Top 3 Problems with Painted Cabinets

Top 3 Problems with Painted Cabinets

As we work with home owners that are looking to improve their Kitchen, we often are selected to paint kitchen cabinets. Painting kitchen cabinets is the best way to improve the look and feel of your kitchen without a doubt. But I want to be up front to go over the Top 3 Problems with Painted Cabinets

Here is an update of what is now the top 5 problems with painting cabinets..

As a cabinet painting contractor, the most common questions we are asked regarding cabinet painting are:

  • Will the paint on cabinets last?”
  • “How Durable are painted cabinets?”
  • “I have painted cabinets and the paint is peeling, can you help?”
  • “How do I prevent water damage to my cabinets?
  • “Will the paint chip if I paint my cabinets”
water damaged cabinet - top 3 problems with painted cabinets

Problem 1 about painted cabinets- Water!

Enemy number 1 is water! The number one problem with wood in your home – moisture!! It doesn’t matter if it is stained or painted cabinets, wood floors, or wood furniture, water will cause permanent damage to wood.

water damaged wood oak cabinets
water. damage from water from a sink

There several ways water can cause damage to wood cabinets, floors or furniture:

  • Leaving wet rags hanging on cabinets
  • Not using coasters on your furniture
  • High humidity
  • Washing wood (painted or stained) with water and leaving heavy water residue on the wood surfaces

After 18 years of painting and re-staining cabinets, water damage is always an issue.

The cabinets by your sink get the most abuse!

  • Water from washing your hands, doing dishes, cooking, and cleaning usually take their toll in this area of your kitchen cabinetry.
  • Next are the cabinets or cabinet panels next to your dishwasher. The ventilation from dishwashers was not given much thought as to where the steam goes. They have traditionally either gone out the top damaging countertops or out the sides damaging the cabinet right next to your dishwasher.
  • Do not use harsh chemicals to clean cabinets – vinegar and water are all you need. Chemical cleaners will cause the finishes of your cabinets to break down faster and then allow water into the wood.
  • Fix any problem as soon as it is seen, don’t wait for it to get worse!

Number 2 problem with painted cabinets- peeling paint

This is closely tied to one of the top probelms or questions we receive; will the paint chip from painted cabinets?

When the time is taken to do the right prep work on your wood cabinets – NO the paint will not peel.  When we are getting cabinets ready for paint we have a multi-step process to make sure the paint sticks to the wood:

  • We clean the entire cabinet surface with TSP, degreaser cleaner. This can take several times to get cabinets clean
  • We also scuff sand the surfaces to give the primer something to stick to. When the cabinets are previously painted, the surface is slick so paint or primer has nothing to stick to. Think of it as glass vs. your skin – they both look smooth but one is more porous than the other.
  • Bonding primer is what should be used as your primer for cabinets. This stuff will bond to almost anything! Without the right primer, paint will have issues with sticking to any wood you are painting.

The devil is in the details!! All of the prep work is the key to a great, long lasting paint job.

As for the paint- dont go cheap! We ahve started to use Urathane type cabinet paints. These have been proven to be a great product for cabinet painting.

Problem 3 with painted cabinets- Can you fix the peeling paint on my cabinets?

No.  If the paint is peeling from your cabinets then the only way to fix it is to strip all of the paint from the door(s).

These are the top 3 problems with painted cabinets. We also put together a FAQ about cabinet painting you can see here..

If there are some other questions we are asked and if you have questions regarding painting your cabinets please let us know.

cabinet painting
Should I Paint My Cherry Cabinets?

Since your hear we are assuming you have solid cherry cabinets. I will further assume you are not happy with the look and feel of your kitchen? Have you been looking at Pinterest, Google images, watching HGTV or YouTube videos about painting kitchen cabinets? Are you afraid of making the right decision? Then you are not alone. I too have felt this fear and faced these same questions so you are in the right place. Let dive into why you are here- Should I paint my cherry cabinets?

Hello Everyone, I am David Cook with Dfranco Painting and Wallpaper, here in Huntley, IL. If you are like many of our customers in the Chicagoland area, such as Elgin, Algonquin, or Crystal Lake, you have a home that has wood cabinets.

You know people that have made the improvement to their kitchen with new counter tops, new faucets and now your wondering- Should I Paint these cabinets too? Will it last? Will these guys do good work. Will it rain today? – that I cant help you with, its Illinois- anything can happen!

before cabinet painting - should i paint my cherry cabinets
Do you have this?
painting cherry cabinets white
But are you ready for something like this?

How much will it cost?

These are the two questions most people are asking when facing the question or problem of kitchen remodeling, but for most people, it is the same answer.

  • The cost is based on how many cabinets you have
  • The process is proven to last- so we give you a lifetime warranty on our work
  • We even come back in 1 year to do a check up if you need it

A common question- how much does it cost to paint cabinets compared to replacing the cabinets. Right now, you can expect about $145.00 per cabinet to have it painted. That is an average so you can do some rough math by counting your cabinets.

When you look at the cost to replace your cabinets, it will be 70% more expensive than painting them and with the money you save by painting, you can now upgrade your door hardware, your countertops, your sink, and most likely your appliances to have a new kitchen you want and enjoy.

