Painted Cabinets – How long does it take?

Mar 4, 2020

The process for painting cabinets differs company to company. The products used and method of application are varied – and so, we can only really speak to our own experience.

At Distinctively Paint we use traditional sprayed lacquer finishes whenever possible. Cloverdale Paints premium line is our go to because it meets KCMA standards and is one of few lacquers that meet Canadian environmental regulations for VOC.  This is the tried and true product for cabinetry as it has been the product of choice for luxury home builders and custom cabinet shops for decades. The durability and smooth furniture like finish will make repainted cabinets appear as though they came that way, and not look painted at all.

For us, start to finish, the process generally takes about two weeks. But for a big part of that time, we’ll be working away in our spray shop on your doors and not in your home at all. See below for an example of what the average time line would look like to paint a kitchen in a Calgary home.

First Visit:

Today is a short day. We remove all doors and drawer fronts from your cabinets. They are all labeled for easier re-installation and washed to remove kitchen grease and grime.

Most of the time we are able to leave your drawer boxes in place so that you can continue to use them while we work on the fronts. However, on the rare occasion, the drawer fronts are glued to the boxes and we have to remove the drawer box and all to have the fronts prepped and sprayed.

Feel free to leave everything in your cabinets and use your kitchen as per usual. There is no need to empty cabinets because our method of preparation seals the interior of the cabinets behind a spray barrier. The exception to this would be a glass door cabinet. Since in this case you can see inside the cabinet, the interior of that cabinet would be sprayed to match the exterior and so would have to be emptied.

Second Visit:

We time this second visit to align with the door and drawer front completion. This is usually about 10 days later, depending on the size of the project and scheduling. For the next day or two we will be prepping your cabinets.

First, we wash and sand all surfaces to be painted. Next, we caulk all joints that may show once the cabinets are a solid colour. We then mask off all surfaces that are not to be painted, including walls, ceiling, floors, counters, back-splash and appliances to protect them from over-spray. While you do not need to empty cabinets, once masked all items will be inaccessible. We mask the cabinets last as to allow the most access to your kitchen as possible during this process. Plastic sheeting is erected in doorways and openings to contain as much dust as possible to the work space. Furniture is also covered with sheeting to protect it from settling dust.

Third Visit:

This step would be immediately following our second visit. This is spray day. If you have selected to use lacquer, we would require you to be out of the property for 24 to 48 hours once the spray work commences. Anyone in the property during this time will be required to use personal protective equipment – such as a ventilator mask. Leaving the property is not required if a standard latex paint is used in place of lacquer. If we are spraying lacquer, please make arrangements for your fur babies to be out of the space during that time as well.

Our spray tech will prime all surfaces, then reinspect for flaws and joints that need more filling or sanding. Surfaces will be primed again once complete followed by 2 top coats.

After everything is dry to the touch, we vacuum up any excessive dust in the area. All tape, paper and other prep is removed and bagged. All garbage will be neatly bagged and placed next to your garbage bins or at a location of your choosing. If you would prefer, we take garbage away. Please let us know if you would like this service so it can be added to your quote.

Immediately following de-prep, we vacuum again. We will vacuum several times during this process as the resulting dust really does get everywhere. While we do our best to ensure the bulk of dust is removed, expect that there will still be some settling after we are finished.

Next is the final step of cabinet door and drawer re-installation. Proper labeling typically makes this go quite quickly and it’s no time before your cabinets are completely put back together.

Finally, you get to come home to your brand-new kitchen! Clients are always surprised at the difference painting cabinets can make to their home.


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