Quick Kitchen Remodel Questions: Should I Paint My Oak Cabinet?

Comment by The AQK Team on November 10, 2016

Quick Kitchen Remodel Questions: Should I Paint My Oak Cabinet?

A question we get a lot is whether or not people should paint over their oak cabinets. Oak cabinets are found in a lot of American homes – particularly here in New England – and when people are looking to update their kitchen, they look to changing up the cabinets, usually with paint.

 

Be wary of painting oak cabinets

 

Painting oak has a pretty bad reputation.

 

It’s a heavily grained wood, so if the process isn’t done right, it can be a nightmare. The texture or the color of the grain can be visible through the paint, which many people hate the look of. It takes a lot of TLC for painted oak to look good.

Oak Cabinets Wood Grain

Refer to the image above. See all the deep graining in the wood? It often shows through paint or gives a paint job a goopy, amateur look.

 

Often, people will opt for a gel or one-step stain instead.

 

Go Pro – A professional might help your oak cabinets look their finest

 

If you do decide to stain, it’s important that the job is done right. In other words, it’s best to hire a reputable, experienced professional. It’s a long, tedious process of sanding, priming, sanding, priming, sanding, priming, over and over again.

 

After repeating this process carefully many times, the oak is painted (sprayed, not brushed), sanded, then finished with 2 coats of top-coat. Phew. That’s a lot of work.

 

If you want to completely remove the wood-look from your oak cabinets, your professional remodeler can use wood grain filler and putty products to get a perfectly smooth surface.

 

Dare to DIY?

 

Painting oak cabinets by yourself is no small feat. It takes a seasoned DIY professional to make this job look good.

 

You have to:

  • Remove all the cabinet doors, hinges, and hardware, as well as bumpers (little plastic bumps that absorb impact when you close the cabinet door).
  • Then you have to deep-clean your cabinets to remove all dirt, grease, and grime.
  • Next you have to do what the pros do—sand, fill, sand, prime, sand, caulk, paint, finish, sand, finish.

 

Yikes. It’s a long, arduous process that only the most experienced DIY-ers should take on!

 

Remodeling your kitchen cabinet? Make a careful decision

 

We’re not saying that you absolutely should not paint your oak cabinets. We’re just saying that you should think long and hard about whether you really want painted cabinets, and whether you’re willing to put in the time and effort to achieve this look.

 

The biggest piece of advice we can give to someone wanting to paint their oak cabinets is this: go look at a piece of painted oak in person. Not everybody minds the wood grain showing through, and some people can minimize the grain enough with plenty of coats of primer.

 

Go look at some painted oak in person and decide if it’s really the move for you.

 

If you decide you don’t like the look of painted oak but still want to change your kitchen’s look, you could always try staining your cabinets to get a fresh look!

 

If you have any further questions or want to schedule a consultation, then give us a call today!

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