Anyone professionally have oak finished cabinets painted white

kmallenMarch 21, 2012

I posted in the paint forum and didn't get a lot of responses. We are professionally getting our oak kitchen cabinets and woodwork painted white and with the couple bids they each do it a different way. I was hoping someone has good experience with one or the other for durability and aesthetics. One bid uses oil based primer and then water based enamel why the other bid uses lacquer. Anyone have any personal experience with either one for their kitchen cabinets? I appreciate any feedback.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Just had our horribly ugly dark fake wood cabinets painted "Revere Pewter" by BM. It's a very light color from a very dark color. First we scrubbed the cabinet doors ourselves with TSP because we couldn't be sure the painters would.
Then they came in and sanded, then primed with oil based primer. Then a coat of water based color in a "pearl" finish, then a light sand, the another coat of the color.
They look amazing and already took a beating on move-in day with our fridge coming through as well as the dishwasher repairman and plumbers. Tools and water everywhere and not a bubble or scratch.
1)Deep clean,
3)oil based primer,
4)water based color (high quality) in a "pearl" finish,
5)light sand again,
6)another coat of the high quality, water based color in the pearl finish.
Hope that helps. Good Luck :)

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 8:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We had our cabinets and trim painted white and they did not use a primer, just 3 coats of oil based paint; however, our trim and cabines were an 80's pickled oak so they were pretty light to start with! And it was not cheap. After we got the estimates my husband thought about giving up academia and going into painting.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 8:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I had my 1991 golden oak cabinets painted white professionally, at least the original boxes. I got new paint-grade maple doors and drawer fronts and added crown molding at the top, plus end panels. The doors and drawer fronts were painted in their shop, the boxes were sanded and painted in place. Pretty messy and smelly. I'm not sure what kind of paint they used. On the frames you can still faintly see the oak grain, but it looks fine. If you intend to paint your original doors, you will see some grain but it's not a look I mind. I haven't posted finished photos of my kitchen, but here's a glimpse of cabinet before and after:

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 8:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Well thats good to know about the water based paint holding up well. I read so many conflicting things so I am more confused than ever what is the best overall for painting finished cabinets. The painters said that we will still see some oak grain that they will do sanding and the oil primer is self leveling so I'm thinking I won't mind seeing some grain.
MrsBungaloonie how long have you been in your house now?

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 9:29PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hi kmallen,
We've only been in a week and a half, but the cabinets were done three weeks ago and all kinds of construction and plumbing has been done around them and they are shockingly showing no signs of damage.
Unfortunately for us,the electrical and plumbing had to be completely replaced for safety reasons, leaving us next to zero for cosmetic improvements, like new cabinetry, tile for backsplash, etc. The upside is we had to get creative and now the old, nasty cabinets look amazing and we will be putting in beadboard as our backslash :)

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 11:06PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have a very recent experience changing medium oak for creamy white with an antiqued glaze. A 4400 square foot home just completely full of oak. It took 3 weeks, 6 different steps and a lot of wine to get through it all. It's now beautiful without a lot of grain showing through. I had it professionally done but had to micromanage every step since the grain just would not cover. Then once we had it sanded, primered, sanded primered.....3 times we painted it and glazed it and all of the grain "caught" the glaze and you could see all of the grain again. It looked "dirty" not glazed! Yuck, start over....we obtained the look I was after by using a darker,creamier paint and not using glaze on the face of the cabinets. We just used it in the edges to give it a dimensional look. The contractors sanded and primed 3 times, painted, sanded 3 times then applied the glaze into the raised edges to highlight. It took an entire week for them to dry properly. Now they seen to have cured enough to be really hard. They used primer and oil based paint. The color was Pearl White which was really quite cream colored. I have pics but can't get them to show up in this link. I'll try was worth the process, but difficult. Everyone that has seen the house can't believe it's the same cabinets! The new granite in the kitchen changed the looks dramatically too! Good Luck

