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Thread: Painting Kitchen Cabinets

  1. #1

    Painting Kitchen Cabinets

    My daughter wants to paint the dark kitchen cabinets. I know she needs to scrub the cabinets to remove any traces of grease and sand them, but what primer and finish paint should she use? One site she found said to use an oil-based primer, but then latex semi-gloss paint. Does this work? I thought you couldn't mix oil and latex based paint.
    Lee Schierer
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  2. #2
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    Kitchen cabinets should have a hard (gloss) finish

    I just finished a similar repaint - the cabinets were structurally sound, and I didn't want more waste heading to the landfill.

    Cleaning with Simple green and a stiff bristle (not wire) brush was sufficient to get them clean.

    It was surprising, how much of the garage these occupied while drying between steps.

    I use Benny Moore products, just to be consistent.
    Their Fresh Start Alkyd primer is expensive, but it covers well and levels easily.

    We used Ultra Spec as a top coat, as this was the hardest finish available.

    All surfaces were painted by brush.

  3. #3
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    A gallon of Bennie's Fresh Start Primer will dry in two days if you add a quart of this:
    6d694361-8067-4a88-a229-8be804fc2f0a_300.jpg
    Otherwise you'll have to wait a month to sand.

  4. #4
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    Don't let my wife do it!!!! I warned her that the surfaces had to be sanded as the already painted surface we knew nothing about. She refused as that was too much work, and wiped them with liquid sander. Didn't take long before the paint, mostly where you touch it to open doors and drawers, was coming off. Now, 6 years later, the paint in those places you touch, is gummy. The paint for us was a temporary fix to some ugly cabinets that are not well made. One of these days (years?) I'll get new cabinets made. First I have to get her to sit down and talk design. I think I've got the style finally nailed down. That only took 5 years....and is still subject to change. Jim.
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  5. #5
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    Zinsser's BIN primer is the one I have used and I've seen lots of pro's using it for re-paint jobs. It's shellac based so dries very quickly and will stick to anything and either oil based or waterborne finishes will adhere well.

    For a final finish, use an oil based enamel. Oil based is much more durable than waterborne in kitchen applications. The high moisture, greasy air, greasy hands and frequent cleaning with household chemicals will fairly quickly damage waterborne finishes.
    Howie.........

  6. #6
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    BIN makes a great primer. For a lot of reasons I'd use waterbased paint for the topcoat, such as Sherwin Williams Pro Classic acrylic. (Benjamin Moore, ML Campbell, and others also make high quality acrylic paints.)
    It's easy to use, easy to clean up, dries quickly, and won't stink up the house. It's more than durable enough for kitchen cabinets.

  7. #7
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    I have the best advice....... Hire a professional painter.......
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  8. #8
    Don't use latex. 2 years ago I painted out cabinets with latex (I was younger and stupider), and it scratches off with an astoundingly small force.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Friedrichs View Post
    Don't use latex. 2 years ago I painted out cabinets with latex (I was younger and stupider), and it scratches off with an astoundingly small force.
    No finish is scratch resistant. Not even Benjamin Moore Aura.

  10. #10
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    I recently repainted my kitchen. I used Paso or Liquid Sander to throughly clean, sanded lightly for a scuffed surface and use Coronado primer then latex enamel. Looks great and appears to be standing up to the kitchen wear. The Coronado primer is highly recommended but since it was developed many of the paint specialty stores have improved their line of primers. S-W now has several to choose from. I would talk turkey to the S-W guy and see what he recommends as far as the primer goes.

  11. #11
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    Just finished making some cabinet and used Benj Moore Fresh Start Alkyl Enamel Underbody and then used the Gloss Alkyl Enamel. I put 2 coats of primer sanding between the two and then 2 to 3 coats of paint.

    Use a foam roller and foam brush to keep it smooth. I uses a roller with a slight nap and got orange peel that had to be sanded down.

    The paint doesn't smell that bad either. The paint was very durable and cleaned well when marked and didn't chip easily.

  12. #12
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    If you were going to use Zinsser primers, any primers. On the can it will say not to use TSP as cleaning agent or degloss products. They tell people not to do it because they dont rinse off all of it off. Make sure you clean and rinse it well. Or it will not bond properly.

    For paint, this is a personal choice. There is no such thing as best paint. Each paint are best in specific things.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Friedrichs View Post
    Don't use latex. 2 years ago I painted out cabinets with latex (I was younger and stupider), and it scratches off with an astoundingly small force.
    What kind of latex paint did you use? If it was latex wall paint I can understand your disappointment - it's not designed nor recommended for cabinet applications. But if you used a high quality acrylic paint from SW, BM, etc., I'd be surprised.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by John TenEyck View Post
    What kind of latex paint did you use? If it was latex wall paint I can understand your disappointment - it's not designed nor recommended for cabinet applications. But if you used a high quality acrylic paint from SW, BM, etc., I'd be surprised.
    For Benjamin Moore paint, the only cabinet paint I can think of is Advance. It has some learning curve to it.

  15. #15
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    Oil based floor paint is very durable. I use it on boxes and cabinets in the shop. It can be tinted to any color you like.

    Steve
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