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Replacing Cabinets vs Painting Cabinets

If you are among the millions of people considering remodeling your kitchen, then I’m sure that you have seen a few you tube videos or remodeling shows about kitchen remodeling. Choosing what is best for you either replacing cabinets or painting them may not have crossed your mind as an option. So let s see if we can help with what we have seen in homes we have worked at.

How do you decide? Replacing cabinets vs Painting cabinets- lets dig in to this one! I am just using the kitchen we just finished as an example.

How much will it Cost to replace cabinets

What is will cost to replace your cabinets is a question that is a bit more complicated than just money, what does that mean?

  • what is the cost for demolition
  • will there be will wall damage
  • are you going to have to have electrical work done
  • does the flooring have to be redone
  • do new cabinets fit in the same space? ie soffits
  • will your counter top have to be replaced
  • can you use your existing sink
  • new lighting?
  • time without a sink, kitchen appliances etc

That is a long list, so what does that mean? Well the cabinets coming out, floors being worked in, repairs, items ordered, installed – all means that you could be 2 weeks to 4 months with a construction zone in your home. We have seen it!

So all of the above is not a dollar cost but a cost for your time, stress, aggavation. The money part on a low end kitchen can start at $15,000- and we have witnessed up to $75,000! All depends on what you want. In our house a decent vanity allone was 1100! So if you have 16 cabinet boxes, that is over $16,000 in just the cabients.

So what is the Cost to Paint kitchen cabients

In the video above, we painted the oak cabinets. What we did; (the short list)

  • cleaned the cabinets
  • masked the floor
  • covered the tile and counters
  • removed and painted closet door
  • filled in 1 layer of grain
  • sanded primer smooth
  • sprayed the 2nd coat primer
  • sprayed the top coat

This kitchen was about $3700, and the customers lost access to their kitchen for 1 night. HUGE difference from the carnage of demotion. Here is another link to a blog we did on cost to paint cabinets

How to decide…

That is a rough decision to make, and I feel for you. We have had similar choices to make, so the choice of Replacing Cabinets vs Painting Cabinets can be tough, but it just depends on what options you have, if your cabients are in good shape- then just paint them!

Once you start getting estimates, you will get a better understanding on which way you will decide to go.

If and when you have questions, feel free to reach out, we are here to help.

What is the cost to paint cabinets yourself?

I recently had the opportunity to provide an estimate to a customer for painting kitchen cabinets. The customer decided that the cost for professional cabinet painting was too expensive and they would do it themselves.

painting kitchen cabinets - cabinet refinishing
professional cabinet painting

It happens – we do not sell every job we go on. One of the things we like to make sure of is that when you’re doing it yourself, that you can see our videos on our YouTube channel or read our kitchen cabinet painting blog posts to see how we do it, so the process is similar and the results are good!

Read on for a customer’s feedback on doing DIY cabinet painting and how long it took.

How much time it takes to professionally paint kitchen cabinets

When we are bidding, we start out with 90 minutes per door, on the low end, to clean, sand, prime and paint a cabinet door. We also have a spray booth, sprayers, power sanders with dustless attachments to help us be a bit faster.

For this particular kitchen, we estimated a time frame of 4 days to have the doors and drawers removed, cabinets cleaned, kitchen masked, sanded, all items sprayed and re-installed. There were about 33 pieces total of different sizes we had to paint.

How much does it cost to paint kitchen cabinets?

We will keep on the theme of using this estimate so you can get a consistent understanding of our reference. This kitchen we estimated was $5,324 for all labor and materials. Again this kitchen was about 33 pieces we were working on.

How much are materials to paint cabinets?

