Kuo: There are only two types of finishers in the state of California. One is licensed with a permitted spray booth who can get lacquer/varnish, while the other is not and can only get "off the shelf" items. The first one charges around $2,000+ to refinish a kitchen, while latter charges $800+. But the results are night and day.
If you can afford it, get it professionally done from a licensed finisher with a permitted spray booth. In California, they will not sell the high-quality chemicals to a shop that does not have a permitted spray booth. It is always safer to consult a designer with color schemes.
Kuo: 2-4 weeks. Cost varies; it's $75 and up per cabinet box for prefabricated.
Kuo: Some designers are available on an hourly rate if you just want to put some colors together. You can also re-finish your kitchen cabinets yourself and save a few bucks.
Today there are many online resources to help you refinish your own cabinets. There are also workshops year round in your neighborhood teaching you how to refinish your cabinets. You can try the back side of a draw front to see if you have the patience and skill to perform this before you fully commit to refinishing the entire kitchen.
Kuo: Make sure to look up their contractor's license number to see if it has been continuously active for 5+ years. Call references from their previous projects; you must like their portfolio, see one of their projects in person. Make sure you have a thorough written contract, and that your deposit is not heavy upfront.
[Pursuant to California law, the deposit cannot be more than (1) $1,000 or (2) 10 percent of the total contract price, whichever is less.]
Kuo: The most important step of any remodel is the drawing. This is the most overlooked step, and those who do not have one or use a poor one, almost always end up with a disaster "train wreck" experience. You want all your intelligent decisions to be made in the drawing process -- it's the only effective tool to get accurate bids for all parts of your remodel. It keeps everyone on the project communicating on the same page.
Hire a reputable and experienced person to create this drawing. This can be performed by a designer (usually an interior designer), and we also offer several design/drawing packages.