we removed all the doors, this is an after photo of all the doors painted and primed.

Once all the doors are off, we clean the cabinet boxes. The cleaner the better. You do not want to have issues with grease dirt or oil contaminating the surface or bleeding through the primer. There are times that some grease and oil may not come out of the wood. When this happens then it is time to use a oil-based spot primer.

One thing that people forget is to caulk the gaps and fill nail holes. When cabinets are dark wood, they usually have all of the gaps left open and all the nail holes left as well. So once we prime, all the black lines and holes show up. So we fill these areas to make a clean surface.

We prime all the surfaces with bonding primer. The cabinet boxes and doors get a sand paper treatment (yes that means we sand then with a sander) to make sure you get an ultra-smooth surface.

prepping to paint kitchen cabinets - painting cabinets white
Here is a kitchen cabinet that is all masked off and ready for paint
painting kitchen cabinets - painting dark cabinets white
Cabinets all primed

3. All the items are Primed. Now paint!

When we remove the cabinet doors, they are taken off-site to our shop and we repeat the same process of cleaning them, sanding them degreasing- denatured alcohol, spot primer where needed before we begin painting.

We will actually hang the doors when we paint, and yes we always spray our doors!

painting kitchen cabinets white - glazed kitchen cabinets
We hang the doors to spray them. This one is getting glazed.

Once all the doors are painted we load them up and bring them back to your home.

The doors are all packed up and placed in foam sleeves to make sure they do not get banged up or damaged.

Every door and hinge that was removed has a specific number so they go back to where they came from.

Once they are installed, hardware is replaced, and final adjustments are made.

painting cherry cabinets
Cherry cabinets painted white

There you have it a brand new kitchen! Check out this video!

Call us at (847) 553-1726 with your questions and schedule an estimate on painting your kitchen cabinets! We are here to help you love the house you live in.

Should I Paint My Cherry Cabinets?

Should I Paint My Cherry Cabinets?

Maybe you should ask are you ready to paint your Cherry Cabinets?

If you are like many of our customers in the Chicagoland area, such as Elgin, you have a home that has wood cabinets. Do you have solid wood cabinets such as cherry and you are not happy with the look and feel of your kitchen? Have been looking at Pinterest, Google images, watching HGTV or YouTube videos about painting kitchen cabinets? Are you afraid of making the right decision? Then you are not alone. I too have felt this fear and faced these same questions so you are in the right place. Now the the question once more- Should I paint my cherry cabinets?

Do you have this?

But ready for something like this?

How much will it cost and will it last?

These are the two questions most people are asking when facing the question or problem of kitchen remodeling, but for most people, it is the same answer.

  • The cost is based on how many cabinets you have
  • The process is proven to last- so we give you a lifetime warranty on our work
  • We even come back in 1 year to do a check up if you need it

A common question- how much does it cost to paint cabinets compared to replacing the cabinets. Right now, you can expect about $107.00 per cabinet to have it painted. That is an average so you can do some rough math by counting your cabinets. When you look at the cost to replace your cabinets, it will be 60% more expensive than painting them and with the money you save by painting, you can now upgrade your door hardware, your countertops, your sink, and most likely your appliances to have a new kitchen you want and enjoy.

cherry cabinets before

cherry cabinets painted and glazed

The other cost is the loss of your kitchen. If you replace your cabinets, think about the fact that you will have no kitchen to use for several weeks. You will not have appliances. You will have to remove everything from your cabinets and store all that stuff for 2-4 weeks! There are always surprises as you take things out and replace that end up costing more money and time away from the most popular part of your home. If you don’t have a 2nd place in your home to cook, that is a lot of money to buy food ready to eat vs. cooking in your home.

THE best part is YOU decide what color you want! You can go to any JC Licht Store, or Sherwin Williams store in the Chicagoland area, pick any color you want- you can even pick two colors if you wish!!  (If you select the whites from BEHR- we may not be able to match it 100%)

So, can I paint MY cherry cabinets

YES!!  You have just read the inconvenience of replacing your cabinets with new ones. When we paint them, you get to use your kitchen! There may be a few hours in the course of the day we have plastic around your appliances to protect them, but every night you use your kitchen! And since you don’t have doors you can access everything in your kitchen quicker! (That one was meant to bring a smile). Before the details of how, there are several questions you have to be able to honestly answer to know if painting your cabinets is a good solution for you.