The kitchen we are discussing, again had about 33 pieces. so our material list was:

  • cleaner
  • rags
  • drop cloths
  • sprayer with 5 and 3 needle set
  • strainer
  • masks
  • masking tape
  • maker to mark each piece
  • fan for exhaust
  • air cleaner/filter
  • razor/scrapers to remove old bumpers
  • wood filler for old handles and dowel rods
  • sand paper, 320 and 220
  • sanding blocks for hand sanded areas
  • power sander and vac
  • 12 ft. painters plastic
  • 6 extension poles to make temp wall
  • rosin paper to cover floors
  • bonding paper
  • cabinet paint- we use Chem-Aqua which is a cabinet grade paint (yes, there is difference)

Some of these items we buy in bulk and save money by doing so, some are just averaged in to the cost over the life of a given tool, and some are for each job such as primer/paint. For this kitchen we were at about $610.00.

So what is the cost difference to paint cabinets myself?

So here was the feedback from the customer that did it themselves. They are happy with the results.

For the island:

  • sept 6th – 3.5 hours
  • sept 7th – 3 hours
  • sept 8th – 3 hours
  • sept 9th – 6 hours
  • sept 10th – 5 hours
  • sept 12 – 6.5 hours

Total=27 hours

For the main cabinets:

  • sept 13 – 3 hours
  • sept 14 – 6 hours
  • sept 15 – 4 hours
  • sept 16 – 1 hours
  • sept 17 – 3 hours
  • sept 19 – 2 hours
  • sept 20 – 2 hours
  • sept 21 – 2 hours
  • sept 22 – 2 hours
  • sept 26 – 4 hours
  • sept 27 – 4 hours
  • sept 28 – 4 hours

Total=37 hours

Customer Feedback on DIY Cabinet Painting

“I stopped keeping track…Started Sept 6th, finished Oct 12th. Took a lot longer to get technique and flow going, issues with daycare and when I could or could not do it due to family issues. Messed up a few pieces to redo.”

So what do you think the cost is?? I don’t have hard numbers for you. I have the cost we provided and time it takes us to do the job, which was above.

For me, I’m not having a kitchen tore up for over 5 weeks while it’s being painted. (my wife would really not be a fan of that!) This is just feedback from one person- it does not mean that you will have the same issues or take as long with DIY kitchen cabinet painting. So the $5,000 and 4 days is kind of nice from where I sit.

If you have questions about cabinet painting, let us know. We are here to help! Even if you decide to paint your cabinets yourself, we just want to help you love the space you’re in!

Painting Cabinet Hardware

If you are like us, we needed to update our kitchen after moving in to our new home. After issues with the roof, electrical, plumbing and floors, the kitchen was going to be killed or scaled back. We chose to scale back, by painting the cabinets. The hardware and hinges however were BAD!! Due to their age we could not replace them, so instead we decided we would be painting cabinet hardware.

You can see the house as we saw it in our video series Huntley home makeover, shows what everything looks like before we started. Day 1- Day 10 is a decent progression of the cabinets and cabinet hinges being painted.

Can I paint my cabinet hardware?

Before setting out to repaint your hardware, here are a few things to consider:

  • Do the cabinet hinges still work?
  • Can you remove the hinges?
  • Do you want to see them anymore?
  • Do you have a place to paint them?

If the hinges don’t work then don’t paint them; paint will not fix them. It sounds like that would make sense but we have had people ask us this question.

You have to be able to remove them as well, because they will need to be cleaned, scuff sanded, and ideally sprayed with bonding primer and top coat.

painting cabinet hardware
before and after painted cabinet handles
painting cabinet hinges - paint over cabinet hinges
before and after painting cabinet hinges

So if the hinges can be cleaned, removed, and they work, then yes, you can paint your cabinet hardware.

Clean your cabinet hardware before anything else!

As we set out to just get by with what we have but improve the look of our kitchen, painitng cabinet hardware was the best option for us.
Once the hardware was removed, we had to do several things: wash our hands because they were so gross and disgusting with grease, grime… YUKKKK!!

The screws did overall come out- but they were in very bad shape. They were made of old brass which meant we had to get new screws to put everything back.