Cherry cabinets before being painted white
Cherry cabinets after being painted and glazed

The other cost is the loss of your kitchen. If you replace your cabinets, think about the fact:

  • You will have no kitchen to use for several weeks.
  • No access to kitchen appliances
  • Removing everything from your cabinets
  • Storeage all your kitchen items for 2-4 weeks!
  • it will always cost more than you think once you start ripping things out
  • demolition usuually take more time due to unforseen issues

The best part is YOU decide what color you want! You can go to any JC Licht Store, or Sherwin Williams store in the Chicagoland area, pick any color you want- you can even pick two colors if you wish!!  (If you select the whites from BEHR- we may not be able to match it 100%)

Will I have access to my kitchen while its being painted?

YES!!  You have just read the inconvenience of replacing your cabinets with new ones. When we paint them, you get to use your kitchen every day! There may be a few hours in the course of the day we have plastic around your appliances to protect them, but every night you use your kitchen! And since you don’t have doors you can access everything in your kitchen quicker! (That one was meant to bring a smile).

Is Painting cabinets right for me?

Before the details of how, there are several questions you have to be able to honestly answer to know if painting your cherry cabinets is a good solution for you.

  • Is there anything wrong with the cabinets you have? Is there any damage? Are there any broken doors? Do they have water damage? If you are saying no to any of these then so far you are on your way to painting your cherry cabinets!
  • Do you like the look of a painted cabinet? Some people, my father being one of them, cringes at the sound of painting wood. If you are not sure then take a few hours and go to a home improvement store like Home Depot or Menards to look and touch. Ask yourself if you can see yourself with painted kitchen cabinets.
  • If you are still feeling good about the idea then it is time for the next step!
before cherry cabinets painting
Original cherry cabinets
Painted cherry cabinets

Things to Consider Before Painting Your Cherry Cabinets

But! There is always a but. There are a few things you need to be aware of if you have never had a kitchen or any cabinets that are painted. Painted cabinets are not like stained wood cabinets. I know you are here because you want to know about cherry cabinets, however, if your cabinets are pine-stained cherry color, this is not for you. Pine cabinets are not good candidates for paint. But you have solid Cherry! Stained cherry cabinets have a finish that has penetrated the wood fibers themselves to bond into the wood. Paint on a cabinet is given a bonding primer to stick to the surface of the cabinet. Then the paint is put on top of the primer. This is the same in a new factory cabinet or a refinished one like you are thinking about now.

Keep in mind, at the end of the day this is paint. It is a hard shell, it will resist stains, it will be washable, it will look impressive. Paint on wood can chip upon impact and wood doors will not allow you to place wet towels or rags on them and not become damaged.  I have to give you those buts up front so you know.

I have painted my cabinets in my home, people are doing it every day, and I believe it a great way to not just improve the look of your kitchen but change how you feel about the most important room in your home.

It Worked For These People, And It Will Work For You

Here’s what it did for me… Before I met Daphne and we were married, she had her cabinets painted but didn’t like the color. There was still nothing wrong with the cabinets-just a color -the wrong color. We picked a new color, had some new hardware installed, where there were none before and now we have a kitchen that my wife loves to look at and loves the feeling she has when we are in it. So I have used the materials, process, and system in my home as well.

Here is one testimonial from a great customer in Elgin, IL about painting cherry cabinets:

What are you getting when you paint cherry cabinets?

When you hire D’franco Painting & Wallpaper, you’ll have the peace of mind of …

  • Having employees of D’franco Painting & Wallpaper in your home, not subcontractors.
  • All of our employees get background checked by a 3rd party vendor.
  • We carry workman’s comp and liability insurance.
  • We have a system and process that has is used, always evaluated to improve and refine. And for over 15 years we still attend training annually to make sure we provide the best products for your home.
  • Lifetime Warranty on our work. We will come back on your anniversary every year and give you one hour to do the minor touch-ups that you may need
  • We use cabinet-grade cabinet paints from ML Campbell, Chem Aqua, Shurwood, or ILVA. These are time-tested and award-winning finishes that will last and meet the demands of the most used room in your house. (the paint we use is varies on cost, color and availability)

It’s Decision Time

You have a choice to make: Keep looking at your cabinets and wonder what if…or worse, do nothing at all. You know where that will lead (to another web search on cherry cabinets, frustrated about the look and feel of your kitchen). Is that really where you want to go? Take a new action, and get a new result. Finally, get that estimate and transform your kitchen – Love the home you live in! Which do you really want for yourself? So here are your next steps: Call or text us

  • We will ask you for pictures of your kitchen
  • We will give you a cost to paint your cherry cabinets within $100-$200. It includes removing hardware, cleaning, painting the outside of the boxes and both sides of the doors. If the numbers look like you want more information we will make an appointment with you. We will come to your house with a door sample that you can touch and see. We will inspect everything and then give you an accurate quote of the exact cost
  • Receive a detailed description of how our process works and give you videos to show you of us in action.
  • You receive a list of products we use
  • You may qualify for a free color consult!
  • You’ll have a lifetime warranty.

So, you have asked the question “should I paint my cherry cabinets?”, and you have read the answers, now you are ready to take action and get a GET AN ESTIMATE today!

Do you have questions about cabient painting? Let us know- we are here to help you make the right decision, even if that menas we dont do the work, we want you to be happy about what your doing in your home!

We look forward to helping you love the home you live in!

Here are some other blog articles on painting cabinets we have for you:

Painting Cherry Cabinets?