  • Is there anything wrong with the cabinets you have? Is there any damage? Are there any broken doors? Do they have water damage? If you are saying no to any other these then so far you are on your way to painting your cabinets!
  • Do you like the look of a painted cabinet? Some people, my father being one of them, cringes at the sound of painting wood. If you are not sure then take a few hours and go to a home improvement store like Home Depot or Menards to look and touch. Ask yourself if you can see yourself with painted kitchen cabinets.
  • If you are still feeling good about the idea then it is time for the next step!
before cherry cabinets painting

original cherry cabinets

painted cherry cabinets

But! There is always a but. There are a few things you need to be aware of if you have never had a kitchen or any cabinets that are painted. Painted cabinets are not like stained wood cabinets. I know you are here because you want to know about cherry cabinets, however, if your cabinets are pine-stained cherry color, this is not for you. Pine cabinets are not good candidates for paint. But you have solid Cherry! Stained cherry cabinets have a finish that has penetrated the wood fibers themselves to bond into the wood. Paint on a cabinet is given a bonding primer to stick to the surface of the cabinet. Then the paint is put on top of the primer. This is the same in a new factory cabinet or a refinished one like you are thinking about now.

Keep in mind, at the end of the day this is paint. It is a hard shell, it will resist stains, it will be washable, it will look impressive. Paint on wood can chip upon impact and wood doors will not allow you to place wet towels or rags on them and not become damaged.  I have to give you those buts up front so you know.

I have painted my cabinets, people but are doing it every day, and I believe it a great way to not just improve the look of your kitchen but change how you feel about the most important room in your home.

It Worked For These People, And It Will Work For You

Here’s what it did for me… Before I met Daphne and we were married, she had her cabinets painted but didn’t like the color. There was still nothing wrong with the cabinets-just a color -the wrong color. We picked a new color, had some new hardware installed, where there were none before and now we have a kitchen that my wife loves to look at and loves the feeling she has when we are in it. So I have used the materials, process, and system in my home as well.

Here is one testimonial from a great customer in Elgin, IL about painting cherry cabinets:

What are you getting?

When you hire D’franco Painting & Wallpaper, you’ll have the peace of mind of …

  • You will have employees of D’franco Painting & Wallpaper not subcontractors
  • All of our employees  get background checked by a 3rd party vendor
  • We carry workman’s comp and liability insurance.
  • We have a system and process that has is used, always evaluated to improve and refine. And for over 15 years we still attend training annually to make sure we provide the best products for your home.
  • Lifetime Warranty on our work. We will come back on your anniversary every year and give you one hour to do the minor touch-ups that you may need
  • We use cabinet-grade cabinet paints from ML Campbell, Chem Aqua, Shurwood, or ILVA. These are time-tested and award-winning finishes that will last and meet the demands of the most used room in your house. (the paint we use is varies on cost, color and availability)

It’s Decision Time

You have a choice to make: Keep looking at your cabinets and wonder what if…or worse, do nothing at all. You know where that will lead (to another web search on cherry cabinets, frustrated about the look and feel of your kitchen). Is that really where you want to go? Take a new action, and get a new result. Finally, get that estimate and transform your kitchen – Love the home you live in! Which do you really want for yourself? So here are your next steps:

  • Call or text us
  • We will ask you for pictures of your kitchen
  • We will give you a cost to paint your cabinets within $100-$200. It includes removing hardware, cleaning, painting the outside of the boxes and both sides of the doors. If the numbers look like you want more information we will make an appointment with you. We will come to your house with a door sample that you can touch and see. We will inspect everything and then give you an accurate quote of the exact cost
  • Receive a detailed description of how our process works and give you videos to show you of us in action.
  • You receive a list of products we use
  • You may qualify for a free color consult!
  • You’ll have a lifetime warranty.

So, you have asked the question “should I paint my cherry cabinets?”, and you have read the answers, now you are ready to take action and get a GET AN ESTIMATE today!

We look forward to helping you love the home you live in!

Here are some other blog articles on painting cabinets we have for you:

Glazing kitchen cabinets

Are you ready for something different for your painted cabinets?

Try Glazing kitchen cabinets! We are painting kitchen cabinets at about a kitchen and a half per week. Most people are just painting with solid colors, some will add a 2nd color for islands.  One thing we used to do a lot of was glazing wood, specifically glazing kitchen cabinets.

Ever seen glazed cabinets? Do you know what a glazed cabinet looks like? Can you see yourself wanting a glazed cabinet?

What is a glazed cabinet?

In the simplest of terms a glazed cabinet or piece of furniture is something that has been painted with a color. Once that color is dry, we add a tinted clear finish, then spray, brush or roll that color onto the surface, where we wipe it off until we achieve the color or style the customer wants.

Just like every other type of decorative painting there are different ways you can glaze

  • Pinstripe – simple stripes along the edges of the doors
  • Wipe on – almost like staining, the glaze is applied to the surface by wiping it on
  • Wipe off – we apply the color to the surface and wipe off until we get the color the customer wants
  • Spray on – this one we can do with smaller sprayers, not a lot of overspray, and add an aged look to the painted surface

You can actually watch a video we did about glazing cabinets here 

What colors can you glaze?

That is an easy enough question to answer…any color. What looks good? That is a whole different story.  Usually applying a dark color over a lighter color looks the best (in my opinion), I have seen some dark cherry cabinets that were glazed with a light white over it in the groves of the doors. It didn’t look bad, just not my taste.