    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 12:19AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The previous owners of my home painted the pickled oak cabinets. I am in the process of redoing the paint job. Not because it hasn't held up, I want a new color. I took the door off and went to the BM store to see what kind of paint they used (they left the swatch behind). I was told they used oil. So I am going to do the same. Oh and I was told that oil paint is going to be discounted soon due to new EPA regulations. I better get moving. ;)

    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 12:43AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I spent 20 minutes trying to post pics but GW rejected them???? Sorry
I will try again if you'd like. The cabs did turn out beautifully.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 1:06AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Mine weren't oak but rather pickled maple (pink!). My painter used BM satin impervo in oil. That was a few years' ago and they've held up perfectly.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 5:22AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Here's the Before and After

    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 10:55AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Here is how I would expect a pro to spray paint kitchen cabinets. A brush painted job would differ slightly in that you wouldn't hang the doors to paint. You'd place them on a work table or easel instead. It's time intensive work, and should take 7-14 days to accomplish completely and cost between 3K-7K depending on kitchen size and amount of detail in cabinets.

Remove doors and drawer fronts.
Remove hinges and hardware.
Clean with TSP (tri-sodium phosphate)
Rinse and let dry.
Scrape any loose finish.
Fill any damaged spots or hardware holes that won't be reused.
Sand fill smooth.
Scuff sand the rest.
Tack off dust.
Hang in dust free paint booth with wires through hardware points.
Tack off dust again.
Spray with alkyd based primer.
Scuff sand again.
Tack off dust.
Spray with second coat of primer.
Spray with first finish coat of latex enamel.
Spray with second coat of latex.
If glazing is to occur, that is next.
Spray with conversion varnish.
(If being brush painted, this step is typically skipped.)

Add more molding or decorative details to boxes, filling nail holes and sanding smooth.

Repeat prep process with face frames and exposed cabinet sides using plastic to create a spray booth on site. If interiors are to be done, they are done before face frames and sides. Interiors are difficult, and add both time and expense to the job.

Allow everything to fully cure.
Clean hinges and hardware and clear coat if you're keeping the old hardware.
Install new (or old) hinges and hardware.
Re-install doors and drawers and adjust for proper clearances.

If you are receiving a job without this amount of effort, then you are not receiving a quality professional job.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 12:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

EXACTLY what Greendesigns said!
I was reading their post and realized we first took off the doors and hardware before we scrubbed with TSP. Sorry, forgot to mention that part. (I am just toasted from the move). We also filled in the holes where the giant ugly handles were in the middle of the doors. Two days for that,(first application, let it dry/shrink, then second application, then sanded after drying).
I also think the painters put two layers of oil primer. Again, sorry for leaving that out before, I finally got a good night's sleep last night.
We only paid $400 for the spraying. We got a screamin' deal because we were already paying the guys to plaster a fancy 1920's style to match the existing plaster that had collapsed in our living/dining area and we got to know them and became very friendly. They also felt sorry for all the electric and plumbing that "happened" in the kitchen while they were working in the living room and the boss felt sorry for me when I asked him for any hints/suggestions on how to paint the cabinets. He just said he had a sprayer and if I paid his guys labor for a couple days, (and we did all the prep), they would do it for us.
In the end, it happened almost exactly like Greendesigns described, but you know, we did all the tedious prep.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 2:05PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Just out of curiosity, Since some of you didn't want the grain to show, why didn't you or your pros use one of the grain fillers I've asked about in another thread?

    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 2:43PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Filling the grain is VERY VERY labor intensive. That makes a long involved PIA job even more of a long involved PIA job if you are DIYing, and it makes an already expensive pro job even more expensive. People only have so much time or money, and filling the grain falls by the wayside as a priority because frankly, painted oak really isn't that bad of a look. A bit of grain showing through looks just fine.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 3:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks for all the responses, so I am assuming the bid for the lacquer is a no?
So the grain showed in everyone's cabinets and it didn't look bad. I have seen in person white cabinets but not oak ones that have been painted white so that is what makes me a little nervous
Sanjuangirl-your after pictures didn't show up. You can email them to me if that is easier. Did you get all your woodwork painted the same color as the cabinets?

