Good to Know

Choosing new cabinet hardware

I’ve had this conversation quite a bit lately about selecting cabinet hardware, so thought I’d share some lessons learned with you.
1. There is no right or wrong about knobs versus handles. There’s also no design standard about handles on doors and knobs on drawers…go with what you like! Personally, trying to find a knob and a handle in the same design, sheen, and color is too stressful so I usually recommend just pick one for everything.
2.If you go with a handle, make sure it has some depth to it. There’s nothing more awkward than not being able to fit your fingers behind a handle to open a door. For the ladies, you’ll end up chipping paint with your fingernails or rings if it’s too shallow as well. Buy one and test it first to make sure it’s comfortable.
3. Never ever ever ever ever ever buy square, or tube/bar shaped knobs! Can’t stress this one enough, especially if you have any type of OCD. Those little buggers will shift on you over time and start to not be straight…your eyes will be drawn to the tilt, you’ll start to twitch when you walk in the kitchen…it’ll be ugly. Trust me on this one 😂
4. When choosing a knob or handle, make sure that it does not over dominate the width rail of a door. If it takes up more than half the side, it’s an awkward look.
5. Avoid Ring pulls at all costs. They are beautiful, but forces your fingers to touch the cabinetry…anything you can do to avoid hand oils getting on your cabinetry is desired.
6. For efficiency, places like Home Depot, Lowes and Amazon are great, but there are other sites to check out too! Etsy is one of my favorites, also,,,
Hope this helps, happy hunting!
Good to Know

So you are starting a kitchen project…

When we get asked to provide a quote for kitchen cabinet refinishing, it inevitably turns out that there is more work happening in the space than just the cabinets.  Here’s a little post that walks you through the priorities of the work, when they should be scheduled, and why. Enjoy!

First Step-Flooring
If you’re doing your floors, that should come first in the project line up. It’s messy, it’s stinky, and you’ll more than likely need to leave your house for a few days.  I have yet to see a floor refinisher who did not inadvertently splatter stain on the wood trim or the cabinets, so we want to avoid that happening to fresh paint obviously.  We were once involved in a project where the floor refinisher’s tools scraped a 6″ swath of paint right off of the entire length of the cabinets. Thankfully we had not done our work yet!

Second Step-Countertops
Countertops are your main design element in the kitchen space. You  may have your heart set on creamy white kitchen cabinets with a dark countertop, only to head out countertop shopping and fall in love with a white Carrera marble that just won’t work with creamy white.  It’s an expensive part of the project and really should drive your other color choices in the room such as wall paint, cabinet paint, curtains, etc…  In addition, removal of the old countertop involves tools that could potentially damage or chip the paint of the cabinets. Sometimes there needs to be leveling and extra adhesive/caulking added to the countertop which could drip on to the cabinets, and removal of that drip will surely impact the cabinet paint.

Third Step-Backsplash
If you’re having a new backsplash installed, we always suggest doing this before the cabinet painting as well. It’s certainly not required like the previous two steps, but it sure does help pull in all the design aspects together before the painting begins.

Fourth Step-Painting of Walls
Like step 3, it’s not required, but strongly suggested before we walk in, primarily due to the fact that the painters like to use tape on the cabinets to have nice crisp lines and it gives me absolute nightmares thinking about tape going on freshly painted cabinets 🙂

Fifth Step-Cabinet Color Selection
After all that, the fun begins and we get to choose colors for your cabinets! We have the ability to obtain 8″x8″ color samples from the Benjamin Moore color collection and usually suggest that we get your choices down to 3-4 and order you 3 free samples of each of those colors to hang on your cabinets. This lets you see the comparisons, the different undertones, check the colors out during various times of day and different lighting.

Sixth Step-Hardware Selection
Once we have your color selection complete, we typically send our clients to to take a look at their knob/handle/pull selection. They have a tremendous variety of styles and choices at affordable rates. We are always happy to help narrow down your choices and make suggestions!  New hardware needs to be in your home one week before the project begins, especially if you are needing new holes drilled. (We outsource the drilling of the new holes and that needs to be done before we start.)

