Updated: Apr 23
Hey this is Kimberly with Red Tulip Designs and I wanted to go over our refinishing process so you know exactly what goes into your cabinet refinishing job.
First off, we specialize in cabinet refinishing. We don't paint walls, we don't paint exteriors, technically we don't use paint, we use professional industrial wood coatings that have met or exceeded KCMA (Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association) standards. You cannot just go pick up a gallon at your local big box store. These finishes are used in theme parks, major restaurants, and commercial buildings for example.
Once you have booked with us, we sit down with you for a color consultation. During your color consult we listen carefully and work hand in hand with you to find the perfect color. Usually you have looked around on Pinterest for inspiration, or you may know you want an update but no idea on what direction to go. With thousands of colors to choose from we can help you find the perfect color and finish for your cabinets. The thing is we know that you can't really decide on a color with just a little sample card so we create a sample board for you of the actual color to bring back to your home so you can see the color in your home. Once you agree on your color then we get everything ordered and that is when the fun begins.
On day one we come in and mask off the flooring in the areas we will be working in. Most painters use resin paper but paint can easily soak through that and we want to make sure your floors are protected in case of an accident, so we use plastic roofing underlayment which holds up to spills and doesn't rip. Next we remove the doors, drawers, and hardware and mark where each piece belongs so we can reinstall back in the same spot. We prefer to spray everything on site so your doors and drawers never leave your house.
Next we clean your cabinets. Your kitchen is used for cooking and it doesn't matter how clean you keep it, oils and grease still get on your cabinets and we need to make sure there is proper adhesion so we degrease your cabinets. Sometimes this is a quick and easy process, sometimes it takes some time to properly degrease cabinets. After degreasing we use a denatured alcohol mix to thoroughly clean your boxes and doors. We must make sure any contaminates are removed from your cabinets before sanding because we do not want to push any contaminates into the grain.
Once thoroughly clean we start sanding because your cabinets have a protective coating from the factory and we have to make sure our coating will stick. We love to use our SurfPrep sander and we connect it to our Festool hepa-vac dust extractor to keep the dust to a minimum in your home. Once we are done sanding, we clean again with our denatured alcohol mix and tack cloth all surfaces to remove any loose sanding particles that may be left over.
We mask off the entire kitchen with plastic and paper. We use poles to create a temporary spray booth and enclose the entire kitchen. All of the openings are masked off so we can spray the boxes and all countertops and walls are covered to protect them from any over spray. We also set up a commercial vent fan with filters to vent any smells out a window or door.
Next we prime. We have a few go to primers and what we use is dependent on what type of wood your cabinets are. We use alcohol-based primers for cabinets with heavy tannin bleed. With heavy oak grain we like to brush or roll the 1st coat of primer to help fill in and reduce the depth of the grain. We sand and tack cloth between each coat to make sure you have the smoothest finish.
Finally we are ready to spray your topcoat! We always complete the boxes 1st so we can try to let you back into your kitchen as soon as possible. We typically spray 2 coats and lightly sand between each coat to give you a glass like finish. Some people want a specialty finish like powder glazing or pinstriping, so once your topcoat is done we apply your specialty finish and then clear coat it to seal in the glazing. If we don't do a specialty finish then we don't need to apply an extra clear coat because the finish is durable on its own. We prefer to keep everything on site so we ask for some space in a garage/dining area/breakfast nook or any available space large enough to set up an extra spray booth so we can complete your doors within a couple of days.
Once everything is done we reinstall your doors and drawers, make sure everything is clean, and then take some pictures so we can show off your beautiful new kitchen!
For most kitchens this entire process takes about 5-7 business days but we block out two weeks just in case because we want to make sure we are fully dedicated to you.
As you can see most of our work is in the preparation process. Spraying is the fastest part of the entire process. We prefer using our airless or our HVLP sprayers to provide a high quality, brush stroke free finish.
If providing the most visible room in your entire house with a beautiful and durable finish (that you can show off for years to come) is what you are dreaming about, then we would love to help you achieve your dream!