Painting Kitchen Cabinets - Remove Doors?


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Old 01-19-06, 08:18 AM
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Painting Kitchen Cabinets - Remove Doors?

I have a customer that wants her kitchen cabinets painted. I have some experience in this area, but not much. I’m pretty sure about the products I should use, but not sure about the logistics (i.e. removing the doors and hinges). Removing the doors and hinges from the cabinets seems like the best way to get good results, but the labor may not be cost effective. Any suggestions?

Thanks!
 
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Old 01-19-06, 08:32 AM
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Remove the hinges. Any time saved by not removing them is either ate up in keeping them clean or having a less than satisfactory job.

I assume you have a cordless drill so removal an reinstallation isn't that bad. Be sure to put all the hardware in a bucket so you don't need to hunt anything when done.

BTW it is always better to make a $ less and show you are a pro than to make an extra buck and look like a hack. Professionalism always wins out in the end.
 
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Old 01-19-06, 01:07 PM
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marksr said it pretty well there
The only thing I can think to add is if you have a sprayer, even a cup sprayer, and you can rig up something (a spray booth deal) to spray the doors on, that will more than make up for time lost with the removal/instalation

If you don't, don't buy one, it's not worth it for the one job
 
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Old 01-19-06, 01:09 PM
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Makes sense. Thanks!
 
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Old 01-19-06, 03:18 PM
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Sorry to invade someone else's post but I have painted 2 sets of cupboards and removed the doors.
"Door Manangement" was an issue.

1) I laid them out on a tarp with pieces of cardboard elevating them from the floor a bit.
2) Then I primed the backs and sides,
3) Next day flipped and primed the fronts.
5) Next day flipped and did the backs with 2 finish coats.
6) Next day flipped and did the fronts with one finish coat
7) Hung, did a final light sand, cleaned and rolled a final coat on fronts backs and sides.

They look perfect but what a long process.

A pro-painter friend told me he did them that way but I just think there is a better way.

I do have a lemmer sprayer but seldom use it because of all the taping and tarping reqd.
 
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Old 01-19-06, 04:27 PM
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I’m just starting my painting business, and I’ve already had two requests to paint kitchen cabinets, just this week. I understand a good set of new kitchen cabinets costs upwards of $5000 depending on the size of the kitchen. Then you would have to add the installation costs. I would like to simplify and speed up the cabinet painting process, but it spite of the labor involved in removing hinges and doors, painting cabinets seems to be very cost effective.
 
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Old 01-19-06, 08:31 PM
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We always remove the doors, and remove all hardware.
Charge for time to remove and reinstall.
VERY IMPORTANT:
When you take off the doors, keep a record of which one goes where. They need to go back to the exact same cabinet it came off. If these are older cabinets, or custom hung, switched doors may not line up right. A very nasty puzzle to try and solve resulting in wasted time.
 
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Old 01-20-06, 07:27 AM
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I don't see how anyone could do a good job without removing the doors but I am curious about how to paint the doors once I have them off.

That is, can it be done with a roller and how do you manage the doors so they aren't covered in fingerprints or have drips roll around to the other side? I manage but as my previous post illustrates, my process is not good.

I have considered putting two 2-inch finishing nails in the bottoms and 2 in the tops of the doors so I can lean them against a wall without touching the wall or the floor. I could also use the nails as grips to turn them.

I also make sure the doors don't stick anywhere before I take them off. If they do, I sand or adjust to be sure they won't stick with the extra paint I will be adding.

I still have a couple other sets of cabinets to do so if anyone can save me some time and mess, I would appreciate it. My wife reminded me that I have actually painted at least 4 sets of doors so far but still don't have a good process nailed down.
 

Last edited by mjd2k; 01-20-06 at 12:56 PM.
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Old 01-20-06, 02:17 PM
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The 2 most common ways of dealing with the wet doors is either having them lay flat [raised slightly above the work surface] and painting 1 side and all edges. Works best if only painting 1 side. The other is to have a little strip/block of wood to rest the bottom of door on, leaning it against the wall painting everything but the bottom edge.

The doors can be rolled. Let the door rest flat against the wall for the first side, then let 1 corner rest against the wall [you can steady the dr with a finger on the edge] as you paint the other side. The finger print can be touched up with a dry roller as you finish with that door.