To clean the hardware we used a finger/nail cleaning scrub brush and heavy concentration of Dawn dish soap. Daphne set out on this venture and it took her several buckets and about 4 hours to scrub away the grime so we had a good clean surface to paint.

How to paint your hardware

Once you have all the items you want to paint, and the items are completely dry, you can set out to start painting cabinet hardware!

We started with Rustoleum Rust Reformer. This is a primer that seals rust, so it won’t keep rusting and it won’t bleed or come right though the paint again. This primer takes a good 12-24 hours to dry. It comes in several colors, so pick one of them- black, white or orange/red, that is close to the color you are painting.

When the primer is dry, then you can start painting!! We used a gloss white for the hinges and a hammered metal for the handles. (the handles already have that style of metal so it makes sense)

The white gloss, if you read the instructions, says to keep about 1-12 inches away from the surface and use light coats, we had to use 3 coats. They have to dry completely before new coats which if you use the fast dry still takes 4-6 hours. So this nothing you will do in 1 hour.

We hope this helps you with your home remodeling and or kitchen updates. It is not for everyone, we know, but we are just hoping it can help those in that need it. If you have any questions about painting cabinet hardware and hinges or general painting kitchen cabinet questions, please let me know!

Painting MDF Veneer Cabinets

So you bought a home that has older kitchen cabinets like I did. They are an oak veneer, have MDF cores, they are heavy and look old. You want to replace them but it is not in the budget because windows, floors, roof, and bathrooms need work more than your cabinets do. Then my friend, you’re in the same boat as I was in. You’re stuck painting your MDF veneer cabinets.

painting mdf cabinets - painted veneer cabinets
image of oak veneer cabinets with a coat of primer on them

Painting MDF cabinets is not all bad. They are solid and they were made better than some of the cabinets today. The hinges are usually pretty sound as well. Let’s dive in…

Can I paint my MDF cabinets?

The answer is always going to be…maybe. Really you can paint almost anything but should you is a completely different conversation. Let’s start with a few questions..

  • Do your MDF cabinets have water damage?
  • Are the hinges working or are they falling apart?
  • When you look at the cabinets are they in good shape? Not falling apart?
  • Can you stand them?

Let’s go through these one by one. If your cabinets have water damage they may not be fixable. You can check out a YouTube video we did on fixing damaged MDF cabinets.

If the hardware and cabinets themselves are in good working order, then you should be ok to paint them. On the other hand, if they are broken, falling apart, or damaged then you may have an issue with old hardware you can’t replace.

Lastly, do you want them? If you hate these things, then honestly, just find a plan B , because the money you spend will be wasted. There is only so much lipstick you can use.

Problems with painting veneer cabinets

If you are not aware, veneer is a very thin piece of wood, maybe as thin as the cardboard of a cereal box, maybe thinner. It is glued to MDF so it looks like real wood. The problem is that it is not real wood. It is all kinds of fillers, glue, paper, sawdust that is compressed and glued together to make something that looks and acts like wood.

MDF, depending on where it is made, is very susceptible to wood damage. Water makes it swell up and that is very difficult to fix. The water exposure also makes the MDF weak in those areas. These areas tend to break, peel or crumble.

We have been able to fix areas in the past, but some damage is too much for us to fix. You can see two videos we did on painting MDF and veneer cabinets also..

How long will painted MDF or painted Veneer last?

When we are painting cabinets that are veneer/MDF, we prepare them just as we do a solid wood cabinet. We use the same products as far as primer and paint. With that being said, we expect them to last 5-10 years. All the prep in the world cannot affect poor quality materials. The MDF will keep fading over time. For our kitchen, we are repainting the hinges and handles that the cabinets already had, (lipstick on a pig) and hoping we can get 3 years out of them until we have the budget for the kitchen remodel.

The house we are in right now that we are moving from, has the same type of cabinets except they are plywood and MDF. We painted them 8 years ago for the 2nd time, 15 years ago total. They are solid, they are not showing signs of wear and tear and with some molding, new pocket hinges, these cabinet doors would look great. The problem is before we moved in they were changed so some are plywood some are oak, so the mismatch of wood grain is kind of hoaky.

