Properly Caring for Painted Kitchen Cabinets

caring painted kitchen cabinets

While certain elements of cabinet care and basic cleaning will be relatively similar across several cabinet varieties, there will be others that depend on the type of cabinet in place. One particular type of cabinet that may have a few different care items than some others, and also one that’s very popular today, is the painted cabinet.

At Swirl Woodcraft, we’re happy to offer a huge range of traditional, rustic and modern kitchen cabinets with several color and style options available, including painted cabinets, sand-blasted cabinets and several others. What are some of the top tips we offer to clients on care for painted cabinets? Here are some basic areas to keep in mind.

caring painted kitchen cabinets

Standard Cleaning

Just like any other kitchen items you use regularly, painted cabinets will need to be cleaned regularly. Painted or stained cabinets actually do a better job at concealing dirt and other messes than some other types, but you still need to perform basic cleaning regardless.

This involves using a soft, clean cloth that’s dampened with some water and mild dishwashing soap. As long as you perform this sort of task regularly, at least once a month or so, you should never have to use too much force or elbow grease – but if cabinets are left without cleaning for months, you may find some tougher buildups or stains that take harder work to be rid of.

Spill Care

Painted cabinets are not waterproof, contrary to some myths that might be out there. This means that if drips or spills take place, they can affect the cabinets.

For this reason, prevention of this sort of thing is the name of the game. In addition, any spills should be immediately wiped up and dried to prevent any staining and damage to the cabinet. Also be sure to pay close attention to sources of water and liquid, as keeping these dry will play a role in protecting cabinets.

Scratches or Chips

Just like paint on any other area, such as a car, may chip, so might paint on cabinets. The most common cause of this or scratching issues is actually poor installation, so be sure to take great care in this area. In other cases, items like jewelry, silverware or even fingernails may cause these issues. In these cases, some basic touch-ups to paint and finish may be necessary for your cabinets.

Hairline Crack Prevention

Finally, wood components in cabinets may expand and contract if your interior goes through major humidity changes. To avoid this, ensure your home stays at a regular humidity range – our pros will be happy to inform you of the ideal range for any cabinet you purchase from us. And if resulting cracks, known as hairline cracks, do ever form, they luckily are not a form of structural damage.

For more on how to care for painted cabinets, or to learn about any of our kitchen cabinets, bathroom vanities or other services, speak to the staff at Swirl Woodcraft today.

More Signs Your Cabinets Need Replacing

signs cabinets need replacing

In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some of the basic signs telling you it might be time for new kitchen cabinets. These signs are often a mixture of practical needs and aesthetics, or could be related to damage that’s occurred on current cabinets in other situations.

At Swirl Woodcraft, we’re happy to offer a variety of traditional, rustic and modern custom kitchen cabinets for all our clients to consider – but in addition, we also offer expertise and tips on several related themes, including whether your current cabinets have run their course and are in line for a replacement. What are some of the other reasons you might need to replace your kitchen cabinets? Here’s a primer.

signs cabinets need replacing

Layout Changes

In many cases, changing out cabinets will be a necessity based on other structural or layout alterations you’re making in the kitchen. Let’s say you’re taking out a wall in the kitchen, for instance, and adding a deck off the side. If there are any cabinets that are on this wall, first and foremost, they’ll obviously have to be taken out.

In addition, though, further changes might be needed. Especially for aesthetic build-outs in the kitchen, custom-made cabinets are ideal for the upgrade, but you need to ensure they will fit in your new setup – another good reason to go with new materials.

Material Changes

In a previous year or generation, metal cabinets may have been installed in your home. They may have seemed wonderful at the time, providing a sleek modern look, but are they still in great shape?

Chances are they aren’t. Metal cabinets tend to show all the dings and dents that take place over the years, plus don’t hide scratches whatsoever. They dull easily and do not provide a great aesthetic, plus can’t really be altered in any way. For many, changing out previous metal cabinets to a better material is a singular reason for replacement.

New Appliance Adjustments

Finally, what if you’re making some significant appliance changes to the kitchen that will impact cabinets? Many older appliances you might be changing out will not be the same size or dimensions as previous ones, and in many situations, this will significantly alter the layout of the entire kitchen – including the cabinets. This area features a mix of both practical and aesthetic areas; not only do you want cabinets that work with any new appliances you’re installing, you want them to look great together and provide a similar aesthetic – which won’t happen if you’re placing old, worn cabinets next to brand-new appliances.

For more on how to know when it’s time to replace kitchen cabinets, or to learn about any of our kitchen cabinets, bathroom vanities or other woodworking projects, speak to the staff at Swirl Woodcraft today.

