Cabinet refinishing is one of those things that can mean different things to different people. Homeowners in San Diego tend to use the term to mean everything, from cabinet refacing to cabinet re-staining to cabinet painting. All three services involve changing the look of your cabinets, but they involve different methods of doing so and achieve different results.
It’s helpful to know exactly what service you are looking for when you start calling companies in San Diego to get quotes, so we’ll explain the differences between the three, so you can decide which type of cabinet refinishing project you want to do in your San Diego home.
Cabinet refacing is the most involved (and therefore the most expensive) of the three types of cabinet refinishing projects. You would do cabinet refacing when you want stained wood cabinets, but you don’t currently have the exact type of wood cabinets you want. Maybe right now you have Oak cabinets, and you want to change them to Walnut cabinets. You would need to purchase new Walnut doors, and you would also need to change the face frames and sides of your cabinets to match. This would involve applying a new Walnut wood veneer on top of all visible surfaces.
Most painting companies in San Diego won’t do cabinet refacing, as it is outside of their area of expertise. You’ll need to find a person or company that specializes in cabinet refacing.
If you have wood cabinets that you like that are still in good shape, re-staining them is sometimes a good option. Your existing cabinets can be sanded down and then re-stained and sealed, allowing you to go from light to dark, or from dark to light. Some San Diego painting companies will be able to do this for you, but not all.
Staining is tricky. You can’t always get the exact color you might be hoping for, since different species of woods have different undertones. If the wood on your current cabinets has pink undertones, and you want them to look more golden, it’s probably not going to happen, no matter what type of stain you use. Before you commit to re-staining all your cabinets, do some tests with different stains to see if it’s even possible to get the results you’re looking for.
Please note: if you have painted wood or thermafoil cabinets, the wood that is underneath may not even be suitable for staining. The cabinets have likely been constructed using “paint grade” wood, which doesn’t look good when stained. So, stripping your cabinets of the paint or thermafoil and then staining them is probably not a viable option. Even if you do have stain-grade wood underneath paint, it would be a ton of work for anyone you hire to completely strip them down and stain them. It would probably cost less money to just replace your cabinets altogether.
Cabinet painting is the service that a San Diego house painting company is most likely to be able to complete for you of the three on this list. Cabinet painting involves removing all of the doors and drawer fronts, cleaning and sanding all of the surfaces, applying paint, and finishing with a clear coat for protection. It also requires the painter to tape off the area surrounding the cabinets, so no overspray gets on the walls or floors. It’s a time-consuming process when done right. It also requires specialty paint sprayers in order to achieve a smooth finish.
Before you hire a painting company to paint your cabinets, make sure you research the company. Read their reviews to see what people say specifically about cabinet painting. A company could be great at painting walls, but not as skilled at painting cabinetry—and you definitely want someone who is skilled at this type of painting.
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