My father was always speachless when he would hear we are painting over cherry kitchen cabinets. I usually smiled, and just said, we help people get the look they want in thier home- not what I want. Chery cabinets can look great in their natural state, but due to the manufacturer process of cheap and fast, naturally stained cherry cabinets often look cheap and ugly. So what is there to do besides replacing your cabinets? Today we talk about Painting Cherry Cabinets.

Hello Everyone, I am David Cook with Dfranco Painting and Wallpaper. We are here in Huntley, IL serving the greater fox valley areas usch as Geneva, South Elgin, St. Charles, Elgin, West Dundee and Algonquin. If you are looking for information about cabinet painting, then welcome! If you have questions about painting your cherry cabinets- your in the right spot!

Can I really Paint My Cherry Cabinets?

If the answer to that question is yes, then please read on! We have helped and empowered many customers to make this difficult decision easy. It is hard to think of painting cherry cabinets as an option, but I assure you it will be ok!

painting kitchen cabinets

Although we have written several blog posts about this subject, today we will add some problems that may happen when painting cabinets.

Are people really Painting Cherry Cabinets?

Yes! Customers are also painting wood cabinets that are maple and oak. This is not the choice for everyone. My family cringes at the thought of painting wood, such as cherry. I helped my father strip paint from the wood in the home we grew up in for several years! There are a few great reasons why this is more popular:

  • Cost of new cabinets
  • Cost of remodeling
  • Price of lumber
  • Time needed to replace a kitchen with new cabinets

These factors make painting a great alternative to making that kitchen a space of your own- a place you want to be in and proud to show off.

Should I paint my cherry cabinets?

Absolutely! If you have seen our other posts or watched our YouTube videos, you will see the cabinets we are painting. Here is one video of our work on cherry cabinets.

So, what is the process to paint cabinets?

Painting kitchen cabinets always starts with prep and cleaning. Customers will tell us, “We have a cleaning service, so they should be clean.” But…

  • There is always residue from previous cleaning products!
  • You’ll need to remove any grease, oil, dirt, etc., from the cabinets.
  • If you have a cabinet door that leads to your garbage can, look at the inside of that cabinet door. (usually nasty)
  • Believe it or not, your hands have oil on them! That oil will need to be cleaned off as well.

Cover the floors and counters with a self-stick plastic wrap. The walls get masked with tape; we remove all handles and hinges and ensure we cover appliances. You can see in the video that we have completely covered the counters with tape and plastic.

With everything covered and cleaned, we start priming all surfaces that will be painted. After the primer is applied, we fill the nail holes you never paid attention to from the initial installation. Using caulk, we fill the small cracks and seams to keep everything smooth, level, and with a solid white surface.

The primer is applied, and we now sand the surfaces and start to paint. We spray as much as possible, but sometimes, we must get out the brushes and foam rollers to get into spaces where we just can’t spray.

All the removed doors are taken to the spray booth to spray. It leaves a factory finish that you will love!

When we finish painting, we start putting everything back together, make our adjustments, remove the tape and plastic, and reveal a new kitchen!

Will the paint last?

At the end of the day, we are talking about paint. It is not bulletproof. All the kitchen cabinets in my home are painted with the same process and materials we use in yours. The paint will stand up to normal day-to-day wear and wash.

  • Wash them with 50/50 vinegar and water.
  • Avoid water from staying on the surface. No wet rags on the doors, don’t let water sit on the doors, and dry them off.
  • Paint can (and will) chip…just like the paint in the rest of your house.

We offer a lifetime guarantee on our labor and work. We return in 12 months for an hour and touch up for free with the paint on site. It works, it looks good, and it will last.

What are problems with painting cabinets?

This is a newer question but deserves the time to answer. If done correctly, your painted cabinets will last just as long as brand-new cabinets, maybe longer, as newer cabinets don’t seem to be made as well as older ones!

Problem 1. Water damage! The paint will fail if you keep wet towels or rags on a painted wood surface.

Problem 2. Cleaning with chemicals. Like cleaning your wood floors, you should not use harsh chemicals to clean painted surfaces.

Problem 3. Defective cabinets. This has happened for the 2nd time in 3 months, so it bears speaking about. When we estimate cabinets, we base that estimate on the cabinets being in good order with no unforeseen damage. These damages can happen in several ways:

  • After a hinge is removed or when a door is moved, a crack is found where it was mounted. This is fixable, but there would be an additional charge for the repairs.
  • Damaged veneer. This one has me stumped a bit. After we had cleaned, sanded, and primed the door, the veneer failed. This means the wood surface comes from the cabinet and leaves a mess. This is another issue where the repairs would be extra.
veneer coming loose from cabinets - cabinet painting
here is a a cabinet we were painting and the veneer started to release from the door


Cabinet Painting Videos

Here is one video we had on this as well… 
And one more…

So, what are you waiting for?

Contact us now for a free estimate! Call or text us at 847-553-1726. You will find out the cost, receive an email on our process, and when the time comes for the on-site estimate, show you a door sample and answer all your questions.

How can we help you love the house you live in? Start with this link and we can provide you with a free estimate!


Here are some other blog articles on painting cherry cabinets we have for you:

Top 3 Problems with Painted Cabinets St. Charles

Cabinet painting has been a solid foundation of how we help people with improving their homes with painting. Finding a paint contractor in the St. Charles (and fox valley area) that can help you navigate the Top 3 Problems with painted cabinets is not easy. Everyone wants to hear how easy and affordable with our knowing there can be issues with painted cabinets. So let dive in St. Charles!