    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 9:29PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have painted oak cabinets and don't mind some of the grain.
Some of it remains way too evident.
I plan to DIY it on a few cabinets. Since I DIY almost everything.

All it takes is patience, good advice and following the latter.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2012 at 9:55AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm going to try to post again.

Not Great photography, but I think you can see that the oak was completely covered and they look beautiful. Everyone that comes through thinks that they're brand new cabs. *Until they open them*

    Bookmark   March 23, 2012 at 10:06AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

kmallen, a little grain showing is barely noticeable, but that may be my far-sightedness. And it isn't a bad look anyway IMHO. Before my new doors were installed and I just had the painted-in-place boxes, I noticed a few places where, despite paint sprayed by a professional, a few of the deeper grained areas needed touch ups. I know they sanded before painting but I'm not really sure they did any grain fill.

In my house I have builders-grade 6-panel hollow core doors. After living here 20 years, it occurred to me that they have a faux-oak texture, featuring a reasonable facsimile grain. It's never struck me as a wrong look.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2012 at 12:43PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

This is a timely discussion, as we will be embarking on repainting our already white cabinets a different color white in a few weeks.
I have a question for any paint experts. A friend of mine just had her oak cabinets painted, as several others in her neighborhood did the same thing. (All 1996 Oak cabs) She told me that the painters used some kind of "yellow" primer, or coverant before they painted. She tried to find out exactly what it was because she wanted to use it when she painted some furniture pieces she's going to paint. The painters wouldn't TELL her! It's their "secret", and their secret even delayed the painting of her woodwork for several days because their supplier was out of it and it was hard to come by. They finally got it and are finishing hers up today. I told her to try and see them when they are putting it on and casually walk over and non-chalantly look at the can.
My question is, does anyone know what this product is? They told her that it is an undercoat that will guarantee any chipping, peeling, or staining. It's supposed to make it more durable than oil paint. I've googled every type search thinkable and come up with nothing.

OT-Sanjuangirl, your kitchen is lovely, and I'm very curious about your layout. It looks so unique and cool. You have two fireplaces? Have you ever posted a layout here? I would love to see it.

Thanks yall!

    Bookmark   March 23, 2012 at 7:39PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Susie3--this isn't my kitchen. It's one of my listings (I'm a realtor) and the owners asked me to make it more easy to sell. Everyone hated the oak so I had it painted. Wish we could change the floors too! There is a 2-way fireplace ine the kitchen going through to the living room. The other fireplace is in the family room, the picture is of the bar area that we also changed. It's a big home with 5 bathrooms that were also oak, not anymore"!

    Bookmark   March 25, 2012 at 6:24PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Question for those who have Painted Conestoga Cabinets?
Curious if you went with mdf or paint grade center...
Need help on storing root vegetables
Can anyone help me with ideas to store my root veges...
Please help with Kitchen floorplan
Hello everyone, My husband and I are building a new...
Liebherr cs2062 door badly scratched
Hi everyone, I am considering the purchase of a "scratch...
Chris Treadwell
Question on size of wall cabinets flanking cooktop
I'm planning 45" wall cabinets for my uppers....
Sponsored Products
Coco Chair
| Italy Design
Courtly Check Message Board - BLACK/WHITE
$198.00 | Horchow
R Series Galvanized 17-Inch Warehouse Outdoor Pendant with 12-Inch Stem and Wire
$135.68 | Bellacor
Zuo Xert Narrow Shelf in White
Beyond Stores
Tulip Art Print
Grandin Road
Mendota White Paint Shaker Kitchen Cabinet Sample
CliqStudios Cabinets
Casa Cortes Antiqued White Solid Wood Night Stand
Angels Band Set 1 Figurines by Alessi
$46.00 | Lumens
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™