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Can Wood Ceilings Be Refinished?

Your wooden ceiling may show its years, but age can add character. Age can also bring along some less-welcome companions, such as chipped pain, stains, scuffs, or a dated finish that no longer matches your interior aesthetic. But fear not, dear homeowner! Your beloved wooden ceiling can be refinished, its youthful glow restored, and its charm rejuvenated. Whether you recently purchased the home or have lived in the house for years we can help you restore that luster and elegance a finished ceiling gives your interior.

This process, though requiring a bit of finesse and elbow grease, can transform your space from drab to fab! Believe it or not, your ceiling can make or break the overall look of your room. Intrigued? This article will walk you through the process of refinishing painted wood ceilings, covering everything from preparation to application. Let’s jump in!


Steps to wood ceiling restoration

When refinishing a wood ceiling, following the steps to achieve optimum results is important.

  1. Preparation

The first step is to prepare for wood ceiling for restoration by sanding it with fine-grade sandpaper. This will remove any existing finish, giving you a fresh canvas to apply a new one. Before moving to the next step, ensure all the sanding dust and debris are removed.

  1. Stripping

If necessary, you can use a chemical stripper to get your stained wood or painted wood, to expose the raw wood. This step is especially important if you want to apply a new finish color different from the original. When using a chemical stripper, make sure that you wear protective gloves and eye protection, as these substances can be harsh and potentially harmful.

  1. Cleaning

Once you’ve finished sanding and stripping (if necessary), thoroughly clean the wood ceiling to remove any dirt or dust that could interfere with refinishing. This step will also help to ensure a better bond between the finish and the wood surface.

  1. Finishing

The finishing step is the most important part of wood ceiling restoration. Apply the finish with even strokes in one direction, and avoid overworking it. Once finished, allow the finish to dry thoroughly before putting everything back together.


Tools needed for wood ceiling restoration

There are some essential tools you’ll need to refinish a wood ceiling. Here are some of the most important:


The sanding block is an indispensable tool for wood ceiling restoration. Compact yet powerful, this hand-held device lets you smooth out rough surfaces, easily removing old varnish or paint and preparing the wood for the new finish. It’s designed to grip the sandpaper tightly, giving you optimal control and precision during sanding.

For instance, when smoothing out the rough patches on your wood ceiling before refinishing, the sanding block allows you to reach every nook and cranny, ensuring a uniform surface. It’s usually more comfortable and easier on your hands than just using sandpaper, reducing fatigue to get your ceiling looking tip-top without hand cramps. Remember, a well-sanded surface is the canvas you need for that flawless new finish.


This is a aspect of restoration many don’t enjoy, but an important part of wood ceiling restoration. We need to uncover that hidden gem that lies beneath layers of previous owners paint or stain. It will be difficult to get that beautiful finish you are looking for without this step. The labor of love that is scraping old paint off your wood ceiling, is a gratifying task that is just one of those tasks which is only enjoyed after the work is done. You will want to be sure the entire ceiling has close to the same scraped finish. Scraping will remove more than sanding, reserve sanding for an extra smooth finish. It is becomes virtually impossible for groove ceiling areas, where only small scraping implements can get into.

As each layer of worn-out paint or stain peels away we unveil glimpses into how smoothe and amazing the end product will end up looking like. The process becomes more than just an effort to remove paint, it connects you with the history embedded within your home. While some may view this undertaking as an arduous one, craftsman recognize it as a necessary for restoration.

Once completed, imagine basking in the glory of your reclaimed wooden masterpiece. Restored to its former glory while retaining echoes from generations gone by. So, take up your scraper and embark on this transformative journey towards rediscovering


The vacuum cleaner is essential when it comes to wood ceiling refinishing. More specifically, an industrial vacuum. Don’t try using your home vacuum for this job, it will destroy it. You need a good shop vac for this job. Wood ceiling restoration will inevitably produce tons of wood dust and paint flakes. These will not create a mess but can obstruct your being able to see how much work you have left to do. Choose a shop vac with and extra long hose for this job reach all crevices and grooves, allowing for a comprehensive cleaning job.

