Painted Kitchen Cabinets (custom job)
kattherinef
December 23, 2012 in Design Dilemma
I would like to know what is the standard expectation for the interior of painted kitchen cabinets. Should they be lacquered? Is some roughness to the wood an expected outcome of custom work? Should they be finished the same color as the outside? With the same finish as well? Also, is it custom for the back of the base cabinets to have the wall fastening screws visible and cracks in the back? See picture.
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charleee
When we bought our house last year, the contractor painted all the cabinets inside and out the same color. The pantry had slide out shelves and after he painted them it was a struggle to get them to slide, so if you have the same I would be careful around the sliders. If you plan to remove cabinet doors to make a display then definitely paint the inside. Other than that I think it's a personal choice.
December 23, 2012 at 2:06am     
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Designs by BSB
Id expect the inside to be finished the same yes. If the interior is rough, there is little to be done to change that -- its what the cabinets are made of. It would take resurfacing to change it.. or a gazillion coats of paint.
Paint will change the look, but sometimes it enhances the negatives of how they are built.
December 23, 2012 at 4:49am   
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redesign-gallery
I charge 3 times the cost of cabinet painting if I paint two colors. Where one stops with the edge of the interior color is always a confusing issue with the owner and invariably they don't like their original choice of that edge line and ask that it be different. Two colors is not uncommon and can give a great affect when opening the cabinets. For example, one client had aqua dishes and white dishes. We painted the interior Chinese red, the exterior was clear lacquered maple. When the doors were opened you got a serious shot of color. But colors closer in the color wheel are more common.
No, those fasteners should not show and you should have not cracks. That needs to be repaired by your contractor.
The roughness, if it didn't pre-exist, most likely came from debris getting blown into the coating or tiny bubbles formed that weren't sanded out prior to re-coat. There is no real need for lacquer per se. Oil based paints or an expensive acrylic will be excellent too and easy to touch up in the future if you scratch the surface. Valspar Medallion would be my choice.
December 23, 2012 at 5:50am   
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kattherinef
Ok. But I did not ask for two colors. I wanted and expected that the color of the outside would be the same on the inside. Right now, it looks like they just painted the inside a primer coat and left it at that. I guess my question is: What is the industry standard? I thought that the standard was the same color inside and out unless specified. Also, what is the industry standard for the finishing of the interior? What type of wood, thin plywood? The cabinets I looked at before were smooth inside, no rough patches. They appeared lacquered and smooth. This is what I expected. Do I have to accept this? Or should I demand that the cabinets have new boxes?
January 2, 2013 at 6:11am   
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Designs by BSB
I think I misunderstood where you were coming from. Are these all new cabinets? Not a refinish job?

Industry standard I would say that the inside is a melamine (very durable, smooth.. vinyl) for factory cabinets. Local shops rarely use this material .... most Ive dealt with have the interiors as birch plywood and they will clear coat it or stain/paint to match the exteriors. No standard here -- each shop is different.

Rough patches? If they are new, I would be disappointed! Seams and screws to fasten to the wall are not uncommon. Shops that have attn to detail will use stick on cover caps to hide them... very inexpensive to buy really, just takes the time.

What do they say about the interiors? If you didnt get any type of construction written into the agreement, Im not sure you can demand a change. Hopefully they will do the right thing.
January 2, 2013 at 6:22am     
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feeny
Our custom cabinets are painted exactly the same on the inside and outside, with a similar satin finish that wipes off easily. The screws attaching the plywood frames to the wall are not visible, only because there are little round cover caps glued on the screw heads (like those described by BSB), painted to the color of the cabinets. All of this was provided by the woodworking shop that built and installed them. The only thing specified in our contract was that the interiors would be painted; the rest seems to have been standard practice of our cabinetmakers.
January 2, 2013 at 6:50am   
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Aja Mazin
"Also, is it custom for the back of the base cabinets to have the wall fastening screws visible and cracks in the back? "

I would think on a custom job, the painter would have called that to your attention and discussed the cost of correcting.
January 2, 2013 at 7:05am   
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Deborah Butler, Brickwood Builders
If we do not specify otherwise, our custom cabinet maker will apply varnish (or lacquer) the inside of the cabinet and it will remain the natural color of the wood used to build the cabinetry - even if it is a painted cabinet. This has been true with two different cabinet makers. If we want the interior painted to match the exterior or painted another color, we have to specify this in advance and it adds significantly to the cost of the project.
January 2, 2013 at 7:34am     
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kattherinef
Yes, these are new custom cabinets. I called attention to the back of the cabinets and the interiors when they were installed. I specifically called attention to the situation in the picture. I was told that this would be caulked and sanded before the granite came. Granite came and the situation remains. Now I am being told that this is normal for cabinet installation, and since it is on the bottom cabinet and it is a corner/lazy Susan cabinet " noone can see it anyway.". But I can see it! And it looks ugly, especially for resale value on our house. Deborah, it seems to me that this should have been explained to me when I went to the showroom, and when I met with the cabinet maker. The cabinets in the showroom that were painted, were the same color inside and out. The stained cabinets seemed to be a variety of interior finishes, but I have been very set on the color of the cabinets from the beginning. From everyone's comments it seems like I do have some recourse with this situation, so I appreciate everyone's advice.
January 2, 2013 at 7:57am     
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Deborah Butler, Brickwood Builders
I am just responding to what is "standard" here, which is what I understood the question to be. Each cabinet maker may be different. Many times people forget to explain their standard as it is just so much second nature to them that they don't even think about it or don't realize it's important. (This is true of all types of industries, not just construction.) I am sure that no one intended to mislead you in any way.

