Our Kitchen Cabinet Refinishing Process
On this page, we walk you through our Signature Kitchen Cabinet Refinishing Process so you can better understand what the “Right” prep work is. Before you hire a company whose primary specialty is not cabinet refinishing, listen to how we do things and why. In an industry where many unqualified professionals are flooding the market to capitalize on demand, we want people to have a better understanding of what needs be done and why.
Kammes Colorworks vs The Other Guys
- Cabinetry Preparation Process
- Dust-Free Coating Removal
The Other Guys
- Wipe Down and Light Scuff Sanding.
- Extra steps specific to painted cabinetry.
- Signature Edge Reinforcement process for a huge upgrade in longevity and durability where it matters most.
The Other Guys
- Edges left vulnerable and highly prone to chipping when anything comes in contact. No steps taken for prevention.
- Carefully chosen priming systems to block stains and provide maximum adhesion, durability, and longevity.
The Other Guys
- Basic priming systems used by house painters that block some stains sometimes, for a little while. Not intended for the heavy usage associated with cabinetry.
- All the same advantages as our primer in addition to bringing a whole new level of smooth to your finished cabinetry.
The Other Guys
- Basic house and trim painting products not intended for the heavy use of cabinetry. Mediocre looking at best, possibly painful to look at when anywhere near it.
- In-Home Process
- Access to your kitchen, no messy dust and over spray floating around your home, daily organization and cleanup. Smooth finish applied.
The Other Guys
- Dust, over-spray, tools all over the place, kitchen may be off limits, you may want to leave, or close your eyes to avoid astonishment. Maybe “Smooth-ish”, maybe Disastrous, maybe it is just how you see it, personally??
- The Shop
- Cabinet doors brought to a Climate Controlled, Well Lit, Dust Free Shop for refinishing. Your wood doors will not be exposed to harsh conditions and fine finishes can be achieved properly.
The Other Guys
- Maybe cabinet doors brought off-site somewhere. Maybe processed in your home within a plastic bubble, or your garage. These options are typically bad conditions for wood doors and your household, while providing a terrible environment for spraying fine finishes.
- The Team
- Dedicated family team specializing in cabinet painting and all of the details involved in the refinishing process from start to finish. Work never hired out to capitalize on busy times.
The Other Guys
- Employees and or Sub-Contractors thrown into all kinds of services when the market calls for them, hired help whenever possible to capitalize when busy. They will learn from your project as they go.
- Talk directly with the boss. Specific methods of communication to keep everything on track and orderly.
The Other Guys
- Call, text, email, chat, post, anytime to be told what you want to hear, or just forgotten entirely.
Now, let’s dig into the details of our Kitchen Cabinet Refinishing Process…
Removal of existing finish for a direct bond
Our Process ELIMINATES this common issue
Doing the right prep work is very important. Many companies announce “we do all the right prep-work”. But what does that mean? Are all professionals out there doing the same thing? The answer is No. Just sanding cabinets doesn’t mean a thing if you don’t remove the finish. Sanding a door could be 30 seconds of time or 30 minutes of time. Other professionals will spend less than a few hours prepping your entire kitchen, while we are spending more than a few days making sure everything is paint ready. So what are other professionals actually doing?
We cannot speak for them, but we can tell you about what we offer. We clean and power-sand all surfaces to remove the finish and maximize adhesion. This will remove all residue that has eaten into the finish over the years. You might wonder- how do they get into the contours of the door profiles for prepping? We have tricks for that too in our shop, but we can’t give away all of our secrets. Our sanding process is the only way to end up with cabinets that will stand the test of time and be resistant to chipping. Who wants painted cabinets that paint flakes off of every time you touch them? Our Kitchen Cabinet Refinishing Process takes time and hard work, but it pays off, and we love to do it. The direct bond you get with our process offers product adhesion that simply cannot be compared to priming over the clear top-coat that is currently on your cabinets, and you won’t have to roll the dice and hope you don’t end up with a permanent mess on your hands.
Our Signature Edge Reinforcement Process
A Huge Upgrade in durability where it matters most
The primary thing you don’t want with painted cabinets is chipping, and sharp edges are a weak point on many cabinet profiles that were designed for stained finishes.
