Painting 1960-70 birch kitchen cabinets

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Old 05-15-19, 02:52 AM
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Painting 1960-70 birch kitchen cabinets

I have either late 60s or early 70s birch solid cabinets in the kitchen and want to paint them.

Must I sand them before painting? What kind of primer should I use on them?

Thanks.
 
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Old 05-15-19, 04:00 AM
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They need to be sanded but a scuff sand [or slightly more] is enough. You'd use a solvent based primer [pigmented shellac or oil base]
You might find this helpful - https://www.doityourself.com/forum/p...t-repaint.html
 
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Old 05-15-19, 10:06 AM
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thanks marksr. These have a laquer on them i think. So I can just scuff it up and then put the primer on after cleaning it, etc?
 
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Old 05-15-19, 10:49 AM
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Dang, another post about someone wanting to paint over good looking wood....

At least he didn't ask how to make it look distressed when he was done.
 
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Old 05-15-19, 12:38 PM
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While lacquer can't go over some paints it shouldn't be a problem to prime it with a solvent based primer. The finish coat can be oil base, latex or waterborne, the latter is my preferred enamel.
 
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Old 05-15-19, 01:12 PM
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I went to depot and saw some Kilz oil based with LOW ODOR, but remember something about warnings against using kilz?

So I just have to "rough up" (scuff) sand and not sand ALL the shiny stuff (laquer) off?

Do I have to seal the topcoat?
 
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Old 05-15-19, 01:19 PM
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While it would be bare minimum, oil base Kilz will work. It's the latex Kilz2 you don't want to use.
 
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Old 05-15-19, 05:54 PM
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Yes, you're basically sanding off the gloss but not the entirety of the lacquer. While it wouldn't be my choice, oil based Kilz is ok primer.
 
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Old 05-15-19, 08:45 PM
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Do I have to degrease? They don't appear greasy or dirty really.

2. Can I just use a sanding sponge? I don't have an orbital, but I have a mikita 1/4 sander.
 
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Old 05-16-19, 02:46 AM
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It's always a good idea to clean them first [remove cleaner residue also] That way when you sand you don't 'grind' any grime into the existing finish. A sanding sponge might be ok since lacquer is soft but IMO sandpaper is better. It doesn't matter if you sand manually or mechanically.
 
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Old 05-16-19, 05:54 PM
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Ok I ended up using Zinnser Cover Stain (boy does that stuff stink!) and did ONE cabinet and door to test after sanding and cleaning etc. Its dry now and I tried getting some off with a fingernail and it seems very good and stuck on!

I still have to wait about 2 hours to topcoat it. Another couple questions.

1, Do I have to sand the primer?

2. Is one coat ok?

3. Can I use a brush for my final top coat or should I roll it?

4. Behr or Sherwin? Sorry, but I got Behr as a test color only.
 
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Old 05-17-19, 02:35 AM
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#1 - yes, sanding both promotes good adhesion of the next coat and removes any minor defects in the previous coat's application. Don't forget to wipe off the sanding dust.

#2 - probably not, 1 coat of primer and 2 coats of finish is the norm.

#3 - either one is fine, I think brush is better but for some rolling looks nicer.

#4 - I'd go with one of SWP's better enamels, I know very little about Behr's coatings other than they don't have the best reputation.
 
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Old 05-17-19, 06:16 AM
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I did get horrible brush strokes in the primer and now consequently shows through the topcoat. The paint seems very good and stuck on. Should I try the Kilz oil primer instead.

Can I roll on the primer?
 
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Old 05-17-19, 06:44 AM
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The primer can be rolled. Sanding is the only way to get rid of the brush marks. Thinning the coating slightly will make it flow better and reduce brush marks.
 
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Old 05-17-19, 07:41 AM
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Can i use a palm sander? Thanks marksr. Good thing I've only done one cabinet so far as a test!

What grit should i be using?
 
