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Best Surfaces For Cabinet Refinishing

Have you been thinking about refinishing your kitchen cabinets? Ready to call a pro to get the job done right? There are a few things to consider about the process experts call “refinishing” and what you may feel comfortable calling “cabinet painting”. These two terms can be used interchangeably, and if you’re ready for a change, but you’re not sure if you’re even a candidate for cabinet refinishing, read on….

Wood Works Best

For kitchen cabinets, the best surface for pros to paint is undoubtedly wood. Additionally, compressed wood and MDF works well for the process. Glossy and stained wood finishes don’t work as well as wood, MDF and compressed wood because they have to be de-glossed before paint is applied. A lot of cabinet refinishers use a liquid sander to de-gloss the wood, and this is a much more difficult process. Laminates are also a bad choice. Even though it’s possible to refinish them, the finish will not last too long.

So, if you have wood cabinets, your professional cabinet refinisher will have no trouble painting them, and transforming your cabinets from dull to dynamic.

Dark Doesn’t Need to be Permanent

When you consider refinishing cabinets, you may think it’s easier to paint a light shade darker. For example, going from white to forest green seems like a seamless transition that shouldn’t be too much of a problem. You’re right, it is easier than, say, forest green to white, but don’t fear if you have a dark shade you want lighter. After all, lighter and brighter shades are all the rage now, so consider painting them if you want a change that’s more up to date.

Your kitchen cabinet refinisher will know which tint primer works well with your surface. If the transition is a very big one, a coat of underbody can be added. This method will be thicker and less transparent so you can hide more of the darker color.

Remember, it’s ok to challenge your kitchen cabinet refinisher. After all, they’re pros in their field and they’ve most likely seen it all if they’re reputable. You’d be surprised at well they transform old and grungy to a brand-new look you can enjoy for years.

Best to Use Durable Finishes

When your kitchen cabinet painter decides to take on your job, they will discard the idea of matte and eggshell finishes. Instead, they will suggest gloss, satin or semi-gloss. These finishes are durable, easier to clean and will stand the test of time. This way, you won’t have to call your refinisher to do the job again in a few years.

You Can’t Go Wrong With White

White cabinets help provide a fresh, clean, and bright ambiance to your kitchen. White is timeless, and it blends with any room color. Additionally, it can help make your space appear larger. Not to mention you can decorate any way you like and know it’s going to work with white. And you’ll be happy to know that going from wood to white is very easy for a cabinet refinisher.

These are some important things to consider when painting your kitchen cabinets. If you’d like some more ideas regarding all things cabinets, visit our blog here. Remember to hire a pro to do the job for you, and if you’re in Upstate South Carolina, call us at Greenville Refinishing. You can see examples of our work in our gallery, found here. Please give us a call to schedule your free in-home quote.

Before You Replace Your Cabinets

Call Us!


Many times, you may think you need new cabinets, but we often have the expertise to repair existing cabinets and refinish them at a fraction of the cost.


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