Cabinet Painting

STEP 1: PREPARE THE AREA

Upon entry, Empire will cover floors and countertops. We will mask appliances and air vents to protect and prevent dust circulation. Our painter will enclose the area from floor to ceiling to further contain dust and act as a barrier during spray application. At the close of each working day, appliance masking will be carefully removed for access. We recommend minimizing usage until on-site completion.

The painter will reassess the wood grain and condition since the estimate visit. Cabinet doors and drawer faces will be removed, each labelled for proper placement, and wrapped in packing blankets for protection. Door and drawer fronts are transported to Empire’s Delafield workshop for off-site completion.

In regards to timing, each project varies slightly according to condition and desired finish. Most kitchen door and drawer front sets are ready 10-14 business days from workshop delivery. This is crucial drying (cure) time. 

STEP 2: PRIME, PUTTY, & CAULK

To protect cabinet interiors, the Empire painter will mask all cabinet box openings. Cabinet boxes must be emptied prior to start date. This is why we coordinate start dates carefully to enable homeowners enough lead time to prepare for arrival. 

We then complete a pass of sanding at all cabinetry exterior boxes, both sides of doors, and both sides of drawer fronts. Sanding will aid in better primer adhesion. 

For non-oak millwork and cabinetry, we will putty existing nail holes at shoe kicks and, via spray, apply one coat of Sherwin Williams Shellac bonding primer to the exterior of cabinetry boxes, both doors sides, and drawer fronts.
For oak, primer will be back-brushed by hand to help infill porous grain. Primer helps to block stains and ensure no former finish is visible upon painting completion. Empire finishes preparation by caulking as needed with Sherwin Williams 55-year caulk.

STEP 3: Apply paint & CLEAN UP

Doors and drawer fronts are carefully removed and wrapped securely in packing blankets for transport to Empire’s Delafield workshop. For painted cabinetry, we recommend door handles versus knobs and drawer pulls to reduce interaction with the surface. Oils from our hands and general kitchen wear can cause a burnishing effect after years depending upon the usage and care taken by the homeowner. Empire offers refined carpentry services to fill existing hardware placements and drill for the repositioning of new hardware. 

Once ready, two finish coats of Benjamin Moore INSL-X Cabinet Coat is sprayed with a pass of sanding between coats. After doing in-house testing, we are the most confident in the finished results available with this product. We find most local companies have mirrored our process, and imitation is the sincerest form of flattery! A thorough clean-up is done upon on-site completion and following reinstallation.

Request an Empire quote