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Old 08-04-2011, 10:27 PM   #1
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Help with painting kitchen cabinets


I need some advice on repainting kitchen cabinets. I have done the the research and I know that I'm supposed to clean, sand, prime, and then paint the cabinets. However, the house we are renting was built in the late 40s and I'm sure the cabinets are original. Because of when they were made, I'm also pretty sure there is lead paint on the first layer. More recently they were repainted with an awful faux finish that looks like dirt has been smeared all over them. My problem is that I have three small children in the house ranging from 2 to 8. I take pride in doing a good job on things but I'm really nervous about sanding the cabinet frames in a house full of kids (the cabinet doors I'd do outside).

Based on who the owners send over to the house to do repairs and due to the fact that they seem to do most things on the very cheep, I can't image that the doors were sanded when the faux finish was applied. I don't even think that the doors were removed. They look pretty good still--no peeling or bubbles. There is some chipping on the bottom corners but it's minimal. We have been here a year.

So the question is, if I don't sand and just do a really good cleaning job, how long should the paint last?

Thanks for your help

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Old 08-05-2011, 12:19 AM   #2
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Help with painting kitchen cabinets


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Originally Posted by Alexart88 View Post
I need some advice on repainting kitchen cabinets. I have done the the research and I know that I'm supposed to clean, sand, prime, and then paint the cabinets. However, the house we are renting was built in the late 40s and I'm sure the cabinets are original. Because of when they were made, I'm also pretty sure there is lead paint on the first layer. More recently they were repainted with an awful faux finish that looks like dirt has been smeared all over them. My problem is that I have three small children in the house ranging from 2 to 8. I take pride in doing a good job on things but I'm really nervous about sanding the cabinet frames in a house full of kids (the cabinet doors I'd do outside).

Based on who the owners send over to the house to do repairs and due to the fact that they seem to do most things on the very cheep, I can't image that the doors were sanded when the faux finish was applied. I don't even think that the doors were removed. They look pretty good still--no peeling or bubbles. There is some chipping on the bottom corners but it's minimal. We have been here a year.

So the question is, if I don't sand and just do a really good cleaning job, how long should the paint last?

Thanks for your help
Hi Alex - Gather you are renting? Cheap or not, the owner is responsible for sending people trained in lead abatement. The doors can be removed and handled in another location though and I doubt the faceframes would add up to the 6 sq ft that the EPA says must be exceeded before precautions are taken. If it were me, in my house, I would build new doors and faceframes, clean and seal the the box sides with BIN and paint.

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Old 08-05-2011, 04:56 AM   #3
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Help with painting kitchen cabinets


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Hi Alex - Gather you are renting? Cheap or not, the owner is responsible for sending people trained in lead abatement. The doors can be removed and handled in another location though and I doubt the faceframes would add up to the 6 sq ft that the EPA says must be exceeded before precautions are taken. If it were me, in my house, I would build new doors and faceframes, clean and seal the the box sides with BIN and paint.

Even if it is, you do not need to get back to bare wood. Scruff sand the faux crap and do as above, no need to sand it down to the lead paint( if it is even there)
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Old 08-05-2011, 07:58 AM   #4
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Help with painting kitchen cabinets


Hi Alex, welcome to the forum. First thing to do, take a breath. Your project is not going to create a lead hazard, or at least doesn't need to become one. Any lead that may be on there is buried under layers of paint, a situation that even the EPA states is not a health risk. All you need to do to be effective with the sanding is scratch the top coat lightly. Take some 150 grit paper and just run it lightly over the entire surface. If the surface is not too greasy, you can clean after the sanding to clean and remove the little sanding dust. Get some TSP and use the mildest solution recommended, and be sure to rinse well. Use a quality latex bonding primer and you'll be ready for the finish of your choice.
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