Ok, I may be a little biased when it comes to Affinity Painting & Cabinet Refinishing, but not because my Significant Other, Jason Peloquin, owns the company.  When we decided to paint our own kitchen cabinets, I had a lot of questions, just like any other homeowner would. It’s a little daunting and requires absolute faith in your painter to take the leap.  I’ve seen the work Affinity Painting & Cabinet Refinishing does, so I trusted them, but I had never been as close to that process.

I expect that most people considering repainting their cabinets would fall somewhere in one of three camps.

1. The Disillusioned DIYer:

“I’ll ‘Pinterest’ or ‘YouTube’ it!  How difficult can it be? I’ll just slap some new paint and hardware on and save boatloads of money doing it myself.  I bet I can even skip some of those silly steps!”

2. The Passive Penny Pincher:  

“That’s a lot of work and I don’t want to do it myself but I don’t want to spend a lot of money to have it done professionally, so I may just live with it.”

3. The Perfectionist Patron:

“I want it done right and want it to look amazing. I’ll pay what is necessary to have a professional do it for me.”

Me? I’ve been known to fall in all of these camps at one time or another.  I’m an avid DIYer but I’d never attempt to do cabinets myself because I’ve seen others’ attempts that could be in an infamous “nailed it” video compilation.  I don’t know about you, but I certainly would not want to ruin the resale potential of my home because I had too much pride to call a professional. And if I were to pay someone, I want to make sure it’s done the right way with professional results.  But our kitchen was outdated, dark, and just made me sad so I was positive I wanted it redone.

Dark and Gloomy
More Dark and Gloomy

In my case, I had direct access to the professional but I wasn’t going to just sit back and watch.  I wanted to help and to learn but also wanted a personal lens into the process so I could be a true advocate for others to put their doubt aside and paint brushes down.

Let me start by saying it was A LOT of work.  I knew going in that it would be but I gained a whole new appreciation and perspective of the work that the Affinity Painting & Cabinet Refinishing team does on a day-to-day basis.

To start, in our case, we were going to paint the doors on-site, and keep the hinges we already had, but replace the door pulls.  We were also going to repaint the walls.

I removed everything from the kitchen counters and cabinet tops.  I opted to leave the items in the cabinets but made sure we had plenty of space in the front for adhering plastic covering. And although not completely necessary, I emptied all of the drawers so I could reorganize after. This step is generally optional and would be done by the homeowner prior to Affinity Painting & Cabinet Refinishing stepping in.  Since every door/drawer opening is covered in plastic, the risk of accidentally painting your dishes at the same time is low, but it is typically recommended to remove everything prior to minimize the risk further. And it certainly provides the opportunity to do some spring cleaning of old dishware and small appliances you probably forgot were shoved in there since you moved in…4 years ago (not that I know anything about that! ha).

We started by cleaning each cabinet door and drawer front and box exterior.  Not with 409 or other household cleaner, but with Naptha, which helps get all of the greasy residue off without compromising the surface in prep for lacquer.

Each cabinet door and drawer front was then removed and numbered.  The doors were numbered where the hinges would be replaced (door 2A=top, 2B=bottom). The hinges were also numbered to indicate placement and stored with their screws in the cabinet box where they would later be returned. Believe it or not, every door and hinge aren’t created equal so it’s best to keep them with their original partners and taking this extra step saves time and frustration later.

Plastic covering was placed inside each cabinet door frame to prevent overspray to the inside.  We also covered the ceiling, countertops, appliances, and floor. Lastly, since our kitchen is open to the living area, we created a barrier with ceiling-to-floor plastic between the two rooms.

We set up the spray area in the adjoining dining nook, along with a sanding station and ventilation system with a filter and fan connected to a large hose that would take paint and dust particles directly out the window. It was a very impressive contraption but I’m sad that I didn’t get a photo of it to share with you! But here’s a partial glimpse of our work area.

Our cabinets were stained, not painted prior, so we lightly sanded every door, drawer, and cabinet box…not to the bare wood but just to get the top glossy layer of off and open up the surface slightly to allow the new coating to adhere.

If any of the door fronts needed a little extra TLC, we filled scratches or gouges with Premium Cabinet Grade wood filler and sanded until smooth.

Using a tack cloth that has a waxy non-sticking residue, we wiped down each door and cabinet to remove fine dust particles.

Jason sprayed White Vinyl Primer on each cabinet box, including the underneath portion of the top cabinets so that it would be cohesive.

One-by-one, each door and drawer front were laid out in front of the ventilation system and sprayed with the primer, then moved to the drying rack.  Watching Jason and Zach with their meticulous in-step teamwork to ensure that each coat was even was amazing.

The quick-dry nature of the primer and lacquer we used allowed us to move to the next step after only about an hour.

In between each coat, we lightly sanded again and wiped down with a tack cloth. Drips were minimal, but it can happen. When drips occurred, we used a special technique to make them vanish.

The process was repeated with each layer of lacquer color — a beautiful “marshmallow” color — until we had the coverage and sheen we desired. And let me tell you, the sheen is so beautiful, it looks like it just came off the manufacturer floor.

Beautiful Marshmallow Color

After dry-time, we replaced all the hardware and doors to their respective places, and removed the plastic.

Final step was to paint the walls a classic, clean and bright gray color.

Then I stood back and admired our work.  We had a beautiful “new” kitchen! The transformation was incredible.  It made me so happy! No more gloomy, dark kitchen! It was bright, clean, and now, my favorite room in the house!  And I have to admit that I often find myself rubbing my hands over the cabinet doors because they’re so smooth! I never thought our cabinets — our kitchen — could be so beautiful!

But let me leave you with this…I was exhausted.  The attention to detail (even in our own home, no corners were cut) was impressive.  But every step and detail in the process made a difference in the longevity of the cabinets sustaining their beautiful appearance.  Every penny was worth having a TRUE professional do the job because I know I would not have been happy with the results if I had done it myself, or if I had hired a company with less “affinity” to the details.

So, yep…I’m biased.  If you want it done right, and you want it to last, put your paint brushes down and contact Affinity Painting & Cabinet Refinishing.  You’ll love the results! Simple as that.

Thanks for Reading!