A trend in flooring and furniture is a type of glazing called a Ceruse finish. Here is a link to video that shows what this looks like .This unique as it typically uses heavy grain woods such as oak, which really show the grain, a dark color is applied to the oak, then it is glazed with a light color glaze and man does it pop!  Again, not a huge fan of it but it is interesting.  The finishes we are seeing are natural oak with white, that appear to mimic picking finishes done in the 80’s.

How durable is a glazed kitchen cabinet finish?

The best part about a glazed finish is that it can be as durable as a painted surface. Depending on the application and materials used, it can last a long time and stand up to normal wear and tear.

Just like traditional painted surfaces, the painted wood surfaces do not tolerate water!  So not using hot soapy water, not allowing water to stand on the painted surface, and no harsh cleaners will definitely allow for longevity.

Does a glazed finish make a big difference in how my kitchen will look?

A picture is worth a 1,000 words…

unglazed cabinet door - kitchen cabinet painters
Here is a unglazed cabinet door
glazing kitchen cabinets - cabinet refinishing elgin il
The same door glazed
glazed kitchen cabinets

Cabinet door and drawer front that have been glazed

Before and after photos of glazed kitchen cabinets

Of course when you go all out and paint the cabinets before they are glazed it is even a bigger wow factor!

painting cherry cabinets

Cherry cabinets painted and glazed

cherry cabinets before glaze - kitchen cabinet painting elgin il

Cherry cabinets before paint and glaze

cabinets before painting - dfranco painting elgin

Cabinets before paint and glaze

painting cabinets white - cabinet glazing

Cabinets after paint and glazeGlazed cabinets is not for everyone. It has a certain place and it is something that takes practice to do. We hope we have the opportunity to help you with your cabinet painting needs.

We love to see how we can help you love the space you’re in!

Painting Cherry Cabinets?

Are you considering Painting Cherry Cabinets?

If the answer to that question is yes, then please read on! We have helped and empowered many customers to make this difficult decision easy. It is hard to think of painting cherry cabinets as an option, but I assure you it will be ok!

Although we have written several blog posts about this subject, today we are going to add some problems that may happen when painting cabinets.

Are people really Painting Cherry Cabinets?

Yes! Customers are also painting wood cabinets that are maple and oak. This is not the choice for everyone. My family cringes at the thought of painting wood, such as cherry. I helped my father strip paint from the wood in the home we grew up in for several years! There are a few great reasons why this is more popular:

  • Cost of new cabinets
  • Cost of remodeling
  • Price of lumber
  • Time needed to replace a kitchen with new cabinets

These factors make painting a great alternative to making that kitchen a space of your own- a place you want to be in, and proud to show off.

Can I paint my cherry cabinets?

Absolutely! If you have seen our other posts or watched our YouTube videos, you will see the cabinets we are painting. Here is one video of our work on cherry cabinets.

So, what is the process to paint cabinets?

The job always starts with prep and cleaning. Customers will tell us, “We have a cleaning service, so they should be clean.” But…

  • There is always residue from previous cleaning products!
  • You’ll need to remove any grease, oil, dirt etc. from the cabinets.
  • If you have a cabinet door that leads to your garbage can, look at the inside of that cabinet door. (usually nasty)
  • Believe it or not, your hands have oil on them! That oil will need to be cleaned off as well.

Cover the floors and counters with a self-stick plastic wrap. The walls get masked with tape, we remove all handles and hinges, and make sure we cover appliances. You can see the video that we have completely covered the counters with tape and plastic.

With everything covered and cleaned, we start priming all surfaces that will be painted. After the primer is applied, we fill the nail holes you never paid attention to from the initial installation. Using caulk, we fill the small cracks and seams to keep everything smooth, a solid white surface, and leveled.

The primer is applied, and now we sand the surfaces, then start to paint. We spray as much as possible but sometimes we have to get out the brushes and foam rollers to get into spaces where we just can’t spray.

All the removed doors are taken to the spray booth to spray. It leaves a factory finish that you will love!

When we finish painting, we start putting everything back together, make our adjustments, remove the tape, plastic and reveal a new kitchen!

Will the paint last?

At the end of the day, we are talking about paint. It is not bullet proof. All the kitchen cabinets in my home are painted with the same process and materials we use in yours. The paint will stand up to normal day-to-day wear and wash.

  • Wash them with 50/50 vinegar and water.
  • Avoid water from staying on the surface. No wet rags on the doors, don’t let water sit on the doors, and dry them off.
  • Paint can (and will) chip…just like the paint in the rest of your house.

We offer a lifetime guarantee on our labor and work. We come back in 12 months for an hour and touch up for free with the paint that is on site. It works, it looks good and it will last.

What are problems with painting cabinets?

