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buckwillis 08-17-2008 08:11 PM

Painting kitchen cabinets
My cabinets are wood veneer over masonite. I removed the doors and sanded them a bit with 120 grit and then wiped them off and primed with oil base Kilz. The primer was difficult to apply in a thin coat. I ended up sanding the primer. They look Ok/ good (a lot of sanding though) but I would like some advice. Should I have thinned the primer some ??? I still have plenty more to do. I'm hoping the latex finish coat goes on smoother. What about the roller cover ?

Nestor_Kelebay 08-17-2008 10:58 PM

You should be aware that KILZ primer/sealer is an ORDINARY alkyd primer. The only reason it dries faster than an ordinary alkyd primer is because instead of using mineral spirits as the thinner, it uses a mixture of 60% naptha and 40 percent mineral spirits. Naptha is camping fuel, and it evaporates about 5 times as fast as mineral spirits (so that you can have a steady and strong flame on your camp stove).

You'd have been much better off to just use an ordinary alkyd primer. Thinning your KILZ will simply make it more like an ordinary alkyd primer by increasing the percentage of mineral spirits in it.

To provide good service on a working surface, such as a kitchen cupboard shelf, which will have heavy stacks of hard porcelain dishes slid over top and hard stainless steel pots slid over top of the paint, you need a paint that dries to a HARD film on your cupboard shelves to stand up well and stay looking good a long time.

Latex paints are simply too soft to provide good service on a working surface. You need at least an interior alkyd paint, and I'd suggest you use a paint that uses a binder consisting of both alkyd and polyurethane resins. Such paints are called "Melamine" paints, and the one I use in all of my 21 sets of kitchen cabinets is Benjamin Moore "Melamine" in the 303-90 tint base. It's a tintable white polyurethane modified interior alkyd paint (which is just a fancy way of saying it's an interior alkyd mixed with polyurethane "varnish" to make it dry to a harder film).

Now, you could use a polyurethane floor paint for an even harder film, but these generally only come in premixed colours (for faster drying) like light grey, dark grey and blue. You're not likely to find a tintable white alkyd based polyurethane paint, but if you can find one, I'd use it instead of the Melamine I recommended.

You use alkyd based polyurethane paints just like alkyd paints, and they clean up with paint thinner just the same, too.

1houseforus 08-18-2008 12:05 AM

This is my first post. Glad to be here. I have yucky veneer cabinets I want to paint so I did a little research. There are a couple of options for painting your cabinets yourself. One option is to use Majic's Diamondhard Acrylic Enamel paint, This paint does not require any sanding or priming. It is an extremely durable and will give you a beautiful finished product, as long as you apply it properly. Follow these easy steps:

1. Remove all the doors and drawers (if possible) and all the old hardware. Fill any holes, if necessary, with wood putty (following wood putty manufacturer's instructions).
2. Thoroughly clean the cabinets. Majic recommends using a low-sudsing detergent and water (use 1 part detergent to 3 parts water). Rinse thoroughly. Allow to dry completely. If you need to use bleach to clean your cabinets, allow them to dry for at least 48 hours before painting.
3. Using painter's tape, tape around the frames of the cabinets, floor and any other areas where you will be applying the paint.
4. Spread plastic drop cloths on the surface where you'll be painting the doors. If you are using a large table, make sure you raise the doors off the plastic. (If you lay the doors directly on the plastic, they will stick to it.) I like to use old paint cans or even soup cans to raise them up -- that way you can paint all the sides and edges properly.
5. Paint with a good-quality nylon brush or premium short nap (3/16- or 1/4-inch) roller. Make sure you don't overbrush and try to brush in one direction.
6. You need to allow 24 to 48 hours of curing time before applying a second coat and two to three weeks before you put the doors back up. The longer the paint cures, the harder the finish becomes.

sirwired 08-18-2008 12:44 AM

An "Enamel Undercoater" would have been less work, but the Kilz oil-base you have on there now will do just fine.

However, I will disagree with Nestor here and state that you can use water-base paint on cabinets. No, you cannot use ordinary wall paint, but with a properly primed surface, a Waterbourne Enamel such as Sherwin's ProClassic or Ben Moore's Impervo can do just fine, without all the oil-base hassle. They dry to a finish that feels just as hard and tough as their oil-base cousins, given a few days to cure before hard use. (They can be re-coated in four hours though.)

These also have the advantage of resisiting yellowing when not exposed to sunlight better than Alkyd-base.


DIYUserCS 08-22-2008 05:04 AM

Painting kitchen cabinets
New to this forum and have a question. I have a 50 yr old house with old kitchen cabinets. Looks like they've been painted with semigloss oilbased paint -- at least, they're semigloss now since they've been scrubbed a lot.
Went to the local paint store and bought their brand Farrell Calhoun semi gloss alkyd interior oil enamel and went to another store and bought Glidden interior/exterior Gripper white primer/sealer.

My questions:

Will this be good enough to give me the adhesion and the hard coat needed for cabinet doors?

With oil based paint, do I even need to use a primer?

Is it necessary to strip the paint to the wood, prime and then paint?

Would I best search for something called melamine paint as suggested in another forum?

How long does it take oil based paint to really set up and harden? 3 weeks?


sirwired 08-22-2008 11:03 AM

I do not think you really need to prime if you are using oil over oil. Just scuff-sand, thoroughly clean (probably with TSP), rinse, and you should be ready to go.


Nestor_Kelebay 08-22-2008 12:58 PM

I would clean your existing oil based paint using a TSP and doing it with a Green 3M Scotchbrite pad (or no-name equivalent) like they sell in stores for scrubbing pots. That will both roughen the surface (cuz of the abrasives in the plastic scouring pad, and any etching you can get from the TSP.

I agree with SirWired that if you roughen the surface of your semi-gloss oil, you wouldn't need to prime. If you choose to prime anyway, make sure it's an interior alkyd primer. It's a real bad idea to paint over oil with a latex primer and then top coat with another oil on a working surface like a shelf. Not only do you run the risk of the latex primer not sticking well to the oil, but then you have a weak layer under a hard layer, and the hard top layer will be prone to "chipping", both because of the latex primer letting go of the underlying oil, and because of the latex primer breaking because it's much weaker than the oil.

Allison1888 08-23-2008 08:42 AM

Great info on these posts -- I'll save for future reference!

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