Hey Everyone, I am David Cook with Dfranco Painting and Wallpaper, painting in St. Charles, Geneva, South Elgin, Bartlett, West Dundee and Elgin to name a few locations we serve.

Frequently asked questions about cabinet painting?

Here is a video to help with this one..

Water damaged cabients

water damaged cabinet - top 3 problems with painted cabinets

Look familiar? Water damage is the number one problem with wood cabinets. It doesn’t matter if it is stained or painted cabinets, wood floors, or wood furniture, water will cause permanent damage to wood.

There several ways water can cause damage to wood cabinets, floors or furniture:

  • Leaving wet rags hanging on cabinets
  • Not using coasters on your furniture
  • High humidity
  • Washing wood (painted or stained) with water and leaving heavy water residue on the wood surfaces

After 15 years of painting and re-staining cabinets, water damage is always an issue.

The cabinets by your sink get the most abuse!

  • Water from washing your hands, doing dishes, cooking, and cleaning usually take their toll in this area of your kitchen cabinetry.
  • Next are the cabinets or cabinet panels next to your dishwasher. The ventilation from dishwashers was not given much thought as to where the steam goes. They have traditionally either gone out the top damaging countertops or out the sides damaging the cabinet right next to your dishwasher.
  • Do not use harsh chemicals to clean cabinets – vinegar and water are all you need. Chemical cleaners will cause the finishes of your cabinets to break down faster and then allow water into the wood.
  • Fix any problem as soon as it is seen, don’t wait for it to get worse!

Will paint peel from my cabinets painted cabinets?

When the time is taken to do the right prep work on your wood cabinets -the paint will not peel from your cabinets.  When we are getting cabinets ready for paint we have a multi-step process to make sure the paint sticks to the wood:

  • We clean the entire cabinet surface with TSP, degreaser cleaner. This can take several times to get cabinets clean
  • We also scuff sand the surfaces to give the primer something to stick to. When the cabinets are previously painted, the surface is slick so paint or primer has nothing to stick to. Think of it as glass vs. your skin – they both look smooth but one is more porous than the other.
  • Bonding primer is what should be used as your primer for cabinets. This stuff will bond to almost anything! Without the right primer, paint will have issues with sticking to any wood you are painting.
sanding and cabinet prep before painting
dresser drawers getting repaired

The devil is in the details!! All of the prep work is the key to a great, long lasting paint job.

sanding and primong cabinets before painting

As for the paint- USE THE BEST! ILVA, ML Campbell, Shur Wood Aqua Chem, And now Urathanes, they are the best finishes to use for cabinets.  They are great paints!!!

How can I stop paint chipping on my cabinets?

I do want to put it our there- we cannot prevent chipping paint. No one can. Paint chipping from a painted cabinet from the surface will happen. When paint chips is from the wood being damaged. If a wood cabinet is dented- the paint will chip.

We would love to say there is magic way to prevent chips from happening, but there is not. Just like your car- we can’t prevent it.

Can you fix the peeling paint on my cabinets?

No.  If the paint is peeling from your cabinets then the only way to fix it is to strip all of the paint from the door(s). Sanding is usually the top method for that.

Other questions about cabinet painting?

These are the top 3 problems with painted cabinets we are asked,but if you have other questions about cabinet painting – please contact us and let us know!

Repairing water damaged cabinets.

Water is the biggest enemy of wood cabinetry. But there is some good news- repairing water damaged cabinets is possible!

Hi David Cook from D’franco Painting & Wallpaper, coming at you once more with a problem almost everyone has with the wood cabinets in their home: water damage.

Water damage does not mean a water pipe broke. Most of the time water damage to cabinets happens over a long period of time. This problem is also not just limited to painted cabinets but to stained cabinets as well. We will learn how to avoid that as well as show you our latest water damage repair.

repairing water damaged cabinets
Here is a mudroom cabinet damaged by repeated water exposure.

How does water damage happen to cabinets?

More times than not, the water damaged cabinets take place over years of exposure to water. This happens in a variety of ways:

  • slow leaking pipes
  • leaving a wet rag on a wood cabinet
  • using excessive water to clean cabinet
  • allowing food to dry on cabinets
  • leaving wet cloths on cabinets
  • the use of harsh chemicals to clean cabinets
  • dishwashers- they can release steam when on its drying cycle.
  • open windows
  • water bowls from pets

All of the above were reasons we have heard and seen the damage 1st hand.

How to prevent water damage to cabinets

Some of the reasons listed above that caused water damage are obvious in how to prevent them, but we will do a quick review.

  • Leaking pipes. Aside from looking under your sinks, you can use water mats. They are under the sink containers that will hold up to 2 gallons of water if there is a slow leak- no problem!
  • Wet rags and excessive water used to clean. Never leave a wet rag hanging on a wood cabinet! When cleaning cabinet doors use products from BOMA or a 50/50 mixture of vinegar and water.
  • Keep cabinets clean- wipe away food or excessive water from your cabinets.
  • Dishwashers- look to see where they vent . If they vent against a cabinet find a different brand.
  • Keep windows and doors closed when leaving the house.
  • Water bowls from pets can be messy. Choose a location that is not next to your cabinets.

How a cabinet was made will affect the amount of damage from water. If there is MDF panels in the door- you will have damaged doors, it is just a matter of time. The method of how cabinets were painted will affect to durability as well.

So – How can water damaged cabinets be fixed.

For this post, we are working on a stained cabinet. (You can read here about a water damaged painted cabinet.)

