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Painting over old cabinets or getting new ones?

Painting over old cabinets or getting new ones?


Today’s blog has to do with the idea of painting over old cabinets… or not.

We’ve had many clients share nightmare stories with receiving bids that painting or staining their existing cabinetry cost them a ton of money and ended up only saving them only about $2,000 on the cabinetry. SpaceMakers explains the difference and that you may be only putting lipstick on and not covering fully the grain or getting new updated concealed hinges, dovetailed drawers and updated cabinetry style.

Another thing to take into consideration is painting over oak cabinets (which is a very grainy wood and in a lot of older homes) are not what people are looking for when they envision painted cabinets. It’s not an easy task to cover that grain and make it look smooth and the result often looks like… well you did it yourself.  Not that it is a bad paint job but its very hard to hide the grain. Just something to think about before spending the money and thinking you are saving.

I know some of you still love the painted cabinet look so don’t forget that there are NEW painted cabinets which have no grain and look fabulous!!!  We are very customer service oriented here at SpaceMakers and are always learning and growing in this business, so I would just like to share what we have learned when it comes to painted cabinetry. We have found that when you are doing new painted cabinets that slightly larger cabinet doors (called full overlay) are needed in this MN climate. Reason being is that the seams in cabinetry are less forgiving when they are painted as opposed to stained, so people are A LOT more happy when the seams don’t present themselves with the swelling and shrinking of wood in our climate. To some its really not that big of a deal but we just like people to know all the facts and make their own decision in the end.  We like to keep people informed.  I’m NOT down playing painted cabinets at all!  They are quite beautiful as are stained and in some cases will work just fine.  We just like people to be informed and happy with the end result.. always!!! The price is about 10% more to do painted and on top of that add more for the full overlay (larger door and drawer fronts) that’s needed. But people are always happy they did it and are thankful we were honest and looking out for them.

There are so many new stains to look at as well that mimic painted cabinets but keep that beautiful grain too, so have fun looking before you dive into one or the other!!!!!!!

(Here is the link to the article I talked about earlier below if you would like to view it.)    

The other thing to think about is resale of a home with old painted cabinets instead of new updated ones.

With NEW cabinets (stained or painted) you have updated hidden hinges and strong full dovetailed drawer construction. Also, depending on how old your cabinetry  is, in new cabinets there is no annoying wood piece in the middle when you open the doors that blocks full access inside the cupboard. (I know a few of you know what I’m talking about haha!!!!! 🙂 

So you really never want to paint over old cabinets that have the thin board in the middle or exposed hinges because for resale it will still look very dated. Also, if you keep your old cabinetry and simply refinish/restain, the cabinetry above the fridge will only be one foot versus 2-feet so when someone walks in they will immediately see that your home is dated. Seeing the side of your fridge is another dated look as all of our remodels, we put a wood side panel (called leg) to give your fridge a built-in look. Just letting you know what I’ve learned, it all depends on you and your own needs and wants!!

Hope this helps you out.

Again have fun exploring new ways to update your cabinets!!

There are so many fun things out there now!!!

Have a great day!!

Rick Grindland - Owner
Phone: 651-735-1188
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