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FAQs by Customers

The following frequently asked questions have been compiled from emails we have received over the last couple of years. The questions are from potential customers seeking answers from us and are always asked prior to making any commitment to hire us. For the sake of continuity and privacy, we have sometimes inserted the proverbial: “Mrs. Jones” when responding to our potential customer. If by chance, the question(s) you wanting answers are not covered, then please email or call us and we will get back to you immediately.

Do you paint kitchen cabinetry?

Yes, almost every day for thirty consecutive years. In the last five years, we have been competently completing 5-8 jobs a month.

I haven't been able to find anyone else that specializes in cabinetry, other than yourselves. Why is that?

There are a ton of companies who will claim (somewhat disingenuously) that they do cabinetry and they will in actuality try their best to “paint” your cabinets with a brush and roller using plain old non-durable house “paint” but we’re the only company (that we’re aware of) that has a hermetically sealed spray booth for spraying lacquer only using HVLP (High Volume Low Pressure) sprayers.

Why are you making a distinction between ‘house paint’ and ‘lacquer’?

Paint typically is not as durable as a lacquer. Regular house paint simply cannot withstand the level of scrubbing or bumping that lacquered cabinets can withstand. The only “paints” per se, that should be used for cabinetry refinishing are pre-catalyzed industrial epoxies as they are as durable, if not more so than most lacquers.

Do you have any Yugos on the lot; as a cadillac would probably be out of my price range anyway?

No Yugo’s on the lot but a ton of Cadillacs for the price of a Yugo. And if your next question is “how do you do that?”… there is a one-word answer: Volume. We do a ton of kitchen cabinet jobs and actually charge less for lacquer jobs,(than we would have charged for “painting” the same number of pieces in the past) which doesn’t make much sense at first blush because lacquer costs more than paint but the finished product is so far superior to a “painted” cabinet that the extra positive word of mouth we get allows us to stay busy doing (lacquering) cabinets all year’ round…which makes it worthwhile for us to give away a Cadillac for the price of a Yugo if you follow.

What about melamine, is that any good for can cabinets?

Melamine, although a bit better than regular paint is in fact just a fancy name for “paint” and also pales in comparison to a pre-catalyzed lacquer. Melamine reminds me of what it used to say on my report when I was a kid: “good effort this term”. Melamine strives to be what it can never be; lacquer.

How do you arrive at a price for painting our cabinets? Does someone need to come and take a look?

We have been spraying kitchen cabinets for 29 yrs now so there is really nothing for us to see that we haven’t already seen…so no, no one typically has to come take a look. We just need to know the total number of doors and drawers and what type of wood or laminate you presently have. Then it becomes a simple math equation.

Our kitchen cabinets are Oak and my daughters kitchen is laminate. We have approximately the same number of pieces. Will the cost be the same for the both of us?

Assuming for the moment that you both have the identical number of pieces, then no, the price would not be the same. Spraying over laminate is cheaper than spraying over a wooden cabinet since there are fewer coats of lacquer that need to be applied. Spraying laminate is a three coat system (one prime, two finish) whereas spraying maple and all other wood excluding oak, is a four coat system, and spraying oak is a five coat system. (three prime, two finish).

Whats the big deal with Oak; what is it exactly that causes the price to be higher than for cabinets made from different materials?

Oak is the most porous wood we work with and instead of just spraying the primer on and being done with it, like we do with other types of cabinetry, we have to ‘push’ the lacquer primer into the grain by using high-density foam rollers. So, although we spray three coats of primer we immediately follow each coat by forcing the primer to go deep into the crevices, where it normally does not go when you simply spray. This is a crucially important step to fine finishing oak cabinetry since this method then allows the top coats of lacquer to sit on top of the surface where it belongs due to the wood having been so perfectly sealed.

I have 48 pieces of oak cabinets in my kitchen. How do you arrive at a price for that? How do I book a job?

The pricing is broken up into four areas:

    1. Number of pieces multiplied by our price per piece.
    2. On-site painting of fixed pieces.
    3. Removing and replacing of hinges and knobs.
    4. Cost of materials.

Book job’s online by giving a non-refundable Interac e-transfer deposit.

How long will we be without our doors and drawers?

10 days for the average sized job. (22-30 pieces)

I'm pretty handy with a drill. Can I remove the replace the doors and drawers and take the hinges and knobs off myself?

No problem. In fact, about 80% of our customers do so.

I use to be a College Pro Painter. I can probably do the on site painting myself as well. Can you set me up?

We don’t really recommend it but if (push comes to shove) and you feel so inclined I can give you the exact application tools we would use if we were to do it ourselves. Typically though, the majority of our customers prefer to shy away from this aspect… and understandably so.

We are trying to take the fronts off the drawers that are glued with screws. Do you normally rip them off or can you paint around the drawers?

Sounds like you should leave them be as there could be issues getting them back on. We can prep, prime and spray them as is if that seems to be the better route.

We are painting the kitchen walls as well. Should we paint the walls before or after you paint the cupboards?

We would do the walls first. Touching up a wall due to any inadvertent damage during the install (by yourself) is much less egregious than injury inflicted upon a cabinet stemming from an accident by the aforementioned customer.

Do we wash the doors and frames before you guys arrive.

Thank you but don’t do any washing or cleaning of the cabinetry as that is part of what you’re paying for.

I’m a bit concerned about the smelly primer. Not only do we have a toddler but I am pregnant, so it won’t be so good for me/baby either.

We’re in full agreement with you on this one. We do not use smelly dangerous solvent based primers; we use very eco-friendly low odor pre catalyzed water based lacquer primers. The best primer/sealer on the market.

What's your policy on deposits and are they refundable?

Deposits are 100% refundable if there are less than 5 emails we had to respond to.  Anything between 5-10 is 50% refundable and if we responded 10 times or more during the course of the planning of your project then there is no refund whatsoever.  

“My cabinets are now a contemporary blue with perfect uniformity of sheen. I have no hesitation in recommending 604-PAINTER to any of my friends or clients”

Justin, General Contractor – Tsawwassen


Vancouver Kitchen Cabinet Painting

7990 Argyle St,
Vancouver, BC, Canada
Tel: 604-PAINTER | 604-724-6837

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