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Old 05-17-19, 07:45 AM
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Going from Zinsser to Kilz would be a step (or more) down in quality, Keep using the same primer but sand it before painting, as Mark advised.

In other words, it's not the product that's the problem, it's the application so don't go looking for another product. Using Behr would likely be the same thing but don't buy any low end paint from SWP either.
 
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Old 05-17-19, 10:36 AM
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Can i use a palm sander?
yes but don't be too aggressive or you'll sand off your primer
150 or 180 grit should be good for sanding the primer.
 
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Old 05-17-19, 10:38 AM
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If I put the primer on with a roller I'll eliminate the brush strokes though right?

So do you think I can correct the already painted door and cabinet via sanding?
 
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Old 05-17-19, 10:42 AM
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I don't see why sanding won't remove the brush marks - at least the majority of them.
A roller will eliminate brush marks but will leave a roller stipple. You need to decide which is preferable to you. Many with poor brushing skills get a nicer looking job with a roller. Rolling takes a little bit of skill also, you need to apply it evenly and not getting any roller marks/ridges.
 
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Old 05-17-19, 09:00 PM
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Thanks Marksr. I used a foam roller tonight by Wooster.

I realize now that a lot of the BRUSH marks are from when the original shellac or lacquer was applied back in the 70s I guess. I can see it on the wood now if I look sideways in the light.

Not that I want to, but will I hurt anything in taking all the old lacquer or most of it off via using my Mikita 1/4 sander? Than I could just start more or less from scratch?

What grit would be the best to get the thick (hard) brush marks out fairly fast? I think a lot of them are also from my application on the Cover Stain.

I bought a really cheap brush called BASIC at HD and today looked again and it said FOR ROUGH FINISHES ONLY!! Maybe that's why I got all those nasty thick brush marks?

I did a test of a new color with SW sample. Will I be able to paint right over that with the REAL paint once I decide on a color?

Is Duration a good paint for the cabinets? The SW kid recommended something else, but I always thought Duration was good for cabinets.

Are there people who actually like brush marks? I think it kind of makes it look homey and country like or something!

I think I prefer the roller stipple as long as its finer which appears to be the case using the foam roller. Are some brush marks acceptable ....... especially in today's pc climate? lol
 
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Old 05-17-19, 10:56 PM
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Brush marks tend not to build up so a scuff sand of the existing cabinets along with a scuff sand of the primer should really only leave your brush marks from painting in the paint.

As to what's acceptable, you just painted good looking wood so....
 
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Old 05-18-19, 03:25 AM
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Even with all my years of experience I'd have a difficult time doing a pro job with an inferior brush. For solvent based coatings I always use a natural bristle brush. They lay the paint off nicer. They can't be used for latex because water will swell the bristles and make the brush unusable. For latex or waterborne you want a quality nylon or nylon/polyester blend brush.

Yrs ago a few brush marks were preferred over roller stipple on woodwork. That probably stems from the fact that 50 yrs ago pro painters mostly used brushes and rollers were considered a tool for a novice. A slight roller stipple is more acceptable today.

It doesn't hurt to aggressively sand the lacquer, especially if there are defects in it's finish. If sanding before priming I'd use 120 grit.
 
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Old 05-18-19, 08:02 AM
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Thanks Marksr. I'll get 120 for my sander and try that.
 
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Old 05-18-19, 10:29 AM
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What I did today was I took 3 doors and my palm sander and sanded them basically down to the wood nice and smooth and cleaned off all the dust and applied my Cover stain with a roller nice and even.

They're drying now.

So is one coat of primer enough as long as everything's covered?

I'll lightly hand sand when the primer dries before my first topcoat.
 
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Old 05-18-19, 02:36 PM
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Yes, as long as you don't sand through it, one coat of primer is sufficient.
 
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Old 05-18-19, 10:47 PM
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I didn't realize how important sanding is with this job. I had a naive view that I could just put primer on and then 2 topcoats.

I've now realized that first I have to sand off most of the old lacquer because whomever did them back in the 70s left some very noticeable thick brush marks.

