Top 5 Issues with Painting Oak Cabinets

If you have a house that was built in the 1980-2005, odds are you have oak cabinets. Ok, maybe you have maple or cherry.. but most homes have wood cabinets. One of the best ways to update the look and feel of your home is to paint your home. The next best improvement is updating your kitchen cabinets. There are several ways to update your kitchen and cabinets, but the best value is to paint your kitchen cabinets. If you are going to paint kitchen cabients or bathroom vanities then you should know the Top 5 Issues With Painting Oak Cabients!

Thanks for taking the time to read this article and check us out! I am David Cook, with Dranco Painting and Wallpaper, here in Huntley, IL. Today’s title is a question we are asked almost every time we provide an estimate for painting Oak kitchen cabinets. So lets take a peek at a video of a sample oak cabinet door, then look at some issues you may be facing- or asking about.

Will painted cabinets peel?

ok, so this is by far the most popular or common question we are asked hands down. Peel paint on oak cabinets, on walls, on trim is all caused by the exact same issue- Poor preparation.

Water damaged sink panel

When a surface is dirty it is going to be very difficult to get paint to stick to the surface. If you have a painted surface that is very slick-shiney etc, then once more you will have a very difficult time to get paint to stick to that surface.

When we prepare a surface for paint, we clean it, dust it, clean it where needed and then we prime it. Primer gives the surface a uniform appearance and readiness to accept paint. In the case for cabinets, the bonding primer sticks to the wood cabinet, which allows the cabinet paint a surface to bond too, preventing peeling.

Are my painted cabinets going to chip?

This question is a issue and a subject to much frustration. Think of this as when you buy a car- is Honda going to warranty a repair from a rock that chipped your car while driving on the freeway? The same is true for painted wood- blunt force trauma to wood causes paint to chip, there is nothing you can do about it. You cannot prevent paint from chipping either.

You an read more about chips and peeling in an article we wrote some time ago..

Using the wrong paint for cabinets

There are certain paints for certain applications. You don’t use automotive paint in a bathroom. Similar- you don’t use wall paint to paint cabinets.

Cabinets that re going to be painted should use a paint that is made for cabinets. There are several brands and several types. We use hybrid lacquer or Urathanes. Do not use Acrylic or oil-based products. If you want to know why- ask us and we can do another blog post about that!

I can see brush and roller marks on my cabinets

This really isn’t as much of an issue as much as it is a preference. I really do not brush and roll cabinets. I do not like seeing the brush or roller marks. Brush and roller marks happen for several reasons:

  • using bad brushed leave marks
  • cheap rollers leave laps or bubbles
  • rough surfaces give un even surfaces leaving marks
  • if you use a paint not meant to roll, you will leave lines
  • the paint dries to fast
  • leaving wet painted cabinets in a dirty area- dust/bugs

I could probably list a few more of these reasons, but the biggest reason is if you use a brush or roller you will leave brush or roller marks. Duh?-maybe but that is the reality.

I hate the color of my cabinets

this one always kills me. Before you paint- look at the color! If you say I don’t really care- then don’t complain about the color! If it didn’t happen I would not be writing about it. People see a tv show, hear about a color from friends, or someone sends a picture and think I want it!

Every phone takes pics a bit differently which does affect the look and appearance of the photos being taken. The lighting in your home makes a difference in the color of the paint you use. Surrounding accent colors, flooring, drapes, etc also make a difference in the colors in your home.

This is where we find the free interior designer makes a huge difference. They know and will help you make the right choice!

How can we help?

If you are thinking of painting cabinets, please let us know what we can do to help! We want you to enjoy the process and the results!! Although we are in Huntley, we serve all of our surrounding communities such as Pingree Grove, Algonquin, Carpentersville, and Elgin to name a few.

Stained oak door
Stripping Paint from Oak Doors

Restoring older furniture can be tricky and very messy! But is worth every minute.

Hey!! I am David Cook, from Dfranco Painting and Wallpaper, in Huntley, IL. Today we are presenting a blog article on a project in Elgin, IL . Stripping paint from oak doors and restoring them. I hope you are a fan of these vintage wooden doors. The older the wood, the more character there is.

oak door before stripping
some doors just look better painted- but when you are dealing with older wood- 50 years plus- the older wood has so much more character to them they are begging to be looked at

The wood grain in these older doors have more patterns, variation, coloration, and are actually harder than the woods grown today.  There are alot of reason for that such as age, fertilizers, hybrid wood being used, locations, and climate to name a few.

