Design Blog

Considering refinishing your cabinetry?  Not all refinishing companies are the same.  What are you options and what does refinishing your kitchen actually mean? Kitchen cabinet refinishing is simply giving your cabinets a new look. This can be done by stripping the paint or stain and applying new colors or finishes.  Striping the surface is a bit pricey but in some cases necessary especially if the old finish is compromised.   Paint can be used but there are better and more durable options available so depending on what surface I am working on and the desired finish the process and products will vary. Refinishing your kitchen should not be tackled by a painter for several reasons but most importantly because results will not look like a factory finish.  Unless the doors are removed and the new finish sprayed and protected with a quality varnish polyurethane or lacquer the results will not look professional.  If you want a professional finish there is no substitution for hiring a professional.  The refinishing company should not only carry an array of samples but they should provide you with a custom sample with your choice of finish.  

Refacing or Refinishing?  You could reface your kitchen cabinets for a new look if you are willing to spend more the 1/2 the price of new.  Refacing means you are purchasing new doors and depending on the style, quality and glazing options the price is reflective.  Then a thin veneer is applied over the bases.  The veneer is not durable and usually chips or buckles.  

What option's are there if your cabinets are white or not solid wood?  Is paint the only option?   Thankfully the answer is no.  Artistically I utilize paint, glazes & stains and manipulate them in a way to create  different wood finishes, a faux bois ( faux wood.).  Like other refinishing companies I utilize your existing cabinetry.  What sets my company apart is that I can refinish any surface even if it is not wood and provide you with a factory like finish of your choice.  My process is labor intensive but our sprayed on finish is durable and guaranteed. You are not limited to finishing options because your surface is formica, melamine or MDF (Medium-density-fiberboard).  Refinishing a fiberglass door to a  beautiful mahogany or walnut finish is something I can offer that our competition can not.     The finish is durable and guaranteed and you can enjoy your refinished kitchen for as many years as you would a newly installed one.  We consider ourselves knowledgeable on what trends and colors will work best for your kitchen and will gladly offer my design expertise and advise on not only what finish works best but what details you can add that will give your kitchen a much higher end look.  The  layout can be reconfigured, additional cabinets added so that the old and new are finished to match. Flooring, counter top, back splash and appliances can be replaced and the completed process will still be the least expensive option available. Lastly I offer a service that no other company I  know of can.  Oak cabinets are solid wood but once stained or painted the grain is still there the surface is not smooth.  For some of my clients changing the color of oak is not enough.  I have successfully filled in the grain and and then refinished the oak now looks like maple or mahogany.  

  Refinishing is an ideal option not only for the budget but also because older cabinets are actually solid wood.  There are so many options available to give your kitchen bath or built in a new factory like finish.  As the saying goes "A picture tell's a story".  My web site is filled with before and after photo's of beautifully refinished kitchens.  Take a look and find out how I can refinish at fraction of the cost in comparison to any other option available.

 

 

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     One of the busiest areas of my Long Island faux finishing company revolves around refinishing cabinetry.  Every thing from mantels, to tables, chairs, vanities and railings.  But kitchen cabinets are by far the majority of my refinishing work.

      Why refinish?  There are so many reason's, for one the price.  Refinishing is 1/3 the price of refacing and more then 1/2 the cost of replacing.  If your happy with your kitchen layout then why deal with the mess, cost and hassle? My clients refinish because their cabinets are solid wood but the they are oak or worn.  The color is more traditional or modern then they want.  Most of my clients are referrals,  they did not even realize that this is an option.

     How do I do it?  To answer that I am going to provide you with an example,  when you eat at a restaurant the food just taste better.  A chef can take the same ingredients you use and prepare a meal that tastes better.   Why?  Put simply he/she is trained,  they have ingredients that are professional grade.  The meat they purchase is a much better grade then what is sold in your local supermarket.  And so for the same reasons I can provide you with a beautiful factory like finish.  I am using products that are for professionals only,  I spray the finish (no brush strokes) and I use lacquer.  Lacquer is what is used on factory finished cabinets.  I do all the prep work to ensure the finish looks feels and lasts as long as newly installed cabinetry,  I guarantee it!

    What makes me an expert at refinishing your kitchen/bath cabinetry?   I have been trained, am licensed and insured.  The faux wood finish I provide is so realistic that it actually looks better then a factory produced finish.  Seeing is believing,  during my initial consultation I bring samples which show the old and new finish.  In addition I provide my clients with a sample of the finish on their cabinetry and I have a portfolio filled with before and after photo's of completed projects.  Below is just one example of a door that I refinished as a sample for a client.  Keep in mind this particular door started out as .  Artistically I created a finish that offers a much higher end look.

 

Here is just a few more examples of a sample finishes I prepared for a clients.  The bottom two door were created with a faux wood is artistically rendered.  