When to Consider Replacing Kitchen Cabinets

when replacing kitchen cabinets

In certain cases, the entire kitchen space in a home will give you clear signs that a major remodel is needed. Not all remodeling projects are comprehensive, however, and there are some cases where subtler signs of issues may dictate focusing the remodel on a particular feature of the kitchen – with cabinets being a common consideration here.

At Swirl Woodcraft, we’re happy to offer numerous selections when it comes to kitchen cabinets, with options ranging from traditional cabinets to modern, rustic and many other styles. In addition to providing a wide range of custom cabinets and other woodworking products, we’re also here to assist clients with their remodel – including some of the signs your current cabinets might be giving you that it’s time to move on. This two-part blog will go over several of these signs for homeowners to keep in mind.

when replacing kitchen cabinets


The first sign here is likely the most obvious, and also the most common: The cabinets have begun to fall apart, either in small or large ways. You may have noticed that certain attached hardware, such as doors or knobs, are becoming loose or even falling off. Shelving may be pulling away from the wall, or perhaps paint is fading significantly in visible areas.

In many cases, this is due to cheap or flimsy material used for the cabinets when they were first installed. In these cases, re-painting or resurfacing these materials won’t do any good – they won’t become stronger, and will simply fail again in short order. Replacement is necessary when this is the case.


Have you noticed strong odors that are clearly coming from your cabinets? Unfortunately, odors may make their way into wood, at which time it can be difficult to get them out. They can be from mold, food, mildew or even pest invasion in some cases, and many of these smells will not go away once they’ve embedded themselves. Often, the most cost-effective (and healthy, in the case of mold) solution is to replace the cabinets.

Simple Aesthetics

In other cases, your cabinets may still be functional, but creating a very poor aesthetic. Maybe they’ve experienced significant cracking over the years, or perhaps they have chipped paint, broken corners or worn-down coloration. Some of this is natural after many years of use – cabinets are not meant to last forever, and if you’ve had yours for many years, they may have simply served their purpose.

As we noted above, small repairs and patch-overs here will only go so far. Eventually, the much more cost-effective move is to simply replace the cabinets altogether for a new look.

For more on signs your cabinets are giving you that they require replacement, or to learn about any of our custom cabinets, bathroom vanities or other woodworking products, speak to the staff at Swirl Woodcraft today.

Why Fall Might be Ideal for Your Home Remodel, Part 2

fall ideal home remodel

In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some of the reasons why the fall season we’re currently in often makes sense for certain home remodeling projects. From contractor availability to the way paint dries in cooler temperatures and more, there are several potential advantages to scheduling your home remodel at this time of year.

At Swirl Woodcraft, we’re happy to provide a wide range of kitchen cabinets, bathroom vanities and other custom woodworking products to assist with a variety of home remodeling projects. While part one of our series mostly touched on the reasons why fall is often ideal for these kinds of projects, today’s part two will look at the specific sorts of projects that are often best carried out at this time of year, plus some basic tips on each of them.

fall ideal home remodel

Kitchen Remodels

There are several reasons why a kitchen remodel is often perfect for the fall period. Many trace back to areas we discussed in part one – many contractors have freer schedules, for one. For another, many kitchen remodeling jobs include some kind of painting or repainting needs, which are great at this time of year because of the improved way paint reacts with cooler temperatures.

In addition, there’s the holiday theme to consider. Whether you entertain guests or just have family gatherings around the holidays, much more cooking and entertainment time is common – and the kitchen is a big part of this. If you schedule kitchen remodeling now, during the fall period of the year, the kitchen will be finished and ready for any increased use or attention it gets during the early winter.

Bathroom Remodels

Down similar lines, if you’re planning to have guests in your home during the holidays or any period of the winter, getting that bathroom remodel you’ve been thinking about done now will go a long way. Bathrooms are some of the most common home locations used by guests, and you want them to be in great shape. Even if guests aren’t part of your plans, performing this task now instead of waiting until winter, when certain parts of the process will be much less convenient, is often prudent.

Window Themes

Finally, is your home dealing with older windows that struggle to prevent temperature loss? The fall is often the ideal time to replace them with modern windows providing better air themes. Getting this done before the winter, where such air loss risks could cost you hundreds a month in excess heating bills as your furnace struggles to keep up, often saves you huge sums and presents great return on investment.

For more on why fall is a great time for many home remodels, or to learn about our kitchen cabinets or other products, speak to the staff at Swirl Woodcraft today.

Why Fall Might be Ideal for Your Home Remodel, Part 1

fall ideal home remodel

Have you been putting off a home remodel such as a kitchen or bathroom remodel, waiting for the ideal time to perform it? In many cases, the fall season we’re just entering now is your best bet for when to pull the trigger.

