I find it truly hard to believe, but as of last month, my husband and I have been remodeling our fixer upper home for five years now. And man…what a freaking journey it has been!
While a majority of the projects here have been a DIY effort, there have been a handful of projects we decided to hire out. One of which is the transformation of our existing kitchen cabinets.
In February of 2015, we hired a professional to paint our outdated, oak kitchen cabinets white.
Half a decade later, I am giving an honest, follow-up review of the oil-based paint job.
So before I get into the juicy details of my review, I wanted to show you the “before” photo of our cabinets. The picture above was taken the day we moved into our 1980’s rancher.
Wanting to brighten up our dingy, outdated kitchen on a reasonable budget, the cabinets were one of the very first projects we invested in.
In addition to new flooring and back-splash, painting the walls and the cabinets dramatically transformed the space…
Why We Hired a Professional Painter:
Given the basis of my blog is DIY home improvement, I am sure many of you are wondering why we decided to outsource this paint job. Well…
At the time, I didn’t know much about home improvement nor was I acquainted with recent advances in paint technology-namely milk paint -which I now love (you can read all about milk paint in my post here).
From the websites I had browsed at that time, I concluded that oil-based paint was the only way to go and my prior experience with oil-based formulas were an absolute nightmare (super long dry time and very unforgiving of rookie paint mistakes). In a nutshell, I absolutely despised working with oil-based paint.
Wanting to ensure durability and a sleek, professional finish, we decided it was worth the approximate $1,500 in professional labor to have our cabinets resurfaced.
After seeing what an undertaking it actually was (removing the cabinet faces and hardware, sanding, priming, painting, sanding again, painting, literally watching paint dry, repeat), I was completely assured in my decision. Not to mention, the immediate transformation was incredibly satisfactory.
So…five years later, you are probably wanting to know if it was all ultimately worth it.
My Painted Cabinets 5 Years Later:
In general, I am still satisfied with my professionally painted cabinets .
Given they have had to endure half a decade of abuse from not only myself but my rowdy children, it is really a wonder they aren’t in terrible shape. That being said,however, there are visible signs of chipping in a few trouble areas.
Thankfully the chipping is only occurring at the perimeter of one drawer and one door.
When I zoom out a bit, the chipping is not all that detectable.
Below is a picture of one more trouble area in a different section…
Other than these documented problem areas, my cabinets are holding up quite beautifully.
If you are an absolute perfectionist and looking to brighten up your wooden cabinets, refinishing them with paint may not be for you. You may need to consider replacing your cabinets.
However, if you recognize there will be some paint touch-up maintenance required every few years, a paint job may just be your most cost-effective solution.
Bottom Line: With the excessive abuse my cabinets have endured for the past five years (especially from my boys), I actually find it impressive that I am only experiencing wear and tear in three specific areas. After a little touch-up job (which I am penciling in on the ever-expanding “to-do” list), I am confident the cabinets will look good as new. In summary, I have concluded that $1,500 for a refinishing job versus $10,000 for entirely new cabinetry is a win in my book.
Hope this helps those of you on the fence about painted cabinetry.
Now get out there and design some good vibes along with a fabulous life.
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