This is a newer question but deserves the time to answer. If done correctly, your painted cabinets will last just as long as brand new cabinets. Maybe longer as newer cabinets don’t seem to be made as well as older ones!

Problem 1. Water damage! If you keep wet towels or rags on a painted wood surface, the paint will fail.

Problem 2. Cleaning with chemicals. Just like cleaning your wood floors, you should not use harsh chemicals to clean painted surfaces.

Problem 3. Defective cabinets. This has happened now for the 2nd time in 3 months, so it bears speaking about. When we estimate cabinets, we base that estimate on the cabinets being in good order…no unforeseen damage. These damages can happen in several ways:

  • After a hinge is removed or when a door is moved, a crack is found where it was mounted. This is fixable but would be an additional charge for the repairs.
  • Damaged veneer. This one has me stumped a bit. After we have cleaned, sanded, primed the door, the veneer fails. This means the wood surface comes off of the cabinet and leaves a mess. This is another issue where the repairs would be extra.
veneer coming loose from cabinets - cabinet painting
here is a a cabient we were painting and the veneer started to release fromt he door
  • Here is one video we had on this as well… 
  • And one more…
  • So, what are you waiting for?

    Contact us now for a free estimate! Call or text us at 847-553-1726. You will find out the cost, receive an email on our process, and when the time comes for the on-site estimate, show you a door sample and answer all your questions.

    How can we help you love the house you live in? Start with this link and we can provide you with a free estimate!

    Here are some other blog articles on painting cherry cabinets we have for you:

    Why is The Paint Peeling from My Cabinet Doors

    If you’re reading this, it is because you have painted cabinets in your home and you have an issue with peeling paint.

    When we are painting kitchen cabinet doors, we take extra steps to make sure you have a new, clean, solid painted surface that will last for years to come.  We are so sure we give you a lifetime warranty on all our cabinet painting.

    There are issues where the paint on a painted surface will peel away.  We know this because we are getting calls from people who have this issue and we have had this issue with work we have done.  In each case the reason is simple- the paint is not adhering to the surface.

    Is your paint peeling, chipping or bubbling?

    These are 3 different reasons that cause paint to come off of a surface.

    • Improper preparation
    • Impact damage
    • Water damage

    With these reasons there are some other reasons why paint will come off a painted surface like cabinet doors but for today we will keep it simple.  So lets hit the 3 reasons.

    Improper preparation causing paint to peel

    We see this issue in many different ways:

    • Cabinets not cleaned of dirt and grease
    • Cabinets not sanded to allow a surface for paint to stick
    • Finger prints!  If you try to paint and clean without gloves on, finger prints show up on the paint
    • Using the wrong primer. A good bonding primer is needed to stick to previously finished cabinets and give a surface for new paint to stick too
    • Wrong paint. Not all paints are created equal!  A high quality cabinet tested grade paint is what you need to use.

    We take a lot of time to clean cabinets. We use degreasers, wax removers and de-glossers to get rid of any contaminates in and on cabinet doors.  Sometimes, heavy grease or cooking oil just will not go away. In those cases we are stuck using oil primers.  If you are working with bathroom cabinets or areas where hair spray is being used, you will have a major issue with silicone that takes shellac to cover.

    If you don’t take the time to clean, sand, prime and inspect for contamination issues you will have paint issues.

    Impact damage

    This damage is usually seen with chipping paint

    • Areas around silverware drawers will chip because putting silverware away, at some point you will hit the paint with a utensil.
    • Finger nails – This usually happens around knobs or at the ends of a drawer or door because there is no hardware to use.
    • Trash access – Cabinets that have trash inside the cabinets ALWAYS get damaged. Cans, plates, you name it- cause paint to be damaged.
    • Toys – Usually small kids but we have seen some older kids do some damage to cabinets.
    • Cleaning tools – We usually see this with vacuum hoses. The metal hose dings the edges of the cabinets
    • Dogs – We have fixed many cabinets where dogs have chewed the edges of cabinet doors

    We cant do much to prevent this, it happens and you should expect it in every type of kitchen cabinets. Stained cabinets have just as much damage, you just cant see it as easily as a painted cabinet.

    Water Damage shows itself in bubbling

    Water damage comes in various forms. We have done a few videos and blog posts on this already.

    • Water and wood do not mix!
    • Leaving wet towels or rags on wood cabinets
    • Using the wrong products to clean wood
    • Allowing water to stand and dry on wood cabinets
    • Humidity

    You can read and watch some of the most common water issues we deal with in these links below:

    The hidden enemy of cabinet water damage: Humidity. Humidity in a home not only will damage and cause problems with your cabinets, but with your floors and interior doors!