At Swirl Woodcraft, we’re happy to assist with numerous home remodeling jobs with our custom woodworking products, from kitchen cabinets that serve as the foundation of many kitchen remodels to bathroom foundations to bathroom vanities that often do the same for bathroom remodel jobs. Why is fall often an ideal time for those who are considering certain home remodels, and which kinds of remodeling projects tend to be best carried out during this time of year? This two-part blog will look into both of these areas for those looking to nail the perfect timing.

fall ideal home remodel

Scheduling Themes

One of the first reasons the fall is great for many homeowners in need of a remodel: It’s not the most popular season for this sort of thing. Remodelers tend to be busiest during the spring and summer seasons that correspond to higher home sales, and while they aren’t just sitting on their hands doing nothing in the fall, schedules will often be lighter.

This means you will generally have a wider range of times and appointment dates you can schedule, a convenience for many busy homeowners. It also means that in many cases, contractors simply have more time to think about your project and attend to every detail.

Paint and Temperature

Many remodeling jobs throughout the home will require painting at some point, and this is another area where the fall time of year is often ideal. For one, paint reacts better to cooler temperatures than the peak heat of the summer, allowing it to dry and settle optimally.

For another, paint is just one of several possible elements in a remodel that may produce harmful fumes – others include dust, adhesives, sealants and various building materials. Fall, though, is a perfect time of year to open up several windows and circulate fresh air throughout the space for ventilation without worrying about major temperature loss and a resulting spike in your utility bill.

No Material Shortages

Finally, the slightly slower schedule for many contractors in the fall holds another major benefit: Lack of significant material shortages. While these aren’t exactly common among top manufacturers of various materials, they’re still technically possible, and are much more likely during the busy spring and summer season for various remodeling areas. For those who want to be sure they have strong selection available, waiting to source products until the busy season dies down can be a good move.

For more on why fall is often an ideal time for home remodels, or to learn about any of our kitchen cabinets or other custom woodworking projects, speak to the staff at Swirl Woodcraft today.

Measuring Kitchen Space for New Cabinets, Part 2

measuring kitchen new cabinets

In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some of the basic steps you should be taking while measuring and laying out your kitchen space ahead of new kitchen cabinet installation. Measuring for basic dimensions and other qualities of the remodel is vital, allowing you to purchase the proper materials and avoid any wasted purchases.

At Swirl Woodcraft, we’re proud to offer a wide range of kitchen cabinets, from traditional kitchen cabinet options to modern, rustic and many others. In today’s part two of our series, we’ll go over some additional tips for measuring a given room for new cabinets, in this case your kitchen, including all the final steps leading up to your eventual selection.

measuring kitchen new cabinets

Note Any Obstructions

We finished off with basic horizontal and vertical measurements at the end of part one, and the next major step in the process involves recording any significant obstructions present in the kitchen. When we talk about obstructions, we’re referring to things like pipes, radiators, vents or any other elements that absolutely cannot be moved within the space for any reason, even to install new cabinets.

These obstructions must be carefully labeled and noted. This will allow you to avoid them while planning for various cabinet and other installations.

Identify Appliances and Utilities

Down related but differing lines, you should also take the time to identify any large appliances, fixtures and even furniture pieces that you want to keep in the space once your new cabinets are installed. Some of these can be moved to new locations if needed.

You should also note major utilities present like water supplies, power sources, heating and air vents, outlets and light switches. Mark the location and center point of all permanent such features.

Assess Final Floor Plan

Once you’ve taken both the above steps, you should be finalizing your completed floor plan for the kitchen remodel and cabinet installation. Double-check all measurements to ensure they’re accurate.

From here, look into your basic needs and desires. Consider the storage space you require in the kitchen, plus the aesthetics and desired appliances you have in mind.

Make Your Cabinet Choice

Finally, it’s time to make your choice for cabinet size and material. This is a much easier choice once you’ve laid out the basic dimensions you have available and your layout, allowing you to narrow down your options significantly from the jump and avoid major hassle. Speak to our team if you’re interested in a certain style or color – we’ll be happy to point you in the right direction.

For more on measuring your kitchen space for new cabinets, or to learn about any of our kitchen cabinets or other custom woodworking products, speak to the staff at Swirl Woodcraft today.

Measuring Kitchen Space for New Cabinets, Part 1

measuring kitchen new cabinets

Within many kitchen remodeling projects, kitchen cabinets are the central piece involved in the remodel. They may not be the only element of the kitchen being changed up, of course, but given their size and the way they tend to define much of the rest of the space, cabinets are often one of the foundational pieces the rest of the remodel is built on.

