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Contractor Spotlight: A New Look on Old Wood

5 May, 2021

Extensive kitchen cabinets

Layers upon layers of coatings peeling off cabinets would send a lot of painting contractors running for the hills or at least lead them to recommend the homeowner simply replace them. That wasn’t the position that ARC Painting & Refinishing out of New Jersey took when they went out to see this 90-year old home. ARC stands for Affordable, Reliable and Customer focused. “The multiple layers of various coatings on cabinets were thick and peeling in areas as well as giving the finish a rough and mottled look and feel,” said Rosanne Courtien. Before any decisions were made on reclaiming or replacing, they wanted to see exactly what they were up against. The husband and wife contractor team removed the paint layers and sanded down to the substrate. Luckily, they found a solid hardwood surface that could be primed and painted.

Next it was all about figuring out the logistics of completely stripping these cabinets and giving them a beautiful new look while ensuring that the kitchen was fully functional for the homeowners at the end of every day. To start, all doors and drawer facings were taken off site to the ARC shop to be sanded down to the wood substrate and sprayed. This reduced the amount of time they were working in the home. Since bases needed the same prep but completed on site, ARC used a FESTOOL Dust Extractor and Sander to eliminate dust and keep the site clean and family ready.

Once everything was prepped and ready, the cabinets were primed and given two coats of Benjamin Moore Advance with a light sand between each coat to ensure the smoothest finish possible. ARC Painting chose Benjamin Moore Advance because the waterborne-alkyd acts a lot like oil-based during application but in a waterborne system. “The Advance is unlike anything we’ve ever used. It has great open time, you always get a smooth finish, and you see no difference between the sprayed doors and the brushed boxes,” said Courtien.  

The colors chosen were China White for the upper cabinets and Chelsea Gray for the lower cabinets and island.

Finally, new soft-close hinges were sourced and installed on the cabinet doors and new decorative pulls were installed to complete the final look.

***Counters, floors and walls were all redone with the help of a designer and another contractor.


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