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

blackchamoisJanuary 31, 2013

I posted this on the Kitchens and Paint forums, but thought I would try here also for some feedback from cabinetry experts ...

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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A very poor job, they need to take back those doors, and have them made by someone who knows what they are doing. The warning sign is using caulk to cover up mistakes, if joints are cut square you should not see gaps, and the panels should have been painted before assembly as panels will expand and contract over time.

I would go back to the GC, and show him the crappy work, and see if he can get your money back on the doors. Would have someone else make the doors, lots of places make cabinet doors.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 10:28PM
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First, I would not accept this either. If you can't get him to fix it, caulk is not the end of the world. Fillers are frequently used in painted pieces where a very smooth surface is desired, covering natural blemishes in wood and small cracks.

Caulk can be applied in small, thin beads with excess removed by a putty knife (don't let him just run a finger to smooth it). The blade will remove 95% of the caulk. Let's say it does crack at some point in the future, the fix isn't that hard to do.

But, I agree that what is in the photo isn't acceptable.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 10:53PM
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sloyd - Thanks for the reply. I think you hit on the crux of my problem ... "panels should have been painted before assembly"

The cabinet guy builds the boxes, but orders the doors from a company called Drees ... and then either stains or paints them.

So then is this a Drees issue, or an issue with the cabinet guy? And do I have any recourse? Or is it something I have to suck up because I was not more knowledgeable?

I was presented with a catalog of door styles to choose from and picked the one I liked. I did see a sample of this door style in person, but it was unpainted. I did however see samples of painted doors, but not this particular style. The painted doors I did see did NOT have these issues.

I so wish I had found GW sooner. I am certain I would not be having so many issues with my remodel. I just hope it is not too late. Am I stuck with this? I just don't know what to do and what recourse I have.

Any advice is appreciated.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 11:11PM
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j45470b - Is there a particular type/brand of caulk that you would recommend? I do want to see what other options I have, but I will certainly consider this if nothing else is feasible. Thanks very much!

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 11:19PM
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I would say the doors are unacceptable to the cabinet guy, imagine what they will look like in a couple years. Would also show to the GC that recommended him, he may have some leverage to get things corrected.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 12:09AM
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Thank you all.

I had another cabinet guy here today who is staining a vanity for me for another project that my GC couldn't come through on. He is a true craftsman and the one I SHOULD have had build my kitchen cabs. He pointed out a whole slew of things wrong with the construction/assembly of these, and said on a scale of 1-10 (10 being best), he'd give these a 6 :(

I may see what I can salvage of these cabs, such as leaving the bases and counters intact, and having the "good" guy completely redo my uppers and pantry.

I think I may have to go to the point of terminating my relationship with the GC ... it's been THAT bad.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 6:41PM
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Regardless of the recommendation from the GC or the fact that the doors were outsourced the painting is the problem at present. The doors should have been primed,caulked,looked over twice and then painted.

I don't outsource my doors so I have control of the final product.

Currently its a few and next month its three more. All the doors at this point will need the same treatment to match and be uniform with any caulking.

Caulking isn't by any means a bad thing. At the time they were painted the finish was probably perfect and now the finish is cured,expanding/contracting and isn't going to stop till its corrected.

As far as having another cabinet guy check out the work. After 30yrs as a cabinet maker we are all critics of another guys work.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 7:15PM
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