At Swirl Woodcraft, we’re happy to provide a huge array of kitchen cabinets for all your remodeling needs, from modern kitchen cabinets to traditional and even rustic styles. One area we’ve assisted many clients with: Measuring their kitchen space for new cabinets and other elements of the remodel, which is a vital task to ensure you purchase the proper materials and sizes. This two-part blog series will go over several steps we’ll recommend when it comes to measuring a room for new cabinets.

measuring kitchen new cabinets

Gathering Supplies

First and foremost, gather the proper supplies for this project. They include:

  • A tape measure that spans your entire kitchen (at least 16 feet and usually up to 25 feet)
  • A pad of grid paper
  • A pencil or pen, plus another writing utensil in a different color (some use a highlighter)
  • A single person recording the measurements (others can help with the logistics, but the same person should take each reading)

Here are the steps we recommend following once you’ve collected your supplies.

Draw Floor Plan

Using your grid paper, sketch out your basic kitchen layout while marking things like doors, windows, outlets, light switches, utility lines and various vents. In many cases, homeowners first take photos of their kitchen to use as a reference for their sketch.

Know that for your first draft sketch, things do not have to be perfectly to scale. However, they should be relatively neat and easy to read, as this will serve as your guide moving forward.

Measure Horizontally

Once you have the basic floor plan in place, it’s time to begin your measurements to define the exact space. Always use total inches for your measurements in any area.

Begin from one adjoining corner of the wall and work clockwise, taking horizontal measurements of each wall at a 36-inch height. Measure from one edge of the wall to the other, skipping windows and other fixtures. Label each wall with its own number.

In addition to measuring the full wall lengths, also go back and record smaller segments, such as those confined by a window or any other fixture. Number these as well so you can refer back to them later.

Measure Vertically

Now it’s time to record vertical measurements, moving from the floor to the windowsill, then from the windowsill to the top of the window, then from the top of the window to the ceiling. From here, measure from floor directly to ceiling in at least three different spots – this is particularly vital for older homes where ceiling heights might vary.

For more on measuring your kitchen for new cabinets, or to learn about any of our kitchen cabinets, bathroom vanities or other products, speak to the staff at Swirl Woodcraft today.

Benefits of Custom Cabinets Over “Box” Options

benefits custom cabinets box

If you’re on the hunt for new kitchen cabinets, you’ll have several tiers of cabinets within which to look. Two distinctly opposite poles within this scale are box cabinets and custom cabinets – the former refers to cookie-cutter, often low-quality cabinets purchased in stock sizes and designs, while the latter involves full customization of the cabinet by the manufacturer.

At Swirl Woodcraft, we’re proud to be a longtime provider of high-quality custom cabinets that hold several distinct advantages over their box format counterparts. From modern kitchen cabinets to traditional and even rustic options, we’ll work with you on every little detail to provide you with the precise cabinet setup you desire from top to bottom. Here’s a primer on some of the issues with box cabinets and related products, plus why custom cabinets are the best choice for the vast majority of kitchen cabinet needs.

benefits custom cabinets box

Box Cabinets and Their Limitations

Box cabinets, so-named because they’re generally sold by big box stores, are wholly unremarkable and plain in several ways. They’re generally made from lower-grade materials than the high-quality woods we use for our custom cabinets, for one, and they’re made in standard size formats – they cannot be customized to fit a given space, only selected in their templates and worked with as best you can.

This leads to several issues, including space concerns and resulting storage problems. Many also find the quality simply isn’t acceptable, especially over a period of years once lower-quality materials begin to wear down. In addition, you usually have to build and install these cabinets yourself, rather than many of these areas being covered by woodworking professionals.

Semi-Customized Options

There are certain box stores that will allow for some upgrades to their box cabinets, such as size upgrades, improved wood quality or a higher-quality finish. Here’s the thing: It will cost you an arm and a leg to get these kinds of upgrades. These kinds of stores will throw in massive increases to your budget when you begin talking about these kinds of upgrades, including reaching cost levels where you might as well simply pay for custom cabinets, which offer far greater benefits.

Fully Custom Cabinets

If you care about things like long-term quality, proper space considerations and the needs of those using your kitchen cabinets, fully custom cabinets are the way to go. They allow you to maximize your space with cabinets that fit perfectly, plus blend in to whatever aesthetic you’ve designed your kitchen around. There will be enough space for all your required storage plus easy movement around the kitchen, and the space will look fantastic compared to clunky, out-of-place box cabinets.

