Cabinet Painting Process – Spraying Kitchens & Bathroom Cabinets

Jan 6, 2024

Spraying lacquer is one of the best painting techniques available for revitalizing cabinetry and adding a splash of colour inside your home. The products we use are of the highest quality and produce a flawless, luxurious finish. Sprayed lacquer is identified by its furniture grade coating that is smooth and soft to the touch.

Lacquer comes in a wide variety of colours and sheens, and can be used to reinvigorate even the oldest and most worn-down cabinetry and wood furniture.

In this article, we will be outlining our process of spraying lacquer on a kitchen, bathroom or other home interior space, and what each phase of the process looks like.

We take great pride in every one of our projects, and want our clients to know how the job is done and exactly what it takes.

Door Removal and Caulking

As soon as a client is committed to the project we perform a full review.  A cost estimate is provided and the colour choices are made.

From there, we can begin the process of prepping the work area. This starts with “before” photos, followed by removing each door, drawer front, shelf, pantry door and any other piece that is easiest to be brought in to our spray booth. Every piece is labeled to ensure it will receive the correct colour and be reinstalled in the same spot.

Once the in-home work space is opened up, we go through and caulk each individual gap, wall edge, and any line between two pieces being sprayed where a consistent seam can be created. This is done well in advance of any sanding or spraying in order to give ample dry time for the caulking. 

Main Prep Phase of Spraying Lacquer

The door removal and caulking phase takes a day for standard-sized projects. This involves taping all edges, using paper to cover up walls, ceilings and flooring, poly sheets over appliances, creating a temporary wall around the workspace, and otherwise covering anything not receiving paint.

This phase is critical for sealing off any surface not receiving lacquer, as well as creating a contained space where dust and fumes can be contained. In most kitchens, a completed prep job will resemble everything being gift-wrapped. Once the workspace is properly prepped off revealing only the painting surfaces, every square inch of space receiving paint is meticulously cleaned and sanded.

Power sanders are used for large areas, and hand sanding is often required for small detail spots. All surfaces must be thoroughly sanded down and dusted off prior to initiating the start of the spraying phase.

Spraying Phase 

Prime Coat

Once every surface has been prepped off, cleaned, sanded and dusted, the spraying can begin.

The initial spraying phase involves two full coats of primer, with an added sanding, filling and dusting phase in-between. The first coat of primer will often reveal small imperfections in the wood which may have initially been unnoticeable, and so the in-between phase looks much like the prep phase.

Fill and fix all the issues areas, sand every surface again, and it will be ready for the second primer coat. Once the second primer coat has dried, every surface will need a thorough scuff sand once again, just to remove any added texture.

After the primer phase, the older surface should be completely covered, free from imperfections and feel smooth and supple to the touch. This is how you know the job is ready for the coloured lacquer finishing coats.

Colour

Spraying the colour lacquer is not much different from primer however in this phase we pay more attention to finesse and detail.

All of the sanding and prep work should be done, and by this point you want the lacquer to be applied quickly and smoothly, and to steer clear of the project area when wet.

Two full coats of colour are applied with approximately fifteen to twenty minutes in between coats to dry.  An addition inspection to check for defects is conducted after every coat. Once the spray work has dried to the touch, the de-prepping phase can begin, where we carefully tear down all the masking tape, paper and poly, clean the work area.

Again, an inspection is completed.  In the rare instance where there is additional detailing to address, they are noted to let the install team know what needs to be taken care of.

Post Spray Clean Up

Clean up after a spray project can be time consuming and tedious.  The great care taken to seal off the space to protect from dust getting past the barrier can’t ever be perfect.  The spray technician’s have to leave the space in between coats which allows for dust to escape.

The crew will remove tape and paper, sweep and mop floors and do an overall clean up.  Horizontal surfaces like counters and floors are often done several times as dust continues to settle.

Clients need to be aware that even after a thorough clean there will still be dust in the air that will continue to settle.

At this stage, the in house spray portion is complete.  The clients are free to use their kitchen as per usual while they wait for the doors and any other removable parts to be completed at the spray shop.  Once they are done, the client will be notified and we will arrange a time to deliver and reinstall the sprayed cabinet doors.

Reinstallation of Cabinet Doors

Once doors are complete, our installer goes to the spray shop to wrap and pack the doors for delivery.

Back at the house, doors are unloaded and sorted for install.

At this stage, our field crew has completed the in house spray portion.  If any deficiencies were noticed during the final inspection,  they will have filled in the deficiency sheet communicate to the home owner that any remaining issues aren’t an oversite and that a plan is in place to address them.  A picture of the sheet is uploaded to our company software so that the installer can be informed and able to come to site prepared. It also provides a spot for the home owner to leave any notes for the installer.

Any remaining touchups or detailing are generally taken care of during the installation visit.

Each piece that was sprayed in our professional spray booth is reinstalled and realigned to ensure correct fit and balance – to the extent that the original mounting will allow.

Each Project is Unique 

This is merely a simplified overview of our process for the average kitchen or bathroom lacquer spray project. Every project is different, and every home has details, issue areas, and design elements that impact the outcome of the job. We have a process and strict standards that apply to all lacquer jobs, but adjustments are made based on the unique aspects of each house.  


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