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Contractor Spotlight: Going with the Grain

8 June, 2021

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Cabinet repaints have exploded in the world of color, décor and fine finish, and many contractors have found them to be the ultimate substrate for their expressions of craftsmanship. Painters have trained their customers to know that they can get amazing finishes on their kitchen cabinets, and Erick Gatcomb’s customer was happy to put him to the test.

As proprietor of Gatcomb Painting and Design in Hancock, Maine, Erick prides himself on his craftsmanship, and it’s carried him to the homes of some of Maine’s most prominent citizens. He’ll tell you he’s the most expensive painter around and he’s proud of it, and his commitment to top-quality work has kept him booked out more than a year in advance. Speaking of Advance, Gatcomb noted that a product of that very name played a major role in a recent cabinet repaint.

“The challenges were typical — looming deadline, residual grease, that sort of thing,” he said. “The special request was for a semigloss finish over unfilled grain. I didn’t discourage it; I just listed a whole slew of caveats. For example, imperfections would be more visible and touchups would be harder.” The customer was adamant, though. No grain filler.

After cogitating about paint, Gatcomb decided to go with Benjamin Moore’s Advance in Decorator’s White (CC-20). “I love the finish you get with Advance and the way it lays down nice and glasslike,” he said. He also noted that it has incredible durability once fully cured. “That semigloss finish will hold up for many years and through many washes and scrubs,” he said. That’s important on a cabinet, given the business of opening and closing and splashing and cooking that happen multiple times a day.

In the end, he says, the kitchen was truly transformed; the finished project radiated a certain “je ne sais quoi” that brought this heart of the home out of its doldrums. “The final outcome was awesome!” he said. “The look and feel and vibe were dramatically different. I can’t quite explain it, but the whole atmosphere of the room is markedly brighter and more optimistic.”

And while, as we mentioned, he prides himself on his craft, he also recognizes the value of a good product to partner with. “We’ll definitely be laying down more Advance,” he said.

The clients, repeat customers, were thrilled with the result. “We are so delighted with the new look!” they told him after the job was done. “I feel like I have stars in my eyes looking at the before-and-after pictures! It has been such a pleasure to work with you again. If there is anything we can do to promote your excellent work, please let us know.”

Well, here they are, promoting his excellent work.

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