    In the pictures in this post, this was due to water in the home, excessive humidity, which caused the doors to expand then caused the paint to “pop” or blister. We received the call to fix them!

    cabinet refinishing geneva - cabinet refinishing st. charles
    The paint blistered or bubbled on the door
    cabinet refinishing st. charles - paint
    The paint chipped away from the door
    cabinet refinishing st. charles - paint peeling
    Bondo being inserted into cracks!
    cabinet refinishing st. charles - cabinet doors
    2nd coat of Bondo added to the doors
    paint peeling from cabinet doors - cabinet paint refinishing
    Doors are masked for primer and paint
    paint peeling from cabinets - cabinet refinishing st. charles
    Tape removed and finished!

    So, that is our process. There may be better – I just don’t know what they are. We work with a few cabinet makers and have their process as part of ours. We use the same materials they use when making them, so it is a solid system.

    Is prevention possible? Yes to some point

    But when you are asking “why is the paint peeling from my cabinets?” it is not a simple answer. Kind of like: I was stung by a bee. Was it a bee or was it a wasp, honey bee, bumble bee, yellow jacket or sweat bee?

    So top ways to reduce damage to your cabinets and prevent paint failure:

    • Maintain level humidity in your home (humidifier and dehumidifier).
    • Avoid standing water left on your cabinet doors
    • DO NOT leave wet towels, rags, aprons etc. hanging on your wooden painted doors
    • Use a vinegar and water 50/50 mix to clean the doors. It evaporates fast, no residue.
    • Hire a reputable cabinet painter with the right systems to get the job done right

    Have questions? Let us know. We look forward to helping you love the space you’re in!

    You can also check out our podcast where we talk about home improvement issues as well, The Paint and Paper Podcast. (iTunes) (Windows player)

    How Much Does It Cost to Paint Cabinets

    One question we are asked several times a week is how much does it cost to paint cabinets?

    Painting cabinets are the most effective ways to renovate your kitchen space. However, making sure that it is done the right way with the right products is the key to enjoying the look of painted cabinets.

    How do you determine the cost of painting kitchen cabinets?

    There are several factors when we price out cabinet painting.

    • What type of cabinets do you have? (solid wood oak or maple, veneer plywood, MDF?)
    • Have the cabinets been painted already?
    • Are the cabinets stained?
    • Are you removing hardware?
    • Is there any water damaged cabinets?
    • Do you want a solid color paint or are you looking to have them glazed?

    Each of these questions affects the price of the cabinet painting job.

    So, how much does it cost to paint cabinets? We start out at about $105.00 per door/box set. A door/box set consists of both sides of the door and the frame on the cabinet. The cost of drawers is about $45.00.  The cost can increase to about $150.00 per door/box set depending on the questions above.

    What is the process you use to paint cabinets?

    We recently posted a few small videos on YouTube about the painting process of cabinets. It is a good introduction to the process we use.

    • We start with cleaning. Cabinets gets cleaned with a de-greasing agent
    • Each cabinet is sanded to scuff the surface in preparation for the primer
    • Rubber gloves are used at all times when cleaning and painting
    • The cabinets are wiped clean before the primer is applied
    • Primer is sprayed on, allowed to dry, then we sand it to remove any uneven areas
    • Finally, we paint!

    What products do you use to paint cabinets?

    One of our products of choice for priming are Duralac white vinyl primer or the same type made by ML Campbell, but we have really taken a liking to Stix bonding primer. They are heavy bodied and have some of the best adhesion properties. When we are painting Oak doors, two coats of these primers will fill in quite a bit of the oak grain.  Once we paint, we use ML Campbell Aqualante, Chem Aqua, or Sherwood paint. This paint is a true cabinet grade paint hybrid lacquer. It dries ultra smooth and hard. It resists stains, it touches up well, and it is water clean up. There is some smell but what paint doesn’t?

    Damaged Cabinet doors?

    If any of your doors or drawers have water damage we have some extra work to do.

    • MDF doors with water damage are difficult to repair. MDF swells once water is introduced. It swells like a sponge but does not go down again. The area must be sanded smooth to the existing door surface. We then use a shellac based primer or problem surface sealer which will seal the damaged area from further damage.  If a filler is needed we use glazing putty to make smooth. Then we are ready to prime and paint.
    • Doors that are cracked, broken, or other wood damage are repaired using wood glues, putty or other fillers or repair materials.

    Other ways to improve the look of your kitchen

    Hardware!! Aside from new paint, new hardware is the last factor you need to consider. If there was no hardware previously, we need to drill holes to mount them. That adds about $7.00 per door.

    A few other things you can do:

    • Changing out your hinges to a soft close style…pretty cool!
    • Change out your counter tops
    • Add or update your backsplash
    • New appliances
    • New sink/plumbing fixtures

    That, in a nutshell, is a basic course on how much it will cost to paint cabinets. It is a lot to take in and digest, so if you want a quick ballpark figure, text us some pics of your cabinets to 847-553-1726 and we can give you an idea of what to expect. If you have any other questions, give us a call!

    dfranco dollars - painting referral program
    Here is 1 of our D’franco $100 referral vouchers!
    Top 3 Problems with Painted Cabinets

    Are you considering painting your cabinets?