For instance, if working on an ornate wooden groove ceiling, the vacuum cleaner should remove any dust between its intricate patterns and indentations. This helps ensure that no visible residue remains after the job is finished, resulting in a beautiful, polished look that will last for years. If you have a compressor, using the air nozzle to blow off the entire ceiling will also work to ensure no dust is left that may leave the pain job looking gritty.


The paint roller is a must-have for quickly applying the finish of your choice to your wood ceiling in an even, uniform fashion. Choose one with a medium nap so it’s perfect for both flat and semi-textured surfaces, and make sure the roller diameter fits in the handhold of your paint tray. You can achieve an evener coating without wasting time or product.


A paintbrush is a crucial tool when it comes to wood ceiling restoration. Specifically designed to reach tight corners and edges, a paintbrush lets you get into all those nooks and crannies that the roller cannot reach. As such, you must select one with firm bristles for optimal control when painting around moldings or other details.


Drop cloths are necessary for any restoration job, and wooden ceilings are no exception. Covering the floor with drop cloths will prevent any paint splatters from staining your floors or carpets and help you keep the area tidy during the entire process. You should also pick up some plastic sheeting to cover furniture and valuables nearby.


Sandpaper is an integral part of the natural wood ceiling restoration process as it helps smooth out any imperfections and prepares the surface for a new finish. You’ll need coarse-grit sandpaper to remove old finishes, followed by finer-grit paper for smoothing the wood before you move on to painting or staining.


If you’re dealing with an old, stubborn finish that won’t come off with sandpaper alone, then a chemical stripper is your best bet. This product helps remove even the toughest layers of paint or stained wood and will leave you with an impeccable surface before sanding.


It’s essential to wear a dust mask when sanding or using chemical strippers, as these activities produce a lot of airborne particles. This protective gear can help protect you and your family from potential health hazards.


Factors to consider when wood ceiling restoration

Wood ceilings can be refinished in various ways, and the options will depend on a a number of key factors. Is your ceiling made of tongue and groove paneling? Make sure you consider these ten elements before deciding how you’ll go about refinishing your wood ceiling:


The age and condition of your wood ceiling play a pivotal role in determining the approach to wood ceiling restoration. Older wood tends to have a richer patina and may require a gentler touch to maintain its charm and vintage appeal. On the other hand, wood in poor condition, riddled with cracks, warps, or rot, may necessitate more intensive treatment or even replacement of some sections. The type of wood used will factor into how you might tackle it, more common types wood using are pine & oak. Less common but far more elegant are dark mahogany & walnut. When painting there will be very little different but when you are using stain, the grain will look different. Though if you have a wood like walnut, it would a shame to paint it. The natural grain look of stained walnut wood is simply amazing.

When dealing with aged or damaged wood, it’s crucial to tread cautiously, ensuring that the refinishing process only enhances and not deteriorates the ceiling’s overall aesthetic and structural integrity.


The existing finish on your wood ceiling will also greatly impact refinishing. If you’re dealing with a painted surface, for example, it’s essential to identify the type of paint and how best to remove it without causing any damage to the underlying wood. Does your ceiling feature a stained finish? In this case, it’s important to understand the specifics of staining techniques and how to maintain best or recreate a desired hue.


No matter what type of wood ceiling you’re working with, you must consider your budget and be realistic about what can be accomplished within that financial scope. Considering labor costs, materials, and surface prep can help you determine the scope of your refinishing project, ensuring that it doesn’t exceed the allocated budget.


The location of your wood ceiling also significantly impacts the refinishing process. For instance, it may require additional treatment to avoid potentially costly damage in a damp or humid climate. Or, if the ceiling in question is situated in a space with high traffic, such as a kitchen or dining area, you’ll want to consider highly durable materials that are resistant to wear and tear.


Don’t forget to consider the result when refinishing your wood ceiling. Depending on the existing finish and desired look, you may require multiple steps to achieve the desired outcome and prevent future damage to your ceiling. For instance, you may stain your wood ceiling and apply a protective layer such as polyurethane or varnish for moisture protection. The quality of the paint you use will not only improve the finish but will also prevent future damage. If achieving a glossy appearance is your goal, consider investing in higher-end material that will keep your ceiling looking brand new for years.


