The painted finish on every cabinet brand is easily damaged by water. In fact, Main Line Kitchen Design hasn’t noticed a difference in pain durability between the least expensive brands we carry to the most expensive. They are all easily damaged by ANY standing water left on the cabinetry for any significant length of time. Very often consumers have unrealistic expectations about the finish on their painted cabinetry and believe that a painted finish should be as durable and water resistant as the stained finishes they are used to. This is NEVER the case.
Consumer reports and other review sites that allow customers to review their own cabinetry are full of unrealistic complaints about water damage that should have been expected. Here’s an example:
“The warranty representative says that I should not have used the soft side of a sponge to clean the cabinets. He says I caused the damage by putting my hand into and out of the tip-out where I keep the sponges. In other words, the warranty rep is a liar or delusional.”
This review was about a cabinet brand we do not carry but the cabinet rep was right, and the homeowner is the delusional one. No customer should ever be putting a wet sponge in a tilt-out on a painted cabinet. Kitchen designers should not be selling a painted kitchen with a tilt-out in a sink base. Occasionally we have a customer that insists on this feature, and we warn them that they will destroy the finish on their cabinet and that no cabinet company will warranty painted cabinetry against the water damage that can happen when customers aren’t exceedingly careful.
Because the majority of kitchens sold are now in painted finishes that require maintenance, an entire cabinet repair industry has sprouted up with expert refinishers that can repair and touch up most kitchens relatively inexpensively. Customers that are hard on cabinetry should be aware that painted cabinetry is easily damaged by water and also scratches and chips far more easily than stained cabinetry. MDF, HDF, and Duraform particle board cabinet doors are especially vulnerable. And, unlike wood painted cabinets, impossible to repair. Every kitchen designer is responsible for educating customers on what to expect from the materials and finishes they choose.
When consumers complain about problems that are routine in any kitchen renovation or about wood or finish characteristics that they should have expected, it is a symptom of their having worked with a less professional cabinet dealer and kitchen designer.
Main Line Kitchen Design rates over 100 cabinet brands based on our professional evaluations and not on reviews by consumers. See our cabinet rankings here. Other cabinet review sites, like Consumer Reports, are flawed because most often consumers blame the cabinet brands for universal cabinet properties that they weren’t made aware of, or for construction problems caused by the cabinet installer. Bad kitchen designers and inexperienced contractors unfortunately don’t get the negative reviews THEY deserve, and instead often those bad reviews are mistakenly passed on to the cabinet companies. Read this blog.
Main Line Kitchen Design makes sure our designers tell our customers not just about the good features of the cabinets and designs they choose, but more importantly, also about any bad features.
Make sure your kitchen designer gives you the realistic evaluations you need to make the decisions that fit your needs best.
Happy Holidays and as always . . .
Paul, Julie, Chris, Ed, John, Lauren, Anna, Tom, Mark, Juliet, and Camilla
Main Line Kitchen Design