    “Will the paint on cabinets last?”

    “How Durable are painted cabinets?”

    “I have painted cabinets and the paint is peeling, can you help?”

    “How do I prevent water damage to my cabinets?

    “Will the paint chip if I paint my cabinets”

    These are the top questions and concerns about having cabinets painted. So we thought we could put together a quick article for you on the top 3 problems with painted cabinets. The top 3 are not what you may expect!

    water damaged cabinet - top 3 problems with painted cabinets

    Enemy #1 of wood cabinets: water is not a friend

    This is the number one problem with wood in your home – moisture!! It doesn’t matter if it is stained or painted cabinets, wood floors, or wood furniture, water will cause permanent damage to wood.

    There several ways water can cause damage to wood cabinets, floors or furniture:

    • Leaving wet rags hanging on cabinets
    • Not using coasters on your furniture
    • High humidity
    • Washing wood (painted or stained) with water and leaving heavy water residue on the wood surfaces

    After 15 years of painting and re-staining cabinets, water damage is always an issue.

    The cabinets by your sink get the most abuse!

    • Water from washing your hands, doing dishes, cooking, and cleaning usually take their toll in this area of your kitchen cabinetry.
    • Next are the cabinets or cabinet panels next to your dishwasher. The ventilation from dishwashers was not given much thought as to where the steam goes. They have traditionally either gone out the top damaging countertops or out the sides damaging the cabinet right next to your dishwasher.
    • Do not use harsh chemicals to clean cabinets – vinegar and water are all you need. Chemical cleaners will cause the finishes of your cabinets to break down faster and then allow water into the wood.
    • Fix any problem as soon as it is seen, don’t wait for it to get worse!

    How durable is the paint on the cabinets?

    This is question is closely tied to some of the other questions we receive, will the paint peel, and will the paint chip?

    When the time is taken to do the right prep work on your wood cabinets – NO the paint will not peel.  When we are getting cabinets ready for paint we have a multi-step process to make sure the paint sticks to the wood:

    • We clean the entire cabinet surface with TSP, degreaser cleaner. This can take several times to get cabinets clean
    • We also scuff sand the surfaces to give the primer something to stick to. When the cabinets are previously painted, the surface is slick so paint or primer has nothing to stick to. Think of it as glass vs. your skin – they both look smooth but one is more porous than the other.
    • Bonding primer is what should be used as your primer for cabinets. This stuff will bond to almost anything! Without the right primer, paint will have issues with sticking to any wood you are painting.

    The devil is in the details!! All of the prep work is the key to a great, long lasting paint job.

    As for the paint- USE THE BEST! ILVA, ML Campbell, Shur Wood Aqua Chem are the ones we use.  They are great paints!!!

    Can you fix the peeling paint on my cabinets?

    No.  If the paint is peeling from your cabinets then the only way to fix it is to strip all of the paint from the door(s).


    These are the top 3 problems with painted cabinets but there are some other questions we are asked and if you have questions regarding painting your cabinets please let us know.

    How to paint your new wood cabinet doors

    Are you replacing older cabinet doors?

    Then today is your lucky day! We are seeing more and more customers where they are repairing their kitchen cabinets.  This means repairing doors that are damaged.  If this is you- then we are going to give you a quick how to paint your new wood cabinet doors! The hardest part about this is what color are you going to paint?

    oak wood cabinet door - how to paint your new wood cabinet doors

    here is a raw oak wood cabinet door

    So what kind of wood door do you have?

    Knowing the type of wood you have is the first step in telling you how to paint your new raw wood cabinet doors. It does make a difference in the amount or type of prep you will have to do to get your new doors looking perfect! There are a few basic types of materials new wood doors are made from:

    • Oak
    • Cherry
    • Maple
    • MDF
    • Birch
    • Both hardwood and MDF

    Each of these types of wood has unique properties as to why they are used.

    Oak is really used for the look of staining the grain of the wood. I do not know anyone who selects a oak door for how well it paints! As I am sure you know, and can see from the image above, painting oak doors presents a trick… getting rid of the heavy grain.

    Cherry looks amazing when stained – flat, smooth, great colorations. Beautiful!

    Maple is very hard. It will wear better than most other woods, but the kicker is that it is very difficult to stain and cannot be re-stained.

    MDF is a manufactured board made from glue and sawdust. It is cheaper, is very smooth, and is very susceptible to water damage, but it does not shrink or expand like traditional wood doors.

    Birch is nice, light, smooth, more inexpensive, and is a very nice wood to paint on.

    Applying primer to a raw oak door

    Since we covered the different types, we will just focus on painting an oak door.  Oak is very porous and heavy grained. You see every line that the tree had.  So to make it look good, these are the steps for how to paint your new wood cabinet doors.