Paint or replace MDF cabinets?

I cannot answer that for you, but I am just giving you options that you can save some money by painting kitchen cabinets and use the money for other areas that need more work and attention. If we say that painting your kitchen will cost you $4,500, then a new kitchen will cost about $20,000. And that does not include the time you lose in your kitchen when they tear it out, electrical work, plumbing, flooring repairs, and counter tops.

Painting cabinets is great option!! We have done it 3 times now in our own home. The next time we are replacing and getting a whole new kitchen, so stay tuned for our adventure with that! If you have any questions about painting MDF cabinets, let us know.

What Do I Do First in a Kitchen Remodel?

When we make appointments with our customers to paint their kitchen cabinets, the number one question we are asked is what should I do first: carpet, cabinets, counters, window treatments, new trim? Kind of a loaded question, as I don’t know what you’re getting done. But if you’re wondering what to do first in a kitchen remodel, let’s tackle this from the most extreme first. 

kitchen remodel - painting kitchen cabinets

I want new counter tops in my kitchen

So let’s start the kitchen remodel process as we see it from a painter’s perspective. People make the mistake of selecting a color based on paint chips they like. WRONG! The very first thing you need to figure out is what you are doing with your countertops.

If you are keeping your counter tops then move on to the next item. If you are changing them, then finding out if you want laminate, marble, quartz, or some other material is your first stop. This will be the most limited on availability and color. Everything else come from your counters, as it deals with color.

Should I get new floors during my kitchen remodel?

Now that you have the counter top selected, you need to figure out your floor. Are you keeping what you have? Can it be refinished? Do your cabinets have to be worked on to fix/refinish your floor? That is for a flooring guy to figure out but this is messy and time consuming. Get this done first!!

What about a backsplash?

Now that flooring is over, and you have a counter top. Take a sample of your counter to the tile store and select away. If you have a backsplash, coordinate this work with your counter person and tile person, as the wall may have to be cut out to change your tile.

Selecting colors to paint my kitchen cabinets

For us, the number one color for repainting kitchen cabinets is white. Grey is very common also, but second fiddle to white colors.

The color usually comes from the counter or the tile.

You can get large color samples from most paint stores now. Once you have a color, we can paint out a door sample to make sure it is what you want.

Other kitchen improvements to consider when painting your cabinets

Usually appliances are getting changed, but the items that are often overlooked is hardware. The hinges and the knobs or drawer pulls are something you should really consider having replaced. They can have a huge difference in the look, feel and function of your cabinets!

There is also plumbing; sinks or faucets. We have seen where existing cabinets have to be cut and fixed as the new sink must be altered to accommodate the sink.

I’m not sure if this short and sweet explanation helped or not, but knowing what to do first in a kitchen remodel can help getting the job done in a timely manner and avoid:

  • mistakes with sequencing
  • multiple trips to the various home improvement stores
  • doing things over
  • buying the wrong parts/items

If you have more questions let us know. We are more than happy to help you find ways to love the space you’re in!

painting oak cabinets with the grain
Painting oak cabinets and not filling the grain

You are here, I believe, because you are considering painting your oak cabinets. Like most of our customers, you have questions before beginning this project. We will do our best to answer the questions you have about painting your oak cabinets. But for today, it is all about painting oak cabinets and not filling the grain.

What is the difference between oak cabinets with the grain filled and without grain filled?

What a great question. It is all about appearance. Smooth vs. more grain. So let start with a few images..

here is a oak cabinet with the oak grain filled

oak cabinet painted white
here is a oak cabient with the oak grain filled

As you can see by the photos there is a huge difference. Which one you choose is completely up to you, it really is a matter of opinion and personal style. The difference we see is appearance. Preparation and materials are both the same, it is the steps we take to achieve each style that is difference.