Where to begin stripping paint from oak doors?

Stripping Paint from Oak Doors
here is a oak door, with paint stripper

Here is a door that has a few layers of paint on it, that we will remove. Few things to think about:

  • have proper ventilation!  Have a mask and air that can circulate where you are working
  • make sure there is enough room and nothing is in your way
  • cover the floors, you cannot allow the chemicals to get on the floor
  • make sure you have the time to do this- it is not a quick job
  • if the door has a lot of damage to it- you will have to do some repair work
  • do you want to keep existing hardware, restore it??

Let’s begin!

  • cover the area you are working in with heavy duty plastic. Protect the floor from drips, runs, spills etc.
  • have a work station ready. This means saw horses to place the door on, tools ready, not tripping over them at your feet
  • once you are ready, then you can start to remove the door hardware, handles etc.
  • place the door on the sawhorses
  • get your rubber gloves on- and then we can start to strip
  • spread the stripper on the painted surface
chemical paint stripper
here is a chemical paint stripper
paint stripper working the paint from the oak door surface
paint stripper working the paint from the oak door surface
  • as it is applied you will start to see the stripper in action
  • as the material starts to bubble you can start to scrape the paint from the door with a scraper and wire brush
removing paint stripper and paint from oak doors
removing paint stripper and paint from oak doors
stripping paint from oak doors
stripping paint from oak doors

The paint is off the doors!

After the paint is stripped from the doors, there are some small areas that have residue from the layers of paint in the small areas as well as wood grain of the door.

This is part of the course, usually adding some lacquer thinner and wire brush will pull it out, as well as steel wool.  It may take longer to get the paint from the nooks and crannies than to take the heavy layers from the doors had on them!

We could not quite get all of the paint off or all of the varnish. So after all was off that we could get, then the sanders came out.

As you begin sanding, start with 180 at the heaviest. Using a bigger grit such as 50 will tear the wood apart and leave gouges in the wood.

Work your way to smooth, getting up to 400 grit sandpaper.

As all of the paint is off the door, you can wipe any sawdust, use a vacuum to remove dust, then a tack cloth to remove any further evidence of dust.

In this picture we re-hung the door as it was needed for services being held at the church.

paint off the door
Paint sanded off the door

Stain and seal your door!

In these pics the doors are now stained, it will be tricky to match the color of stain from ? years ago along with some type of oil varnish that also adds a color to the surface.

Since the door is so large and stupid heavy (170 lbs.) we left it on site and have a few solid stain colors and just played chemist to get a color we wanted. Use a scrap piece of oak to get the color to what you want – don’t sample stain colors on the door you just stripped! The use of the inside of the doors works well also.  Our Color ended up with two types of stain- American Walnut and Mahogany.

We used a clear coat, Duraseal, manly used for floors. It gives great protection, sheen and durability to doors.

Here is a side-by-side of the oak doors of 100 years old, very painted and the the door we stripped of paint, sanded, stained and clear coated- can you tell which is which?

painted oak door
100 year old painted oak door
finished oak door after being stripped
finished oak door after being stripped, stained and sealed

What can kind of furniture can we restore for you?

As part of the cabinet painting and refinishing, the restoration is something that works well with the tools and process we already use in your home for painted oak, maple and cherry cabinets.

So, let us know how we can help with your painting, and furniture restoration so we can help you love the space you’re in!

Advance Urethane vs Waterborne Laquer

If you are thinking of painting your cabiets- then one of the buzz words is Advance Urathane paint. Advance is a Urethane based product that is a great product. The other cabient paint- not often seen or heard but used for cabients is called waterborne lacquer. These two paints are two different types of paint with distinct characteristics and applications.

Hi, I’m David Cook, owner of Dfranco Painitng and Wallpaper in Huntley, IL. We are asked about trim paint, So lets dive into Advance urethane VS Waterborne Laquer.

