Professional Kitchen Cabinet Painting and Refinishing, Spray Painting and Fine Finishing

Spray Painted Kitchen Cabinets Sharrard Painting & Fine Finishing specializes in providing Kitchen Cabinet Spray Painting / Kitchen Cabinet Painting and Furniture Refinishing services in Toronto and the surrounding area.  We provide both on-site and off-site fine finish spray painting services using airless and HVLP sprayers.  Our professional and state-of-the-art spray painting & finishing facility is located in Oakville, Ontario, Canada.  Contact Us for your free cabinet refinishing estimate.  

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Kitchen Spray Painted By Sharrard Painting

Kitchen Spray Painted by Sharrard Painting








Spray Painted Kitchen Cabinets done in Normandy

Spray Painted Cabients done in Oxford White


Kitchen cabinet refinishing projects can take a week to three weeks to complete depending on the level of service required.   If the customer drops off the pieces we can usually turn them around quickly but we find that customers typically want their entire cabinetry professionally spray painted (the gable ends, kick plates, crown, valances, etc.) not just the re-moveable pieces such as the doors and drawers.

A complete kitchen cabinetry overhaul, including gable ends, kick plates, crowns, valances and decorative spacers will usually involve  3 to 4 trips to your house.

  • Step Two: conduct an on-site survey.  Done after the assessment is done.  The scope and requirements are validated, samples and colours reviewed, The final price of the project is determined.
  • Step Three: we start by first picking up the doors, drawers and any other items we thought could be more effectively finished at the shop vs. in your home.
  • Step Five:  we re-install and re-align your cabinet doors and drawers.


Serious cabinet refinishing work requires the use of lacquers and not traditional house paints. The majority of kitchen cabinet refinishing jobs done by Sharrard Painting and Fine Finishing use a post catalyzed solvent-based lacquer system. We do not use water-based paints or water-based lacquers ~ these products simply do not have the durability and the longevity required for finishes in kitchens and bathrooms. 

The SUMMIT line of conversion coatings from Katilac Coatings under distribution from Halton Chemicals is our go to SOLVENT BASED lacquer for kitchens and bathroom applications.

  • Meets KCMA Standards - Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association
  • Durable surface - very good hardness, block resistance, and print resistance.  Excellent mar resistance.
  • Cannot be applied using a brush and roller technique, requires spray application.
  • Has a higher VOC content than water-based lacquers and can only be sprayed in residential situations provided the rent venting in in place (i.e portable air exchanger).
  • Harder to apply must be sprayed by a skilled spraying professional, must be catalyzed prior to being used, and must be used within 24 hours of being mixed
  • Multiple coats can be applied on the same day.
  • Primer and paint can be sanded within an hour of its application.   Sands to smooth and fine powder, not gummy.
  • Product Specification Documentation - Katilac Coatings D28 Lacquer Products

As a professional interior painter in Oakville, Mississauga, Burlington, and Milton, I often get requests to provide advice on painting and refinishing cupboards and kitchen cabinet doors. This article covers the traditional methods and tips used for painting and refinishing cupboards and kitchen cabinets using both waterborne lacquer paint finishes, such as Kem Aqua by Sherwin Williams, and Advance, a waterborne alkyd manufactured by Benjamin Moore.


If you are thinking about painting your kitchen cabinets or a contractor who has been asked to paint up a set of cabinets then consider these handy kitchen cabinet painting tips.  Sharrard Painting specializes in the finishing and refinishing of cupboards & kitchen cabinets.  So if you're attempting the project as a DIYer here is some free advice from the professionals.


STIX is great for maple wood and various veneers

Picking the right primer is critical so be sure to match the paint to the primer, and the primer to the surface being painted - i.e. read the side of the can and use that product for your base primer coat.  

