Painting Wood Cabinets

Old 07-26-06, 06:01 AM
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Painting Wood Cabinets

Hello, My wife and I want to paint the wood cabinet doors in the master bedroom. They're presently a faded honey looking Oak. Do we need to do anything special in order to paint them? Is there also any special type of paint that we should be using, will an eggshell be ok?

Thanks for all your help!

Old 07-26-06, 06:52 AM
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Surface preparation is important. Make sure you have removed any furniture polish/wax first - use a wax remover, don't just start sanding - you could be pushing the wax into the finish. After you've removed the wax, then sand lightly to add some "tooth" to the finish, so the new paint will be able to adhere properly.
I'd remove the doors, and do the painting with the doors horizontal - reduces the chances for runs.
Old 07-26-06, 07:04 AM
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That's great. Thank you! Is there any special paint we should be using?
Old 07-26-06, 08:59 AM
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Oil versus latex paint. Many prefer an oil-based (alkyd) paint because they claim they are more durable and provide a smoother, more level finish. It takes longer to dry but sets up hard. Water-based latex dries more quickly, but it can take up to 2-3 weeks to cure and damage may occur to finish in the meantime. Many prefer latex because it is user friendly, cleans up with water, low odor. Both oil-based and latex provide a good finish. Latex users recommend a 100% acrylic formulation rather than vinyl acrylic because acrylic is more durable and offers better adhesion.

Many brush on paint on cabinets with doors and hardware removed. Some brush on the face frames and cabinet sides, but remove doors and hardware and spray on the paint. As long as you use a high-quality brush (natural bristle for oil and synthetic for latex) and stay away from rollers and foam applicators, a good brush can give you good results. (Identifying doors in an inconspicous place so you return them to their original location is helpful.)

Because most of the manufactured cabinets today have a UVB baked-on lacquer finish, it is recommended that old finish be removed before paint to prevent any adhesion problems due to incompatibility between old finish and paint. Then, a light sanding can be done to ensure good adhesion. Some recommend just a thorough cleaning and light sanding. (Avoid ammonia or cleaners containing ammonia if using oil-based (alkyd) paint which will contaminate the surface and cause yellowing.

Many recommend priming after sanding to seal surface. My personal favorite is Zinnser primer/sealer. This seals surface to prevent bleed-through of knots, sap, and stains, and provides a smooth surface for painting. A light sanding of primed surface will ensure good adhesion. If painting over dark finish, two coats of primer may be necessary.
Old 07-26-06, 12:14 PM
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I would add be sure to use a solvent based primer to insure both adhesion and stain blocking.

Personally I wouldn't use latex. Oil base dries harder/more durable. I can highly recommend the new waterborne enamels [SWP or BM] although they apply a little different they dry as hard as oil base and white waterborne won't yellow like the oil base does.

An eggshell sheen would be fine - make sure it is formulated for woodwoork or trim, not just wall paint.
Old 07-28-06, 08:02 AM
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You should, after cleaning, probably use a sandable sealer to remove the grain lines. Oak has fairly pronounced grain, which will show up in your final coat unless filled. There are multiple methods for filling the grain, but the easiest is to use several coats of a sandable sealer/primer and sand that before beginning your application of paint.

Also, you can use a roller if you "tip off" after applying (if you don't you get a slight bumpy orange peel effect). I recommend that Whiz flocked foam mini rollers for either oil or water-based--tip off with a good quality brush or a dry foam brush.

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