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Old 06-24-2016, 03:14 PM   #1
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Repainting kitchen cabinets


We recently purchased a 60s house with original cabinetry.

The cabinets are in great physical shape, plain and boxy like a true mid-century modern kitchen, but they were painted multiple times.

There are layers of older paint. The previous owner used what appears to be those Rustoleum painting kits in jet black. There's a hard sheen on them on top of the black that isn't in hard to reach places. So there's a clear glossy layer on top.

The paint job is poor, maybe from lack of prep or using the wrong roller. It has the texture of an orange skin, bumpy and thick.

How do I get rid of this? I'd rather avoid stripping if I can. Would sanding them down to a flat surface and again with 220 be enough to repaint a smooth finish? If so I can probably get the boxes done in a day and the doors one at a time outside while the kids nap.
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Old 06-24-2016, 05:28 PM   #2
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Re: Repainting kitchen cabinets


You can try sanding, but it's going to be a grueling, time-consuming process and even with all that work, you may still be unable to get them smooth enough to avoid the "orange peel" look you now have. This is one time you may have to strip them all down.
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Old 06-24-2016, 06:24 PM   #3
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Re: Repainting kitchen cabinets


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Originally Posted by aoliaak View Post
...Would sanding them down to a flat surface and again with 220 be enough to repaint a smooth finish? If so I can probably get the boxes done in a day and the doors one at a time outside while the kids nap.
First of all, when you are trying to grind away material (old paint) use a low grit of sandpaper (40 or 80) and then move to the 220 as the final sand. The old paint will rapidly clog 220 sandpaper.

There is no quick way to do this project. It would be quicker to use a heat gun on the boxes and strip them. You can also try Citris Strip and cover the paste with freezer paper to keep it damp and working, possibly over night.

When you do repaint be sure to prime and use a good oil paint. Use those foam cabinet rollers and disposable foam brushes for cutting in.
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Old 06-24-2016, 11:07 PM   #4
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Re: Repainting kitchen cabinets


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First of all, when you are trying to grind away material (old paint) use a low grit of sandpaper (40 or 80) and then move to the 220 as the final sand. The old paint will rapidly clog 220 sandpaper.

There is no quick way to do this project. It would be quicker to use a heat gun on the boxes and strip them. You can also try Citris Strip and cover the paste with freezer paper to keep it damp and working, possibly over night.

When you do repaint be sure to prime and use a good oil paint. Use those foam cabinet rollers and disposable foam brushes for cutting in.
Yes, that's what I meant when I said "Would sanding them down to a flat surface and again with 220 be enough to repaint a smooth finish?".

I'm looking into this dipping strip method as I could easily outsource that.

Mostly concerned about my own time... if I strip the cabinets and see their natural beauty in wood, I'll want to stain them, which leads to a hell of a lot more work than just sanding until smooth, priming and repainting.
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Old 06-25-2016, 03:06 AM   #5
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Re: Repainting kitchen cabinets


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Originally Posted by aoliaak View Post
Yes, that's what I meant when I said "Would sanding them down to a flat surface and again with 220 be enough to repaint a smooth finish?".

I'm looking into this dipping strip method as I could easily outsource that.

Mostly concerned about my own time... if I strip the cabinets and see their natural beauty in wood, I'll want to stain them, which leads to a hell of a lot more work than just sanding until smooth, priming and repainting.
It is most likely that you are never going to be able to stain them and make them look good. The paint has most likely worked it's way down into the fibers too far
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Old 06-25-2016, 12:31 PM   #6
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Re: Repainting kitchen cabinets


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It is most likely that you are never going to be able to stain them and make them look good. The paint has most likely worked it's way down into the fibers too far
You're probably right.

Once they're workable, what products do you suggest I use to get a good quality, uniform top coat?

And how do you guys feel about the dip stripping?
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Old 06-25-2016, 01:45 PM   #7
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Re: Repainting kitchen cabinets


I've not used it, but many pros rave about PPG's Breakthrough.
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Old 06-25-2016, 06:12 PM   #8
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Re: Repainting kitchen cabinets


[QUOTE=aoliaak;3391674]You're probably right.

Once they're workable, what products do you suggest I use to get a good quality, uniform top coat?

And how do you guys feel about the dip stripping?[/QUOTE]

I cannot answer that one but I have had good luck with Ben Moore,Fresh Start primer and Satin Impervo waterborne paint for cabinets. ( my own included)
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Old 06-27-2016, 02:12 AM   #9
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Re: Repainting kitchen cabinets


Twenty plus years ago I had an old house with lots of heavily painted trim. I did take down some of it to have it professionally dipped. It did come out well but it really raises the grain, sort of like it was sanded with 40 grit sandpaper. So lots of sanding still. And it was expensive! I really favored the heat gun but of course I was probably breathing lead fumes so it might not be ideal. The idea others have seems to be to sand it smooth and use the product mentioned above. I've used Benj Moore Impervo in a bath and it's great stuff. You don't have to get all the paint off to get a great finish. IMO 220 will probably give you a good finish.
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