• Q The Smoothest Finish When Painting Cabinets

    Whether you plan on painting your cabinets yourself of hire a professional, there are definite do's and don'ts if you want the smoothest finish when painting cabinets.

    It is common knowledge that any professional paint job is 70% or more prep work. Painting kitchen cabinets is no different. The typical set of kitchen cabinets will take about a week start to finish. About three days or so of that week will be prep work.

    We won't go into great detail on the prep work here but focus mainly on what will give you the best finish.

    We will assume all the necessary masking has been done.

    You want all the doors and drawers removed. All hardware removed as well. Door and drawer silencers should be removed. The felt or rubber pieces that keep the door from banging into the cabinet.

    Solvent clean everything. Denatured alcohol works great. Everything should be sanded down well. Remove all the dust by vacuum and hand wiping.

    spray only

    Now the most important factor. How the paint and primer are applied. The smoothest finish when painting cabinets can only be achieved by SPRAYING. You cannot brush and roll the finish on the cabinets and have it look like a professional did the job and you can't brush or roll the primer and spray the finish and have it look right either. Everything must be sprayed. Spraying eliminates brush strokes and roller marks. The best painter in the world cannot brush a cabinet and have it look like it was sprayed. Unless they have a magic brush!

    That may seem like common knowledge but there are painters out there that do exactly that. Brush and roll cabinets. There is one company in Omaha that takes the doors to their shop to be sprayed but brushes everything else in the customers kitchen.

    The Big downside to spraying is the extensive prep work involved. Everything has to be protected. The walls, countertop, backsplash, appliances, floor, ceiling, sink.

    I can only assume this extensive prep work is why this critical step and spraying is skipped but it is necessary for a professional job/finish.

    The paint being sprayed is very important as well. There are fantastic and durable coatings for cabinets and paints that have no business in your kitchen. A high-end coating will be very durable to daily wear and tear and lay down nice when sprayed to give a beautiful finish.

  • Q Popular White Colors

    It can be difficult picking a color for your project. "White" is no different. There are so many variations of white. Whether you are painting your house, walls, or cabinets, picking the right shade of white can be a challenge.

    The most popular white colors we use when painting cabinets are

    1. Togue white
    2. Decorators white
    3. Alabaster white
    4. Pure white
    Togue, Decorators, Alabaster, Pure

    We have used other whites as well but these four are the most popular. We have done cabinets in many other colors too; black, blue, green, etc.

    Occasionally we are asked to glaze a set of cabinets or do a special finish on them but "white" is still the popular choice in Omaha.

    One of the most important considerations when picking a cabinet color is lighting. Natural light is important but so is the amount of light you have from light fixtures in your kitchen.

    White on cabinets almost always works. It is an important consideration if your kitchen doesn't have enough light. Dark colors work best in kitchens with lots of light. Can lights and other light fixtures that can have the light direction adjusted work well with dark colors. Adjusting the lighting to accent the cabinets is a nice look.

    Four other things to keep in mind are:

    1. Counter top colors
    2. Backsplash colors
    3. Floor color
    4. Wall color.

    One other consideration often overlooked is the color of you appliances. Stainless steel works with everything. Black does not. White appliances with white cabinets may be too much.

    White cabinets will make a kitchen look bigger. Darker colors will make the kitchen look and feel smaller.

    One more thing to keep in mind is resale value. Refinishing cabinets is an expensive process and while you may like the color a prospective buy may not.

    If you stick to the popular white colors or any other white color you will improve the appearance of your home, make the kitchen seem bigger and you will retain good resale value.

  • Q Which Room to Paint First

    When hiring a painter, perhaps for the first time, it is hard to know which room to paint first when what you want painted is the interior of your occupied home.

    The two most common questions I get when we are painting the interior of a customers home is:

    1. How long will it take.
    2. Where to start.

    How long it will take comes down to two things.

    1. How difficult the job is.
    2. The amount of contents in the home.

    Most residential jobs are not difficult. However the amount of stuff in the home can both slow the job down and make it more difficult at the same time. If there is a lot of "things" in the areas to be painted it will slow the job considerably. A bedroom full of children's toys, furniture, posters on the wall, etc. can make a job miserable for both the painter and the customer. There are situations where there is so much in an area that the job must be rescheduled.

    For example. A typical 10'x15' bedroom with no contents may take a couple hours to paint start to finish. That same room full of "stuff" can take a full day.

    A customer can greatly streamline the time it will take to do a job by reducing the contents of the areas to be painted.

    Which room to paint first? Every job is unique but I usually recommend that the kitchen is first. This gets it out of the way and meals can go on as planned. Next would be bathrooms for similar reasons. One at a time of course. Common areas like living rooms, hallways, stairways are next and bedrooms are last.

    Occasionally we use a different approach. Sometimes taking care of a child's room first gives them a space away from the project as it progresses and is less stressful for the child

    The goal is to do a professional job with the least disruption to the customer.

  • Q Dreaded Paint Blister

    There are a few reasons you may get a blister on a new or newer exterior paint job. One reason is if the paint is applied within the dew point. You have probably heard a weather man mention the dew point and wondered what the heck is that or "why do I care about that"? The dew point is the temperature at which the moisture in the air will condense on a surface. Like moisture on the side of a cold beer glass. If you paint within the dew point the paint can't adhere to the painted surface because of that moisture so it cures to itself. It's just hanging there and will eventually form a bubble or bubbles.

    This is easy to avoid. Paint only when the exterior temperatures are many degrees above the dew point and not expected to drop into or below the dew point until the paint has had a chance to cure. This type of failure is common when exterior painting is done in the fall or early spring and the painter isn't monitoring the weather. If the painting is done in the fall you may not see the failure until next year in the spring or summer.

    The "dreaded paint blister" as I like to call them is when the blister is formed because the original coating fails after a new coat of paint is applied over it. Normally there are many older coats of paint and it is on a older home with cedar or redwood lap siding.

    There is no way to foresee this type of failure. These homes often pass through power washing without the paint coming off and there is no magic coating or primer to put on the home prior to painting to prevent this from happening. You just have to deal with it after the fact and here is how.

    1. Cut out the bubbles.
    2. Prime the area with an alkyd primer. I like XIM 400 white.
    3. After the primer has dried. I wait 24 hours. Skim over the area with a quality exterior spackle. I like MH Ready Patch.
    4. Sand the areas smooth and reapply more spackle if necessary.
    5. Prime again with the alkyd primer.
    6. Paint the areas again.

    I will paint the patched areas after they have been primed and then repaint that side of the house again so it has good coverage and blends in well.

    The "dreaded paint blister" is one of the last things I want to discover on a project. They can become very time consuming when fixed correctly.

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