Xpost - Cabinet Paint Finish - Am I asking too much?

blackchamoisJanuary 31, 2013

I posted this on the Kitchens forum and someone suggested I post here as well...

Really, I don't know if I am being unreasonable but I am not happy with the paint finish on my cabs.
They originally installed the doors/drawer fronts on Jan 10, but I sent them back for the same issues that you see here.

They were supposed to have corrected these issues (along with a list of others), and came today to re-install the doors and drawers fronts.

Where the frame meets the inset panel, the paint is cracking (in the photo it almost looks like dirt in the crevice,but it's the paint). Also the joints/seems are visible.

The cabinet guy said he used to caulk and then paint, but he found that after some time had passed, the caulking would crack so he no longer does this. He said if I wanted him to caulk, he would, but he would not be responsible or pick up the cost to fix if the caulking cracked in the future.

So now I am left with accepting the doors as is, or taking a chance and have him caulk and repaint.(I am not sure what type of caulking he uses, but there has got to be another option.)

I used the cabinet guy offered by my GC and as you may have read in my other posts, I have been so disappointed in his workmanship.

Granted, I can't see all of your beautiful white painted cabs upclose, but I am guessing yours don't look like this???

I have been without a kitchen for 9 mos due to ridiculous delays like this. You'd think that I would just accept anything at this point, but it is making more even more insistent that they get it right!

What suggestions do you have? You all have been a great source of advice and encouragement!

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Well, I'm not a carpenter or a cabinet maker, but if the cabinets are to be painted, can't they make doors without floating panels? I assume floating panels are the cheaper way to go because then you are not using big pieces of wood, but in my mind, doors with floating panels are not paint grade doors. I can't really tell what this picture is showing, but I am fairly familiar with the floating panels problem so I can tell you what I do about this. I caulk them. I know they float and they will move but not caulking them looks so bad, I think that some cracking caulk down the road isn't the worst thing in the world compared to the whole project looking bad. Where there are not floating panels in the frames of the cabinets, these gaps should be caulked for sure. Be sure to use a good caulk too. The better caulks will have more flex and may not crack as easily as the cheap caulks. Stay away from DAP Alex Plus, every carpenters favorite. DAP only makes one good caulk and it's called Dynaflex 230. I also like OSI H2U.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 8:08PM
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Not sure what we're looking at there either!

Those edges look poor. They don't look like they were sanded well. It does look like debris is in there too. I'm not much help. All I can do is shake my head and commiserate.

You will see mitered corners on cabinet doors show or widen as the wood expands (or contracts) with the seasons. Cabinet manufacturers will tell you to expect this. I think they look fine and natural this way.

I don't know how the cabinet companies do their finishing but it almost looks like they spray the parts individually before assembly. I would not want all the seams caulked because I think it would look odd! Caulk often gives way anyway.

Maybe Casey will see this.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 11:40PM
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Christopher Nelson Wallcovering and Painting

Is this the INSIDE of the drawer?

    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 6:20AM
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Thanks folks for your replies. No, this is not the inside of the door. It is the exterior side. My doors are shaker style and this is where the frame meets the panel, that inside edge.

Paintguy - Thank you for the recommendation on caulk. If I go this route, I will suggest/insist that he use that type.

Snookums - Yes, it LOOKS like debris, but I think it is the paint. If I run my finger along there it's sort of crusty/crackly.

I had a different cabinet guy here today who is staining a vanity for me for another project. He pointed out a whole slew of things that were done poorly/incorrectly with the construction/assemply of the kitchen cabinets. He said on a scale of 1-10 (10 being best), he gave these a 6 :(

    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 6:31PM
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Is this one of the fiberboard materials or plywood? It sort of looks like particle board edges.

So they are custom made and you paid a bloody fortune for them? Nonetheless, cabinetry is usually not inexpensive!

This post was edited by snookums2 on Sat, Feb 2, 13 at 20:04

    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 8:03PM
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Snookums - Here is a pic of the sample door (unstained/unpainted). Solid wood. And my contract says they would be maple. Today when the other cabinet guy was here, he said he believed that the panel was not solid wood, but mdf. Not sure about the frame portion.

It was suggested to me to ask to see the invoice for the doors as this should give all the specifics (material, wood species, sizes, etc.)

Yes, these are supposed to be "custom". I know that cabinetry is not inexpensive, and I also knew that I was not getting top of the line, but there is still a certain level of quality that I would expect.


    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 8:29PM
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Christopher Nelson Wallcovering and Painting

I would trust the judgement of the second guy. It sounds like he knows what he is doing and talking about. The first pic does not look like the last to me and as snook said, it looks like particle board was used with all that crap in the crack.Not good.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 6:25AM
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Have someone confirm what they're made of. If you ordered solid do not accept them. Otherwise, they really need to do a professional job finishing what you have.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 9:06AM
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Well, even if that gap doesn't get caulked, there shouldn't be a black line of crap in all the gaps. I'm not sure this would be from poor cabinet craftmanship. That part is just from a poor paintjob. Were they sprayed? Maybe he didn't dust or sand well there but I would think you would need to be an idiot to paint over that stuff. Caulk it! Oh, and don't forget you can't just caulk the gaps and problem solved. All that caulk needs to be painted or the caulk will attract dust and your cabinets will look bad again soon.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 9:50AM
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