Need advice on painting kitchen cabinets

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Old 02-15-04, 08:01 PM
KSP
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Need advice on painting kitchen cabinets

I need to update my early 70's kitchen cabinets. The actual cabinets themselves are in great shape structurally and I can't afford to replace or even reface them so I am going the painting route. They are wood and stained very dark and the finish looks horrible. The doors are some sort of particle board with a laminate/veneer finish. Aside from painting I will also be replacing all of the hardware. I am new to home improvement and I know this will be a time consuming process but something has to be done and I must do it myself.
So, first I need some advice on the best way to go about prepping the actual wood cabinets for painting. Does the stain have to be removed? Or, can it just be cleaned, primed and then painted? Do I use regular interior wall paint or is there a specific type of paint for wood?
Secondly, the doors themselves with the laminate/veneer finish....this I think is going to be the worst to attempt. Again, what is the best method of preperation? Do I rough them up with something like sandpaper to get the paint to stick? I am at a loss as to where to even start. I want to really brighten them up, maybe even considering a lighter color (white or similar) to the cabinets, and then a slightly darker shade as an accent to the door themselves.
Once the surfaces are ready for paint is there anything special that I need to use to apply the paint other than typical rollers?
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks,
Susi
 
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Old 02-15-04, 09:35 PM
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Clean all the surfaces to be painted thoroughly, because cabinets are a magnet for grease in a kitchen that is frequently cooked in.

Sand all the areas lightly, just enough to scuff the surfaces. Dust them off and run a tack cloth over them to rid it of all the remaining particles.

Not knowing if they were finished with a varnish or shellac or waxed, I would opt for an oil primer, slow drying type. Not Kilz. An enamel underbody would be good.

After the primer is dry, very lightly sand it all again, with 220 grit paper, and dust/tack off.

Then paint it with a latex semi-gloss enamel. 2 coats would be best.

Use a mohair nap roller cover, 1/4", and roll out whatever you can. But do it in pieces, so you can stroke out with a brush what you rolled on before it gets tacky or dries.

You can find all these products in a paint store, probably not in a discount store. Clerks at the paint store can steer you to the right products for this that are available in your area.

Hope that helps.

P.S. When you take off all the doors, drawers, hardware, etc., its a real good idea to ALWAYS keep them in the order that you took them off. If not, you will putting together a big puzzle when you're finished.
 
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Old 02-19-04, 04:05 PM
dewyman
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I am going to do the same job as the original question except my cabinets are already painted. I know how to determine if they are covered with latex or oil base. If latex, does that mean I should only apply latex. If oil, I could apply latex or oil. Is this correct? Secondly, I understand oil is a more durable finish. Why did you recommend latex above?
 
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Old 02-19-04, 07:02 PM
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You got it backwards.

If its already latex, you can apply latex or oil.

If its already oil, don't apply latex directly on it, or it won't adhere well without the proper primer/prep.

Oil is a more durable finish, but it yellows much quicker than latex. Plus latex is easier to use, more environmentally friendly, and according to the EPA, thats about all we will have to work with in the future.

And after the VOC reg. changed all the formulas for oil paints a couple years back, they just don't perform as well as a finish coat as they used to.
 
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Old 02-29-04, 03:42 AM
javalone
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Why Not Kilz?

I'm about paint my Cabinets, and am curious why you said not to use Kilz?
 
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Old 02-29-04, 07:35 AM
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Kilz is a sealer, and has stain blocking properties. Even though it most likely says primer on the can, it doesn't contain the necessary binders for the bond you want on a high-traffic item such as cabinets or furniture. Plus it dries way too fast to really penetrate and bond to the surface.

My 2 cents.
 
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Old 03-02-04, 07:39 AM
PSU329
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painting cabinets

I have done this project in my bathroom a couple years ago and have just started painting my cabinets in my kitchen.

In doing research, there are professional painters who do cabinets and they all do the doos and drawers the same way....SPRAY GUN!

One recommendation I will make, is that you look into a power sprayer. You can purchase a Wagner power painter for as little as $60 at any Lowes or Home Depot and this will save you a TREMENDOUS amount of time. The most time spent, as with all painting, is in the prep work....I had 18 doors and 6 drawer fronts painted with one coat of paint in 22 minutes with the spray gun.... the prep work took a lot longer, but the additional coats are going to be VERY easy to apply now.

This will prevent brush strokes and will leave a much smoother finish than a roller or brush.

Remove the doors and drawer fornts and be sure to use the spray gun OUTSIDE with a mask and goggles, as the fumes will kill you....or at least have you hacking up paint chips for a while!
 
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Old 03-02-04, 10:21 AM
dewyman
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Red face painting cabinets with sprayer

I have a Wagner model 404 sprayer which is considered light commercial. The cheap buzz guns you can get for <$80 are just that: cheap. Very important: they won't paint latex properly without thinning. Thinning is a real hassle and messy. The paint can is attached to the sprayer so the unit is heavier and must be held basically level to get it to work the best.

If you want trouble-free use a couple times a year for the next 10-15 years for the house, wicker chairs, cabinets, etc. I would spend more money to get better quality. The better systems will spray latex without thinning, lay it on better, are more versatile, have more replaceable parts, are easier to use, may include a power roller attachment, etc, etc.

One question about the technique mentioned by just previous is what is the best way to spray paint the cabinet enclosure? They are still mounted to the kitchen wall. How did you block off the cabinet opening for the dishes or did you dismount them and take them outside?
 
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Old 03-02-04, 11:26 AM
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An HVLP unit is better I think to use on cabinets. Less overspray better overall finish.
 
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Old 03-02-04, 04:12 PM
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Spraying cabinet enclosures is no fun. You must empty out the contents and mask all the walls/surfaces adjoining the cabinets.

I agree with PBTROY, rent a real sprayer, you won't be sorry. Most cheap sprayers tend to spit and splatter paint on, don't come with very good tips.
 
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Old 03-05-04, 07:20 AM
PSU329
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removed cabinet doors

Deweyman - I removed the cabinet doors and drawer fronts from their mountings and placed them outside for painting (good ventilation and no worries of overspray). I have removed the hinges and they did not have handles or knobs on them, so less hardware to remove. For the cabinet faces, I am using a foam roller to get the nice smooth and even finish.

As far as thinning, I have the atachment that draws the paint directly from the paint can....not heavy and cumbersome, as with the paint attached to the bottom.

The "spitting" as you call it, can easily be adjusted in the priming of the gun which is done on a scrap piece of wood to get the flow of the paint through the gun constant with the setting of the sprayer.

I have been using a low setting on the spray with a medium setting of the paint flow....the low spray setting reduces the overspray and will require you to be a little closer to the object you are spraying.

Dewey - of course spending more $$$ is always better.....but some people who have wives that think Silestone countertops are a must, so gotta' save some money somewhere. ; - )
 
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Old 03-05-04, 10:57 AM
dewyman
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painting cabinet face

PSU329 - Spraying the faces is a major problem because of all the prep work, overspray and cleanup. Since you used the smooth roller, did you use a foam brush to get right to the edges of the cabinets where the roller couldn't reach? Was the finished surface smoother than with a high quality brush?

Secondly, did you paint around the front edge of the opening for the dishes and if so, how far in did you go? Did you paint the inside also?
 
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