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Old 11-06-2015, 10:39 AM   #1
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Painting Kitchen Cabinets


We have a new(er) home and it came with dark kitchen cabinets and a dark wood floor ... a combination that my wife hates. She is wanting to paint the cabinetry white. I don't know much about painting, but I'm certain it's not as easy as she thinks it will be. I don't want to replace the cabinets in a new home, but if you have any tips/suggestions I would appreciate them. I have attached a couple pictures so you can get an idea of the cabinet material. Thanks!
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Old 11-06-2015, 12:41 PM   #2
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Degrease the cabinets thoroughly. I did mine with a TSP-free cleaner. After degreasing, scuff sand them with 180 grit paper. Clean again. I used BIN primer on mine first, then 2 top-coats of Cabinet Coat paint (owned by Rustoleum now I think). You'll want a paint that won't stick when you close the drawers / doors (called blocking). Regular latex will have your doors sticking to the frames. If you want to go the extra mile, you could consider a coat of clear polyurethane over your paint. I didn't do this with mine.
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Old 11-06-2015, 02:56 PM   #3
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If you'll do a search, there are several threads here on this subject. A few more pics would also be helpful. There are several ways to approach this depending on your skill level and desired results.
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Old 11-06-2015, 08:22 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wetech View Post
Degrease the cabinets thoroughly. I did mine with a TSP-free cleaner. After degreasing, scuff sand them with 180 grit paper. Clean again. I used BIN primer on mine first, then 2 top-coats of Cabinet Coat paint (owned by Rustoleum now I think). You'll want a paint that won't stick when you close the drawers / doors (called blocking). Regular latex will have your doors sticking to the frames. If you want to go the extra mile, you could consider a coat of clear polyurethane over your paint. I didn't do this with mine.
Lots of stuff in this post that needs to be explained to kill some popular misconceptions:

1. TSP was commonly used to clean walls painted with linseed oil based paints up until the mid-1980's when linseed oil based paints were replaced with alkyd paints. TSP is not a good "degreaser". Any general purpose detergent like Mr. Clean or Fantastik will clean and remove oils and cooking grease much better than TSP. The reason TSP was used to clean walls prior to repainting them was SOLELY because TSP etched the gloss of linseed oil based paint. That was important as etching the surface makes it rougher so that there's more surface area for the new paint to stick to, so cleaning with TSP would increase the apparent adhesion of the next coat of paint. Similarily, TSP will also dull the gloss of Tung oil based varnishes, which are real varnishes as opposed to polyurethane "varnish".

TSP doesn't dull the gloss of any other kind of paint. It doesn't dull the gloss of alkyd paints or alkyd based polyurethane coatings, such as polyurethane hardwood floor finishes. So, unless you have a drying oil coating that you're wanting to paint or varnish over, such as a linseed oil based paint or Tung oil based varnish, you're better off to use a decent detergent to clean the wall or surface prior to painting than to use a solution of TSP in water, which on anything except a drying oil based coating, won't do squat. By using a decent detergent, you at least get a clean surface to paint over for all the work you're doing. TSP won't give you that unless you're using it on a drying oil coating.

TSP is probably the most misunderstood product in the entire home center.

2. Latex paint is a slurry of solids suspended in a liquid. In Britain, latex paint is called "emulsion", but that term is just as misleading as the term "latex" we use in North America. Both are incorrect. Latex paint is a slurry and there's absolutely no rubber tree sap in it.

The solids are tiny plastic spheres called "resins", tiny coloured particles called "pigments" and huge rocks almost large enough to see with the naked eye called "extender pigments". The resins form a continuous plastic film in which the coloured pigments and extender pigments are suspended very much like raisins in raisin bread. The coloured pigments give the paint it's colour and the extender pigments determine the gloss level the paint dries to. Flat paints have more extender pigments and those pigments are more coarsely ground.

The liquid in latex paint is a mixture of water and a water soluble alcohol called a "coalescing solvent". A chemical made by the Eastman Chemical company called Texanol is a very popular coalescing solvent used in many latex paints. The coalescing solvent's job is to dissolve into the tiny plastic resins an make them soft and sticky.

