To avoid a potential problem, here is a general guideline on do’s and don’ts or “cabinet checklist”.
We are well known for our cabinet and wood finishing work. I am shocked by some of what I see in the average week of estimates. Often we are asked to “fix” a cabinet job or during a discussion with a potential customer I am told what another paint contractor is planning to do.
#1. If the contractor is not planning on spraying all primer and finish coats…run. It is amazing to me that there are outfits out there not spraying cabinets and they think that is acceptable. If you are told you won’t be able to tell the difference, don’t believe it. Most contractors that do not spray cabinets don’t because of the amount of work involved in prepping a job to spray. It is lots of work. The end result is worth the effort. There is a very successful outfit in Omaha that sprays all the doors in their shop and brushes everything else at your home. You can ( I can ) tell the difference.
#2. If the cabinets are being refinished, i.e. they have a coating on them now. Stain or paint. They need to be solvent cleaned to remove grease and dirt before sanding.
#3. Everything must be sanded after cleaning.
#4. All seams, gaps, etc must be caulked. Crown molding, trim pieces, cabinet door seams, etc. This is another one that is skipped and it’s amazing what a big difference it makes in appearance.
#5. Everything will need both a stain blocking and bonding primer. We spray three coats of primer total.
#6. The choice of top coat is a big decision. What we use now is a far cry from what we used long ago. over a few decades we have refined the finish coat to what I believe is the best. Everyone has their favorite brand or type of finish. I’d put what we use up against anyone. That’s why we give a ten year warranty on our cabinet work.