Paint problems on new kitchen cabinets?


We had new oak kitchen cabinets made and installed by a professional cabinet maker. They were spray painted creme colour. In the past month, we have noticed that the paint on the edge of the cupboards’ doors and drawers is peeling. On one of the cupboards, there is a spot where the paint peeled off.

We had the person who made the cupboards come and see. He said area on drawer was most likely caused by us hitting it with something or with a fingernail and said the problems with the paint peeling on ledge of doors near handles, may be caused by him not sanding enough. He did some touch up painting which is noticeable.

Today, I noticed several raised spots on the cabinets doors and drawers. They are very small- size of a straight pin needle and feels sharp like sand upon touching. Some of them look as if the paint will peel off… This is what happened on the previous drawer which the cabinet maker blamed us for. I indicated to the cabinet maker that we were away for 2 months in the summer time camping at the lake therefore coming occasionally to the home, 2 months in the fall for medical reasons and away off and on for more medical appointments this winter therefore not home that much to cause damage to the cupboards. The house is well heated during our absences.

What could be the caused in your opinion of the above mentioned problems? How can the problem be solved? What do you recommend? Remodeling our kitchen with new cabinets was very costly. The cabinet maker did a very good job with the layout and the kitchen looks extremely nice. Yet it will not look nice for very long if the problem persists. I had visited some kitchens he made before hiring him. Everyone seemed very pleased with his work. I’ve called some of them that have similar cabinets and same colour and they do not have the problems we are encountering with ours.Thank you for your help.

One Response

  1. Here's a few ideas;

    1- The paint could be from a bad batch. This is rare but it does happen. Most manufactures will deny this and it is difficult or impossible to prove.

    If there is a problem with the actual paint it could cause loss of adhesion or produce a brittle finish.

    2- Not enough applied paint or wrong type of paint. First, it is really hard to get good coverage and a thick coat on the edges. It takes several coats carefully applied.

    The type of finish also effects the longevity and toughness. There are many types of paints/finishes available.

    3- Lack of primer or not enough primer. Priming is one of the most important steps and easy to overlook. Typically- a heavy coat of sandable primer is applied, allowed to dry and sanded ultra smooth, then another coat is applied, then the finish coats. The type of primer and amount depends on many things but this could explain your problems.

    One way to check for primer is to look at the wood under a peeled area and the back of the peeled film of paint. Either the wood or back of the paint film should show the primer as a white layer, white is a typical primer color.

    If no primer was used then this is most likely the problem.

    Each one of these alone can cause problems similar to what you're experiencing. The only way to truly fix this it to sand off all that is loose, includes lightly sanding all surfaces looking for loose paint. Now remove all dust and apply primer. Then repaint everything. In my opinion this is the only way to fix this once and for all.

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