Phew! I know it’s a lot to process, but we hope this clears up the order (and reasoning!) for you as you head out on your kitchen restyling adventure  ~Kelly


Good to Know

How to Interview a Cabinet Painter

While the process of selecting a painter for your cabinet projects can feel daunting, here are some basic questions to ask when interviewing. Some of these are not a ‘Right or Wrong’ question, but more to make you stop and think about your preference (such as emptying cabinets). Please keep in mind that even though the word ‘painter’ is used in the blog subject line, we are NOT painters, we are Refinishers.  Our only focus is refinishing wood, not walls, not exteriors, etc…only wood furniture/cabinetry. We do continuous education every single week, work regularly on perfecting and practicing our process, and network with the pros and experts in the industry on a constant basis.

  1. Does the painter spray the doors, or are you alright with them brush painting the doors? (You should always insist on seeing a sample of their work to approve their technique.)
  2. Are you required to empty all your cabinets and drawers during the project?
  3. Do they paint the doors on site at your house taking up space in your home, or do they take them offsite?
  4. Is the painter insured in case something happens like a spilled gallon of paint on your new floors or carpet?
  5. Do they offer a one year free touch up service and a 3 year warranty on the paint?
  6. Do they use a 4 step prep process? (NO COMPROMISE HERE)
  7. What do they use for primer?  (If they tell you they don’t prime, RUN.)
  8. Do they use tried and true products with 10+ years of proven results, or are they using a trendy new product that just hit the market without a track record of endurance?
  9. Do they have a process to ensure the elimination and/or reduction of visible brush strokes? (Ask to see an example before committing)
  10. Do they know how to consult on what sheen to use, and are they well versed in the pros and cons?

Here are 2nd Chance Restoration’s answers to those questions:

  1. We spray the doors and drawers offsite, and can either spray OR brush the bases/frames (the part of the cabinet that is installed and stays at your house)
  2. We do not require emptying of cabinets and drawers. We tape off the cabinets from the inside, and we use a state of the art HEPA filtration sanding system that minimizes any sanding dust. You can rest assure that we clean each cabinet and countertop at the end of each work day of any dust that did result from the work.
  3. Doors and drawers are taken offsite. We treat each job the way that we would want it done and don’t set up long ladders and dropcloths in your home that are in your way during the projects and making a mess in your house. If a quote says that they do not remove the doors, this is a huge red flag! To properly get into all the nooks/crannies/crevices of your doors and your frames, the doors absolutely need to be removed. If a painter is cutting corners here, then there are other areas they are cutting corners too.
  4. We are insured and have a Home Improvement Contractor’s license in the State of Connecticut (HIC.0650532 )
  5.  We do!
  6. Every inch of your cabinets need to be cleaned,  sanded, vacuumed and degreased THOROUGHLY–we never compromise in creating the optimal environment for paint adhesion.
  7. We work primarily with two professional grade primers and choose based off of the wood (one that blocks out stains and tannins for example).  If a painter tells you the product they use does not require primer, this is just laziness and if they are cutting corners here, they will cut corners elsewhere too.
  8. We use products that are revered within the industry, are industrial wood coatings (not paint) with a proven track record and a solid reputation for endurance and durability. You will never find us using wall paint in your kitchen!
  9. We sand (and sand, and sand) between every coat to start the next coat off with the smoothest foundation and minimized brush or roller strokes.
  10. It’s simple to look around a home and see what the kitchen will be put through day to day and suggest the appropriate finish. We also pride ourselves on having the confidence to stand by our recommendations and comfortably explaining the pros and cons of  Low Gloss (my fave!), Satin, SemiGloss and HighGloss.

Happy Interviewing!

About 2CR

How it Started

This desk is the start of my story. I had just lost my corporate job and didn’t have a proper desk in which to sit and do a job search. I stopped down to our local Stratford Habitat Restore, and found this mid century orange oak table that fit all the right dimensions I needed (except it was ugly). Threw her in the back of the SUV and brought her home (oh if I only knew then how many more hundreds of times that would happen lol).

I spent days sanding her down, staining her and painstakingly painting, stenciling and glazing. I was so proud of all my hard work and happily posted it on my personal FB page (2nd Chance Restoration wasn’t even a glimmer in my eye) to show my FB friends. 3 people tried to buy it off me 😜–then the first request came in for me to refinish a desk for a friend, and then a second, and then a third. It snowballed from there and we’ve done over 25 desks alone the last few years. This desk is still my workspace to this day and remains an important part of my daily inspiration