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 problems 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- don’t go cheap! We have started to use Urethane 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 question feel free to reach out!


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