Stained Oak cabinets in the kitchen are fairly common in the Goshen, Indiana and Columbia City, Indiana areas – at least in some eras of home construction – but so is the wear they’ve seen over the years. One concern we hear often at Matthews Painting is that customers want to “clean up” the kitchen with a fresh coat of paint on the walls, but they aren’t sure what to do about cabinets that serve well but have seen better days.
The kitchen is the hardest-working room in your home, and the cabinets see all the steam and sticky hands of day-to-day living. Quality cabinets are an investment in any home, though, so some homeowners want to know what they can do to keep them rather than bear the expense of replacing them. Painting oak cabinets is one option that’s growing in popularity, and it’s not just because it’s a budget friendly choice.
The warm look and feel of painted cabinets is a design trend that welcomes customers to keep the products they already have, which can be important to the environmentally minded. Painted cabinets also allow homeowners more freedom of choice in kitchen décor, where in the past they may have found traditional cabinetry limiting. There’s even a third advantage for clients attracted to open shelving, because high-performing paints in a popular olive or weathered gray add polish to cabinets left intentionally open.
It’s a bright white that many people are choosing, though, when painting oak or even the old metal cabinet doors and frames. The real key, no matter what color you choose, is proper surface preparation. The previous wood treatment and the years of grease buildup and fingerprint oils are there, no matter how well you clean, and they have to be removed first. So does everything on the shelves, if you plan to paint the insides too.
Oak, and for that matter cherry or maple, is wood with a grain that requires attention first. Once the doors and hinges are removed and you’ve cleaned the surface, it’s a good idea to deal with the grain or you’ll be using more primer than necessary. First fill any wood holes or ridges in the surface with a high quality putty or wood grain filler, and then plan to sand it smooth. If you want to achieve a more distressed or natural look rather than a polish-perfect surface, keeping some of the wood grain visible is possible too – but you still have to prep!
One good reason to consider a professional painter is your project timeline. The kitchen is the high-traffic heart of your home, so if it’s going to be days or even several weekends until you’re done, it may be worth the investment to avoid the hassle. The better reason to consider hiring the pros is paint selection and application, since the paint you choose needs to be durable and routinely washable while delivering the results you envisioned in your cabinet refresh project. Choosing between various sheens and glosses, or even a sealed chalk paint, takes some know-how, but don’t forget the little things too! You may want new cabinet door handles and other hardware to finish the job.
Solid answers from reliable sources can help with paint selection – there are even products with no paint odors for interior painting – but choosing tools and techniques also are important decisions. If you’re planning a DIY project, it’s worth getting some advice on how rollers and various brushes will work on your cabinets, to then select the best possible products. Spraying the paint may deliver superior results, and that’s an option the professionals at Matthews Painting can discuss with clients too, to ensure a kitchen refresh you’ll enjoy for years to come.
Matthews Painting is now expanding our interior and exterior wall, ceiling, trim, door, window and kitchen cabinet painting and staining, wallpaper removal, drywall repair, deck staining and sealing and log Home staining and sealing into the Goshen, Indiana and Columbia City Indiana areas.