The Rewards of Refinishing Cabinetry

Do you love your cabinetry? If not, refinishing your current cabinetry is a great option rather than replacing it.


In this featured project, the cabinetry was originally installed in 2010 and the homeowner never liked it. But, since they had just completed a huge renovation project and they “just wanted to move in” (a feeling that is very consistent with most people who have been under construction for a long time, called “Project Fatigue”).

These clients had originally hired a designer several years ago to design their home with a kitchen that replicated the beach just steps outside their door. But for some reason, it became a journey down the road of changing the properties of walnut to get it medium grey.

Since I wasn’t the designer on the original project, I can’t comment on the process, but the fact is that when you push a natural organic product such as walnut and add bleach and dyes to it, be prepared for it to fight you back. These cabinets turned orange and pink with the help of time and sun.

We went through about 20 samples of stain to get the wood to behave but the bottom line was that since the original beautiful walnut was altered, we could no longer control the color consistency with longevity, so painting was the only option.

We decided on this beautiful color grey that has made the entire space feel the beachy vibe that it deserves.

Refinishing these cabinets was no small undertaking and was “zipped” off. The doors/drawers were taken off to go to the shop for spraying and the frames and wall panels were sprayed in place.

In order to get everything perfect – the way this kitchen should be – they had to come back several times to repair missed areas of paint, scratches, swelling of wood in the summer months… you get the picture.

Long and short, if you want painted cabinets make sure the wood is either maple or birch or even an MDF that will take the best and last the test of time. My expectation for painting wood is usually fairly low because I feel that the finish will never quite be as hard and it would be from the shop.

Hope this is helpful as you decide on how to refinish your kitchen cabinets.


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