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lisaintall 07-22-2011 05:42 PM

Sealing Shabby Chic so paint won't flake
I am sanding down some old kitchen cabinets in a guest house. The house is about sixty years old. When we were deciding what to do with them to spruce them up, we realized that the white paint was covering an older mint green color. We removed the top cabinets for an open shelving look. I sanded down the paint to create white, green and wood layering effect. I have used three grades of sand paper to get it very smooth, but I am still concerned about paint flaking off down the road. We love the look but I want to seal it well so the paint doesn't flake onto plates and food stuffs on the shelving. I don't want a shiny look. What does anyone recommend?

user1007 07-22-2011 06:00 PM

Two to three coats, waterbased, interior polyurethane.

First one high gloss bar and restaurant finish to give the cabinets some layer of chip resistance. Two to three layers of matte to add to that but to bring the gloss level down to what you want.

I would scratch the surface with fine cabinetmakers steel wool or matching synthetic since you have come this far before you apply anything. Tack cloth off again too.

Others will argue oil based poly or whatever. Waterbased will better seal in any lead paint issue you have. And it will hold up better in a kitchen. IMO.

This effect you achieved, somewhat by accident, sounds interesting. Can you post some pics?

lisaintall 07-22-2011 06:57 PM

Thank you for the advice-
I wondered about the lead paint so I am glad you addressed that issue as well. Here are the pictures. I tried to upload them but they were too big, so I added them to Flikr-Here is the link

jsheridan 07-22-2011 08:30 PM

Welcome Lisa, you did achieve a rather interesting look. I've seen similar before. I can see, even from a distance, that whoever put the coat of white on never sanded, it's still curling up from the heat of the sanding. I would say that two or three coats of standard satin poly would do the trick. I am at a loss as to oil or latex, given the instability of the white coat. Oil will dry harder. With respect, I question Sdsester's rec for bar gloss finish. I watched an experienced pro struggle with that stuff on a flat top, I would think twice about suggesting that to a DIY, for that particular application especially. As to the lead, whatever you put down will resolve that. I'd bet Sdsester's shirt that the white is latex, and the green looks sound. I wouldn't worry a bit. The sanding's done, that's where the worst of it occurs. Good Luck and have fun.

Brushjockey 07-22-2011 09:29 PM

I would def use a waterborne clear- an oil will yellow it and make it weird.
BM stays clear- is good.

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