Here is a video we did on oak doors painted with grain filled:

Here is the next video on cabinets we painted where there was no grain was filled

How to fill in the grain of oak cabients

We will skip the steps we use for cleaning as it really doesn’t matter for the purpose of this post. Let’s assume you have used the right cleaners to clean and scuff sand all of the doors and they are dry and ready for paint.

There are several ways you can fill in oak grain, some including grain fillers. This is the method we have decided works the best:

  • We use foam wooster mini roller to apply a heavy bodied primer such as Stix to apply the first coat of primer.
  • By using the mini foam roller, you can really work the primer into the nooks, grains etc. of the wood.
  • Adding a little water 10-15% seems to work best for us, as it helps the primer settle.
  • Once the primer is dry, we power sand smooth.
  • We then spray a second coat of primer, then again sand smooth by hand.
  • This process is priced for two coats, sometimes a customer will want even a smoother finish so we will poer sand the second coat or primer then spray a third coat of primer. The extra layer really flattens out the grain.
  • After cleaning off all the dust, then we are ready to apply a top coat.
stix bonding primer - painting oak cabinets
bonding primer

Painting cabinets to show the oak grain

Just like the previous section, we will skip the cleaning section here as well.

The process of painting with out filling in the grain is a bit simpler and quicker.

  • After the scuff and cleaning, the doors get their first coat of primer sprayed on.
  • Once the primer is dry, we do a quick hand sand to make sure the surface is smooth.
  • Then we apply the first coat of top coat.

Pretty easy and pretty quick too!

How can we help you with painting of your oak cabients?

I hope this helps with your decision. Painting oak cabinets and not filling the grain is actually a big decision. It is hard to change your mind once we start the paint process.

Here are some other oak cabinet painting articles we have done:

Will oak cabinets show grain when they are painted?

Can Oak Cabinets be Painted?

Painting Oak Cabinets White

Let us know if you have other questions about not just oak but other cabinet painting. We are here to help you love the space you’re in!

oak cabinets before painting
Will oak cabinets show grain when they are painted?

That is a loaded question! I assume you are asking because you have oak cabinets that you are looking to get painted. We are asked this question every time people call us about painting oak cabinets. So…will oak cabinets show grain when they are painted? Yes and no. The answer really should be it depends. Let’s get into it.

Why do I see the grain on oak doors?

Oak as a wood species is considered a very hard and durable wood. It is used in many different areas such as:

  • doors
  • cabinets
  • toys
  • floors
  • furniture
  • pallets
  • wainscoting

Oak has a very definitive grain pattern. I would call it an open grain pattern as you can see the light and dark variations of the wood color throughout the wood. These different grain variations also create a less than uniform appearance. Compared to maple cabinet painting you see very little grain patterns and it is very smooth. This graining is great when you are staining the wood as it looks great and you know you have wood. Some woods are so dense they have a hard time taking stain, or have nothing special about them and would be better off painted.

Can I get rid of grain in my oak doors of they are painted?

Now we are getting into the meat of this one! When we are painting oak doors, we have to ask what is your expectations.

painting oak cabinets - how to paint oak cabinets white without grain showing
here is an oak door that we have applied primed and then sanded smooth

As you can see with the image, the oak grain really shows through after we have sanded this door. We have deliberately made this happen. When we are painting oak cabinet doors, we roll on the primer a bit diluted so it will penetrate into the pores and grains of the wood. After it has dried we power sand it smooth and the oak will be revealed while the veins of the wood stay white.

painting oak cabinets white
here is a oak door that has been sanded and now has its second coat of primer

With the door now having its second coat of primer applied, you can kind of still see the oak wood grain come through. This is happening for a few reasons. First, when we sanded the last time we sanded pretty hard and it released the wood tannin which stains the wood. Second, the wood itself has a lot of texture, and that texture takes a few coats of primer to get rid of!

how to paint oak cabinets without the grain showing
an oak cabinet door with 3 coats of primer to almost eliminate the grain

Right about now I can hear someone asking “this is great but will oak cabinets show grain when they are painted?”