Our cabinet crew was busy at work to first clean this cabinet. We used TSP to get rid of the dirt and cleaning products that were on this cabinet. After cleaning, the surfaces were sanded to remove all of the loose top coat and make a clean solid surface that we could use to re-stain the damaged areas.

For the stain color we had to wing it a bit. The doors were different wood that the main cabinet surface. There was no record of the stain color used when the house was built. what we originally used was stain from DuraSeal. Although initially it looked good, as it dried and we did our wipe off of the excessive stain, the stain did not (and would not) penetrate the wood. This happens with wood species such as maple. Our next solution was to use a gel stain. The gel stain we had to mix 3 colors to match the color variations in the wood.

Once the stain was dry , we were able to apply a clear polyurethane. Once the first coat was dry, we sanded the surface again and applied out 2nd clear coat.

cherry cabinets being restained
The cabinet with the stain not sticking.
stain wearing away from wood
A look where the stain just did not stick very well.
restained cherry cabinets
Here is the final look of the cabinet after re-stained and clear coated.

What should you do if you have water damaged cabinets?

It’s easy! Call us! We will provide you with an estimate of how long to will take to fix, the method we use and the cost. We can’t wait to help you love the space you’re in!

Problems with restaining Cherry cabinets West Dundee

If you are like many of our customers, you have cherry cabinets in your home. Just like these customers, you are tired of the way cherry cabinets look. There are a few problems with restaining cherry cabinets that you should be aware of, so let’s explore them!

Giving cherry kitchen cabinets a new life can be tricky. Most people are painting cherry cabients. Dave S and his wife in Sleepy Hollow, IL chose not to paint their wood cabinets, opting to preserve them instead. Several problems exist with staining cherry cabinets that you should see or know about, so let’s dive in!

Hello Everyone, David with Dfranco Painting and Wallpaper here in Huntley, IL. We assist homeowners in nearby areas with painting, wallpaper, and cabinet refinishing. These areas include Carpentersville, Elgin, Pingree Grove, Bartlett, Geneva, and St. Charles. Todays’ question or issue we get into Problems with restaining Cherry cabinets.

Can you restain cherry cabients?

I am going to share a quick video to show you where we cannot restain cherry cabinets.

As you can see in that video, someone neglected the cabinets for some time. The clear finish had come off the wood, and someone had rubbed off the stain too. To make matters worse, the water exposure had stained and cause water damgage to the cabinets.

With that example- painting cherry cabinets or replacing is the only option. (we can help with cabinet painting as well)

painted cherry cabinets

Are you sure you have Cherry cabients?

Several cabinet companies can take woods such as maple or oak and stain them a dark cherry color. Before trying to restain a cherry cabinet- make sure you know what wood you have. Some times cabinet makers turn to glazing cherry cabinets look alikes to get wood to look like cherry.

You amy also not have a solid wood cabient. There are many veneers that look like cheryr that act and stain differently that solid cherry wood panels.

Matching cherry stain colors

As we founf our in our most recent project, cherry wood is tricky. Cherry is a semi hard wood, tht can dent easy. Cherry also have alot of natural tannon in it. Tannon is a natural red or orange color that is part of the wood and affects the look of wood.

Cherry also is not a uniform color wood. In one cabinet door, you can have 3-5 different shades or color tones. Thes different tone make it difficult to match stain colors.

One other issue with matching stain colors, is that like paint, the tints and raw materials used in cabient stains change. Combine that with the changes in how manufacturers make polyurethanes.

Then you add age. Wood changes tone and color as it ages- especially cherry! Sun or no sun with oil base dproducts will shift in their color, darken or amber depending on UV exposure.

When we took this porject on, we experienced every single problem. Take a look…

How polyurathane affects cabinet colors

if you have wood floors, then you may be aware that wood finished that are oil based will tent to yellow in their color. If you have a full sun window with a rug by it, move that rug in a year and you will see coloration diffreence in the floor from sun or no sun exposure.

This coloroation a cannot be reversed. Matching colors to a cherry cabinet can be difficult. This is because the amber or yellow tones of the polyurethane can impact the stain colors.

Are you curious about the cost to restain or repaint your cabinets?

Aside from our pricing page... yo can also check our one of our previous blog posts that can cover cost should I paint and cost to paint cherry cabinets here

If you have a question about cabinet painting, cabinet restaining, house painting, or even wallpaper installation we are here to help!

How to Paint your Cherry Cabinets

Are you in a home with older Wood cabinets? Are they cherry or cherry colored? Ready for something new? Then here is a quick article for –How to paint your Cherry Cabinets.

Hello Everyone, I am David With Dfranco Painting and Wallpaper in Huntley, IL. We provide interior house painting, exterior house painting, wallpaper installation, wallpaper removal and my favorite- cabinet painting services. Although we live in Huntley, we have crews that help us serve our surrounding towns of Algonquin, Crystal Lake, Elgin, Bartlet, Pingree Grove, South Elgin and St. Charles to name a few areas. Feel free to call us if your town is not listed, im sure we can get there!

SO !! Lets talk about How to Paint your Cherry Cabinets!

DIY VS Cost to have cabinets painted.

We have written few articles in the past on cabinet painting. Some articles have been on the cost to paint cherry cabinets, as well as the cost to paint cabinets in general.

There are some DIY kits you can buy for cabinet painting, I cannot speak to those products as we do not use them. I can give information on our process, which will work for you, and what you need to do for a long-lasting result you will love!