A quick difference Advance Urethane VS Waterborne Laquer

Here’s a breakdown of each:

  1. Advance Urethane Trim Paint:
    • Urethane trim paint is a type of paint that is known for its durability, chemical resistance, and overall toughness. It is commonly used for painting surfaces that require a high level of protection, such as automotive parts, industrial equipment, and outdoor furniture.
    • This type of paint provides a glossy finish and is often used for surfaces that need to withstand harsh weather conditions and frequent use. It typically provides excellent adhesion and is resistant to chipping, fading, and abrasions.
    • Urethane trim paint usually requires a longer drying time compared to other types of paint, and it often requires the use of a primer to ensure proper adhesion to the surface.
    • in the case of Advance products- 16 hours in order to recoat- Emerald is about 3-4. That in iteslf makes huge differene in how you price, and stage a project using these materials.

  1. Waterborne Lacquer Paint:
    • Waterborne lacquer paint is a type of paint that uses water as a carrier instead of traditional solvents. It is known for its quick drying time and low levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), making it a more environmentally friendly option compared to traditional lacquer paints.
    • Waterborne lacquer paint provides a smooth, clear finish and is often used for interior surfaces such as furniture, cabinets, and trim. It is popular among those who want a clear and crisp finish that enhances the natural appearance of wood and other materials.
    • This type of paint requires careful application to ensure an even and smooth finish. It also typically requires several coats for adequate coverage and durability.
Waterborne Laquer cabinet paint
Waterborne Laquer cabinet paint

Choosing between the two paints

When choosing between urethane trim paint and waterborne lacquer paint, consider the specific requirements of your project.

If you need a highly durable and protective finish for surfaces exposed to harsh conditions, urethane trim paint might be the better choice. To my knowledge Urathanes do not have the approvals from the Kitchen and design standards to resist stains, or kitchen food borne virus that come from raw food.

On the other hand, if you’re working on interior surfaces and are looking for a more environmentally friendly option with a smooth and clear finish, waterborne lacquer paint could be the way to go.

Somplace you can look for kitchen paint standards is here…KCMA . great location of materials that have been tested for kitchen use,

if you are just painting doors, trim etc, then Advance urethane or Emerald Urethane products will be great option!

Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the best results with either type of paint.

So which paint is better?

there really isnt a better, it is they are different.What are you using the paint for and where yo are located really matters when deciding what to use.

For example, Nick May, walls by design in Denver, CO, uses Advance Urethane paints for cabinets- why? Location. Due to the climate there he needs something that will be able to be sprayed and lay flat, where a laquer there dries too fast.
For us, we want to be efficient with our time. So i can paint sand and repaint 2 coats in a day! That gets us more productive and your kitchen back to normal much faster.

Painting Over Cherry Cabinets

Do you have cherry cabinets?  Do you hate the look or feel of them?  Have you ever thought about painting over those cherry cabinets?

If you are like many of our customers, the kitchen is the number one place for you and your family to hang out. Like most of our customers, the kitchen gets the most attention. This attention is from you, your family, and your friends when they come over. But like so many people, the thought of replacing the kitchen cabinets is too overwhelming and too expensive. So- have you considered painting over your cherry cabinets?

If you have seen other posts and YouTube videos we have posted, you will see how we are transforming kitchens, changing how you feel about your home, so you can love the space you’re in!

If you are selling a home, the kitchen is the number one place people consider when buying a home, so it may help you get more money from the sale with a updated kitchen.

Our Step by Step Process for Painting Over Cherry Cabinets:

cherry cabinets - painting cherry cabinets
This is the latest project we started. Before painting cherry cabinets

Painting Cherry Cabinets

If you don’t like the color or the feel of the kitchen -good!! Because we will help you make the change you want.

Painting over cherry cabinets is a relatively painless process and we guide you all the way through it. I’ve painted the wooden cabinets in my own home so I know stressful how it sounds. For the past 10+ years, we have refined our cabinet painting process, found the best materials and have the needed experience to make this remodeling easy for you.

1. Prep Work

We start with the cabinet painting prep work by covering floors and countertops.

painting cabinets - cabinet refinishing geneva
Cherry Cabinet Prep Before Painting
cabinet refinishing geneva - how much does it cost to paint cabinets
Protecting Counter Before Painting Cabinets

Covering the floors and counters makes sure that no dust, debris, cleaners, dirty residue from the cleaning and or painting process gets on your floors or counters.

  • For the counter tops we use a self-stick film as it is waterproof
  • The floors get covered with a builders grade paper that is laid down, then taped to the floor surface so no paint or dust gets on the floor.
  • The walls and ceilings will get masked with a combination of plastic and paper to make sure we are not painting your walls.
  • Then the insides of the cabinets will get masked to prevent any dirt, overspray etc. from getting in the cabinets and on your dishes.
painting cherry cabinets - painting cabinets black
Here is a kitchen masked before the spraying begins..