We have never seen the screw heads covered, even with the custom made cabinets installed by the custom cabinet maker. They are always visible except that we do try to go back and paint the heads of those in glass front cabinets with painted interiors. It is nice to know that others have dealt with it differently. We may look at this for future projects - it would be a nice touch.
January 2, 2013 at 8:20am   
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feeny
Deborah--From what I can tell the covers for the screws are really simple. They are just little white circles that come on a piece of waxed paper, much like the plastic cabinet bumpers for doors and drawers. So our cabinetmaker could paint about a dozen of them the color of the cabinets with one or two swipes, and installing them took probably 5-10 minutes. They don't entirely disappear (you can see the hint of a circle at the back of the cabinet), but they definitely look better than seeing the screw heads when opening the cabinets.
January 2, 2013 at 8:40am     
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Deborah Butler, Brickwood Builders
Feeny, thanks so much for taking time to let me know. It would be a nice touch since we are not seeing this in our area. One more way to distinguish one's company from the rest. Thanks. I'll definitely look for them.
January 2, 2013 at 8:58am     
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R J Hoppe Inc
Hi kattherinef
Just reading through the various other comments. There is huge variation of what is considered "standard" in the industry. I was recently told that the new "standard" in the kitchen industry is to have 5/8" thick drawers in all cabinets. If one loads a drawaer so full that the additional 1/8" thickness comes into play then perhaps one might need a chest rather then a drawer :) And so it goes. Where I might use a screw others may staple. We have not made very many kichens but each one we start we start front scratch. Again we have not made very many kitchens but of the ones we have made they had either a plywood substrate with a top veneer that was stained and lacquered or they had a plywood substrate that was clad with plastic laminate on the inside. We have never painted the interior of a kitchen cabinet because it just does not hold up.

As far as the cracks in the back, if this is truly a custom cabinet then someone messed up. If it is a stock cabinet that you get to choose the color then you get a stock cabinet painted your choice color. As far as the screw heads, sometimes we cover them sometimes we don't. There is a wonderful product called Fastcap. They offer all types of solutions cover screw heads.

Hope this helps.
January 2, 2013 at 9:24am     
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Aja Mazin
NOT SO FAST!

These are NEW cabinets which were installed with cracks.

I would be livid!
January 2, 2013 at 11:07am     
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Aja Mazin
I doubt that kattherinef ordered new cabinets and requested they should have pre-existing CRACKS.
January 2, 2013 at 11:12am     
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fabia
The above cabinet appears to be a base cabinet with a turn table. There is no "industry standard". Sorry to say. All cabinets are not made alike. There are different specs on all cabinets,. For instance, most custom cabinets come with a painted or stained veneer interior if requested and payed for. Especially in the case of a cabinet that will have glass doors. The cabinets I spec for come this way. All cabinets from the vendors I work for come with either a melemine white or Birch interior. There could be an upgrade to plywood in this case a veneer interior.

In the picture I see a crack that was after painting, this in my world is a defect. I would have this cabinet warrentied. Having said that, I don't know what the warrenty would be for the person who built your kitchen. Have you approached the cabinet person? If not please do so. Bring up your concerns. If they have a warrenty they can discuss with you. Now most warrenties cover "manufacturing" only. If this cabinet came like this, why did you not bring attention to it then. If there was something done after install they may not warrenty. There is alot to be said about asking questions when embarking on a reno. If you are dealing with a company that doesn't make you feel this way. Move on.

How is the rest of the kitchen? Is it done to your satisfaction?

In referance to Hoppe, the 5/8" rule is not a "standard" neither NKBA or ASID have anything written on this. But your correct about some using staples. If people looked inside of cabinets they would see a whole new world. Doors do not a good cabinet make.
January 2, 2013 at 12:20pm   
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R J Hoppe Inc
Hi Fabia.
You got that right on. I'm not so sure I even see a crack. This appears to me to be a half (modesty) back that was for some reason cut in half vertically? The screw seams to to holding the back snug to the stone top? As far as the 5/8" thickness, just something I was told be my local salesman.
January 2, 2013 at 12:45pm   
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fabia
Amen, "salesman" indeed. :)
January 2, 2013 at 1:00pm   
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Aja Mazin
Forget "Industry standards" and let's talk pride in workmanship.

