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Responsibility for Pre-finish Prep-sanding (unofficial poll)

Guinea Member

Am working on a large kitchen that will be delivered unfinished -- a new circumstance for our shop -- the homebuilder is having his painter handle that aspect. Question: What should I reasonably be expected to do in the way of pre-finish prep-sanding? How far would you go in the same situation? Knock sharp edges off doors, drawer fronts, face frames, etc.? Take end grain to a finer grit to control stain absorption? None of the above? Oh -- I need to mention that all large surfaces have been sanded, pre-assembly, to a finish-ready stage. This is really about fine detail prep-sanding: Is it the cabinetmaker's job, or the painter's?

Many thanks for your input.

8/22/15       #2: Responsibility for Pre-finish Prep- ...
Robert Member

I would personally sand it as if it was going to be finished in my shop.Both the Homeowner and the Painter will appreciate it. If you bid the job as if you were going to do the finishing in house, you would have to do a proper sand job.

If the customer is expecting to pay you less because their own painter is doing the finishing work, I would still do a nice sanding job but deduct some monies off the total cost due to the finishing being performed by someone else. Just my opinion.

Whats say the other forum members?

Now, I'm going to get myself in trouble and say that some Cabinetmakers don't do as good a job raw sanding as a finisher would. Cabinetmakers like belt sanders and finishers like finish sanders. Cabinetmakers like 100 grit and finishers like something finer. Before flaming on me, remember I said "some " which don't mean all.

8/22/15       #3: Responsibility for Pre-finish Prep- ...
Edi Silva  Member


We do a lot kitchens that the painter hand brush on site, but we always send our kitchens out primed. But if you want ideas, definitely send out ready for paint. They may not do a good job fine sanding and blame you.

8/22/15       #4: Responsibility for Pre-finish Prep- ...

Minor mod on Roberts remarks.

Finishers sand more than cabinet makers and painters don't sand.

Sand it as if you were going to finish it. 150 grit if painted, 240 grit if stained.

8/22/15       #5: Responsibility for Pre-finish Prep- ...
Leo G

150 if stained, not 240 or even 120 if they are going dark.

If it's a painted cabinet then I'd have it go out primed, the on site painter will have to scuff.

It they don't want to pay for primed then sand to 150, break the edges like normal and send it out. Interiors would be prefinished if they were willing to pay the upcharge. And I would convince them it was worth it.

8/23/15       #6: Responsibility for Pre-finish Prep- ...

finish sanded and all edges eased.

8/23/15       #7: Responsibility for Pre-finish Prep- ...
Kris  Member


My finisher does all of our painting on site, except the double sided items which he picks up before install. We sand everything as if we were doing the finish. If we didn't sand, he wouldn't. You'd think a painter would say "boy this is a rough edge, I should probably sand that"... but they don't, they just make it white. But... he's going to be working in the shop full time in a month or so, so he'll learn the fine points of sanding EVERYTHING!

8/23/15       #8: Responsibility for Pre-finish Prep- ...
Karl E Brogger  Member


I sand everything like it's going to be finished in my shop, but I don't finish anything. Itl either sub it out or the builder takes care of it on site. Or a combination. I've been having the finisher I use finish interiors on painted things and the builder takes care of the painting on site.

8/24/15       #9: Responsibility for Pre-finish Prep- ...
Richard Goodman  Member


Finishers should only have to do a light sanding to remove any marks from the handling of the cabinetry from your shop to theirs.

8/24/15       #10: Responsibility for Pre-finish Prep- ...
D Brown

Completely agree with Richard .

8/24/15       #11: Responsibility for Pre-finish Prep- ...
Dropout Member

I am not a finisher and don't play one on TV.

I always make it clear that I will do my best, but that whoever finishes what I build must assume that I haven't done anything.

That way, nothing can ever come back on me.

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