I also know now how important it is to use an oil primer (on cabinets at least) and sand before and after the primer (lightly by hand) and then in between the topcoats.

I thought it would be very tedious sanding down the lacquer, but with a palm sander and some 180 paper it comes right off to the bare would fairly quickly!

After sanding the Zinsser Cover Stain even with a palm sander I now realize how TOUGH this stuff is and how well it should hold onto the cabinets as a base.

Question:

Is it ok to use a damp microfiber rag instead of a tack cloth after sanding? I've been doing it and then just using a Bounty to make sure everything is dry and run my hand over to make sure there's no dust leftover.
 

Last edited by Brian1900; 05-18-19 at 11:04 PM.
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Old 05-19-19, 02:24 AM
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What you use or how you remove the dust isn't all that important. Depending on the job often just use a rag damp with paint thinner, occasionally I'll just use an old brush to dust them off.
 
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Old 05-19-19, 06:08 AM
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Thanks marksr ! That's what I thought.
 
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Old 05-24-19, 01:26 PM
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I tried new hinges and for some reason they don't seem to line one of my doors (so far, may be more) right. They're those 3/8 inset type of hinges, but the ones on my cabinets are from the 70's and also one of the screws on the newer hinges is off a little.

Shouldn't these hinges be more or less standard?

I'm putting on new brushed nickel door pulls and my old hinges are bronze and black colored, so of course I'd like them to match the new pulls.

I'm thinking of painting the old hinges to either match (or come close) to the brushed nickel or painting them to match the SW Dover white?

Any ideas on painting the hinges?
 
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Old 05-24-19, 01:44 PM
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If you paint them I'd use a thin coat of aerosol paint. Any paint build up on the moving part of the hinge will wear away with use. Money was tight when I built our kitchen cabinets so I reused some old hinges which I painted a dark brown. That was about 18 yrs ago and they still look decent. I would expect hinges painted with latex paint to start looking bad within 6 months or so. I wouldn't be scared to paint them a nickle color but wouldn't not paint them white.
 
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Old 05-24-19, 01:44 PM
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Shouldn't these hinges be more or less standard?
I'm sorry but that made me laugh.
 
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Old 05-24-19, 01:46 PM
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I forget to address that part Manufacturing processes change over the years, it would be rare to find something made today that has the same exact specs as yrs ago.
 
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Old 05-24-19, 08:28 PM
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some how I got them to work now by fiddling with them while the door was in place. I just loosened up the screws that hold it to the cabinet and they kind of slid over and I retightened them and the door go in good now.

The only "problem" I have is the 3rd screw hole on the new hinge (the top of a triangle of 3 screws) that mounts the hinge to the door is "off" a bit from the old hole of the old hinge.

I'm afraid that if I drill it will break into the old hole as its very close, etc. If I use a thinner drill bit I MAY be able to get the hole far enough away from the old.

I'm guessing that wood filler wouldn't be strong enough to fill the old hole?

I've of course left the 3rd screw out on each of the hinges. Any ideas?

Would leaving the 3rd screw out be a big deal? The door seems tight enough.


thanks.
 
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Old 05-24-19, 08:39 PM
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Use a piece of wood with glue to fill the hole. Sounds like toothpicks might be the first place you look, wood matches maybe being too thick.
 
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Old 05-24-19, 11:17 PM
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Thank you stick shift, I'll try that!
 
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Old 05-25-19, 03:21 AM
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You want the the 3rd screw as it will help prevent the other screws from getting loose over time. Toothpicks and wood glue works well.
 
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Old 05-29-19, 08:44 PM
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Can I caulk around gaps where the cabinets meet the ceiling and where corner trim is not quite together in places?
 
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Old 05-30-19, 03:06 AM
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Yes, as long is everything is secure/stable.
 
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Old 05-30-19, 08:48 AM
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Thanks Marksr! Yep, it's all secure, been there 40 years still standing.
 
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