 





 

I work with my clients and provide them advise on how to add value by changing certain things like counter tops, lighting or color which will give them the dream kitchen at a budget then can actually afford.  Please feel free to follow me on Facebook athttps://www.facebook.com/DiMontiDecorativeFinishes or visit my online portfolio at www.dimontifinishes.com   

Pictures say a thousand words so let me just place one before and after photo of a kitchen I refinish.  The original finish was oak,  the client liked the grain of the wood so I re-stained the kitchen in a much richer mahogany finish.  

 


 

Faux wood grain table

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Just a small video of a mural I completed.

 

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As the saying goes, "One man's trash is another man's treasure". This was literally rescued from the trash and  transformed into a truly treasured piece. I regret to say that I did not take progression photo's but the steps are as follows; I removed the seat cushion by turning the chair upside down and removing screws. As you can see the chair was worn, ripped and not very comfortable.

I spray painted the chair black with an HVLP and protected with a urethane topcoat. The seat was too flat and extremely uncomfortable.  Simple fix,  I took 1/4 inch foam and placed it over the existing cushion (it's not necessary to  remove the vinyl fabric)  then I took a black marker and traced a template on the foam.   I used an electric knife to trim excess away and then placed batting over the foam.  I draped the zebra fabric over foam and batting and trimmed excess fabric allowing at least 6 inches around the edges of cushion. then just stapled in place. The result is a new chair for about $20.00 (fabric was on clearance).  Now the chair goes perfectly with the refinished desk. 

 

Although I love Christmas I noticed I have been stressing more and enjoying less.  For starters,  the tree needs to go up,  the lights need to be hung and the house needs to be decorated.  For me decorating the house is no small project because I can literally spend an entire month decorating and redecorating my home (love doing it).  Then of course there is shopping for gifts, wrapping and Christmas cards (I would love to know who came up with the whole Christmas photo card deal).  Since I am such a procrastinator with things like this, this has become my least favorite holiday chore.  I have to literally schedule a day to get my family (four kids) dressed (without T shirts).   What's worse is trying to get them to smile simultaneously especially when their asked to.  I try to at least choose one shot where two of them are looking at the camera.  Oh,  I forgot to mention Christmas Dinner!   With eleven siblings, Christmas Dinner is more like a catering event, especially when you factor in the in-laws and nieces and nephews.  It's now over 40 people.  Of course since my husband is a chef we always host Christmas.  Thankfully we honestly love doing it.  The point is this, other then shopping for gifts and Christmas Dinner it's my sole responsibility accomplish everything else.    As much as I enjoy the holidays the list seems to grow every year making it a bit harder to actually enjoy it. 

Well I found a way to actually stress just a little bit less and enjoy just a little more.  It started almost by accident but ever since it started I can't seem to stop,  nor do I want to.  Every once in a while I get the urge to paint or create something for myself.  I do it all the time for my clients but when you actually get to paint something for yourself its a real treat.  Several years back I was shopping at local home store.  I was looking for the perfect holiday gift for my daughters teacher.  As I was browsing through the Christmas isle I came across some really beautiful items then an idea hit me.  "I can make this".  So I did!.  Of course, it was much more time consuming then I originally anticipated but it was completed I just couldn't stop.  I always come up with ways to alter my inspired pieces by adding my own creative twist but it has really made the whole gift giving more enjoyable.  Now, every year I create or paint something during the holidays.   It may become a gift or something I hang onto.  It really makes the holidays so much more enjoyable.   With Pintrest, the ideas are overflowing.  

Here are sone example of my creations.  These are mini sled's made out of MDF.  Almost two feet in length.  I painted and creates several of these over the years.  Too much fun and it makes the perfect gift! I would love to know your opinion’s?  Can't wait to show you what I come up with this year.  

 

Furniture redo with stencil reliefs

I absolutely love painting furniture. This time I didn't put much thought into what I was going to do but I ended up with a piece I am pleased with. Different then the typical re-do don't you think? This tutorial was done on a sample board because I finished the furniture before taking a photos. 

Choose your color. I chose Anne Sloane Chalk paint because I had it on hand and you don't have to prime. I mixed Paris Blue and Old Orche (not sure of the amount but very little Paris Blue was added). Before the paint dried I took old white (also chalk paint) and just dipped my brush in the paint and used what was on the brush to create some interest with horizontal strokes. 

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Once that was dried use a stencil of your choice.  Use a good amount of Joint compound to create a raised relief stencil.  Place an even coat of spackle over the stencil making sure to cover the entire stencil. Then remove stencil. 

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After the Joint compound dries paint over the relief. I did not seal prior to painting but I'm sure it would help to keep the raised stencil crisp. If you don't just make sure you don't over work painting the stenciled areas.

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Once the paint is dried I loaded a paint brush with Vandyke brown and offloaded most of it onto a paper towel.  Then gently dry brushed over the recessed areas. I sanded back the corners on the furniture to give it distressed look.

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Now all that's left is to seal the piece with a clear coat (your choice) I sprayed my piece using a water based lacquer. FYI,  the stencil can be done with a number of different products, I've used Venetian plaster with excellent results in the past. This is not a piece that will stand abuse and the lacquer will aide in protecting the stencils.

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The end result.