It’s important to note that wood ceiling restoration may require the help of a qualified professional. If you decide to go this route, always do your due diligence and research reputable contractors before committing. Be sure to read reviews from other clients who have used their services. This will ensure that you receive quality work within your budget and timeframe.


Wood ceilings require regular maintenance to keep them looking their best. Depending on the type of material used, you may need to re-stain or re-coat your ceiling every few years to ensure it remains in top condition. Additionally, pay attention to any signs of water damage or wear and tear, as these can indicate a deeper issue.


Benefits of wood ceiling restoration

Refinishing your wood ceiling can offer many benefits. These include the following:


Refinishing your wood ceiling can breathe new life into your home or office space, transforming it from drab to fab. Not only does it restore the natural beauty of the wood, but it also enhances the overall aesthetic appeal of the room. Think about the warm and inviting ambiance a freshly refinished wooden ceiling can provide.

Depending on your finish and color, it can turn a nondescript room into a rustic retreat or a vintage-styled parlor. Imagine a home office where creativity flows freely, spurred by the natural beauty overhead. No matter what your style is, whether it’s sleek and modern, rustic and vintage, or somewhere in between, a properly refinished wood ceiling can elevate it to new heights.


Refinishing a wood ceiling is an excellent way to enhance the value of your property. Not only will it improve the aesthetics of the room, but it will also add monetary value to your home or office space. The crisp finish and timeless beauty of a wooden ceiling can draw in potential buyers and make them feel more comfortable when viewing your property. Additionally, you can expect to see a return on your investment when refinishing your wood ceiling, as the value of your property is likely to increase.


Refinishing a wood ceiling can provide immense pride in ownership and satisfaction from living or working somewhere beautiful. Knowing that you have personally contributed to the look and feel of your property can be a great source of joy and satisfaction. The beauty of wood adds an inviting warmth to any space, making it the perfect backdrop for creating cherished memories with family and friends or just enjoying time alone in peace.


Refinishing a wood ceiling can also create special memories for you and those around you. Think about all the special occasions you could host in your newly refinished space, family dinners, game nights with friends, birthday parties for children, and even small corporate events. Every guest that enters your home or office can enjoy the beauty of the wood ceiling and appreciate the natural light that reflects across the white paint of your master bedroom. Refinishing a wood ceiling allows you to make lasting memories with those you love.


Wood is extremely durable, perfect for standing up to wear and tear over time. It’s also incredibly flexible, allowing you to experiment with different finishes and colors until you find the perfect fit for your dark wood dining room. When done correctly, wood beams can last for years or even decades. If you ever tire of your second coat refinish, it can easily be redone with little effort.


Refinishing your wood ceiling can also help reduce your property’s overall maintenance costs. First, you won’t have to worry about pesky insect infestations or rot damage common in other ceilings; the wood’s natural properties make it much more resistant to these issues than its synthetic counterparts. Plus, if any water damage occurs, it can usually be sanded and stained again without much hassle. This eliminates the need for costly repairs or replacements.


Drawbacks to wood ceiling restoration

As with anything, there are a few drawbacks to refinishing your wood ceiling. These include:


Refinishing a wood ceiling is no small feat, requiring time and money investments. While the costs associated with refinishing will depend on the size of your ceiling and its current condition, it can get expensive quickly. Also, working with ceilings is often challenging due to their height; you must ensure your workspace is properly equipped and all safety measures are in place before starting.


If the refinishing process isn’t done correctly, it can cause more damage than good. This means hiring a professional with experience working with wood ceilings is essential when attempting a DIY project; it’s better to be safe than sorry.


Once the refinishing is complete, you may not be pleased with the results. Wood stains can be very finicky and difficult to work with, so it’s important to ensure you are familiar with the process before beginning any project. If things don’t turn out as expected, or if the outcome isn’t what was envisioned, it could mean additional costs or time invested in the refinishing process.


Wood ceilings require more maintenance than synthetic counterparts, and refinishing can add to this burden. Regular cleaning, dusting, and polishing will be necessary to maintain the wood’s luster and original white ceiling condition.


