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rachel1222

Bad cabinet paint job - need advice!

Help! My husband and I just had our dark stain colored cabinets painted SW Alabaster in the Pro Master semi gloss. We love the color, but the paint job is awful! I just to cry bc I'm afraid the painter has ruined our cabinets. Here's our concerns -

1. The painter insisted on leaving the cabinet doors attached to paint. Isn't that odd?!

2. There are brush strokes, drips, and rough spots all over the cabinets and the cabinet boxes.

3. After primer and two coats of paint the coverage still isn't good.

We haven't paid the painter yet and have told him we would like to take the weekend to think about where we want to go from here. We've used this painter in the past to paint a couple of bedrooms and a hallway and his crew did a wonderful job so we are very confused by the lack of quality with this job. We don't have experiance with having cabinets painted, but I know this can't be the norm! Here are a few pictures - please tell me I'm not being overly picky!

Comments (28)

  • Bailey R
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    No you're not overly "picky". I wouldn't pay him another cent until it's corrected. Sorry for your problem. And I'd be looking for another painter, incompetent job.

  • _sophiewheeler
    7 years ago

    What did he charge you?

  • User
    7 years ago

    You are not being picky at all.. he may be fine for walls, but clearly out of his depth for cabinet work..sorry, but he needs to go

  • Rachel Sturdivant
    Original Author
    7 years ago
    He quoted us $1375 plus the cost of paint! Like I said - I just want to cry! He has assured us we don't owe him anything until we are happy with the work, but it's just so bad we are considering finding a new painter all together for the cabinets. I also need to add they painted built ins around our fireplace we just had built and we have all the same issues. Very frustrating!
  • PRO
    John McLean, Architect
    7 years ago

    Right. Not a good job. Did the painter sand the previous finish so it was sufficiently smooth to receive the new primer? The first picture suggests that the new coat went on an old coat that was not sanded. The second and third pictures show inadequate coverage of the paint that was put on. Some of the brush strokes visible suggest some areas with too heavy a coat or a coat that had partially dried when it was brushed a second time.

    The drips and rough spots should not be there. You should see some brush strokes because of the way you had the cabinets painted. A perfectly smooth surface would have been possible by spray painting the cabinets after they had been carefully sanded and then cleaned/vacuumed to remove any particles that might not allow the new paint to take hold on the surface.

    My guess is that this particular painter in the company may have been more of a novice. I'm not sure why the painter did not choose to take off the doors to more easily paint the cabinet frame and paint the doors in a separate area, likely on a horizontal surface. I imagine that the price quoted to do the project may have had something to do with this decision. (It may have been too low if you asked for competitive prices.)

    If you and the painter have had a good relationship in the past, I would try to leverage that and ask him, if it was his house, would this paint job be acceptable? If he says "Yes because you asked for .......", note what he has to say. If he is being truthful, you might ask him what his suggestion would be to rectify the problem. It is likely he will want to get paid soon, so do contact him on Monday or sooner when you want to meet him to address the problem in a satisfactory way.

  • Bailey R
    7 years ago

    That's a VERY cheap price he quoted you, WAY under what it should be in any location. That's why they look terrible, he cut corners & is incompetent for this type of job.

  • Jodi R.
    7 years ago
    I would not have this painter fix this. I'm so sorry.
  • Rachel Sturdivant
    Original Author
    7 years ago
    I will also add - our kitchen is small very small. We have about 10 cabinet doors and 6 drawers. We got 2 other quotes. One which was slightly higher and one was about equal to his.
  • _sophiewheeler
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    So, maybe an actual Pro would have charged you 4-5K. But, that's is all for the hours and hours of prep that did not happen here. And for taking the doors off the hinges, and cleaning up the hardware. Then priming, sanding, priming, all before the two pro grade conversion coatings were spayed on and cured. Off site. In a clean room.

    You got a sloppy DIY grade job with DIY grade products. He just needs to go away.

  • rdy2retire
    7 years ago

    I have had cabinets painted in my home and condo and the painter removed all doors. Sanded, primed and sprayed all the doors and cabinets. It was between 5-7K and they look great! We used Alabaster in our condo. The key is prep and then spraying them.

  • PRO
    Cindy Sherman, CKBD
    7 years ago
    The problem lies in the lack of adequate prep work. What can You do?? 1) Live with it, and discount what you pay this guy. 2) Have him redo a project that he wasn't competent enough to complete correctly the first time around -- that's like an oxymoron. 3) Replace them all and chalk it up as lesson learned.
  • Susan Geddes
    7 years ago
    I feel so bad for you. I'm sure you were very excited and now feel so let down. I'm not sure why this painter took on this work when he obviously has no idea how to paint cabinets. The blame is his not yours and the emphasis on how much did you pay and if not enough you should expect crap is bs. I'm pretty sure that had you known that he had no idea what he was doing you would not have hired him regardless of what he charged. I personally would not pay this person. They mislead you. Your cabinets are not ruined but will need to be redone.
  • bojannnnn
    7 years ago

    This why i cannot make a decision on what to do with my cabinets. I got bunch of estimates all around 2k, pretty good reviews etc. I got one quote 9k. Never made a decision.