PWG brought out a good point - it is imperitive to know what door goes where. Even if they are all the same size and swing, there can be minute differences that will make a door reinstalled at the wrong opening not fit properly.
 
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Old 01-20-06, 02:40 PM
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Hmmmmm... just a thought.

If you were to spray the doors, you may be able to “hang” them. When I spray things using a spay can (I don’t have a sprayer yet), I frequently find a way to hang things (with wire), so I can paint both (or all) sides without flipping and without leaving fingerprints. The door handle holes and/or hinge screw holes should provide a place to attach or thread wires.

Wire may not help much when using brush and roller. I have an idea about using the handle holes to rig a way to hang (or hold) the door for brush/roller painting, and then hang it to dry. But, I don’t think I could explain it without drawing a picture.

As for knowing which door goes where. How/where can you mark the doors?
 
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Old 01-20-06, 02:55 PM
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Unless you can number them under the hinge where it won't show, I always take them off in order,paint and line them up in order so you will know where to put them back.

I don't think using the knob hole to hang the doors would be very effective but you can stick a nail in the hole for a place to hold on too.
 
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Old 01-20-06, 06:42 PM
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Here is a quick overview of our system.
Top doors are designate with a T, bottoms with a B.
Take off top to bottom, left to right. First one off would be marked T1; write it on a piece of blue painters tape, and stick it to the door. Then T2, T3, etc. All the way through the bottoms, to B6 or however many there are. Take them to wherever you may be painting them, the customers garage, or a shop, etc.
Lay out a runner along the wall, and tape a piece of medium mil plastic to the wall behind. Line up the doors, starting at the left with T1, leaning up against the plastic'ed wall. Take the tape marker off the door, and stick to wall above door. Never let a door stray out of its assigned space.

We use the roll & tip method, or brush on, lay off method. Paint the top edge, and side edges, and the door facing. With a damp rag, make sure to gently wipe off the back side facing so you don't accumulate any edges or drips as you are paitning it. On the first coat, you can just run your finger down the backside as you paint them. Then, after dry, flip the door upside down, putting the unpainted edge at top, and unpaint door side facing you. Paint top edge and facing.

Repeat as necessary.

When finished, wrap them in brown craft paper (if transporting them back to jobsite), and place tape marker on package. Reinstall in order. Do tops first, so you are not bumping into the freshly painted bottoms as you reinstall the tops.

We also always brush out a final coat on the outside facing after reinstalling the door, and before the pull is replaced.
 
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Old 01-20-06, 07:39 PM
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Many thanks to all!! Lots of good info here.

I really like the idea of taking the doors offsite to finish. It would save road time, and keep the customer’s kids, cats and dogs from messing with the stuff.
 
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Old 01-20-06, 10:25 PM
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Not my thread but thanks very much for the advice.

My process involved taking great pains to keep them in order but I never thought of the numbered tape before. that will help

I think I'm on the right track with the painting, flipping etc so I appreciate your input. Makes me feel better.

Sorry for butting in on this thread but I thought it was relevant to the original post.

Thanks again.
 
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Old 01-21-06, 07:38 AM
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Along the same lines, when we remove doors, (for rooms, not cabinets), we mark the top edge with a pencil as to what room it belongs to. If the top edge of the door can be seen from above, we paint that last after the door is rehung.
 
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Old 01-21-06, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by mjd2k
Sorry for butting in on this thread but I thought it was relevant to the original post.
You did not butt in. Your contribution was very informative. Thanks!
 
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Old 01-21-06, 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by marksr
I don't think using the knob hole to hang the doors would be very effective but you can stick a nail in the hole for a place to hold on too.
I agree “hanging” the doors would probably not be effective. My use of “hang” was a poor choice of words. I was thinking of a way to “hold” the door firmly (perhaps a bolt or rod inserted in the knob/handle hole. While holding the door by the bolt/rod, all sides and edges could be painted at the same time. Once the door is painted the bolt/rod could be used to “hang” the door for drying. A nail might work too. I will experiment at some point, but for now I will go with the flipping (with numbering) method.

In any case, even with the painting labor, the high cost of new cabinets should generate a good market for cabinet painting.
 
 

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