As you can see, wood ceiling restoration is no easy task! It requires preparation, care, and attention to detail to achieve the desired results. When considering this type of project, consult professionals for assistance if needed; they will have the expertise and knowledge necessary to help ensure your project’s success. Furthermore, don’t be afraid to get creative! Various colors and finishes are available, so feel free to experiment and find the one that best suits your needs. With patience and dedication, you can create a beautiful new look for your ceiling that will last years!

What is Cabinet Refinishing?

Cabinet Refinishing refers to the process of repairing and re-applying a coat of finish to the existing finish. It is a much more durable process than painting, and does not require any sanding or harsh chemical stripping. The base chemical of the product used in refinishing is called a polyurethane acrylic. It is a tintable, water-based, non-toxic solution which can be mixed to look like any paint color or stain. It is higher quality than any paint that can be purchased at a store, and the products Resurrect Wood Refinishing use, are the best from vendors selected through years of experience. 

The goal of cabinet refinishing is to restore the wood to appear as close to a factory finish condition as possible. This process restarts the shelf life of the cabinets, proving to be a valuable investment when compared to ripping out and purchasing new cabinets, and has made painting cabinets a often outdated practice.

What is the difference between painting and refinishing cabinets?

The difference between painting and refinishing is the product. Both processes require heavy masking and preparation, which involve covering every visible surface that is not being addressed. Resurrect Wood Refinishing sprays their product in order to create an even, balanced, clean look. Unlike paint, the water-based solution that is used in refinishing is odorless and non-toxic. The polyurethane acrylic is water soluble while maintaining high pigmentation, giving control of it’s thickness to Resurrect technician’s. Thus allowing plenty of control in application, and preventing the occurrence of paint clumps or drips due to overspraying or thickened paint. 

In general most painted cabinet applications only last 2-3 years until chipping, cracking, and peeling begins, whereas refinished cabinets can last as long as the life of the cabinets themselves under normal wear and tear. The poly acrylic however, is designed to bond with the organic nature of wood. 

How do you make old wood cabinets look modern?

Real wood cabinets are becoming obsolete to the average buyer as prices of materials continue to increase since the pandemic. Lumber has increased 288% since 2019. When we think of Modern and updated, we sometimes pigeon hole our minds into thinking new, but the reality of the quality of new is just nowhere near what you likely already have. Chances are your cabinets just look “old”, due to years of grime, oil build up, and fading finish or outdated profiles and color. The truth of the matter is that solid wooden cabinetry can last many decades, and even though the finish may have dulled out, the structural integrity is still strong. It is a craftsmanship that is unfortunately being replaced by laminate or cheap MDF alternatives, that can be bought at Big Box Home Improvement Stores. 

Right now in the Florida Market, builders are making significant savings by selling these poorer products to customers than investing in wood. That is why refinishing is a more valuable service than ever before. Many of the customers that reach out to Resurrect Wood Refinishing still have oak or maple cabinets. A thorough cleaning and refinishing can modernize any old looking cabinet. A change of color to the finish can suddenly make those 30 year-old cabinets look incredibly sleek and stylish, with added durability to last. And if you really just hate the style, consider ordering new doors in our redooring service. That is one fast way to make those cabinets look like what’s new and in style without the price tag and lower quality of new cabinets. Plus, if one decides to sell the home, having genuine wood cabinets is going to raise the overall value, returning your investment with profit.

Is it cheaper to buy new cabinets or refinish?

While the product price for new cabinets have gone down by using cheaper material, the labor to install them has remained the same: expensive and prone to many upcharges. A person may find affordable new MDF cabinets online, but whether or not plumbing or electrical issues arise can only be discovered in the middle of a project after the contract is signed. These new charges will be added to the final bill and the cheap DIY project has now turned into a major investment with no profitable return due to the cheap quality product.

Whether the prospective new cabinets are of excellent or poor quality, refinishing will always be the cheaper alternative to installing new cabinets. It is a process not only designed to rejuvenate what is already there for ⅓ of the cost, but refreshes the space and creates a lasting impression that our work is original to the home. 

Can I just change cabinet doors?

