How durable will my painted cabinet finish be?
That depends on several factors. We will look at some key points on what makes or breaks a great finish. Our extensive knowledge in this area allows us to replicate factory looking finishes.
1. Cleaning: The first step to any successful finish is the cleaning. Think about the wear and use a kitchen sees during normal daily use, everything from sauces, cooking oils and even the oils transferred from your skin. I know it's gross to think about but they're there and they are a contaminant. These things must be removed prior to preparation or they will get ground into the substrate during the sanding process and can lead to a coating failure. This is especially true with open grain wood species like oak.
2. Preparation: This is hands down the most common area we see failure arise, it is also the most important step in the finishing process. This crucial step accounts for 80% of the labor involved in finishing. Even after a good cleaning; without a proper mechanical bond, it wont matter what products are used, the finish will fail and it's only a matter of time. Specifically, corners and grooves that are hard to get with sandpaper, all it takes is a bump from a vacuum or a rogue toy from a child and the chipping starts.
3. Product: I have seen cabinets painted with everything from wall paint to furniture grade finishes. Obviously the latter would be the best option and we would never recommend a wall paint. Wall paint is for just that..walls and should never be used on furniture. The best option is a catalyzed finish (a hardener added to it) These products are made to handle the daily abuse of use
4. Exposure: Location has a lot to do with a lasting finish, water is the kryptonite to these product. Yes, some hold up better than others but standing water for any length of time will wreak havoc on your woodwork. Go take a look in the kitchen, I'd be willing to bet the worst piece on the cabinets sits right in front of the sink. Your best bet is to stay on top of these areas and make sure spills and splashes are cleaned up immediately! Even the best products have limitations.
5. Maintenance: Like everything else in your home, cabinets and their finishes should be maintained, things like loose hardware or chipping paint should be addressed as soon as you notice them. If your car needed brakes, it probably wouldn't be in your best interest to ignore it. The same rule applies to items in your home and although safety is obviously not as much of a concern; this is likely your biggest investment and should be cared for.
At Clean Cut Painting, we specialize in ultra smooth and long lasting cabinet finishes. We have tested and tried many products to give the best available options on the market to or customers. Over the past 12 years we have refined our processes and systems to achieve consistent results allowing us to offer limited lifetime warranties on these finishes and we'll even come out once a year for touch-ups. You can learn more by heading to our website.