  • STIX is good for non-porous surfaces like varnished maple or veneer panels.  After 24 hours of dry time the primer should have fully bonded with the surface and should not release easily (e.g. if scratched by your fingernail, a good deal of effort should need to be extended for the primer to come off.)  STIX is also a great undercoat for Ben Moore Advance and most lacquer based finishes such as Kem Aqua
  • Surfacers (Lacquer Primers):  most lacquer finishes have a compatible surfacer that is available for use in both water-based and traditional solvent-based systems.  These primers build up the surface and provide easy sanding with sanding grits typically in the 320 to 400 range.  The water-based systems are nice for clean up but they will not seal the wood as well (stains) and typically don't sand as nicely.  You'll use more sandpaper with a water-based system since the primer will clog the paper and not release like solvent-based surfacer.
  • Yellow Stains Bleeding Through the Primer:  if you're seeing a lot of yellowish stains bleeding through the primer you should spot prime with a pigmented shellac-based primer or apply another coat of primer.  If the yellow stains continue then you will need to apply a complete coat of a stronger shellac-based primer such as BIN.  If not dealt with properly the yellow will bleed through to the final coat and many, many coats of finish paint will be needed to cover the yellow stains.  The yellow stains will be especially annoying if your paint the kitchen cabinet doors white so make sure you deal with this.  Google the keywords "tannins in painting" for more information.
  • shellacprimersPainting previously varnished or stained Oak Kitchen Cabinet Doors:  if your painting oak cabinet doors white the staining issue mention above will likely be a significant cause of frustration.  The bleeding and staining are more a factor of the porous oak wood being painted than the amount of prep or sanding work done.  To find out more Google the term "tannis in oak wood" to understand what causes this yellowing.  When painting oak cabinet doors white I always start with a full coat of a pigmented shellac-based primer.  Shellac is great for sealing of porous wood surfaces like oak wood.  Shellac is also considered the universal go-between primer - that means you can put just about anything on top of shellac and it will hold.  Shellac dries so quickly it can be a real challenge to brush on.  You can spray shellac very nicely and cleans up not with water but methyl hydrate (basically rubbing or grain alcohol.)


  • Label Every Drawer, Hinge, and Door:  Drawer fronts and doors must come off.  Be very detailed when doing so - the hinge is also labeled to the door it was previously being used for).  The hinges are labeled in the up and down orientation - this saves you from having to realign the doors.  I use the alphabet (e.g. A, B, C, D)  to label the upper cabinets and numbers (1, 2, 3) to label the lower cabinets.  And on the back of the hinge I write its details (these are concealed after the re-install).  So cabinet door A (is the left most door or drawer), it has an AT (Top) labeled hinge and AB (Bottom) labeled hinge.  Cabinet door number two is a lower cabinet door second from the left and would have two labeled hinges, 2 - T and 2 - B.
  • Prep Work: scuff sand the entire surface.  You do not need to remove the entire coat of varnish but you do need to scuff it well.   This is the hardest part so be sure to distribute your effort evenly between the doors.  You'll be all gung-ho to start and can easily put up to 20 minutes into the first door - now times that by 22 pieces and your into 8 hours of prep before you even begin painting.  Sometimes that what it takes, but when it comes to spray painting ALL the work is in the prep work.
  • Tools: if you cannot spray paint the cabinet doors use a 3 inch low profile roller (4 mil or less).  Wrap it with tape first.  Pull the tape off, if there was a lot of hair / fibers left on the roller that's the first sign your about to destroy your cabinet doors with a cheap roller sleeve.  I prefer to use a low pile microfiber roller.  The foam roller may provide a finer finish but you may need more coats of paint. As well some waterborne alkyds such as BENJAMIN MOORE ADVANCE are not recommended for foam rollers - too many bubbles in the paint.
  • Working Environment: build a painting station because you will need space to work ... very important.