Changing cabinet doors is certainly an option and a service we provide. Resurrect Wood Refinishing is able to provide clients with any style they desire in addition to coloring and glazing, all without ripping apart a single cabinet box. While replacing the cabinet doors bumps up the budget a couple thousand dollars from a standard color change refinish, customers can look forward to significant savings by pursuing new, solid wood doors over risking the disaster that can come from installing new cabinets. If the structure is sound and the original layout is pleasing, refinishing and purchasing new doors is definitely the way to go. 

How to find a kitchen cabinet painter?

Finding a cabinet painter or refinisher can be difficult. Even in this technological age, good craftsmen are hard to find. It requires personal experience in the field of home renovation to recognize who stands by their word and who is a scam. Many customers have difficulty with hiring painters, when there is little way to vette professionals. It can be hard to tell by an online presence if they are an established company or not. We have come behind cheaper bids to fix their work more times than we can count. If you are looking for a contractor and one bid is 10-20% less than all the other bids. Beware. This is a good indication that there is a reason they are so much less. The work will reflect it. 

On the other hand if a bid is 10-20% higher than the rest, it is okay to ask why. There is always a reason for why your bid is where it is. I have found people generally don’t mind paying for higher quality. Ask about the process, the staff, the experience, the warranty, license and insurance. Most companies have set their margins to reflect their costs. Higher quality products and knowledgeable staffing requires higher costs. In my opinion it’s worth it to make it last. 

Do painted cabinets look cheap?

There is nothing more heartbreaking than to arrive on a jobsite and see that a customer has attempted to paint their own cabinets. Paint is uneven, and is fragile to chipping and peeling, especially in a high traffic environment like a kitchen. Painting does not adhere to the original finish like a finishing product does. It looks caked on and does not look original to the cabinetry. Painting cabinets is a very outdated service with today’s revolutionary refinishing methods. The big risk with painting cabinets is that the homeowner needs to change the color after painting.  For instance in the event of needing to sell the home, they would either have to spend unnecessary money on new cabinets or, sand off the paint and start from scratch. This sanding process is a waste of  time and money, and does not guarantee good results because it is based on the level of practice of the hired worker. 

Refinishing is not just a great investment because it looks stylish and sleek, it’s a fantastic service because it offers the flexibility for the homeowner to change their color in the future, all the while continuing to preserve their excellent cabinetry. 

What happens if you don’t sand before painting?

If you don’t sand before painting you will be sure to find chipping and peeling after the job is done. Preparation of the surface is critical for a smooth operation, which is why we at Resurrect Wood Refinishing dedicate the entire first day of the project to masking and preparing. In the past, painters sanded cabinets because their paint did not adhere to the original finish on the cabinets. They needed to give the original finish a “tooth” or grit to it for proper adhesion. Our product bonds chemically, so no sanding is required. Instead, we focus on cleaning the surface of grease, oil, and other impurities. This saves you time and money and a big mess, for an unnecessary extra step.

Is it Hard to Paint Cabinets?

Resurrect Wood Refinishing is a cabinet renovation business dedicated to rejuvenating cabinets with the most up to date process called “Refinishing.” Painting of any kind for your cabinets is not recommended, as anything bought from a store is not designed for a factory finished look. That being said, the process and application of painting is similar to refinishing, which is why we feel confident to answer the following common questions from customers.

Painting cabinets is a very tedious and detail orientated job. We have personally met professional painters who have referred us to customers simply because the job is too daunting for their own crew. So if you are someone who has seen a DIY YouTube video and think you’re up to the task, beware. Painting cabinets by yourself may seem approachable on paper, but one misstep can  ruin your expensive cabinets. There are some key things to educate yourself in, if you’ve decided to try it yourself.

Know what kind of wood/surface you are working with. Not all wood is alike. They all have some quirks unique to the breed. Research on how to properly clean and prep the surface. Not all cleaning products that are designed for wood have the correct ph levels or are complementary to oil enamels or water based paints. Many use wax or acidic oils that need to be neutralized before prepping in your primer coats. Remove hardware and know the measurement of overlay of the hinges in the case of broken or worn out hinges. Have a temperature, humidity controlled area to work in. Remember to include all paper, tape, applicators, gloves, and other tools into your budget. If applying by hand, even following all the guidance you can find on the internet, it will still look hand applied. Consider renting a spraying rig, and remember to purchase all protection and filters for dust in your house. You will likely spend between $1000- $2500 doing the job yourself, and it will likely take you 7 days to 3 weeks to complete properly.

