exterior paint on kitchen cabinets?
I am a first time home owner who moved in to a very sound house, but very out-dated. I am getting ready to paint my very dark kitchen cabinets and was advised to scrub the cabinets so they are free of grease/dirt, sand the surface, prime, then paint.
I have a few questions before i get started, becuase i am a huge perfectionist.
1. is there a special primer that i need to use?
2. do i sand again after i prime?
3. Someone at the home improvment store suggested i use exterior paint on the cabinets beause it is more durable. I am a bit skeptical about this, but i'm not sure why my insticts are telling me know.
4. i was going to go with a high gloss Kitchen/bath enamel paint. Is this the best choice?
5. Do i sand in between coats of paint?
6. Do i really need to put poly on after the last coat of paint?
ANY advice will be much appreciated.
Re: exterior paint on kitchen cabinets?
The main difference between exterior and interior paints is that exterior paint has better UV resistance- outdoor paint is OK inside but not the reverse. In your case I would block-sand what you've got smooth, clean to degrease, then recoat with an oil-based gloss enamel paint- either exterior or interior grade. A well-done brush application gives a classic appearance but a smooth job can be done with a foam roller, which will leave them looking almost as if the finish was sprayed on. Working with oil-based gloss paint isn't the same as working with latex, you'll need to thin it, spread it evenly, 'lay off' the brushstrokes gently where they end, and apply as many thin coats as it takes to cover the color. Most important is that you can't dawdle with this paint; work too slowly and it will 'rope' and leave built-up streaks and blemishes in the finish which will have to be left to dry then sanded down just as if you were starting over. This is not low VOC paint and may not be available where you are, but as a paint finish for cabinets nothing comes close to it's beauty and durability.
If you're not sure if you can handle oil based gloss, practice on something else till you're confident you can get it right. If something goes wrong, stop and let it dry- don't try to fix it wet because you can't. The final coat needs to be completed at one shot so there are no lap marks. Get it right and you'll be proud as a peach to show off your handiwork- there is nothing more beautiful in paint than this.
If you go with a latex finish, the prep is the same but the application is much more forgiving. Latex is self-leveling; oil is not. Once again the foam roller will make a nice finish easy to achieve. The finish will not be as durable or shiny as oil, but can still look very nice if done well.
NOTE: Sanding old paint may create lead dust which may be harmful to health, especially in children. Wear a dust mask as the minimum and observe the higher OSHA standards as a good practice.
Re: exterior paint on kitchen cabinets?
I'm a Moore Impervo enamel (oil) kind of guy, and I have found it self-levels very well, and it is cleanable time after time, but as with any oil paint the whites will yellow over time.
I have seen and heard great things about a acrylic/ceramic enamel called "Cabinet Coat". From the pictures it is as smooth as anything out there (the brushed work looks sprayed) and with the special composition it dries harder than oil. It will not yellow, either. The seeming drawback is that it can only be mixed in a certain range of colors, all of them light tints or white.
Regular semi-gloss trim paint would not be satisfactory to me for cabinets, as it will not take repeated cleanings. You could topcoat it with an acrylic poly, but your just going on top of something IMO inferior; check out the cabinet coat first and save a step or two.
Re: exterior paint on kitchen cabinets?
Probably the 2nd most poorly understood technology in the entire home center is "paint". And, that's only because NO ONE fully understands "adhesives".
[quote]I am a first time home owner who moved in to a very sound house, but very out-dated. I am getting ready to paint my very dark kitchen cabinets and was advised to scrub the cabinets so they are free of grease/dirt, sand the surface, prime, then paint. [/quote]
[QUOTE]1. is there a special primer that i need to use? [/QUOTE]
No. If you're going to be painting the tops of the shelves, then you'll be wanting to use an oil based paint on top of those shelves, in which case you'll be wanting to use an oil based primer on the shelves before painting. If you're only painting the doors of your cabinets and cupboards (cabinets sit on the floor, cupboards are hung on the walls), then there are no working surfaces (like the tops of shelves) involved, and you can just use a latex primer and latex paint to paint the surfaces of the doors. Personally, I am partial to modern alkyd paints paints, so if it were me, I'd use an interior alkyd paint on the cupboard and cabinet doors as well, but it's not AS NECESSARY to use an alkyd paint on a door as on a working surface like a shelf.
