Strip and Paint Kitchen Cabinets
LESLIE: Talking with Tom in South Carolina. How can we help?
TOM IN SOUTH CAROLINA: Well, I have some kitchen cabinets that I painted about two, three years ago.
TOM IN SOUTH CAROLINA: And I used a high-gloss, oil-based paint and I’m not really satisfied with the paint job that I have and I was curious to know what kind of paint would be best for kitchen cabinets; what kind of paint can I put on top of an oil-base.
LESLIE: Well, what are you not satisfied about? Is there a marcation (ph) that you don’t like? Is it not wearing well? What don’t you like about it?
TOM IN SOUTH CAROLINA: It’s not wearing well and I think it’s because I didn’t prepare the surface well before I painted.
LESLIE: Most likely.
TOM: Yeah, because preparation is really the key and if you didn’t prepare it well then you’re not going to be happy with the results, Tom. You chose, by the way, the best paint, which is an oil-based paint, for kitchen cabinets and the reason I say that is because it’s the most durable and clearly it’s harder than a latex product. So what we would recommend is to sand those cabinets as best as you possibly can.
LESLIE: Mm-hmm, and you don’t have to start off sanding them. You can use a chemical stripper …
LESLIE: … to help break up that paint. One that I’ve used with some success is called Rock Miracle …
TOM IN SOUTH CAROLINA: OK.
LESLIE: … and it’s kind of pasty so it goes on almost like a rubber cement and you can actually see it change as it works. And then, you know, use a wire brush but don’t be too aggressive with it because you don’t want to damage the surface. And try to get down as far as you can and then you can go ahead and sand it. And that should give you a pretty clean surface. Of course, then use a tack cloth and make sure you get rid of all the dust and a paint brush – you know, a plain, dry paint brush is a good way to get into all the nooks and crannies to get rid of all the extra dust. And once everything is clean …
TOM: And just in case, I would also recommend that you use a primer.
LESLIE: Oh, yeah.
TOM: Because you can’t go wrong by an extra layer of primer on because primer is really the material that gives you a neutral surface; it floats out nice and it gives you a great surface for the topcoat to stick. So, sand it down; get it real clean; add a primer and then topcoat it again. Now, I don’t know what you didn’t like about the oil finish you had before. High-gloss is risky. If you use a semi-gloss, you know, you can have a less-than-perfect paint application and have it still look good. When you make it really shiny everything shows.
LESLIE: Also, there are additives, Tom, that you can add to your paint. The Flood Company makes one called Floetrol and Penetrol; one is for oil-based; one is for Latex. I can’t remember which is which at this moment. But it helps to make sure that you don’t get brush marks or any sort of dings that you might see in the paint in case you, you know, skip a brush stroke or miss a space. It helps to sort of keep things fluid a little bit longer so that they look smoother. And also, if you’re thinking about refinishing these cabinets, if you’re thinking about changing your hardware or the type of hardware or the hardware location, make sure you fill those holes and drill your new ones before you go about refinishing so you can make sure everything is dry and smooth and nice.
TOM IN SOUTH CAROLINA: Very good. I never would have thought of that. Appreciate your help.
TOM: You’re welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT. 888-666-3974.