Painting melamine kitchen cabinet doors


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Old 01-22-07, 03:25 PM
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Painting melamine kitchen cabinet doors

Hey guys,

I'm renovating my kitchen and would like to keep my cabinets. Problem is they are dated. They are the classic melamine (I believe) covered doors.

What should I be using for paint? Would it be better to spray them? That's something I have never done. I can probably rent a spray gun but would need some advice on that. Also, should they be protected with something after they are painted?

Thanks a bunch.
 
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Old 01-22-07, 04:43 PM
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They shoud be cleaned, sanded and coated with a pigmented shellac primer first. They can then be coated with latex, oil base or waterborne enamel. Quality enamel should make for a durable surface.

Spraying will give the nicest finish but decent results can be had using a good brush, possibly even a roller if you don't mind a little orange peel.
 
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Old 01-23-07, 05:22 AM
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Smile

I am not 100% sure that this can be done, but you might asked the paint store if they can add an additive that will make the paint SELF-LEVEL or FLOW a bit better. Such would aid in reducing the brush or roller marks so to speak.

I wish you well, and let me know if the paint store is of help, and how the project turns out.

Thanks,


Dale
Indy

P.S. You don't want it to FLOW so well that RUNS are a problem though.
 
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Old 01-23-07, 07:08 AM
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Penatrol can be added to oil base paint and floetrol to latex. It slows the drying time down a little and helps the paint to "flow" together = less brush marks.
 
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Old 01-23-07, 07:50 AM
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Thanks guys.

If using an enamel I would assume that a protective coat would not be required?

Can a shellac and this waterbourne enamel (is that a brand or type of enamel?) can both be sprayed?

I'm still up in the air about brush or spray. I like the idea of spraying but it's something I have never done before.
 
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Old 01-23-07, 07:59 AM
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Yes both can be sprayed.

I'd advise against spraying if you've never done any. While it isn't overly difficult it isn't as easy as it looks. Spray too heavy and you have a mess, too light and the surface won't be slick or shiny. Not to mention having to deal with extra prep and containing overspray.

I've done a lot of spraying but hardly ever do any spraying in an occupied dwelling.

The enamel is the protected coating.
 
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Old 01-24-07, 04:48 AM
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Hello,
There's a certain knack to spraying. Practicing on some scrap articles is highly recommend before jumping right into the real thing. While I've done a fair amount of spray work, both conventional and airless, I'm the first to admit I don't quite have "the knack".

Pigmented shellac is also my recommendation for an undercoat. One problem here is that spraying pigmented shellac can best be desrcibed as a trying experience at best, and downright miserable at worst. It's quick drying properties make it very unforgiving. If you slip up and get a run or curtain. all you can do is wait unitl it hardens and sand out the imperfection. Trying to brush out a sprayed run only results in a mess.
Rolling on two coats and sanding the second coat smooth generally works the best. Pigmented shellac is pretty thin & it's easy to sand through just one coat.
Being shellac based, there's no need to sand between coats of the pigmented shellac.

As mentioned, for an oil based top coat, add a small amount of Penetrol for better flow. Work in a farily warm area also. The basement &/or garage this time of year should be avoided.

Prior to starting, draw a simple sketch of the cabinets and number the openings on the sketch. Remove the doors and the hardware. Place the hardware in a plastic baggie and number it to correspond to that door. Since the harware is all the same, it shouldn't matter where it goes back,,but it does. If' had fits trying to get hinges to work "just right" once they've been mixed up - better safe than sorry.
On the backside of the door, where the hinge goes back on, write the number of the opening where the door goes back.

Buy or make a set of sawhorses. Lay a couple of 2X4's across them. Place something on the 2x4's that will elevate the doors slightly so that when the doors are placed on them the edges are slightly above the 2x4's. I usually use flat washers double or triple stacked. If you don't get the edges above the surface, it will leave small lines where the coating collects.

I usually: (using pigmented shellac as an undercoat)
- Use a small roller and run all 4 edges of the doors first, taking reasonable care to avoid getting too much material on the front/back surfaces. Once those have been coated, I run a coat on the stiles of the cabinets. By the time the stiles are run, the edges of the doors are dry enough for a second coat, so I go back and hit them again. Likewise, when to edges are done being second coated, the stiles are dry enough for a second coat, so I go back and run that.
At this point - you're done for at least 4 hours. You want the pigmented shellac to setup hard enough to sand to a fine powder.
Lightly sand the primer on both the edges of the doors and the stiles & also on the fronts and backs of the doors where any has run over from doing the edges. Don't get too agressive sanding to minimize the amount of dust you put in the air.