Paint coatings applied cannot properly adhere to sharp edges due to the lack of surface area, and you can also take a chunk of wood easily off of a sharp corner. On a molecular level coatings actually split away from sharp edges.
We take the time to reinforce the sharp edges on your cabinets during Our Kitchen Cabinet Refinishing Process. Our signature technique will add an incredible amount of durability to the weak edges of your cabinetry.
Chips along the edges seen here are a common problem, without our signature process you don’t stand much of a chance of avoiding this.
Filling and Caulking to pull it all together
Filling and Caulking of necessary areas to pull it all together
Open gaps and nail holes do not look great on painted cabinets. We caulk open gaps on your cabinet boxes and trim molding to make everything look solid and complete when it is finished. Many times there are nail holes in the existing crown molding that did not show up before so we fill those too. We also examine the doors throughout the process and fill any joints or blemishes that need filling. We know not to caulk your doors where the frame meets the panel, this is a huge mistake that most painters make that will leave the door wide open to future problems.
Additionally, we glue any loose miter joints in your doors to help keep them from opening up and becoming unsightly. Taking time on the little things goes a long way.
The first thing you notice when you look at your cabinetry and think of the prep involved is all the crevices that gunk can get into! I think it goes without saying that the “other guys” are finding ways to just seal over it and get on to the next project. This part takes time and detail. Do you trust a common worker with this responsibility? In the end, you want a company that looks at the details for you so you don’t have to see them later on when things are failing. Your cabinets are likely the most used surface in your house, they need a lot of extra attention. A quality Kitchen Cabinet Refinishing Process requires attention to many details.
Proper Hinge Adjustment
Do you think that painters generally have mechanical skills? Think again. The excuses start flying when they can’t figure out how to solve the tedious troubles encountered on the install day. Anyone who works with cabinetry regularly knows that problems abound when it comes to putting things together on the final day. We take the time to put things together better than they were the first time. This is all included in our Kitchen Cabinet Refinishing Process.
Do you want your cabinets to function poorly and look crooked like this picture?
Dust-Free Equipment and No Over-spray in your Home.
All power sanding will be done with a high powered vacuum attachment on the sanding tool so that you won’t have all the dust circulating in your home. Our commercial-grade HEPA Vacuum does not re-circulate the dust back into your home like a standard shop vac. Our vacuum has over 99% efficiency at capturing fine dust particles, that’s pretty dust-free, most would not imagine Kitchen Cabinet Refinishing could be so clean!
We do not need to bring sprayers into your home either to get a smooth finish on your cabinet boxes that will transition beautifully behind your factory finished doors. Our customers always appreciate how clean the process is and the fact that we do not have to make a plastic bubble out of your kitchen to attempt to contain the mess. We do things how we would want them done in our own home, this is why I use my experience and expertise to apply a smooth finish to your cabinet boxes without spraying in your home.
Access to your kitchen while we work.
Did we mention that you will still have access to your kitchen if need be and you will not need to completely empty your cabinets? You can absolutely clear out your cabinets if you would like to, but we only need the front half of your shelves to do our work. Most of our customers do not clear out their cabinets completely, although it is a great time to re-organize while your doors are off if you choose to do so. We cover and protect countertops and floors and clean up daily.
A “Factory” Finish for your painted Cabinetry
The key to achieving an amazing factory finish on your cabinet doors is in the environment as well as the technique.
Having a “factory” where you do your finishing is a key part of the process! We spray your cabinet doors in our properly ventilated spray shop with a controlled climate. This allows all of the over-spray to escape quickly from the shop preventing airborne particles from landing on your doors. Also, optimal temperatures ensure that the coating can dry and cure properly. You will never see a run or drip on your doors either, those problems do not exist in our shop.
Getting back to our Kitchen Cabinet Refinishing Process, the next step after the preparation is to prime the prepared surfaces with the necessary coatings of our premium primer. This will seal the wood (blocking stains and wood tannins) and allow for excellent adhesion of the topcoat. The right primer is also a key factor in the final appearance of the finish. We always apply enough primer to do the job without over-coating which will weaken the finish and cause problems of its own.
Next, we hand sand the surfaces smoothing out the finish to prepare for the final coat. This step is important, after sealing the wood sanding it down is the only way to get a glass-like finish. We then apply 2 to 3 coats of our finishing product. this is where all the hard work pays off. After the doors are all complete each one is examined by me to be sure it is up to our standard and brought into our curing room.