Is painting kitchen cabinets a good idea?

Painting kitchen cabinets in general is not a good idea. We excel in a process called “Refinishing,” which is a more innovative approach to updating existing cabinetry. The key difference is the product we use. Our proprietary blend of polyurethane acrylic adheres to the existing finish on cabinets. It is thin, durable, and odorless, leaving a factory finish that looks as if the cabinets always were that way. It is also water soluble and environmentally friendly. We are able to tint it to any stain or solid color upon request. In our experience we are hired often to fix DIY work. There are some things in life worth hiring out. We think our level of expertise can make all the difference. 

What is the average cost to paint kitchen cabinets?

The average cost to hire a painter for your kitchen cabinets is usually about $100-$120 per surface area. Refinishing is only a little more expensive than that since the equipment and product we use is much more valuable. It’s always discouraging to see customer’s take a bid from a general painter when the price difference is only a couple hundred bucks compared to the scope of the project. It may seem like a good deal, however in the long run the product isn’t as durable and won’t have the longevity a higher quality refinish would.  Many general painters do not focus exclusively on repainting cabinets. Resurrect Wood Refinishing is dedicated only to refinishing woodwork, which is why we are so confident and proud of our quality service.

Is it hard to paint your own kitchen cabinets?

Painting or refinishing cabinets can be an overwhelming endeavor if not managed by practiced hands. That is one of the main reasons we have managed to dedicate a business to just that service. There are a lot of factors to consider when painting or refinishing cabinets. Surrounding areas need to be masked, the surface has to be properly prepared, and air quality must be regulated, and the list goes on..

Mistakes can happen. It is crucial to make sure the right product is being used for the right circumstances. This is why we hope you will trust our knowledge in the field. 

Is it expensive to refinish my cabinets?

Before refinishing, homeowners really only had two options for cabinet renovations: re-painting or remodeling. Painting was a cheap bandage and remodeling burned wallets.

Refinishing was revolutionary, because it sits perfectly in the middle between the two options. The goal of refinishing is to help rejuvenate and restore without leaving any drips, brush strokes, odors, or any other side effects that painting causes. Refinishing provides as close to a factory finish as is humanly possible. It creates a stellar impression, making the new color selection look original to the home. That is why it’s only a little more expensive than “Joe’s Paint shop,” and significantly cheaper than a complete cabinet demolition. Our business model is consistent in pricing at  ⅓ the cost of purchasing and installing new cabinets. It’s the perfect investment for your flip or your forever home.

How much does it cost to have kitchen cabinets refinished?

An average kitchen, with 10×10 layout and 32” tall cabinets is generally quoted at about $2,500-$4,500 for refinishing. That estimate is for the front and back of the cabinet doors, the face frame of the cabinet boxes, side panels, and anything else that is in the original finish. Refinishing is designed to fit perfectly at the ⅓ cost price range from a complete cabinet renovation. It preserves the existing wood and layout while updating the design, tone, color and atmosphere of a kitchen, which is what most customers typically desire when considering an update.

Is it cheaper to refinish or replace cabinets?

It is significantly cheaper to refinish cabinets than it is to replace them. Wood cabinets rarely need to be replaced. Real wood cabinets are getting so rare. Our society is moving more and more to disposable furnishing. They simply aren’t making solid wood cabinets affordable anymore. Solid wood cabinets are the highest durability surface in a kitchen you can have. PLEASE DON’T THROW THEM IN A LANDFILL! It’s valuable and can last decades, which is why many builders are pushing for cheaper alternatives. If you have wood cabinets and just dislike the style or color, refinishing is definitely the way to go. With today’s lumber prices going up, it’s going to be best to hold on to what you’ve already got. There are exceptions in the case of deteriorating surfaces due to moisture that may cause swelling or damage. 

How much does it cost to sand and repaint kitchen cabinets?

