Refinishing vs. Painting

“There are cabinet painting companies and there are cabinet refinishing companies.  We want to help you discover the difference.”

– Jennifer Hill, owner CCFF

If you are considering updating your kitchen cabinets, there are many options available to you. Trying to determine what is the best option can be overwhelming. There are four basic options:  Paint, Refinish, Reface or Replace.  Today, we are going to talk about the difference between Refinishing and Painting.

When it comes to kitchen cabinets, is there a difference between the two?

Refinishing cabinets is an extensive process of cleaning, filling, making necessary repairs, sanding, priming, painting and top coating. If one of these steps is missed or not completed thoroughly, cracking, chipping and peeling will most like occur within the first year. And it requires high quality cabinet grade products for the highest level of durability for a factory smooth finish.  Removing the doors, drawers and hardware is required as well as professionally spraying the doors off site to ensure proper ventilation and temperature control.  Whether your cabinets are wood or plastic/laminate coated, they need to be refinished.

Painting cabinets generally means rolling or spraying your cabinets with latex or oil-based paint and consider the job complete.  In many cases, doors and drawers are not removed and the hinges are sprayed. In most instances, a protective topcoat is not applied which causes peeling.  In addition, the proper sanding and prep work may have been ignored which causes bubbling instead of an ultra-smooth finish.  It requires extensive training and experience to properly spray a cabinet.

As cabinet refinishers, we come up against this frequently.  A cabinet painter is a completely different- comparing apple to oranges. When it comes down to deciding what company to select for your kitchen cabinet makeover, its important to compare “apples to apples.”



Founder and owner Jenna Hill and the team of experts at CCFF believe that the home is a personal place that requires an attention to detail. For more than a decade, CCFF has been designing and refinishing kitchens and baths throughout metro-Atlanta to create beautiful, high-functioning spaces.

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    Contact Creative Cabinets

    (770) 693-1896

    4225 JVL Industrial Park Dr.
    Building #1 Marietta, GA 30066

    [email protected]