"Satisfying the customer" has become " take the money and run"!
January 2, 2013 at 5:18pm     
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kattherinef
Just for everyone's info....this particular cabinet is not cracked in the back. The contractor apparently cut some of the back of it off vertically in order to get the cabinet in...because HE screwed up the measurements. When I came in it was this way, that was when I was told it would be sanded and caulked. I work, so I cannot hang over the workers 24/7. That was what I hired the contractor for! Now things have changed and I am being told this is the standard for cabinets to look like inside. The other interiors were installed and then a few days later, splintery cracks began to appear in the base of the drawers ( almost all of them), and in the back of the cabinets with doors. So I guess you could say I am dealing with two different issues that the contractor is telling me is "standard", and I should just accept it. Thank you everyone for your words. There may be different standards, but it seems that at least my issues are real, and not "standard. ". So he will not be receiving payment until the issues are resolved. Luckily, we have only given him one down payment check! And the cabinets were ordered and billed to him!
January 2, 2013 at 5:28pm     
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feeny
Yes, stick to your guns on both of these issues, and keep your pocketbook closed until they are resolved. I think your complaints and expectations are quite reasonable.
January 2, 2013 at 5:31pm     
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Aja Mazin
And we need to hear from homeowners, rather than the opinions of those in the industry .
January 2, 2013 at 5:44pm   
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fabia
So , if he didn't mke the cabinets and ordered them, then whoever made them did a really bad job. If you can identify the vendor. Then call a rep.. A lot of "custom" cabinet places don't follow any guidelines. But they should be fixing this mess. I say it ll the time, you are better to go with semi-custom Houses like Kraftmaid, Schuler etc. where you do have warrenties. Then a really good bargin that arrives in the back of some guys truck. Good luck to you.
January 2, 2013 at 6:06pm   
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feeny
I have to disagree, fabia. Many custom cabinetmakers provide warranties too. Ours was the most meticulous, responsible, and thorough craftsman I've ever met. When a year and a half later a slight paint crack developed on an exterior cabinet door around the cup pull, he took the whole door back to the shop and refinished it for no charge.
January 2, 2013 at 6:14pm     
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kattherinef
The cabinet company is a well respected family owned business in TN. They have been around for over 50 years. The cabinets did not come from the back of a truck! The father of the current owner just recently retired, so I am thinking that the son maybe was trying out a new vendor, or something that did not work well for him. He has been notified, because I went to their showroom and I have pictures of the cabinets there. The quality if different. Hopefully, he will resolve this, but right now the contractor is hoping I will give up, and I am sure the cabinet guy has received a big tongue lashing from his daddy. Hopefully they will honor their professions, have some integrity and get this fixed....or nobody's getting' paid!
January 2, 2013 at 6:35pm     
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Designs by BSB
fabia, ive sold countless factory lines .. and local custom. One v.s. the other are not as black/white as youve stated. I often find getting replacements from my local custom shops is easier/faster than a factory. W/O filling out paperwork and jumping thru hoops to get a Rep out to see the issue.
I appreciate local custom shops -- and those Ive done business with are reputable, offer warranties and following strict guidelines. Good guys are out there. They dont have fancy brochures and often dont have websites, but they are craftsmen and they care about their clients. Word of mouth is gold to them.

Good luck with your resolution kattherinef .. sounds like you are on the right path!
January 3, 2013 at 6:07am     
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fabia
My comments , although frank, were not meant to insult anyone. This is the thing, I am on a daily basis dealing with Custom shops, Semi- custom and cabinet makers. In my area last year, we had a contractor that did indeed bilk, many of my clients out of thousands of dollars. He had set up a store front, hired a kitchen designer, started taking deposits on beautifully designed kitchens. People trusted him , giving in some cases thousands as deposits. He stuck around for 2 months collected tens of thousands of dollars. Then vanished. I did end up with 2 clients that were taken in by him. I felt for them, they did indeed end up with a great kitchen. I always remind people to check credentials.
Kattherine, it does sound as if you will have resolution. Good luck.
January 3, 2013 at 6:33am     
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John Whipple - By Any Design ltd.
Kitchen Cabinet Companies are one trade I can not stand to work with - 95 times out of 100.

Here in Vancouver at least I find the attitude offensive of most and the installers the worst lot of any sub contractor we face on any project.

It's sad you have to deal with such problems and most of these stem in my expierence from the installers being paid a flat fee for installation. They need to work quick or they do not make enough money to survive.

Extra's like scribing, screw covers and the like often skipped in the quest for a faster installation.

I have found a few pros we like to work with but even then I'm very careful to specify everything on paper.

Be careful what you sign off on with a cabinet maker. Ask them to measure and confirm dimensions themselves.

Ask about scribing vs chalking.

Do not leave anything to chance or assume the installer will be paid to fine tune your crown to the ceiling if the ceiling is out a 1/4"

JW
January 3, 2013 at 6:58am   
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