Sanding and repainting cabinets are typically the same price as refinishing. Generally painting companies just paint. Many won’t do necessary sanding because of extra labor and material costs.  If your cabinets need to be sanded but you’ve received a quote to only paint them, be careful. The final result may look rough, uneven, or caked on the surfaces of your cabinets. If you are bid for sanding, you may want to consider our Re-Door service. Re-Dooring is the process of buying new cabinet doors. If you’re already going to invest so much into an in-between service, it may be worth it to invest the extra money for new doors and provide an opportunity for a whole new design. You can take a Standard Oak kitchen, re-door with full overlay Shaker in maple and the cabinets look completely new. New raw doors are guaranteed to look flawless. Add some of our tinted finish to it and it will appear as if your cabinets were brand new. 

How much does it cost to paint cabinets?

Resurrect Wood Refinishing is a wood refinishing company, not a painting company. Our technique is much more thorough than painting, our product is durable, odorless, and as close to a factory finished look as possible. We use a proprietary blend based on a polyurethane acrylic that is selected from choice vendors. Think water based lacquer finish. That all being said, we understand the confusion with painting versus refinishing and hope that this blog post will clarify the common questions we receive.

With labor and product, the average cost to paint cabinets in the Orlando market is about $110-$120 per surface area. Painting may seem like the more affordable choice at first, professional painters charge a bit less than refinishing. However, with such a large difference in quality between refinishing and painting, we don’t think the small gap in price justifies the purchase. Most professional painters do not focus exclusively on cabinets. They apply the same techniques for walls, baseboards, and ceilings to wooden cabinets. Thus producing a quality that is less than desirable due to unconsidered factors like, type of wood, grain direction, and depp grease/oil stains.

Can you just paint over cabinets?

It is impossible to paint over cabinets if the expectation is anything but to look like painted-over-cabinets. Even with spraying techniques, the paint products are designed to be applied by hand, and in order to spray they have to thin the product, thus compromising the durability. If hand applied, latex and enamel paints clog up corners, leave thick brush strokes, and do not adhere to wood as well as our refinishing products do. Painters typically skip the important steps we use to prepare the wood surface. This neglect can risk what is called a “color bleed-through,” where the old color and stain appear through the new coat of paint. In most situations, professional painters who do not specialize in cabinet refinishing will just keep applying paint as a solution to bleed-throughs, creating thicker coats. The result in the end product looks less like a factory finish and more like painted cabinets.

Many professional painters will apply generous amounts of gloss finish, at the end of their cabinet service, suggesting this as an alternative for refinishing. We applaud the effort but the poly coats are generally too thick, and leave bubbles and a rough feel.

Is it better to spray paint or brush cabinets?

We prefer spraying over brushing. Spraying our refinishing product helps maintain even coats without any risk of brush strokes. It allows our technicians to evaluate every situation on an as-needed basis, as different types of wood require different amounts of coatings. This attention minimizes unnecessary labor time and cost to the customer. 

How long do professionally painted cabinets last?

In addition to looking less than desirable, professionally painted cabinets only last about 2-5 years before requiring another coat of paint. They are subject to chipping and peeling and most painting companies do not offer a touch up service. 

Depending on the homeowner, refinished cabinets can last the life of the cabinets themselves. Keeping up with cleaning and after care helps ensure our product to last for years without needing any additional work. Our product is water-based, meaning mild dish soap and water can be used for all clean ups. 

Is it cheaper to refinish/”paint” or replace kitchen cabinets?

The goal of refinishing is to save customer’s a third of the cost of replacing their cabinets completely. Resurrect Wood Refinishing aims to preserve the existing cabinetry by applying a new coat of finish and also changing the color if desired. Many times customers are perfectly fine with the layout of their cabinets. Their cabinet boxes are in great shape and they do not mind the style of their cabinet doors. If this sounds like you then we encourage you to contact us for an in-person estimate. It’s getting harder and harder to buy wood cabinets without the hefty price tag, so why not just update what you already have?

Can I paint my cabinets?

Sure. You can do anything you want. Will it look nice? Eh.

Technically in this day and age you shouldn’t be painting your cabinets. Every time we have had a customer who has painted their cabinets they have always regretted it. The main reason is because the texture and quality is going to look just like that: paint. Whether it’s brushed or rolled on, or even sprayed, paint is going to make what were nice, pre-finished cabinets into, well, painted cabinets. So yes, you can paint your cabinets. But please make sure your expectations are correct.

