painting laminated kitchen cabinets

Old 01-11-07, 05:40 AM
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painting laminated kitchen cabinets

Hi All,

I'm thinking about painting my laminated kitchen cabinets. I have done some research and it appears this is possible. My plan is to prime and paint (oil for both). I'm looking for professional opinions on the steps involved. All feedback is greatly appreciated.

Old 01-11-07, 06:47 AM
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IMO painting laminate is never a great idea. First clean and sand the surface well. Second coat with a pigmented shellac primer. You can then top coat with latex, oil base or waterborne enamel. As always, sand lightly between coats.
Old 01-12-07, 02:09 AM
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Hello JT,

For slick nonporous surfaces, where a fine finish is desired, as well as the most durable - I've found nothing beats XIM flashbond for a primer.
- Clean the surface with detergent and water, rinse well.
- Score the surface with 400 grit wet/dry
- Clean again with a rinse of water.

Extreme caution for the following steps- (due to the aromatic solvents used):

- Use heavy rubber gloves and plenty of ventilation. Wipe the surface down with a cloth dampened with Xylene (Xylol). Change the cloth often so as not to redeposit any contaminates back onto the surface.
- Apply a coat of XIM 400W. ( )
Let it dry until hard to the touch (~ 1/2 hour), then sand very lightly with 400 grit wet/dry.
- Work in small areas which can be top-coated in no more than 4 hours. If the XIM sets up for more than 4 hours, it should be re-coated with itself and allowed to dry again for no more than 4 hours.
Or - the surface can be lightly wiped down with Xylene - and left to "flash-off" for 15 min.

- Although best results will be obtained via spray, I don't recommend it for the nonprofessional. It's not cost effective. Ordinary respirators will clog and aren't suitable for use with XIM in a confined area. A separate air supply type is best.

- Cleanup is done with Xylol - followed by flushing with mineral spirits.

Pigmented shellac will work, but as marksr points out it's never a good idea since the final finish is not as durable as desired.
Old Formica store fixtures, which I finished via the above, withstood years of everyday use w/out undue wear.

Honestly though, with the amount of work and time needed to do the job right, I'd rethink the whole strategy. Unless the cabinets are so unique in design and/or custom built for the specific area, I believe I'd use the pigmented shellac/oil enamel route to "freshen" them up with the thought of replacing them in a couple/3 years.

Note: I don't work for XIM. Sold & used a bunch of their stuff though - good stuff. Expensive & hard to find - but good.
Old 01-14-07, 05:41 PM
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Laminated with what?
That's easy

My Ideal Cabinet Repaint:

Clean with ammonia/water solution
Let dry

Sand with 180
This is to rough up the surface, not sand it off
Wipe with Tack Cloth

Prime with shellac based primer
Let dry

Sand with 180
This is a light sanding to smooth out the shellac a bit
Wipe with tack cloth

Paint first coat, with a proper brush, quality oil-based or waterborne high gloss or satin enamel
Let dry over night

Sand with 220
Wipe with tack cloth

Second coat quality oil-based or waterborne high gloss or satin enamel, also with a brush

Enjoy beautiful cabinets

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