2. Clean Everything in the Kitchen! Prime. Paint.

We use Dawn, TSP, sandpaper, degreaser and denatured alcohol for the cabinet cleaning process.

  • Once everything is removed, we start cleaning.
  • Heavy grease or oil actually comes off with diluted dawn dish soap.
  • We also may need TSP to clean as well, it just depends on the level of dirt or contamination.
  • Wet sanding is our preferred method as there is no dust.
  • Once cleaning is done, wipe with a clean rag and denatured alcohol to remove any residue left.
  • Then, we wait for it to dry.
  • After allowing it to dry we prime with a coat of Stix primer, wait for it to dry, then scuff sand each piece before we prime it a second time.
  • For the primer, we usually allow it to dry overnight, then give it the final paint, Sherwood or ChemAqua.
painting cherry cabinets white
Here are the kitchen cabinets after it has been sprayed

cabinet refinishing geneva - how to refinish cabinets
Cherry Cabinets Being Painted White

3. Spraying Cabinet Doors.

All the kitchen cabinet doors and drawers are taken off-site to our shop where we have a spray booth. We repeat the same process of cleaning them, sanding them degreasing- denatured alcohol as we did with the cabinet boxes.

We actually hang the doors when we spray on end so we can be sure to get all sides at once, helping speed the application process. Here is a video of some spraying while hanging..

Once all the doors are painted, they are allowed to dry overnight then we load them up and bring them back to your home.

painting cherry cabinets - painting cabinets white
Cherry cabinets painted white

There you have it…a brand new kitchen! Check out this painting cherry cabinets video!

Call us at (847) 349-4112 with your questions and schedule an estimate on painting your kitchen cabinets! We are here to help you love the house you live in.

repaint your furniture - dresser painting
Repaint your furniture!

If you are, like most Americans, moving into a home, trying to buy new furniture, or trying to replace furniture, you are waiting several months to get furniture for your home. So, if you have a great furniture set and are tired of it, don’t throw it away or sell it. Repaint your furniture!

There are several benefits to repainting your furniture:

  • You can select whatever color you want.
  • Select whatever hardware you want.
  • Have it painted locally.
  • Get a brand new look for your home in just a few days!
furniture painting - painters elgin
dresser before paint
professional furniture painting - painted dresser
Dresser painted

How to paint your furniture

For us, painting furniture is like painting cabinets. The same process and materials are used for either application. So, in a nutshell…

  • We start with removing all hardware.
  • Then, we move to removing all doors and drawers.
  • Once we remove these items, we start the cleaning process.
  • After they are clean, we sand them.
  • Now, clean them once more.
  • Get the primer ready! Start priming.
  • The primer, we use white, will show every knick, ding, crack, gap, etc., that needs to get fixed.
cabinet doors before repairs
cabinet doors before repairs
repairing cabinet doors
cabinet doors being repaired

Now that we have done the initial prep work, filling holes, etc., we re-sand everything and give it another coat of primer.

painted dresser drawers - painting furniture
repaired dresser drawers- ready for final paint color

What color can you use to repaint your furniture?

Just like painting your cabinets, you can select whatever color you want. These cabinets went from a natural distressed pine to a semi-gloss color that we matched to the kitchen cabinets.

The paint we use to paint cabinets is the same for furniture. GREAT PAINT! But there are some things to consider:

  • Softer woods like pine can be dented easily, causing paint to chip (the paint is harder than the wood).
  • The paint must be cleaned just like cabinets. (vinegar and water – no harsh chemicals).
  • The furniture must be in good order (not falling apart).
  • Damaged MDF can be fixed, but it can also be costly.
nightstand before being painted
painted nightstand - painting bedroom furniture
nightstand painted
sherwood cabinet paint
Sherwood cabinet paint

VIDEO: Repainting Your Furniture

repainted bedroom furniture
repainted furniture

Are you ready for your furniture to be painted?

Then give us a call or book an estimate on our website. Let us know how we can help!

Glazing kitchen cabinets

Are you ready for something different for your painted cabinets?

