Common Causes For Painted Cabinet Failure

We are often asked to fix a failed cabinet paint job. Here are the most common causes for painted cabinet failure and how you can avoid them.

Number one: The painter doesn’t know what they are doing. They know enough to be dangerous as they say. Just because you are great at painting a house exterior or interior doesn’t give you the skills or experience to do fine finish work. There is a small number of paint contractors in the Omaha market qualified to do cabinet work.

I have seen some pretty horrible stuff over the years. One of the worst was last year. The homeowner had purchased some fairly expensive cabinets for a new home. The “painter” went to town with a weenie roller. No sanding, priming, no prep at all. While I was looking at this mess, the weenie roller was still sitting in a half dry open can of paint. Wow. The homeowner stopped the process. The cabinets were a total loss. It would cost more to try to fix them then to purchase new ones.

***Check out the paint contractor. Be confident they know what they are doing.

Another type of scary painter is the one that knows how to do it; but doesn’t. They cut corners.

For example: If the Paint Contractor is taking the doors and drawers to their shop to be sprayed but they are brushing/rolling the cabinet boxes in your home. They are only doing this because of the time and material costs involved to prep the cabinets to get them ready to spray. It does take time to prep it out right and it is a pain in the butt but the end results are worth it.

I don’t know how painters doing this type of work can explain it to their customers with a straight face. Do they honestly believe you can’t tell the difference between a sprayed and a brushed finish? Really?

Number two: Poor prep work. You should expect a lot of prep work. It takes days to get a decent sized set of cabinets ready to go. Lots of cleaning, masking, sanding, caulking, etc. Once the process begins you should expect sanding and vacuuming between each coat. Plastic barriers should be erected to protect against dust getting into the rest of your home.

Number three: The choice of products used on your cabinets. This is critical. We use cutting edge primers and top coats. I would put our products up against anything out there. If there was something better I would use it. I am always on the lookout for something better.

Bear in mind that the common causes for painted cabinet failure also applies to stained and lacquered cabinets too.

There are many DIY projects you can do on your home. I wouldn’t include painting cabinets as one of them. We are sometimes asked to fix those projects as well.

These are the most common causes for painted cabinet failure. I guess it should be no surprise that when I go look at a messed up job the home owner often says the painter is out of business. Sometimes, on new homes, they say the same thing about the home builder.

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