Question Thank you for taking my question.
I would like to change my cabinet doors/drawer fronts in the kitchen and then have the original cabinet frame painted professionally to match the paint on whatever doors I select. I'm a little leery of refacing my cabinet doors (solid oak) because they are the outdated cathedral style and I'm not certain how they could be refaced with a modern style. I'm thinking of an off white cabinet with a light glaze such as a butterscotch. I'd like to know if you can recommend/suggest what to look for in pre-painted cabinet doors and drawer fronts. Any particular brands that you know of that are good quality? I know that some of them are painted fiberboard and I'm not comfortable with that. Should they be painted solid wood or is something else more economical, still attractive, and still sturdy enough to hold up for a number of years? Any other advice concerning what I'm hoping to do would be much appreciated. Or is there a thought you have about something I might not have considered? That would be most appreciated as well.
Answer Hi Rose, sorry about the late reply. There are many choices in replacement doors and drawer fronts...I would just find something you like in a factory finished replacement. MDF, or 'medium density fiberboard', and other HDF products are in fact very stable. (no cracking in joints from drying out, etc.), and very strong options, so do not be wary of that product. The term "refacing", usually refers to completely replacing the actual doors and drawer fronts with new ones, as apposed to a refinish, where you would simply refinish the existing. Have you looked into a cabinet refacing company?...even Sears has a cabinet refacing line I believe, and the benefit of refacing is really the finishes they use on the new doors and drawer fronts. Factory applied, modern kitchen finishes are much more durable and professional looking than anything the typical painter could apply themselves...in fact many of these companies warranty the finishes for "life"...and because of the spray application process, and the chemistry of the finishes themselves, it is a far superior product. Solid color kitchen cabinets are typically not "paint", they are multi step spray applied finishes utilizing Acrylic urethanes,or catalyzed finishing products that are MUCH more durable than anything the average consumer could apply...not paint. I would investigate further, and seek out something in a factory finished replacement that will fit your taste and budget. In the long run, given the labor of properly prepping and finishing cabinets, it should not be a very different investment, but the factory applied finishes will last much longer, clean and wear much better in the long run.Having said that, there is a product on the market that bridges the gap between the two by Rustoleum, see link below for more info. It offers the professional grade finishing products in a "DIY" fashion to refinish cabinets. There is a learning curve, and make no mistake, this is labor intensive to do correctly and carefully...but the end product is much more durable than paint and available in a wide range of colors, glazes, etc. Hope that helps a little...please post back if need be.
Greg answered my questions very well and then some. I was a little hesitant to ask in that I felt that I should had had a little more knowledge about the topic myself before even asking questions of an expert. But Greg put me at ease right away and realized that I didn't understand completely what one of the terms meant that I was asking him about. He fully explained terms, offered me additional information that I hadn't thought about, and told me where else I could go for help. He encouraged me to write back if I had further questions. I so appreciated all the information he gave me in a "full" response - - not a shoddy, basic, "just-do-this" answer. I would think that this is what you expect of your experts, but Greg gave me more than I asked for and much more than I could have expected. His response was knowledgeable, thorough, well-presented, and professional. THANK YOU, GREG!!
Questions on Woodworking, wood finishing and refinishing of all kinds, repairing furniture and wooden objects, Architectural details, Woodturning, carving, tool usage, product usage, some chemistry as it applies to woodworking and related interests,cabinet making and furniture construction/design, etc. I have experience with all manners of colorants, finishes, paints, stains, dyes, glazes, and coatings, wood species recognition and usage,tool recommendations, blade types and recommendation,techniques and methods for many Woodworking related issues, etc.
Fine furniture restorer and cabinet maker for over 30 years,serving high end Antique dealers, Interior designers, Collectors in the CT area. Consulting for area Painting/Decorating and Building contractors on non painting issues..(staining, wood prep.,clear finishing, floor restoration and architectural detail restoration and repair, etc.) Sold, built, serviced, setup Home, Industrial, and Commercial stationary woodworking tools for a major tool retailer in CT. for three years, sold hand and power tools , provided knowledge, parts replacement, service, and on site service, Trade show Demo, and training as well.
Publications Published in Fine Woodworking Magazine (12/97), included on Fine Woodworkings first "Best of Fine Woodworking" CD-ROM (2002) ...("27 year compilation of expert know-how")
Education/Credentials Art School at Silvermine Guild in Norwalk, CT., 9 year apprenticeship in a European run Cabinet and Restoration shop in CT., various classes on subjects having to do with the field. Seminars from major Tool manufacturers, Skil/Bosch, Delta, Powermatic, Ritter, Porter cable, Milwaukee, Dewalt/B&Decker, Performax.
Past/Present Clients Many varied clients including work on Martha Stewarts' Westport, CT. show house, many fine Antique dealers and private collectors in and around Fairfield County and in Woodbury, CT. (the Antiques capital of CT.), Golden Age of Trucking Museum,Consulting for area Painting/Decorating and Building contractors on non painting issues..(staining, wood prep.,clear finishing, floor restoration and architectural detail restoration and repair, etc.), local Museums and Historical Societies. For the last two years I have been employed with Schwenke Auctioneers Inc.- Woodbury Auction LLC., as a staff photographer,IT tech,and doing restoration and repair work as well.