Try Glazing kitchen cabinets! We are painting kitchen cabinets at about a kitchen and a half per week. Most people are just painting with solid colors, some will add a second color for islands.  One thing we used to do a lot of was glazing wood, specifically glazing kitchen cabinets.

Ever seen glazed cabinets? Do you know what a glazed cabinet looks like? Can you see yourself wanting a glazed cabinet?

What is a glazed cabinet?

In the simplest of terms a glazed cabinet or piece of furniture is something that has been painted with a color. Once that color is dry, we add a tinted clear finish, then spray, brush or roll that color onto the surface, where we wipe it off until we achieve the color or style the customer wants.

Just like every other type of decorative painting there are different ways you can glaze

  • Pinstripe – simple stripes along the edges of the doors
  • Wipe on – almost like staining, the glaze is applied to the surface by wiping it on
  • Wipe off – we apply the color to the surface and wipe off until we get the color the customer wants
  • Spray on – this one we can do with smaller sprayers, not a lot of overspray, and add an aged look to the painted surface

You can actually watch a video we did about glazing cabinets here 

What colors can you glaze?

That is an easy enough question to answer…any color. What looks good? That is a whole different story.  Usually applying a dark color over a lighter color looks the best (in my opinion), I have seen some dark cherry cabinets that were glazed with a light white over it in the groves of the doors. It didn’t look bad, just not my taste.

A trend in flooring and furniture is a type of glazing called a Ceruse finish. Here is a link to video that shows what this looks like .This unique as it typically uses heavy grain woods such as oak, which really show the grain, a dark color is applied to the oak, then it is glazed with a light color glaze and man does it pop!  Again, not a huge fan of it but it is interesting.  The finishes we are seeing are natural oak with white, that appear to mimic picking finishes done in the 80’s.

How durable is a glazed kitchen cabinet finish?

The best part about a glazed finish is that it can be as durable as a painted surface. Depending on the application and materials used, it can last a long time and stand up to normal wear and tear.

Just like traditional painted surfaces, the painted wood surfaces do not tolerate water!  So not using hot soapy water, not allowing water to stand on the painted surface, and no harsh cleaners will definitely allow for longevity.

Does a glazed finish make a big difference in how my kitchen will look?

A picture is worth a 1,000 words…

unglazed cabinet door - kitchen cabinet painters
Here is a unglazed cabinet door
glazing kitchen cabinets - cabinet refinishing elgin il
The same door glazed
glazed kitchen cabinets

Cabinet door and drawer front that have been glazed

Before and after photos of glazed kitchen cabinets

Of course when you go all out and paint the cabinets before they are glazed it is even a bigger wow factor!

painting cherry cabinets

Cherry cabinets painted and glazed

before glazing kitchen cabinets
Cherry cabinets before paint and glaze
Cabinets before paint and glaze
Cabinets after paint and glaze

Glazed cabinets is not for everyone. It has a certain place and it is something that takes practice to do. We’ve also had projects where we are painting over glazed cabinets as well. We hope we have the opportunity to help you with your cabinet painting needs.

We love to see how we can help you love the space you’re in!

Painting over glazed cabinets

Are you tired of your glazed cabinets? Then it is time to consider painting over glazed cabinets.

We have just completed painting a kitchen in Downers Grove, IL where the kitchen cabinets were antique white with a black glaze. The homeowner and the designer decided to go solid white to give the kitchen a whole new look. Add to that, new counter tops and hardware and it really was a transformation.

Will the paint stick to glazed cabinets?

Some time ago we did a post about fixing problems with painted cabinets. These address the top issues we see when cabinets have been painted. Aside from these issues, glazed cabinets are just like a regular painted cabinet. The prep work for a glazed cabinet is the same as a stained or previously painted cabinet door.

  • All the doors must be cleaned.
  • The doors must be scuff sanded.
  • Doors must be sanitized.
  • Surfaces will need to be given a bonding primer and sealer.
  • Finally, the paint is applied.

Will it last? Yes…BUT—always a but—cabinets are wood. Paint is paint. Take into account the above referenced blog article when you want cabinets painted.

  • Consider if you have kids. Toys running into the wood cabinets will cause the wood to dent and paint to chip.
  • Animals that chew wood will also be able to chew corners of doors, drawers or cabinet corners. (We have fixed those.)
  • Your cleaning crew cannot run the vacuum under the cabinets and hit the kick plates under the cabinets or hit the bottom edges of the cabinets with the metal hose and think there will be no damage. (Those don’t get fixed.)