The next step is critical. - Run a clean dry cloth over all the surfaces then go back over all the sanded surfaces with a tack rag, changing the surface of the tack rag often. I can't stress this enough. Using a tack rag makes all the difference between a job you're proud of and one that's so-so.
Buy 4 or 5 of them for an average sized job.

Finish off running the primer on the faces of the doors. I use a roller to lay the material on. When all of the surface has been coated, I go back and "dress" the entire surface off by strating at one end of the door and rolling once lightly down to the bottom, and repeat until the enitre door has been dressed. When the fronts are done, the first door is usually dry enough to flip over and do the backsides. Likewise when all the backs have been done, you can go back and flip them over and recoat the fronts, then repeat for the backs.

Again - 4 hour dry before sanding, followed by wipe down with cloth and tack rag.
(more)
 
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Old 01-24-07, 05:24 AM
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(cont'd)

Finish coat:

- I'm "old school" and vastly prefer oil. My favorite is Glidden's oil semi gloss available at Home Depot. Benny Moore also makes an excellent one. I would recommend avoiding the Sherwin Williams product. It doesn't flow as well as the other 2.
Being an oil base, there's a fair amount of odor to contend with. An old painters trick is to stir 3 drops of vanilla extract into a gallon of the oil paint to lessen the odor. I always do it when working with oils. YMMV and since it's "off book", I can't recommend it. I've never had it not work,,but,,,

Dip a small amount of material from the can. Never work directly out of the paint can. Don't pour the paint out of the can, dip it out. That keeps the rim of the can clean so it seals properly. Use a small plastic container with a wide mouth. Count the number of dips you take out of the can. Add Penetrol in the right ratio - usually 10%. = for every 10 dips, use one dipper Penetrol.

Begin with the stiles. I usually use a good quality bristle brush and apply a coat to them. Dip the brush into the material, then gently press it agaisnt the side of the container. Don't drag it across the rim. all that does is reomve too much material from the bristles, and when you brush into what's already been done, you pick up materail. <-- where 90% of the brush marks come from.

I then go back and use a small roller to dress off each stile to remove the brush marks & even out the finish. It will leave a slight stipple finish. Again, YMMV here, but I prefer the slight even stipple finish it gives.

The door faces are done in the same way as the primer. I usally forego the brush and simply use a small short nap (1/4") roller. Some have had success using foam rollers. I haven't. YMMV here, mostly depending on what type of finish you desire.
The only differences between the primer and the finish coat are:
- Allow overnight dry instead of the 4 hours.
- Reverse the process of faces/edges. Do the faces first, then the edges. You want to be able to brush out any material that runs over. It's better to do the edges last.

Note about the hardware.
Now's as good a time as any to update it. With exposed hinges - other than bright metal - I usually lay them out on a sheet of cardboard and number them (remembering way back to the first steps ), and spray them with one of the available bronze colored spray paints. I do the pulls also. For a bit of a dramatic change, I pick up some flat washers form Home Depot or Lowes, and spray paint them the same color. Wipe them down with mineral spirits and wire brush them slighlty. For a bolder look, I use a larger washer. For less,a smaller one And use them as backplates for the pulls.

Good luck. Just take your time and don't rush it. Plan on a couple of weekends.
 
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Old 02-03-07, 09:52 AM
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Wow. I apologize for not getting back to this thread sooner. That post was is a wealth of knowledge and has answered every question I might have. Excellent detail in your process description, thank you!

Just one quick question. You always use oil but I have heard white oil based paint will yellow. We are planning on white. Should I be concerned?
 
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Old 02-03-07, 12:56 PM
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Yes! All oil base enamels will yellow over time - the cheaper oils do it quicker. I'd use a waterborne enamel [like SWP's proclassic] it costs a little more but dries quick and almost as hard [durable] as oil enamel.
 
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Old 02-03-07, 04:10 PM
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Any idea where to find SWP?
 
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Old 02-03-07, 06:38 PM
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SWP = sherwin williams paints

If no SWP nearby, Benjamin Moore also has a quality waterborne enamel.
 
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Old 02-03-07, 08:01 PM
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The help's appreciated!
 
 

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