When we bring your doors back for installation you will think we left your old ones back at the shop and brought you new doors. But don’t just take our word for it see what our clients are saying about us by visiting our Reviews Page!
Quality Cabinet Grade Products
We use the leading products in the industry to achieve a long-lasting, durable, and rich looking finish while being much lower in odor and VOC content than comparable coatings.
We do not use conventional paint that is used for trim and doors in a home. The products that we use can be refinished if you decide to years down the road or if you have trouble with a door. Some paint products do not sand well leaving you with difficulties if you needed or wanted to refinish them.
We look out for the future of your cabinetry here. Another benefit of our product is that it will not turn yellow over time. Many paint products used by professionals can turn yellow leaving you with no ability to touch up a little ding that may occur and even worse your white cabinets are no longer white!
Putting it all together
When we begin your Kitchen Cabinet Refinishing Project our initial time-on-site (in your home) can typically be completed within a week on average sized basic projects.
The first day your doors will be removed and taken back to the shop. All on-site surfaces will be prepped and we will begin priming. This is the busiest day in your home, and there will be some noise with the vacuum and sander running. In another room, with the door closed, you should have no trouble having a conversation if you work from home.
The rest of the days we will continue to apply coatings to your on-site surfaces until we finish. This is a quiet process we just like to have some appropriate music on at a reasonable volume. We will keep your kitchen orderly at the end of each day and you are welcome to pop in if you need something. While we are in your home working we will also be working on your project in our shop. Once we are finished on-site you can put things back into your cabinets. We will only need the front half of your drawers clear when we come back.
The final day of the process, “the install day”, will be scheduled about two weeks from the date we began your project. This date will be scheduled as well before we even start your project. On the day of installation, your doors will be re-installed and hinges will be properly adjusted. With painted cabinet doors suddenly the margins between the doors can look uneven and doors will look crooked. So knowing how to adjust the doors to make everything look it’s best really matters. We take the time on your install day to make your doors open and close properly and adjust the hinges to get the best margins and make your doors line up with each other.
Once your project is complete we recommend that you check out our Cabinet Care page. Here you can learn about the characteristics of wood and how to best care for your “new cabinets”.
It’s the small details that matter when completing a project. When you schedule your project with us you can rely on us being there and completing the work when we say we will. We do not play balancing games with our scheduling, when you commit to us we also are committed to you.
Our experience with Kammes was FABULOUS! They are very professional and extremely clean! We are more than satisfied with the work they did in our kitchen. We had our cabinets painted white and the island a dark gray with some carpentry work. It’s absultely beautiful, looks and feels great- doesn’t look or feel painted. We will definitely use them in the future for our bathroom vanities. We HIGHLY recommend Kammes. You won’t be disappointed.
My wife and could not be more pleased with Kammes and excellent paint job on our kitchen cabinets. I spent a lot of time researching the “Do” and “Don’ts” of painting kitchen cabinets. Armed with plenty of sound information, I found the Kammes” website. It was packed with a lot of very valuable information. I knew they were the ones for this job. If you want a factory like finish, this is not a DIY project. Hire a pro, like Kammes Colorworks. I guarantee you you will not be disappointed!
We highly recommend Kammes Colorworks to do your cabinet painting. Our biggest fear was having that “painted look” and we can honestly say the cabinets do not look painted at all. The cost is also maybe a third of the cost of what resurfacing would be according to one quote we had gotten before deciding to have the cabinets painted. The Kammes team is friendly and professional. We couldn’t have asked for a better experience or outcome! Thank you Lenny and family!
Do you offer Cabinet Refinishing services near me?
Kammes Colorworks has been serving Elburn, St. Charles, Geneva, South Elgin, Batavia, Sugar Grove, Elgin, North Aurora, Aurora, Montgomery, Wheaton, West Chicago, Winfield, Wayne, Bartlett, Gilberts, Warrenville, Carol Stream, Crystal Lake, Dundee, Huntley, Algonquin, Lake in the Hills, Pingree Grove, Hampshire, Sycamore, Cortland, Dekalb, and more nearby Illinois areas since 2006. You can see our Areas Served page for more details, fill out my Contact Form, or just send me a quick email if you are uncertain whether we offer kitchen cabinet painting services near you.