For more on the issues with box cabinets and why you should generally go with custom kitchen cabinets, or to learn about these, our bathroom vanities or any of our other woodworking products, speak to the staff at Swirl Woodcraft today.

Understanding Wood Characteristics for New Cabinets

wood characteristics new cabinets

When it comes to cabinetry in your home, there are several reasons why wood is by far the most popular material used. There are numerous wood types generally found in home cabinets, all highly durable and easily customizable to a variety of characteristics.

At Swirl Woodcraft, we’re proud to offer only the finest custom wood cabinets and other woodworking items. Our cabinet selection ranges from classic traditional cabinet choices to modern and rustic options as well, plus numerous customization areas that bring you the exact design and practical uses you require for your new cabinets. What are some of the broad characteristics you should be considering in wood as you choose the optimal style for your home? Here’s a quick primer.

wood characteristics new cabinets

Wood Grain

An important factor to keep in mind while considering which wood to choose for your cabinets is the grain involved. Grain will vary widely between various species of wood – some are tight and close together, running in a parallel design that’s great for those who enjoy symmetry, while others are more varied in terms of their groupings and distances.

Be sure to look at a few different wood species to get an idea of their common grain patterns during your search. Taking the time to visualize some different options will help you understand whether you gravitate toward a consistent pattern or something a bit more varied.

Heartwood Vs. Sapwood

Another interesting area to consider, one that some buyers aren’t aware of at all, is the location of the wood from the tree that was used to create it. Wood closer to the surface (known as sapwood) will look very different from wood at the heart of the tree (heartwood). Be sure to ask about this factor and consider which pattern and characteristics you prefer.

Wood Color and Staining

When it comes to wood color for your cabinets, there are two parallel tracks to consider. The first is differences between various wood species in terms of color – woods like alder or maple are usually white or beige, while cherry or oak wood is generally orange or reddish and walnut comes with a rich chocolate aesthetic. These must be considered closely.

The second is the stain you choose for your wood cabinetry, which will have a major impact on the natural wood color. It’s important to note, however, that just because you plan to stain a given wood for your cabinet choice does not mean you shouldn’t consider the base species color – this will still be a very important factor for both the staining process and other elements.

For more on evaluating wood characteristics while choosing new cabinets, or to learn about any of our custom woodworking products, speak to the staff at Swirl Woodcraft today.

Increasing Space and Storage Through Cabinet Installation

space storage cabinet installation

There are numerous elements that may play a role in a kitchen remodel, and one of the most common is space. Every kitchen remodel is done with slightly differing space qualities and requirements, and those performing them must think carefully about spatial concerns when designing and completing these jobs.

At Swirl Woodcraft, we’re happy to offer a wide variety of custom kitchen cabinets, bathroom vanities and other woodworking products to help define space and storage considerations for several rooms and remodels in your home. Many homeowners are specifically looking to maximize their cabinet and related storage space during their remodel – here are a few specific products or add-ons we can recommend to assist you down these lines.

space storage cabinet installation

Floor-Level Cabinets

In many cases, homeowners planning out their kitchen remodel tend to focus on traditional cabinet placement. This is eye level or slightly below – many of our most commonly-used items will go in these cabinets, naturally, as they’re easiest to access.

However, maximizing your space during a remodel means also thinking about other height levels for their installation. One such theme is floor-level cabinets, which often fill space that isn’t being used for anything else – they can be placed both in traditional cabinet areas and on kitchen islands with ease. Floor-level cabinets are great for storing items or products you perhaps use less frequently, such as a crock pot or your family’s stock of bottled water. Particularly for individuals or families who use the kitchen to store several long-term items or themes, this is a great approach.

Above-Stove and Above-Fridge Themes

Down similar lines, look for ways to infuse cabinetry into higher areas of the kitchen that make practical sense. One common area utilized here is above the stove – these are usually shorter cabinets, meaning they’re often ideal for things like boxed foods and related items.

Another good option here is to utilize the space above the fridge. Many leave this area bare, but you can utilize it for uncommon item storage as long as at least one person in the home can reach that high.

Adjustable Shelving

Another great theme to consider if storage is a top priority while installing new cabinets is adjustable shelving, such as pullout shelves we offer on all our cabinets. Adjustable shelves come in several different formats, all of which help you arrange the space in intelligent ways to allow your valued items to be stored and retrieved easily. You might be shocked just how much additional storage space you can drum up by using adjustable shelves, helping the kitchen seem larger and also improving functionality.

For more on how to increase space and storage in your kitchen with proper cabinet installation themes, or to learn about any of our custom cabinetry or woodworking, speak to the staff at Swirl Woodcraft today.