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 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!

1 thought on “How to Interview a Cabinet Painter”

  1. Outstanding post about questions to ask your refinisher! Kitchen cabinet painting is such a huge thing right now, and I hope that homeowners take this information into consideration during the hiring process.

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