When you spread latex paint on a surface, the first thing that happens is that the water evaporates. The result is that the plastic resins find themselves immersed in the coalescing solvent at an ever increasing concentration. As the water continues to evaporate, the coalescing solvent dissolves into the plastic resins, kinda, making them soft and sticky. The same forces of surface tension and capillary pressure that make tiny water droplets coalesce into large rain drops then take over and cause each soft sticky plastic resin particle to stick to and pull on each of it's neighbors, thereby resulting in a soft sticky continuous film of plastic on the wall with the coloured pigments and extender pigments suspended in that film very much like the raisins in raisin bread.

Then, over the next couple of days, the coalescing solvent evaporates from the paint film with the result that the rooms is filled with that "freshly painted smell". As the coalescing solvent evaporates from the paint, the plastic that the resins were made of hardens up again to the same hardness the plastic was when it consisted of tiny plastic spheres.

There is a commonly third liquid in the slurry, and that is the glycerine that's added when the paint is tinted at the point of sale. They used glycerine as the carrier fluid for the tinting colourants because glycerine is equally soluble in both water and mineral spirits so the same colourants can be used in the same tinting machine to tint both latex paints and alkyd paints and primers, or every primer or paint a hardware store might sell. The glycerine added when tinting the paint is the slowest to evaporate from the paint film, often taking up to a whole month (on an exterior wall in winter) to evaporate completely. You can ruin a latex paint by over tinting it because the too much glycerine added when tinting would reduce the concentration of the coalescing solvent during the first few critical hours of film formation, preventing the plastic resins from getting as soft and sticky as they need to be for proper film formation.

NOW, in North America, the tiny plastic spheres that form the plastic film called "paint" are made of either one of two different kinds of plastic. All exterior latex paints and all good quality interior latex paints will have plastic resins made of the same plastic that Plexiglas is made of, or a plastic called "polymethyl methacrylate", or PMMA for short. These paints will typically be referred to as "acrylic" paints, and some people presume there's a difference between acrylic paints and latex paints. In reality, and as previously stated, all exterior latex paints and all good quality interior latex paints are acrylic because the plastic resins in them are made of the same plastic that Plexiglas is made of. In the paint business, paint resins made of PMMA are referred to as "100% Acrylic", which in itself creates all kinds of other misconceptions as people presume that less expensive paints will only be 75% acrylic. Paint companies will never mix Acrylic resins with paint resins made of a different plastic because the coalescing solvents needed to work best with each plastic are different, and so you get best results when using only one kind of plastic in each kind of paint.

General purpose primers and "budget priced" interior latex paints with have plastic resins in them made of the same plastic that white wood glue is made of, or polyvinyl acetate, or PVA for short. In paint-speak, paint or primer resins made of PVA plastic are referred to as "Vinyl Acrylic", or "vinyl acrylic copolymers" meaning that there's more than one kind of PVA monomer in the PVA plastic resin.

IT IS ONLY PVA PLASTIC RESINS THAT HAVE PROBLEMS WITH POOR BLOCKING RESISTANCE. And, that's simply because it's hard to engineer the great adhesive properties out of a plastic that makes for such a great wood glue. So, if your painted cabinet doors stick to your painted cabinet frames, it's because the paint you used was made with PVA plastic resins. You either used a "budget priced" latex paint or you used a general purpose PVA primer and never top coated it with any acrylic paint. Acrylic paints generally have excellent blocking resistance, which means that they don't remain slightly sticky evene when they're fully dry, which is what "blocking" in paint-speak means

There is a third kind of plastic that primer and paint resin

Hope this helps.
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Last edited by Nestor_Kelebay; 11-06-2015 at 08:40 PM.
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Old 11-07-2015, 06:55 AM   #5
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Maybe just me but the pic looks like particle board. If it is then it is probably a contact paper type cover. If it is it won't take much sanding and is easy to sand thru. And to put poly over the paint is not a good idea, if they ever need touched up the poly will make it almost impossible to match.
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Old 11-07-2015, 12:54 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ToolSeeker View Post
Maybe just me but the pic looks like particle board. If it is then it is probably a contact paper type cover. If it is it won't take much sanding and is easy to sand thru. And to put poly over the paint is not a good idea, if they ever need touched up the poly will make it almost impossible to match.
Yes, the visible edge does look like particle board, but it could just as likely be clad with plastic laminate. You can't tell from the picture.
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Last edited by Nestor_Kelebay; 11-07-2015 at 01:00 PM.
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