Chicago Homeowner Paints Kitchen Cabinets for Fresh New Look

Steven Jack
Written by Steven Jack
Updated November 15, 2014
Susan Kalell of Chicago had her cabinets painted a bright white after two years of thinking she would have to live with the dark stained look. (Photo courtesy of Susan Kalell)

Susan Kalell lived with her stained-wood kitchen cabinets for two years before discovering a bright factory finish could be achieved with some primer and paint.

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When Susan Kalell moved into her Chicago home two years ago, she knew the stained wood kitchen cabinets had to go. 

But ripping out and replacing the high-quality cabinets didn’t seem right from an ecological or financial standpoint.

“I have always preferred painted cabinets over stained wood," she says. "I thought my only option would be to either reface or completely replace the cabinets and that didn't seem like the right thing to do from an environmental standpoint. I couldn't imagine throwing away these perfectly good cabinets that were in near-perfect shape. Plus, I knew it would cost $15,000 to $20,000 to completely replace them.”

RELATED: Get a New Look by Refacing and Reglazing Kitchen Cabinets

This is Susan Kalell's kitchen before she had her cabinets painted white. (Photo courtesy of Susan Kalell)

A factory finish

So, Kalell figured she’d just have to live with the cabinets the way they were. Nearly two years went by before she realized that having the cabinets professionally painted might be the perfect solution she thought didn’t exist. 

“I wasn't sure it was even possible, because I wanted a factory finish, and I didn't know if that was an option on existing cabinets,” she says. “I did a little research on Angi and other websites and soon found out that it was not only possible, I saw that the results looked great.”

Lookswell Painting in Chicago was the only company Kalell contacted who wanted to come to her home before giving her an estimate to paint her stained-wood cabinets. (Photo courtesy of Susan Kalell)

Finding the right company

Kalell turned to Angi again when searching for the right Chicago painting company to handle the job. She said she called a few for estimates, but highly rated Lookswell Painting was the only company willing to come to her home to bid the job. Many other companies wanted Kalell to send them photos to provide an estimate. 

“I appreciated the more personal approach. We set up a time, they came out on a Friday and by Monday afternoon, they had sent me a very competitive quote,” she says in her Angi review.

According to their website, Lookswell Painting has been in business since 1963. The company has earned the Angi Super Service Award for the past five years. 

Kalell says she never thought she would be able to achieve that factory finish she wanted for her kitchen cabinets. (Photo courtesy of Susan Kalell)

Completing the job

For Kalell’s kitchen cabinets, she says Lookswell showed her three different shades of white painted on the cabinets for her to choose from. 

After selecting the final color, a painter arrived on time and carefully covered her wood floors, taped around the cabinets and removed the doors before priming and painting the frames. The cabinet doors were taken to the Lookswell shop to complete, Kalell says.

In all, the job took about a week and cost Kalell about $2,200. 

“I can't tell you how happy I am with how my cabinets look,” she says. “It's like I have a whole new kitchen. People think I have all new cabinets.”

With the factory finish Kalell was searching achieved, she says she has considered the same painting process for the cabinets in her bathroom.

Are you considering a kitchen remodel? Check out our guide to kitchen cabinets.

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