What colors can I pick?

This answer is our customers’ favorite—any color can be selected. Any color! Now, just like painting your walls…dark colors will take some extra steps such as a deep base or grey primer.  So there may be extra tint or material charges due to the colors, but if they make the paint…we can paint it.

Is there a big difference in glazed vs painted cabinets?

When we are painting cabinets that will be glazed, the difference is cost and layers. Glazed cabinets require:

  • Primer
  • Paint
  • Application of glaze
  • Removal of glaze
  • Then a top coat over the glaze

When we paint a cabinet:

  • Primer
  • Paint

Each has the same life span, same durability, same materials. Expect to pay 30% more to glaze.

As far as looks, a picture is worth a thousand words…

paint vs glazed cabinets

The difference between a glazed cabinet and painted cabinet.

So what are you waiting for?

If you have glazed cabinets and are thinking of getting them painted, then give us a call, send us a text and we will get out to you for an estimate.

Call us now!

How to Use Wallpaper to Decorate Furniture

Yes, you have read the title correctly-How to use Wallpaper to Decorate Furniture. We often get called with customers that have older pieces of furniture that at first glance are ready for the salvation army truck. Don’t do it!

Wallpaper on furniture? Yes, it is possible! This is one way we can give you a new look. An updated look and feel to a piece of furniture that you thought was old.

So this is would be one way to refinish vs replacing a piece of furniture. Refinishing makes what you have look brand new. The best part is you can pick the colors (s) you want vs picking from what is at the store. New does not mean better. Most older furniture was better designed and better made so keep it.

Do you have any furniture that you think needs to be thrown away? Let’s find a way to save it. Don’t throw it away!

Here is one way:

Upholster a table top instead of refinishing.

Before and After Steps 

[ezcol_1half]First, we clean and sand the top of the table. wallpaper installers elgin - wallpaper installation elgin[/ezcol_1half]

[ezcol_1half_end]Second, we primed with a sealer (guardz) to get a solid uniform surface for wall covering.

wallpaper installation elgin - wallpaper installation geneva[/ezcol_1half_end]



[ezcol_1half]Third, we added a bonding primer-although sealed, I want to bond the surface and create some tension for the adhesive to stick. Now we rolled out the wall covering to let it relax and air out.

wallpaper installation geneva - wallpaper installation cost











[/ezcol_1half] [ezcol_1half_end]Fourth, we applied a coat of adhesive then added a bonding primer-although sealed, I wanted to give a primer that would really bond to the surface and create some tension for the adhesive to stick.[/ezcol_1half_end]

Fifth, we applied adhesive to the top of the table top being careful to not get glue on us, walls or anywhere else the wall covering was placed on top of the table. For no wrinkles out and then used smoothing tool to get it flat.

wallpaper installation cost - wallpaper installation chicago

[ezcol_1half]Getting a razor blade out the big excess pieces were removed from the edges, then with a trimming blade, the razor was guided slowly along the table edge and top to get a straight edge.

wallpaper installation chicago - wallpaper installers[/ezcol_1half]

[ezcol_1half_end]After the trimming the edges were peeled back an inch or so and a heavy duty adhesive was added to the edges to make sure they don’t peel up.

wallpaper installers - wallpaper installers dundee



Finally, we wiped everything clean with water and towel dried everything.

This one was covered in an industrial wallpaper lined with leather on top. Holds up better, seamless, easier to remove if needed.

So now that you have seen this idea, what else can we help you with? Send us a text of a piece you have to see what we can do. Maybe just paint it?

We are here to help you love the house you live in!

Check out some other ways:

How to Paint A Vanity Cabinet

Painting bedroom furniture

Call us now for a free estimate!


How to Paint a Vanity Cabinet

How Do You Paint Your Vanity Cabinet?

You think it’s easy, right? Not exactly. We will show you pictures and then give you a link to a video on some issues you can face–especially with bathrooms.

When we start refinishing or painting a vanity cabinet, the biggest issue is getting them clean! The picture below is a vanity that we have sanded with 220 grit sandpaper, then filled some holes with filler, and have taped it off so we can spray it with primer and paint.

How to paint a vanity cabinet - repairing cabinets

Vanity sanded, getting ready for primer.