If you are painting cabinets yourself, be prepared for it to take longer then you expect. (personal experience) average about 2 hours per item you are painting. You can also scroll below for our fee Guide to paint cabinets- almost everything you need.

You can always book an estimate with us as well, we will give you the cost, but estimate between $130-175 per cabinet box we are painting.

cherry cabinets painted white - Before and after
cherry cabinets painted white

If you are unsure of restaining or painting, then take a peek at this..

Free Guide- How to Paint your Cherry Cabinets

As promised…To help you, we are offering our proven way of painting cabinets (the same methods we use as part of our lifetime warranty) completely free to you! How? click the link, enter your email, and you will receive our multi-page document, one of the same training materials used to train our employees! We will cover:

  • inspection
  • cleaning
  • mapping
  • colors
  • hardware
  • primers
  • paints

SO… what are you waiting for? Download it now!  When you are done- please share the before and after photos with us- we cant wait to see them!!

How to paint your cherry cabinets- Download the Guide

We hope that helps you, and as always let us know if you have any questions and how we can help.

oak cabinets before painting
Will oak cabinets show grain when they are painted?

That is a loaded question! I assume you are asking because you have oak cabinets that you are looking to get painted. We are asked this question every time people call us about painting oak cabinets.

Hey Everyone- David with Dfranco Painting and Wallpaper in Huntly, IL. This year’s top on line Question is..Will oak cabinets show grain when they are painted? Yes and no. The answer really should be it depends. So if you are in the Chicagoland Suburbs such as Elgin, Crystal Lake, Pingree Grove, St. Charles, or Bartlett, the oak cabinets are pretty similar. The process and finish will be very similar so-Let’s get into it.

Why do I see the grain on oak doors?

Oak as a wood species is considered a very hard and durable wood. It is used in many different areas such as:

  • doors
  • cabinets
  • toys
  • floors
  • furniture
  • pallets
  • wainscoting

Oak has a very definitive grain pattern. I would call it an open grain pattern as you can see the light and dark variations of the wood color throughout the wood. These different grain variations also create a less than uniform appearance. Compared to maple cabinet painting you see very little grain patterns and it is very smooth. This graining is great when you are staining the wood as it looks great and you know you have wood. Some woods are so dense they have a hard time taking stain, or have nothing special about them and would be better off painted.

Can I get rid of grain in my oak doors of they are painted?

Now we are getting into the meat of this one! When we are painting oak doors, we have to ask what is your expectations.

painting oak cabinets - how to paint oak cabinets white without grain showing
here is an oak door that we have applied primed and then sanded smooth

As you can see with the image, the oak grain really shows through after we have sanded this door. We have deliberately made this happen. When we are painting oak cabinet doors, we roll on the primer a bit diluted so it will penetrate into the pores and grains of the wood. After it has dried we power sand it smooth and the oak will be revealed while the veins of the wood stay white.

painting oak cabinets white
here is a oak door that has been sanded and now has its second coat of primer

With the door now having its second coat of primer applied, you can kind of still see the oak wood grain come through. This is happening for a few reasons. First, when we sanded the last time we sanded pretty hard and it released the wood tannin which stains the wood. Second, the wood itself has a lot of texture, and that texture takes a few coats of primer to get rid of!

how to paint oak cabinets without the grain showing
an oak cabinet door with 3 coats of primer to almost eliminate the grain

Right about now I can hear someone asking “this is great but will oak cabinets show grain when they are painted?”

Removing oak grain from kitchen cabinets before painting them white

How to get rid of the oak grain when painting kitchen cabinets

I kind of let the cat out of the bag above on this but here is our step-by-step process for prep and getting rid of grain in oak cabinet doors. (this assuming the doors are removed)

  • Once back to our shop we are cleaning the doors before we do anything.
  • Wearing rubber gloves, begin to spray cleaner to the doors to remove dirt, grime, etc.
  • Once clean, we will wet sand the doors with a degreaser to get any residue off the doors.
  • After the doors are dry, we will apply the first coat of bonding primer with a roller.
  • When the primer is dry, sand the door smooth.
  • Apply a second coat of primer and allow to dry.
  • Get the sander out again and sand smooth.
  • At this point we inspect. Some oak doors only need two coats, apply third if needed.
  • Now oil prime to seal out stain and wood tannin.
  • Allow to dry and start to paint!

Oak cabinets painted white with grain showing through

Believe it or not, there are some people that like the grain showing through the wood so they know it is a real wood door. We have never been asked to do that. We have reduced it, but never gone so far as to have someone want their oak cabinets to look like a white stain.

There is a really cool technique called ceruse. We have played with it but it has never really gone any further than that (for us).

So one thing we have done is clean, sand and apply a tinted clear urethane to make the doors look as though they were stained a darker color. If you do go this route, it is a much simpler process and quicker too!!

oak cabinet door sprayed with a dark tinted urethane
An oak cabinet door sprayed with a dark tinted clear urethane

Best primers to use when painting oak cabients

Every primer has a purpose. While there are actual grain fillers you can buy and apply to the doors, we have found it isn’t worth the money and they are a real pain to sand smooth.

So we use primer. It is cheap. They dry fast. All of them are easy to sand smooth and we don’t have a lot of dust to worry about.

best primers to use when painting oak cabinets
spray spot primer
insul-x primer - oak cabinet painting
bonding primer
oil based stain
oil stain blocking primer

Those are the top three primers we use. For large cedar, pine and oak projects the oil odorless is the ticket. We never have to worry about any stains once we prime. We also have used this on oak cabinet projects where heavy cooking oils and hair care products were used.

