Issue repainting existing cabinets on flip. Is contractor right?

47 Replies

I am on my 4 SFR flip. So I have just enough experience to think I know more than I do. We are repainting the existing kitchen cabinets. According to the painter he has put 4 coats of primer and 2 coasts of paint (whitish color) and the wood grain color is bleeding through. He says the issue is that it is a wood grain skin/veneer. He wants me to pick a darker color. I would prefer not to and am skeptical. He is using Home Depot's Glidden Pro Paint. Before I do I want to get options from others who have experienced it. Here are some pic before and after. Thanks!

honestly I have not done too many refinishing of cabinets but from my experience I do it differently. 

Method:

Sand-oil primer-sand-paint-sand-final coat.

I have used this method for custom cabinets, furniture and built in. Oil paint is best but fumes and time to cure takes long. 

It doesn't matter how many coats of primer. He needs to use oil or alkyd. I do not think your contractor has done this before. Also the nap, and brush is also very important 

@Katie Neason   The contractor is always right!   :)

Actually, in this case I think he's wrong.  I'll bet he's using the wrong primer. He should use shellac-based primer. Regular oil-based is not enough. It has to be shellac-based.  Then you will not have any bleed-through. 

I have redone a ton of oak cabinets in my flips. 

The best product I have seen is by Rust O Lem and it is called Cabinet Transformation.

You can pick out tons and tons of colors its super simple and for me never bleeds through. 

Here is an example.... These looked just like what your originals ones looked like. We sold this property for around 190k.

I would say that he needed to use an oil based primer. If that is what as used I would then recommend a shellac based primer as previously mentioned such as Zinsser B-I-N which I have used and works fantastic. The right products is important...

@Kyle Hipp  hit it straight-on.  When you have a primer issue, reach for the Zinsser.

@Steve Yoo  @Account Closed  

You guys are SO awesome. I truly appreciate your responses.  I asked the contractor what primer he used.  He told me Kilz Stain-blocker. Which there is no kilz with that specific name I can find so I am sure he is being general. Before I go back and tell him that I want to re-sand the cabinets and start over with the specific product I want him to use, I want to get you feedback on the other "reason" he is giving for the bleed through.  He says they are "particle board and plywood with wood skins".  You see on the picture below which is the front ridge on the floor of the cabinet that it may be a cross section of particle board. I do think they are plywood but not particle board.  I want to make sure that does not change the answer that the primer is the problem.  Thanks!!!

Andrew,  Your cabinets look AMAZING!!!  I have not heard of that product and am definitely looking into that kit. Is it expensive to apply?  How far does one kit go?

@Katie Neason  

Zinnsser BIN (the shellac based version) covers far better than any Kiltz product (IMHO).  It's expensive and the odour is most strong (a well ventilated area is a must), but being alcohol-based, it dries quickly and the odour dissipates in short order.

The fact that it dries so quickly is what gives the good coverage.

I just primed an old - previously varnished - linen last week ... one coat, no issues.

@Katie Neason  Just wanted to suggest on your flips you put them on Investor Deal Diaries so that others can follow along. I'd go talk to someone that does cabinets! 

@Katie Neason

I buy it at Home Depot in the paint department. 

It comes in a large box about 1ft by 1ft by 1ft on the back of the box are the paint colors you can chose. Now there are two different boxes, each box has about 25 colors on the back and they are different colors. One set is for darker color and the other for lighter colors.

It is a 4 step process and will take at least 3 to 4 days to do because you have to have drying time. It will only take you about 2 to 3 hours per step to complete. There is NO SANDING at all it is made to go right over what is there. 

Depending on how many cabinets you have but for us it on average takes our guys a box and a half to complete. It cost around $75.00 a box I believe.

Let me know if you have any more questions for me.

Thanks and Good Luck!!!

Andrew

@Katie Neason  Your pic looks like plywood. 

You need this product: 

Now you have the antique look ;o) 

Go to the source - your local paint store. I'm not a fan of Glidden. Behr Ultra premium plus worked great when I used it - one light grey coat covered a deep red. Or, use a good quality from an actual paint store. 

