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Old 03-07-2013, 04:43 PM   #1
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New paint coming off cabinets


I am new to this forum and would greatly appreciate some advice.

I recently painted the builder-grade oak cabinets in our guest bath. I lightly sanded, then applied zinsser cover stain primer.

Next I applied two coats of Valspar semi-gloss latex in a dark chocolate milk color. They came out beautifully.

Only problem is that although it's 5 days later and they are no longer tacky, the paint rubs off if barely bumped. I gently rubbed my thumb across it today and paint came with it.

It is not rubbing off down to the oak. Instead, the paint is coming off leaving the primer still intact. I know latex takes a while to cure (had I known that before the project, I would have considered an oil-based paint but what's done is done). My question is what do I do now?

It's not convenient to avoid using the bathroom for the next 6 weeks to see if the paint simply needs to cure. Do I apply a polyurethane? If so, would a spray poly work, or do I need to brush it on? And if this is a curing issue, would it be detrimental to apply a poly before the paint has fully cured? Thanks for the advice in advance!

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Old 03-07-2013, 04:53 PM   #2
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New paint coming off cabinets


Chloe, If the dark-chocolate color was a custom-tinted and not a factory standard color, it will be a slightly weaker film during the dry/cure cycle. The more liquid colorant that is put into an ultra-deep base, the more the paint behaves like colorant and less like paint. Some stores are guilty of being more concerned about the color and less concerned about the paint, exceeding the manufacturer's recommended colorant limit.

Allow for a longer cure time, maybe 4 to 6 weeks. If the problem persists, then take your paint and receipt back to the store and have them resolve the issue. Let us know how it turns out.

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Old 03-07-2013, 08:20 PM   #3
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Chloe, MR. Paint is on the money. Adhesion is part of the curing process and dark colors generally take longer to cure.You don't say what line of Valspar you used( there are at least three grades that I know of) but hopefully you used one of the top end paints.Give it time and you should be ok.It can take up 30 days to cure maybe a little longer.
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Old 03-07-2013, 08:39 PM   #4
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New paint coming off cabinets


So if it is a curing issue, should we avoid the bathroom all together, or would it work to cover the painted surfaces with brown paper (like what you would use to tape off windows, etc when painting w/ a sprayer) to protect dings/scratches and then gently use the bathroom? I'm assuming that using the shower is not a good idea b/c it would add humidity to the room. But having access to the comode and sink would be nice. Thanks for the input.
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Old 03-07-2013, 10:03 PM   #5
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I don't think you need to stop using the bathroom, but you do need to stop rubbing the paint off, and just be careful around the vanity. Maybe sit a box fan in the bath to keep air flowing.
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Old 03-08-2013, 08:01 AM   #6
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New paint coming off cabinets


I know I have a customer who uses higher end Valspar paint (he does some of his own painting) and he has had this very problem especially with "Browns". In his case, the paint has been on a hallway for two years. If you rub up against it, the paint actually burnishes (for lack of a better term) and leaves white chalk marks. It's not a stark white chalkiness but it's enough that you notice the marks........has to be something going on with the brown colorants used for Valspar paint?
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Old 03-08-2013, 11:04 AM   #7
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New paint coming off cabinets


It is important to keep the paint exposed to air; do not cover it up - do as jsheridan suggests and keep a fan in use to move the air, especially if the bath has poor ventillation.
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Old 03-08-2013, 12:45 PM   #8
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I know lots of people prefer SW or BM over big box store paints. Before we knew that, we used valspar throughout the house, in different shades of a chocolate milk color, and this is the first time we've encountered such an issue, granted this is the darkest shade we've done. The maroon we used was a bit more difficult to work with, but i expected that, it being a red and it did eventually cure. Anyway, thanks to everyone for weighing in. I appreciate it!
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Old 03-08-2013, 01:32 PM   #9
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Oak cabinets, builder grade, probably came with poly on them. Poly is hard to sand, meaning it is hard when it's set up, my thought is a light sanding may not have been enough to really get a good scratch pattern. One question when you say it is peeling off, is it just the paint that's coming off or is the primer coming off too?
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Old 03-08-2013, 03:02 PM   #10
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Just the paint is coming off. The primer remains intact.
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Old 03-08-2013, 05:54 PM   #11
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then it is certainly a problem with the paint not a bonding problem with the wood. I agree on the 30 day cure thing, but it seems like after 2 weeks it should be adhered better than what you are saying. As someone suggested maybe they are having problems with this color mix. And since it's Valspar I'm assuming it came from Lowe's. It's possible when you got it someone was filling in for the paint guy and really got something wrong. Sorry just reread post I see it's only been a few days Don't know where I got 2 weeks.
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Old 03-08-2013, 10:00 PM   #12
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New paint coming off cabinets


When you sanded before priming, did you remove ALL the wood dust?
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Old 03-09-2013, 09:56 AM   #13
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Out of curiosity, did you use a percarbonate woode cleaner after you had sanded down the cabinets and thoroughly cleaned it to get rid of all chemicals?

Sometimes, when the wood is treated and you clean it, overtime residues can resurface and weaken the new paint job.
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Old 03-10-2013, 06:42 PM   #14
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No wood cleaner. Seems like if it was a dust or residue issue, the primer wouldn't be sticking, doesn't it?
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Old 03-10-2013, 08:16 PM   #15
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New paint coming off cabinets


Yup. If the primer is doing it's job, seems like the paint isn't doing it's job. Points to the quality of the paint.

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