Stix is just a great bonding primer. Stix it and forget it.

The spot primers are for touch ups. Sometimes the doors or cabinets have a stain that is stubborn and want to keep saying hello.

Oak cabinet door with no grain painted white

painting oak cabinets without the grain showing
a oak cabinet painted white with no grain

This is a drawer front we just painted, so it is shiny because it is wet. But compared to the first few images, the grain is pretty much gone.

The fun part of this project is you can have fun! Pick the color you want, it doesn’t matter. You can select how much grain you want or don’t want.

Painted Oak Kitchen Cabinets Before and After

before and after painting oak cabinets
oak cabinets before they were painted
painting oak cabinets white - after cabinet painting
oak cabinets painted white

So…will oak cabinets show grain when they are painted? You decide. You can show the grain if you want to, but then again they are your cabinets, do what you want!

If you are looking to have your oak cabinets painted or have any questions about cabinet painting, let us know how we can help!

cabinet painting
Painting Cherry Cabinets Elgin

So.. your home has cherry cabinets. You are ready for a new look and feel to your kitchen. Replacing cabinets is not in your budget. The next best option is too paint your cabinets! So if you are considering Painting Cherry Cabinets Elgin or the surrounding suburbs, this post is for you!

Hello Everyone, I am David with Dfranco Painting and Wallpaper in Huntley, IL. The top question and query we recieved over the past month has been regarding painting Cherry cabinets, so I thought I would revisit this topic for you.

Are you ready to paint your Cherry Cabinets?

If you are like many of our customers in the Chicagoland area, such as South Elgin, Hampshire, or Crystal Lake, you have a home that has these cherry cabinets. You been looking at Pinterest, Google images, watching HGTV or YouTube videos about painting kitchen cabinets. You are tired of how they look and make your kitchen so dark. Many of our family members, friend and other customers have this same question- so you are in the right place. Now we’ll answer the question- Should I paint my cherry cabinets?

before cabinet painting - should i paint my cherry cabinets
Do you have this type pf cherry cabinet kitchen?
painting cherry cabinets white
But you are ready for an updated kitchen like this?

How much will it cost to paint my cabinets?

The top two questions most people are asking when facing the question or problem of kitchen remodeling, is how much will it cost and will it last. For most people, it is the same answer.

  • The cost is based on how many cabinets you have
  • check our our pricing page!
  • The process is proven to last- so we give you a lifetime warranty on our work
  • We even come back in 1 year to do a check up if you need it

A common question- how much does it cost to paint cabinets? Right now, you can expect about $135.00 per cabinet to have it painted. That is an average so you can do some rough math by counting your cabinets. With the savings of painting your cabinets, you can replace your handles, get new soft close hinges, update your countertops, and change your sink and faucet!

Cherry cabinets before being painted white
Cherry cabinets after being painted and glazed

The best part about painting your cabinets is YOU decide what color you want! You can go to any JC Licht Store, or Sherwin Williams store in the Chicagoland area, pick any color you want- you can even pick two colors if you wish!!  (If you select the whites from BEHR- we may not be able to match it 100%)

Larger jobs may come with a free color consult!

So, can I paint MY cherry cabinets?

Before the details of how we paint your cabinets, there are several questions you have to be able to honestly answer to know if painting your cherry cabinets is a good solution for you.

  • Is there anything wrong with the cabinets you have? Is there any damage? Are there any broken doors? Do they have water damage? If you are saying no to any of these then so far you are on your way to painting your cherry cabinets!
  • Do you like the look of a painted cabinet? Some people, my father being one of them, cringes at the sound of painting wood. If you are not sure then take a few hours and go to a home improvement store like Home Depot or Menards to look and touch. Ask yourself if you can see yourself with painted kitchen cabinets.
  • If you are still feeling good about the idea then it is time for the next step!
before cherry cabinets painting
Original stained cherry cabinets
Painted cherry cabinets painted green

Things to Consider Before Painting Your Cherry Cabinets

There are a few things you need to be aware of if you have never had a kitchen or any cabinets that are painted. Painted cabinets are not like stained wood cabinets. I know you are here because you want to know about cherry cabinets, however, if your cabinets are pine-stained cherry color, this is not for you. Pine cabinets are not good candidates for paint. But you have solid Cherry! Stained cherry cabinets have a finish that has penetrated the wood fibers themselves to bond into the wood. Paint on a cabinet is given a bonding primer to stick to the surface of the cabinet. Then the paint is put on top of the primer. This is the same in a new factory cabinet or a refinished one like you are thinking about now.

Keep in mind, at the end of the day this is paint. It is a hard shell, it will resist stains, it will be washable, it will look impressive. Paint on wood can chip upon impact and wood doors will not allow you to place wet towels or rags on them and not become damaged.  I have to give you that bit of informaton up front so you know.

I have painted my cabinets in my home, people are doing it every day, and I believe it a great way to not just improve the look of your kitchen but change how you feel about the most important room in your home.

It Worked For These People, And It Will Work For You

Here is our latest google review about our cabinet painting!

Thanks to the Dfranco team for transforming our kitchen into a new and fresh look. Anthony’s attention to detail on the cabinets and doors was outstanding. Dave and Chad made sure that the job was done on a very timely basis. Thanks again to all of you.