The contractor should have done his research before - yikes! 4 primer coats + 2 finish coats - and informed you of possible outcomes. At this point, what about replacing the cabinets...and the contractor? 

Otherwise, you a quality brush - it will release more paint and give a nicer finish. A great paint job is all in the preparation - anyone can paint, but not all will prepare.

Thought I would provide a little humor. You're going to be really surprised by this... The contractor didn't take to kindly being "told" what to do by a women. He is pissed. He told me "who knows more?", "shellac primer is illegal", I could hire whoever told me how to do his job (so...do any of y'all want to do my cabinets for me?), if he sanded the cabinets they would rust, and I was not allowed to ask any more questions. (-; I reckon he will get over it or move on.  Luckily I have had the opportunity to work with contractors and subs for 7 years. I have been here before. My skin is pretty think. Crazy thing is, overall he does a good job but when it comes down to questioning how he is doing something he flips his lid. 

@Katie Neason  you  need another contractor,he for sure does not know how to paint old cabinets properly

all above suggestions will get much better results than that

he is pissed because he does not know what he is doing and you called him on it 

remember @Katie Neason most  contractors are only looking to get paid, they dont give a darn about your house 

make them do it right or send them packing

Originally posted by @Katie Neason :

Thought I would provide a little humor. You're going to be really surprised by this... The contractor didn't take to kindly being "told" what to do by a women. He is pissed. He told me "who knows more?", "shellac primer is illegal", I could hire whoever told me how to do his job (so...do any of y'all want to do my cabinets for me?), if he sanded the cabinets they would rust, and I was not allowed to ask any more questions. (-; I reckon he will get over it or move on.  Luckily I have had the opportunity to work with contractors and subs for 7 years. I have been here before. My skin is pretty think. Crazy thing is, overall he does a good job but when it comes down to questioning how he is doing something he flips his lid. 

 Katie:

As my wife reminded one of our contractors a couple of years ago 

"It seems you have no problem being paid by a woman, so I cannot understand why there would be a problem being told what to do by the woman writing your cheque"

fire his arse

Originally posted by @Katie Neason :

Thought I would provide a little humor. You're going to be really surprised by this... The contractor didn't take to kindly being "told" what to do by a women. He is pissed.

 Sometimes contractors don't take kindly to being told what to do or how to do it, even if you're right and they're not. Especially from a *woman* gosh no.  But there are SO many contractors out there; there's always another one who will do a quality job and then reap the benefits of your business and your money.

@Katie Neason   A lesson in dealing with the male ego:

If you make a suggestion, do it in such a way as to make him think it was his idea!  :)

Wow, I learn something every day.  "If he sanded the cabinets they would rust".  We must have "special" wood, I rarely see it rust.

@Account Closed  I tend to engage my mouth and worry about it later! Definitely a growth area for me!!!  I like to call it passionate. (-;

@Wayne Brooks   I am pretty sure he didn't mean that. I think his knowledge of the English language failed him, but I have no ideas what he meant to say!

If they are not real thus partical board (or plywood-either way it's the same point) with a wood sleeve/cover he is right. All the suggestions are great for wood cabinets. It does not sound like that is what you have though. KILLZ does make a stain blocker and I have used it on my rentals (Lowe's carries it). If he is disrespecting you woman or not he needs to go. Just be carefull sanding away as once you sand through that wood skin it is all new cabinets for you. Good luck!!!!!

nally posted by @Katie Neason :

@Wayne Brooks   I am pretty sure he didn't mean that. I think his knowledge of the English language failed him, but I have no ideas what he meant to say!

I am amazed that he is still working for you If he was indeed rude and incompetent.

Good. Luck.

@Sebastian Baker  , it has all happened today.  The project is ahead of schedule and under budget.  Not all is lost just yet.  If I fired everyone who is rude, I would have to fire myself. I am a pretty strong willed fiery person myself. I will let him sleep on it and give him the opportunity to make it right.  If he doesn't, he will be gone. I appreciate the wish of luck.  It is always handy to have in this business. 

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