    These doors need to be sanded.  Once sanded then you can apply a coat of wood primer. Oak doors have all of that grain so we use a small foam roller to roll the primer on the doors and it will get forced into all of those nooks and crannies.

    painting oak cabinets - one coat of primer

    a oak door with one coat of primer

    When you have primed the door with primer, the wood will swell up and it will be very rough and splintery.  After the primer is dry, you will need to sand it smooth then use a vac to clean all of the dust.

    festool sander and vac - repainting cabinets

    our Festool sander and vac

    With the 1st coat applied and sanded, apply another coat of primer (you can use a fine roller but we spray).  The 2nd cost of primer will sit down very nice and the grain you saw in the 1st coat of primer will almost disappear. Check to see that the primer is dry- usually a few hours- then again sand and vac clean.

    Painting your primed oak door

    Let’s review:

    • You sanded the raw wood door
    • Then you cleaned it to remove all dust
    • A coat of primer was applied to the door
    • After the primer was dry, you sanded it smooth
    • You applied a 2nd coat of primer
    • Checking to make sure it was dry, you sanded it again and cleaned it.

    Make sure that you are not touching this door with your hands – wear gloves. This keeps your hands clean and keeps the oils from your fingers off of the surface to be painted.

    new cabinet door painted - dfranco cabinet refinishing

    a new cabinet door primed and painted

    Your door is ready to be painted!!

    With your paint in hand and ready to go- get painting!! Again, we like the Wooster foam rollers, but everyone has their favorites.  Anything that will leave a smooth surface is great! (We spray them) When you finish painting the door, then allow it to dry overnight.  PLAN on having to apply a 2nd coat of paint.

    Allow the painted door to dry!

    There are several good cabinet paints on the market. It doesn’t matter which one you choose as long as you do your work to prepare the doors and allow enough time for them to dry.  Once the final coat of paint is applied, again, make sure you give it 24 hours before you decide to install hinges or hang the door.  By allowing this extra time, you are giving the paint more opportunity to harden which will make sure the door does not get damaged when you install it. Once dried and installed, it is time to sit back, relax and enjoy your new cabinets door(s).

    Questions? This was a brief insight on how to paint your wood cabinet doors.  We hope it was a help to you. Let us know if you need help, we are here to help you love the space you’re in.

    Should I Refinish My Cabinet Doors or Replace Them?

    Are you ready for a change in your kitchen?

    Join the club. With so many different ways to improve your home, the one room that gets the most attention and the most money is usually your kitchen.  As you look at your kitchen and debate what should you do, you are bound to ask “Should I refinish my cabinet doors or replace them?

    So lets get into what this means and potential cost.

    What is cabinet refinishing?

    Personally, I  have the habit of saying refinishing cabinets when I should be saying is painting cabinets. Cabinet refinishing used to mean taking your stained wood cabinets, cleaning them then applying a new coat of stain and clear coat. We still get calls for this service. It is a great way to imporove the look of your cabinets without breaking the bank on a whol enew refinishing project before you sell your home or you jut want and like natural wood finishes.

    For those that call us to actually refinish their wood cabinets, the usually reason is water damage.  Water and wood cabinets do not play well together. Water along with cleaning chemicals found in kitchens take a toll on wood cabinets and the finishes that are designed to protect them. the best cleaner for wood cabinets FYI- 50/50 water and vinegar.

    Painting your Kitchen cabinets

    if you have seen or spent any time on our web page and blog posts, you will see quite a few blog posts reagarding painting your kitchen cabients.

    These are some of the artcles we have as well as the videos you can watch on our You Tube channel (see below)

    On average painting your cabients cost about $110 per cabinet box. This can vary, so please call and or text for pricing.  If you have downloaded our guide, you will read the steps we take in order to paint cabinets and give you a warraty that will outlst your cabinets.

    So how do you know if you should refinish, paint or replace your cabinets?

    • Do you like how your kitchen is designed right now?
    • Are there any broken cabinet doors?
    • Do you have solid wood doors such as oak or maple or do you have something else?
    • Are you planning on staying in your home for some time to come?
    • What about your cabinets or kitchen do you not like?

    If there is no damage to your existing cabinets and you like the layout then refinishing and painting is a great option! They will look new, updated, and last for years to come.  You can select just a restain vs painting as well.

    Cabinet doors - cabinet refinishing geneva

    If you have a lot of damage to cabinet doors (broken panels, water damage in several areas, gouges, etc) then you may want to have us take a closer look to see if replacing the cabinet doors may be a better option. There are ways we can get replacement cabinet doors to save the expense replacing your  kitchen cabinets.

    How do I get replacement cabinet doors?

    1st thing to do is to determine what style of door you want. I tell people to go to menards and look at door samples.