Response from the owner16 hours ago

Hey John! Thank you for choosing Dfranco Painting and Wallpaper for your kitchen transformation project. We’re thrilled to hear that Anthony’s attention to detail stood out and that Dave and Chad ensured the job was completed in a timely manner. We appreciate your kind words and are glad you’re happy with the new and fresh look!

Video…

Here is a Video testimonial from a great customer in Elgin, IL about painting cherry cabinets:

cabinet painting video testimonial

What are you getting when you paint cherry cabinets?

When you hire D’franco Painting & Wallpaper, you’ll have the peace of mind of …

  • Having vetted workers of D’franco Painting & Wallpaper in your home that you can trust
  • We carry workman’s comp and liability insurance.
  • We have a system and process that has is used, always evaluated to improve and refine. And for over 15 years we still attend training annually to make sure we provide the best products for your home.
  • Lifetime Warranty on our work.
  • We use quality materials from Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore. Their time-tested and award-winning finishes will last and meet the demands of the most used room in your house.

It’s Decision Time

You have a choice to make: Keep looking at your cabinets and wonder what if…or worse, do nothing at all. You know where that will lead (to another web search on cherry cabinets, frustrated about the look and feel of your kitchen). Is that really where you want to go? Take a new action, and get a new result. Finally, get that estimate and transform your kitchen – Love the home you live in! Which do you really want for yourself? So here are your next steps: Call or text us

  • We will ask you for pictures of your kitchen
  • We will give you a cost to paint your cherry cabinets within $100-$200. It includes removing hardware, cleaning, painting the outside of the boxes and both sides of the doors. If the numbers look like you want more information we will make an appointment with you. We will come to your house with a door sample that you can touch and see. We will inspect everything and then give you an accurate quote of the exact cost
  • Receive a detailed description of how our process works and give you videos to show you of us in action.
  • You receive a list of products we use
  • You may qualify for a free color consult!
  • You’ll have a lifetime warranty.

So, you have asked the question “should I paint my cherry cabinets?”, and you have read the answers, now you are ready to take action and get a GET AN ESTIMATE today!

We look forward to helping you love the home you live in!

Here are some other blog articles on painting cabinets we have for you:

painted maple cabinets
5 ways to remodel your kitchen vs replacing your cabinets

Yes!  You can remodel your kitchen and get the same affect as replacing your kitchen!

Hello everyone – David Cook with D’franco Painting and Wallpaper in Huntley, IL. Today, we are talking about ways you can remodel or update your kitchen vs having to replace your kitchen cabinets. We have 5 ways you can make significant improvements to your kitchen and not break the bank in doing so.

Tip 1: Install kitchen cabinet hardware to give your cabinets a facelift!

This tip is by far the easiest thing to do in your kitchen. If you do not have hardware- knobs or handles on your kitchen cabinet doors or drawers- then it is time to do so.  By adding hardware:

  • You improve how the kitchen looks
  • In using knobs or handles you will reduce the wear and tear to your wood cabinets
  • The cabinets will be cleaner, as the dirt goes on the handle not your cabinet
  • But where should I go to buy hardware?…. lol watch below

Tip 2: Replace your counter tops with something new

If you are ready for something to give boost in your kitchen, then it is time for new counter tops.  In our last kitchen, we were able to help our customers in getting new counter tops from a company in Huntley, Old World Stone. I have not heard a negative complaint about them yet.  With the size of your counters you may be able to mix and match and really have some fun, get creative, and take advantage of small slabs of rock to save you money and create a unique look for your kitchen

For those of you in some of the subdivisions in Pingree Grove, Huntley or Gilberts, Old world stone is a great place local that you can have get you information on new counters.

Tip 3: Install new sink and faucet

Many times the sinks and faucets are the original pieces from when the Kitchen was built. That doesn’t mean it is a bad thing- it just means that the sinks and fixtures are usually dated.  Combine the sink with the counter and you can really have some fun! The new faucets come is so many styles colors there is not more settling for what you see on the self!

I say to add new sink or faucet- but I will also say “I HATE” plumbing! So this may be a thing to hire out- as we found that some newer faucets require newer goofy fittings

Tip 4: Install sliding shelves in your cabinets and update how your kitchen works!

Last week we installed some sliding shelves inside cabinets that we were painting. It took some weeks to get them, but we were able to take a cabinet with a flat bottom and turn it into a sliding shelf!  (these were from slide a shelf) We actually got them though costco!

kitchen cabinets with no sliding shelves
cabinets with no sliding shelves
installing sliding shelf in kitchen cabinets
A new sliding shelf in existing cabinets

Here is a video on installing sliding shelves in your existing cabinets


Tip #5: Paint your oak, cherry or maple cabinets!

We have done many blog posts and Youtube videos on this one, but here is a pic of the last job where we did all of the above! (had other contractors help)

5 ways to remodel your kitchen vs replacing your cabinets - kitchen cabinet refinishing

here is the kitchen just finished with Counter tops, new sink, new faucet, and 2 tone painted oak cabinets

before kitchen cabinet refinishing

Here is a before image of the kitchen before the new sink, faucet, counters, and painted cabinets.

after kitchen cabinet refinishing - dfranco painting
Oak cabinets painted white and grey

You would never know there was Formica, solid color sink and faucet, and honey oak cabinets in this house!

Now it is your turn! How can we help you with your kitchen and make it into a room you will love!

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