[quote] do i sand again after i prime? [/quote]
No. The whole idea of either sanding or applying a primer coat is to increase the surface area that the top coat paint has to stick to. By sanding down a smooth surface, you increase the surface area that any paint or primer has to stick to. Once sanded, you really don't need to prime a surface as paint will stick well to a rough surface. However, primers typically have better adhesion properties than paints, so it's common to see paint experts advising to sand down a smooth surface and then advising to prime it before painting. I tend to disagree. Really, if a surface is sanded down, it should be rough enough for paint to stick well to. (Primers typically have better adhesion properties than paints simply because when it comes to picking a resin with which to make a primer, there aren't a multitude of other factors to consider as there are in picking a resin for a paint. So, in choosing a resin with which to make a primer, excellent adhesion become a more important consideration simply because there are fewer other considerations as there are with paints.
However, if you have already primed a surface, then sanding down that primer is stupidity on stilts. The primer is already rough enough for the top coat paint to stick to, sanding it won't improve the situation one iota.
[quote] 3. Someone at the home improvment store suggested i use exterior paint on the cabinets beause it is more durable. I am a bit skeptical about this, but i'm not sure why my insticts are telling me know. [/quote]
Your instincts are right, and you spelled "no" wrong. There is a fundamental difference between interior and exterior OIL BASED paints and interior and exterior latex paints. Exterior oil based paints are formulated to dry to a softer, more elastic film so that the paint can stretch and shrink with wood outdoors. In latex paints, both interior and exterior paints are sufficiently soft and elastic to stretch and shrink with wood, but exterior paints will contain more additives (in the way of mildewcides and UV blockers) and tend to use acrylic resins that dry to softer films only because exterior paints typically don't get cleaned and don't have to stand up to hard scrubbing to remove a stubborn mark. So, on a kitchen cupboard door, you're better off with a harder drying INTERIOR alkyd paint, and you don't need the additional additives contained in an exterior latex paint.
[quote] 4. i was going to go with a high gloss Kitchen/bath enamel paint. Is this the best choice? [/quote]
No. A paint intended for kitchens and baths will be one that has acrylic resins that are chosen primarily according to their resistance to moisture and humidity. Also, those paints will have more mildewcide in them to prevent mildew from growing on the paint. On kitchen cupboard and cabinet doors, where mold growth aren't a concern and the levels of humidity aren't that high, you just need to use any top quality interior latex paint. I would recommend using an oil based paint, but oil based paints do yellow with age. If you live in Canada, then try and find a water based paint called "EnviroGard" sold at General Paint store locations. I don't know the chemistry of this paint, but it seems to be a waterborne single component epoxy or moisture cure polyurethane. It dries to a VERY hard film, but doesn't yellow with age. It's MSDS sheet says it's an acrylic paint, so it must be a highly crosslinked acrylic to dry to as hard and durable film as it does.
[quote] 5. Do i sand in between coats of paint? [/quote]
No, you don't need to do that either. Woodworkers will typically sand between every 2rd or 3rd coat of finish on a piece of furniture. The purpose in doing that is to knock down any lumps or bumps that will cause any imperfections to show on the surface of the furniture they're making. And, that's only because airborne dust will settle on their projects, creating those lumps and bumps that stand out like a sore thumb on the otherwise perfect reflection of light off a table top or other flat surface. As long as your cupboard and cabinet doors are vertical, there's much less liklihood that air borne dust is going to settle on them. And, typically you'll only be applying one or two coats of paint, whereas someone making homemade furniture will be applying 6 or more coats of wipe on polyurethane. If it were me, I would simply paint the doors (using Penetrol or Floetrol as a paint additive in my paint) and if any lumps or bumps in the paint started to coming to my attention once the doors were in service, I'd go back and sand down those bumps then and repair with another coat of paint or clear coat only on those spots.
[quote]6. Do i really need to put poly on after the last coat of paint? [/quote]
No. If you're painting your doors with a latex paint, I'd top coat over that latex paint with a harder acrylic clear coat, like that sold under the "Polycrylic" name by Minwax, or the "Diamond Finish" name brand by Flecto / Rustoleum. If you're using an interior alkyd paint or a polyurethane based floor paint for your cabinet doors, then those paints are already hard enough that a polyurethane top coat won't be necessary to protect the paint.