    Then you have to decide solid wood or engineered door panels.  Solid wood doors are different than engineered products such as pressboard and MDF panels. They may or may not be repairable if needed. They paint just as well as a solid wood door, if there is damage, they may not be repairable. Wondering how much it costs to paint cabinets?

    When we cost replacing your doors you will be asked or told:

    • what kind of doors do you want?
    • are you keeping any existing hardware?
    • do you know what type of hinges you want? sfor example soft close hinges?
    • would you like the hinges to be hidden?

    Replacing doors can cost about 140-160 per door, about half that for average size drawer fronts.

    The other thing to consider in replacing doors, is the cabinet boxes will still have to be painted or matched to your new doors.

    If you want to keep living in your kitchen = then these options are the best for you, considering replacing your kitchen will cost 3 times more and take months from start to finish.

    If you need an update that can be solved with painting, the money spent on a new cabinets could be better used for new counter tops, new sink and faucets, maybe a new dishwasher!

    If you decide on refinishing, kitchen cabinets or bathroom cabinets, contact us via email or phone!


    Video: Should Refinish My Cabinets or Replace Them


     How can we help you love the space you’re in ?

    We look forward to helping you in your kithen remodeling!! call or text us and lets get started today.


    How to fix holes in cabinet doors

    If you have holes in your cabinet doors from old hardware that you want filled- then today you will will learn How to fix holes in cabinet doors!

    When we are painting cabinets in kitchen and vanities, 75% of the time we are either replacing or installing new hardware.  Installing hardware in your kitchen is one of the best things you can do to improve your kitchen. (read the other top 5 ways to remodel your kitchen)

    Some times we have to fill in holes in the cabinet doors. Why?

    How to fix holes in cabinet doors
    this is an example of a cabinet door that had a hole too large for the new hardware being used
    • the new hardware doesn’t fit in the old hardware holes
    • there was a hole drilled wrong
    • damaged wood
    • broken or damaged screws in the door

    Where to start fixing your door

    You should have the door or drawer removed from your cabinet box.  Remove the hardware that is there, if there is some there.

    The hole that is there will need to be filled with a combination of methods

    • a dowel rod to fill in the drilled section of the hole
    dowel rod for the initial cabinet hole repair
    here is a dowel rod to use for the initial repair
    • wood filler to fill in the larger gaps
    a great wood filler for repairs to wood
    a great wood filler for repairs to wood
    • auto body filler to touch up the final coats
    • sanding in between each step
    sand between each step
    sand between each step is a must

    Take your door to a local home improvement store and buy a dowel rod that fits-snug into the hole you are repairing. You will neeed the above suppliesa s well as primer, glue and light tac masking tape.

    Begin fixing your cabinet doors!

    Begin by taking the dowel rod and putting into the hole you want to fix. Use a knife or hand saw to cut the dowel rod off flush with the door. Remove the wood plug you made, then add glue to the hole- re insert the wood plug. I used instant glue- if you use wood glue you will have to let the glue dry before doing anything else.

    Once the glue is dry, you can sand the area smooth and flush. Dust off any dust. Take the wood filler (if needed) to fill in the gaps if you have any. Again allow to dry.

    Next take the auto body filler to fill in any other gaps- the goal to to create a perfect smooth surface to work with. allow to dry

    Now you need to sand with a 320 or 400 grit sand paper- you need smooth non scratched surface to work with. If you use a 80 or 100 grit sandpaper, you will leave gouges and deep scratches that you will have to again fill with body filler to eliminate the marks from sanding.

    Make sure all is smooth and dust free!

    Once the repair is made you can then use a primer to prime the repaired area.

    spot primer for how to fix holes in cabinet doors
    here is a spot primer we use

    The primer must dry according to directions, before you can sand it smooth. Once sanded, examine the surface to make sure that there are no marks, divets, etc that need to be filled . If you need to do more work, take the time to do it now. You can’t paint until you do.

    front door cabinet repaired
    here is the front of a cabinet door all repaired

    Your door is fixed! Now you can install new hardware!

    At this point you have made the repairs, the primer is dry, you have repainted the door, and is it dry (overnight dry). We use a light tac masking tape, to mask the front of the door/drawer and then use a pencil to mark where the new holes need to be.

    cabinet door with light masking tape
    here is the door with light masking tape

    Drill your new holes and DONE!

    If you have new or different holes in a drawer front, then you may have an issue with the drawer front having different holes than the drawer box. That is a hole different issue where you may need all new hardware to reinstall (too much for this article). But, you can always send an email to ask us about it.

    Would you like to see how we repaired the holes?

    Check out the video here.

    Do you have questions on repairing cabinets before painting? Have more questions for how to fix holes in cabinet doors? Let us know how we can help!

    Book Your FREE Estimate
    MM slash DD slash YYYY
    This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

    Your Free Estimate

    To help home and businesses owners during this challenging time, we are offering free virtual estimates.

    Fill out the form below and we will schedule a time for a free video call estimate.