The difference between Resurrect Wood Refinishing and Joe’s Paint Shop (or Home Depot), is we utilize a process called “Refinishing.” The procedure is about the same as painting in that our technicians mask everything up and go over your existing cabinetry with a new coat of product. But that product is a very thin, durable, and eco-friendly water based chemical called a Polyurethane Acrylic. You know that nice shiny coat of finish on hardwood floors? That’s our product,  just engineered for your cabinets. So essentially you walk on your cabinets if you really wanted to.

The best part of our process is that the finish is tintable, meaning that that paint color you fell in love with, we can copy! So you still get the beautiful color you wanted without the terrible end results of a paint job.

Can you just paint over cabinets?

Yes, but unfortunately, that ruins the cabinets for if you want them refinished later. Let’s say you are an expert painter. Let’s say that somehow you are able to do a beautiful job painting your cabinets and you are satisfied with the results. Well, the next issue is durability. That paint you used has a lifespan of about 2-3 years, unless it’s continually worn out in high traffic areas, like your cabinets. Then you could be looking at less time and needing a do-over. The problem now is with paint, you can only now cover up with more paint. If you wanted to refinish, then we have to sand/strip the existing paint you used, because our polyurethane acrylic can only adhere to wood-finish, not paint.

So just be careful. That quick-buck decision could end up trapping yourself from future renovations should you wish to maintain the existing cabinetry, and likely saves you no money at all.

Can you paint cabinets without sanding?

You can paint cabinets without sanding if the cabinets are pre-finished. However, you cannot refinish painted cabinets without sanding. As we mentioned above, it’s sort of like a one-and-done type of thing if you decide to paint. With refinishing, you have the flexibility to still paint in the future if for whatever reason you don’t like the amazing durability and odorless finish. 

Now can you refinish builder grade cabinets without sanding? Absolutely. That’s one of the best things about the process we use at Resurrect Wood Refinishing. There is no sanding which means none of that awful saw dust floating around in your kitchen. Also if there’s no sanding then there is no risk losing that beautiful profile in your existing cabinetry. 

Can kitchen cabinets be painted professionally?

If by professional you mean, “can cabinets be painted by someone who I can pay money to do it?” Yes. Yes they can. If by professional you mean if painting your cabinets will look good, then no. As explained, painting, in our opinion, ruins perfectly good cabinets. A lot of painters may say they are able to do it, but first off, painting cabinets is a completely different process than painting your wall or ceiling. There is a lot of attention to detail required since you are working on a three dimensional surface versus a solid flat wall. Second, wall paint is not the same as wood paint. And wood paint will look like wood paint and not nicely refinished cabinets. 

While there are many painting professionals who claim that they can paint your cabinets, it is a completely different skill set and product and we strongly recommend researching in order for you to set realistic expectations.

How much does it cost to paint existing kitchen cabinets?

Resurrect Wood Refinishing only offers refinishing services. The market for refinishing an average sized, 10×10  kitchen is going to be about ⅓ the cost of purchasing new cabinets. The value of our service increases with the larger the project.  From our experience with painters who try to compete with us, they usually charge about the same they would for a wall or ceiling project. So while in the short term you are getting a better deal, you are paying a cheaper price for a cheaper service. 

Paint is not durable on cabinets, it chips and peels even with a common polyurethane clear coat on top. Once the painter is done with the project, that it is. There is no guarantee and you will have to hire them again to repaint the entire kitchen should it need a refresh. With Resurrect Wood Refinishing, we do offer a touch-up service just in case in the next couple of years there’s an accident or excessive wear and tear. We get it! It’s your kitchen not a museum. We also leave touch up products upon request which covers most small bumps and dings. We understand that investing in your kitchen is not only a commitment, but it is going to be well used and well loved throughout many years. That’s why it’s very important to us at Resurrect Wood Refinishing to ensure that every customer is aware that we continue to keep communication open for future projects. Once our customer, you are always a customer. We like to say we don’t make customers, we make friends, especially with your fur babies.