  • PRO
    Palace Painting & Decorating
    7 years ago

    Hi Rachel. Sorry about your mishap. I would have a sit with your painter. What you need to know is whether or not this project is beyond the capabilities of him or the company. Ask him to be honest with you as this is very important in both of you accomplishing anything so that you can proceed. Once you have an answer that you believe is truthful you can proceed from there. Maybe the crew on the project was not capable of producing quality results. The price is fair but the workmanship is not. So where do you go from here? Ask him if he is capable of stripping them back to their original stain grade finish first off. To get the desired results of what they should be this needs to be done as sanding is not enough to produce a quality finish with what state they are in now. If so, and you still have enough trust in his ability to produce what you are after, maybe have him do a sample door at no charge so you can see what the next finish will look like completed (a different door - pretty easy to get or even if he just did one of your doors). Then you know exactly what you are getting. Proceed from there. Cabinet refinishing is a very different application. It requires proper preparation followed by a primer that can block bleed through, sealing the wood adequately while providing strong adhesion properties for the top coats. That's the just of it without getting into a long drawn out explanation of it. If you need further assistance, advice, or a second opinion on anything else just send me an e-mail and I would gladly assist you more if you would like.

    Sorry about your luck and my apologies for your unwanted situation.

  • PRO
    JAN MOYER
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Very bad. Doors, drawer faces, are best SPRAYED. They are ninety percent of the look of the kitchen. It is WORK to remove doors, all hardware, and drawer faces, set up in a place to prep, to prime, and to spray both sides of doors, and two coats!. Then there are the cabinet frames! And all has to be put back together!! It isn't work any good painter would do for less than 3500.00 - 4500.00 hundred bucks, no matter how small the kitchen, So......very unfortunately, you got exactly what you paid for. A waste of paint and waste of time. So very sorry.

  • live_wire_oak
    7 years ago

    Hire an actual cabinet finishing Pro. Now that he has to remove that awful job as well as do all of the steps to a good job, your price just went up. It's high enough that you might also look at doing new cabinets instead.

    Or, take many months of nights and weekends and put in the sweat equity to DIY. That is the low budget, high stress option.

  • Bette P
    7 years ago
    Did he give you a written estimate stating the steps of how he would be doing this job?
  • wacokid
    7 years ago
    This "pro" has showed you his lack of painting knowledge, why would you allow him to do anthing else? Your cabinets are probaably not worth trying to sand down and start over. I would settle with this contractor, put some pulls-knobs on and use them until you can replace them.
  • champcamp
    7 years ago

    Wow wow - am shocked that you used this person before and he was fine. How long did it take him to paint? Obviously he has no experience painting cabinets? I have painted old cheap oak cabinets in two previous kitchens and it takes a lot of time and a high degree of precision and mine looked much nicer than your result. Of course he has to remove the doors. You need someone else to fix it as mentioned above. It's going to be a sanding nightmare to get rid of those drips.

  • Kathryn Wehe
    5 years ago
    I am having this same issue. How did you resolve things?
  • PRO
    User
    5 years ago

    You did not pay enough to prep the cabinets correctly let alone paint them too. You suppling the paint should have been a red flag.

  • artistsharonva
    5 years ago

    Being able to paint walls does not automatically qualify to paint cabinets. A real Pro knows there limits & trade.

    Besides, there is no excuse. That paint job is horrendous.

    The cabinets are going to have to be re-prepped. Re-sanded, re-painted by a real cabinet refacer.

    I would not let this amateur touch your cabinets anymore. They failed big time.

    Apologies for being so blunt. I get upset when I hear a "pro" take a job for their profit out of their expertise, instead of referring a job in the client's best interest for a better outcome.

  • PRO
    User
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    This guy is not a professional painter.

  • artistsharonva
    5 years ago

    Here is a link to someone else who had a cabinet paint job go wrong & how they fixed it.

    https://www.houzz.com/discussions/cabinet-paint-quality-advice-dsvw-vd~5161022?n=45

  • Snaggy
    5 years ago

    Might be cheaper to buy new doors !

  • Lily Goss
    5 years ago

    Yeah same just happened to me...

  • Chris Forbes
    3 years ago

    I am curious if there is a way to fix a paint job like this. I started painting our kitchen cabinets a few months back and had taken the time to do it right. I had to leave for work for a couple of months and had one of my extended family members want to come over and "help" finish the last 6 doors. They look awful and now under quarantine have the time to get this right but curious on what steps to take. Any thoughts are welcome. Thanks