A huge part of your kitchen’s form and function comes down to the state of your cabinetry. From the poor aesthetics of chipped, stained or just outdated cabinets, to the simple function of water or steam damage, sagging, etc, there are a myriad of reasons to look after your built in kitchen storage. When it gets down to the nitty gritty, however, you may ask yourself if you really feel like shelling out the not insubstantial cash for fresh new cabinetry.
Most professionals estimate the cost of installed new cabinets to be somewhere in the ballpark (up or down) of $100 per linear foot. In fact, cabinetry is such a costly portion of your kitchen space that it can easily make up nearly half the cost of a kitchen remodeling project! In that vein, it’s definitely in your best interest to evaluate whether you must despair or just repair those tired looking cabinets.
Here’s our helpful guide on determining which way your cabinetry may swing! Or if the task seems to daunting, you lack the time or you simply aren’t sure, that’s ok! Remodeling is complicated, but we’d love to make it just a bit easier on you. Our professionals at KC Sharp Home Improvements are just a phone call away from an estimate and appraisal with competitive rates.
Damaged or Distressed?
It can be tricky to know when there’s just no hope for those cabinets, but let us help you to decide! As a general rule, if there is noticeable physical damage to your cabinetry, it may be time to replace rather than repair. Telltale signs to look for include lifting veneers or laminate, bubbling from water or steam exposure on particleboard or MDF and sagging or broken shelves, drawers or doors. When it comes to the structural integrity of your cabinetry, unfortunately there is a point of no return, particularly with very old or cheaply made cabinets.
If you’ve examined your kitchen and feel that unfortunately, your cabinetry meets the criteria above, don’t despair! The silver lining is you get to splurge and invest in gorgeous new cabinets. And we’ll be here every step of the way to provide affordable and unbeatable quality.
Painting – Do’s and Don’ts
So maybe on looking over your cabinetry, the only real issue is a tired paint job or an out of date look. Congrats! All you really need is a fresh coat of paint to make your kitchen nearly unrecognizable. You may be feeling overwhelmed by your options. Oil or latex? What kind of brushes and equipment? How do I prep my cabinet surfaces? We’ll provide you with some helpful tips in that vein, but we know painting cabinetry is a big job and you’ve got a busy life—why not let us do our job and help you out with this part?
Oil vs Latex
When it comes to what type of paint to use, there really is no right answer, as both provide different advantages. Oil based paint, the traditional option for cabinetry, will provide the smoothest self-leveling finish and forms the strongest bond. That being said, oil paint is challenging to work with, requiring special cleanup, unpleasant, strong odors and a very long dry time—around 24 just for the first recoat! It’s also becoming increasingly difficult to find as hardware stores move toward the much more user-friendly latex options. Latex paint has come extremely far from where it began and now many leading paint manufacturers produce latex-based products that perform very closely with oil based paint, and with far less strings attached. Latex is lower odor, a simple soap-and-water cleanup and is dry to recoat within 4 hours. For best self-leveling and durability, choose a satin or semi-gloss latex paint formulated specially for cabinets, and containing an acrylic enamel.
Supplies and Prep Work
It’s best not to save too much on brushes when it comes to cabinetry—choose a good-quality 3 or 4 inch flat brush for surface coverage and a 2-2-1/2 inch angled brush for detailed and molded areas. Opt for a synthetic bristle for latex paint, and a natural bristle for oil based.
To prep your cabinets, start with a good degreaser to clean them. No product will adhere to dusty or dirty surfaces. It’s obviously always best to begin with stripped, clean wood if possible. If stripping your cabinets sounds too intimidating, you can often get by with just a light sanding, and a good primer. The primer will provide better adhesion of paint to cabinet, and get your more expensive paint to go further.
You’ll need to unscrew all your cabinet doors, remove the drawers, and of course, don’t forget to label what went where! You’ll need a good-quality painter’s tape for sharp lines, and sheet plastic to lay down over your kitchen floors and counter tops to protect them. Finally, you’ll need somewhere safe you can lay all the drying doors and drawers to dry.
A kitchen facelift often begins with cabinetry, and as a huge investment in your space, we recommend doing it right! Let us help you craft the kitchen of your dreams.