Removing oak grain from kitchen cabinets before painting them white

How to get rid of the oak grain when painting kitchen cabinets

I kind of let the cat out of the bag above on this but here is our step-by-step process for prep and getting rid of grain in oak cabinet doors. (this assuming the doors are removed)

  • Once back to our shop we are cleaning the doors before we do anything.
  • Wearing rubber gloves, begin to spray cleaner to the doors to remove dirt, grime, etc.
  • Once clean, we will wet sand the doors with a degreaser to get any residue off the doors.
  • After the doors are dry, we will apply the first coat of bonding primer with a roller.
  • When the primer is dry, sand the door smooth.
  • Apply a second coat of primer and allow to dry.
  • Get the sander out again and sand smooth.
  • At this point we inspect. Some oak doors only need two coats, apply third if needed.
  • Now oil prime to seal out stain and wood tannin.
  • Allow to dry and start to paint!

Oak cabinets painted white with grain showing through

Believe it or not, there are some people that like the grain showing through the wood so they know it is a real wood door. We have never been asked to do that. We have reduced it, but never gone so far as to have someone want their oak cabinets to look like a white stain.

There is a really cool technique called ceruse. We have played with it but it has never really gone any further than that (for us).

So one thing we have done is clean, sand and apply a tinted clear urethane to make the doors look as though they were stained a darker color. If you do go this route, it is a much simpler process and quicker too!!

oak cabinet door sprayed with a dark tinted urethane
An oak cabinet door sprayed with a dark tinted clear urethane

Best primers to use when painting oak cabients

Every primer has a purpose. While there are actual grain fillers you can buy and apply to the doors, we have found it isn’t worth the money and they are a real pain to sand smooth.

So we use primer. It is cheap. They dry fast. All of them are easy to sand smooth and we don’t have a lot of dust to worry about.

best primers to use when painting oak cabinets
spray spot primer
insul-x primer - oak cabinet painting
bonding primer
oil based stain
oil stain blocking primer

Those are the top three primers we use. For large cedar, pine and oak projects the oil odorless is the ticket. We never have to worry about any stains once we prime. We also have used this on oak cabinet projects where heavy cooking oils and hair care products were used.

Stix is just a great bonding primer. Stix it and forget it.

The spot primers are for touch ups. Sometimes the doors or cabinets have a stain that is stubborn and want to keep saying hello.

Oak cabinet door with no grain painted white

painting oak cabinets without the grain showing
a oak cabinet painted white with no grain

This is a drawer front we just painted, so it is shiny because it is wet. But compared to the first few images, the grain is pretty much gone.

The fun part of this project is you can have fun! Pick the color you want, it doesn’t matter. You can select how much grain you want or don’t want.

Painted Oak Kitchen Cabinets Before and After

before and after painting oak cabinets
oak cabinets before they were painted
painting oak cabinets white - after cabinet painting
oak cabinets painted white

So…will oak cabinets show grain when they are painted? You decide. You can show the grain if you want to, but then again they are your cabinets, do what you want!

If you are looking to have your oak cabinets painted or have any questions about cabinet painting, let us know how we can help!

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 Stained 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 you 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 we’ll answer the question- Should I paint my cherry cabinets?

before cabinet painting - should i paint my cherry cabinets
Do you have this?
painting cherry cabinets white
But are you 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 being painted white
Cherry cabinets after being 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 cherry 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 of these then so far you are on your way to painting your cherry 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

Things to Consider Before Painting Your 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 in my home, people 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 paint cherry cabinets?

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

  • Having employees of D’franco Painting & Wallpaper in your home, 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 cherry 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 second 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

before glazing kitchen cabinets
Cherry cabinets before paint and glaze
Cabinets before paint and glaze
Cabinets after paint and glaze

Glazed cabinets is not for everyone. It has a certain place and it is something that takes practice to do. We’ve also had projects where we are painting over glazed cabinets as well. 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!

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