  • Coats of Paint:  if you're spraying the doors consider two coats of primer and two coats of paint per side.  Or add the extra coat of primer to the fronts only and make sure you sand between primer coats with a 220 sanding pad.  Use grey sanding pads after the first coat of paint.  When sanding between finish coats (not primer coats) you will leave lines or scratches in the paint if you use anything less 400 grit paper - especially when you're using a lacquer based product and especially when you spray.  This is why I recommend the gray finish pads.
  • If you are trying to achieve a truly professional paint job you cannot paint both sides at the same time.  The doors need to be laid flat when drying and suspended off the surface of the table or floor (sets of Lego blocks can also be used).  Always paint the backs first (this allows you to work out your technique before moving on to the highly visible fronts).
  • Painting Tips: If you're not going to use a sprayer to do the doors then try to use the brush as little as you can. The brush is loaded, each corner of the detail is dabbed with the wet brush and then stretched out along the groove in both directions towards the center.  Find that balance between the amount of paint needed to lightly cover but not create any sags or runs. Remember you're putting on multiple coats (2 primers, 2 paint) - it will cover nicely by the final coat and if you try to make it cover on the first coat it will look awful.

    Painters Pyramids - Use to keep doors flat and off surface while painting or drying - Lego blocks work as a good alternative.

    Painters Pyramids - Use to keep doors flat and off surface while painting.


Spray Painted Kitchen Cabinets

Cabinet carcasses are taped up with 12'' paper, flooring paper (called Anchor Paper - available at Dulux Paint Stores is used on both the floors and counters. Non-Flaking 24'' film from 3m is used required - typically on the ceiling and backsplash.


Onsite Spray Painting

For a real professional result you need to evenly apply the tape around the carcass about 1mm back from the edge banding. Using blue tape can sometimes provide the contrast you need when painting the edge banding on an already white cabinet.

The most efficient method for taping up a kitchen seems to be a good quality rosin paper on the floor, 12 inch paper rolls for the carcarss and 24 inch clear film for the ceiling & gable ends. a pair of 3m Hand Maskers (one for paper the other for the film and your off to races.)

Time & Cost of Refinishing Kitchen Cabinets:

  • Doors and Drawers: for estimates, the actual effort I calculate is about 60 to 90 minutes per door.  Factors like sanding, filling cracks, the detail, and the amount of washing make up for the variables.
  • Base cabinets - if the base cabinets are to be spray painted it will take two professional painters two to three days to wash, tape, prime and paint the base cabinets in your typical 35 to 55 piece kitchen.  If you're simply painting them with a brush (which we don't do) then the time will be significantly less because you will not need to do the taping.
  • Materials - if spraying the base cabinets you'll need about $100 to $120 dollars in tape, plastic & paper.  You will need about  2 Gallons of paint and two gallons of primer / expect to use twice that much if spraying and using lacquer.  Pigmented shellac primer (about $75 per can) is required for oak or as an alternative to primer or both shellac followed by surfacer.
  • Deconstruction and Reconstruction of the kitchen:  don't forget to include time to deconstruct the kitchen and reconstruct the kitchen.  Additionally, the doors need to be packaged for return to the customer's house (i.e they need to be bubble wrapped).  Estimate about 20 mins per piece to take them off, transport, label, and then when refinished, packaging, transport, and re-installation.  Two trips to the customer's house with a 45 piece kitchen is 900 minutes or 15 hours ~ approximate one day for a crew.
  • Averages:  a crew of two can guys can usually refinish a 45 piece kitchen with one week of effort,  that's two days on-site, two days in the shop to prep and finish boards and one day for teardown and reconstruction.  Chances are you cannot do the process in 5 days straight, to properly finish the boards you would need to prime one day (both sides), one day to finish the backs, one day to finish the fronts.  You want about 12 to 16 hours of dry time before you flip the boards over to finish the fronts or else you risk leaving marks on the backs of the boards caused by resting on the drying rack.

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Kitchen Cabinet Painters in Oakville, Burlington and Mississauga

Sharrard Painting & Fine Finishing
487 Speers Rd, Oakville, ON, L6K 2G4 (by appointment only - no office hours)

Phone: (905) 334-3242