Prior to painting we “sanitize” it with denatured alcohol. This will remove any oils from our fingerprints and other types of contaminants that may be on the cabinet surfaces. Then we get the primer on. (It is a great habit to use rubber gloves while working to keep your fingerprints and dirt from hands off the surface.)

cabinet refinishing geneva - cabinet refinishing st. charles

Priming your cabinet.

We are a fan of the ML Campbell line of products.  You can click the name of the website and the many advantages of this product. Once dry, we give it a quick sand with 320 sandpaper. You have to vacuum the surface to remove the dust from the sanding.

Once you have primed and sanded you can run into problems of the product not adhering properly to the cabinet surface.  Click the link to see the video and what an adhesion problem looks like.  We had to then re-sand the areas and prime with a shellac based product to really block the problem area. Some woods (oak) are very porous. It is almost impossible to remove contaminants from them.  Hair care products can be very difficult to seal or block so a surface can be painted as well.

With everything cleaned, we paint!

cabinet refinishers - repairing cabinets

A painted cabinet.

Now just add the doors, install the toilet paper holder and this is ready to use!

repainted vanity cabinet - cabinet refinishing elgin

Painted vanity.

A great way to repurpose your existing vanities and kitchen cabinets is to paint them. Use the right materials, make sure you prepare the surface for paint the right way as well. You will have years of enjoyment and you will love that room all over again!

D’franco Painting & Wallpaper for your house and business! Let us know how we can help you. Call us now: 847-553-1726

Want a free estimate? Click on the top right button or call now!

Painting A Bedroom Furniture Set

Have you ever wanted to paint your bedroom furniture? Well, take a peek at this project of a complete bedroom set that went from wood to paint!

Painting a bedroom furniture set has several advantages:

  • You can pick whatever colors you want
  • Make it brand new looking with a high gloss sheen
  • Distress it to make it look vintage
  • You don’t have to move furniture, hire movers, worry about damaged walls when the pieces are moved
  • It is cheaper than buying new!

For this job, the customer asked for a vintage looking bedroom set. Something European looking. With that in mind, we went to one of the most trusted sources for this style, look and feel: chalk paint. The product we used was from Annie Sloan.


chalk paint - painting furniture

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annie sloan chalk paint


The Bedroom furniture we were painting was all in excellent shape.  No gouges, no broken drawers, no missing veneer.  That made our job easier from the start.


painting bedroom furniture - painters elgin il

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painting bedroom furniture


Prep the Furniture Before Painting

The first thing we did was to remove all of the hardware.  Make sure you keep everything you take off in one spot such as a Ziploc bag or small bucket.

Next, we cleaned everything with a de-grease type cleaner. This type of product is great as it will remove polishes, cleaner residue, fingerprints, dirt, and grime.

Once dry, we used very fine sandpaper (440) or scuff pads and lightly scuff the surface.

Time for the Chalk Paint!

Time to paint!! We had to add some white to the color in order to get a lighter grey. I also added a bit of water to make to paint flow a little better. This was some of the surface areas was large so I wanted to make sure the paint wasn’t dry by the time I got to the end of a piece. (Especially the headboard).

painting furniture with chalk paint - dfranco

Here is the headboard as the paint was being applied. Huge difference!

Once all of the pieces are dry, (wait overnight to be safe) then you can either wax, or add another color (or in our case add metallic paint to highlight the features of the furniture).


painters elgin il - painting bedroom furniture

Gold Trim

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interior painting - painting furniture with chalk paint

We Changed It to A Bronze Trim


With the metallic applied start with wax. Since the final result is going to be an aged look, we  first seal the paint with clear wax. It is easy to apply. Wipe on, wipe off. Then add black wax to get the aged look and feel the client wants.

dfranco painting elgin il - refinishing furniture

Here is a video I did with the wax being added: Waxing Chalk Paint

Once the wax is on and has dried out, use some clean cotton rags to buff it making it shiny. Big difference from when we started!

painting st charles il - furniture painting

Here is the final image of our painted dresser or chest of drawers with caulk paint and wax.


chalk paint furniture









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repainting bedroom furniture


How Can We Help?

So, now you see other ways to paint furniture…what can you think of to paint? Let us know and show us your work! We really would love to see it. If you have any questions feel free or text or call us at (847) 349-4112. There are many videos on the web and Youtube on how to do this technique. If you are in the Chicagoland area, call Dilucca Designs in Itasca- they will make sure you get what you need.


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