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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    Default What is the toughest paint for kitchen cabinets?

    I have read the article on painting kitchen cabinets, and I am still not 100% sure which paint to use.

    We are quite tough on our cabinets, banging them into the back of the fridge, dishwasher, etc., so I fear that latex might not be up for the job. When latex chips, it's really hard to patch without looking lumpy.

    So oil sounds like the way to go, but I worry about finish. I don't have tons of experience painting with alkyd paints, and I am a little nervous about spraying it on, so I am curious which tool is best for the task.

    I had excellent luck temporarily hiding mauve laminate counters by using a very fine foam roller with BIN and grey-tinted Kyanize paint. Two years later the finish still looks great and has allowed me to postpone the $99 per linear foot engineered stone I really want.

    So, I am thinking an oil-based paint on the cabinets would be ideal, given the abuse they take. If I don't want to spray, I assume I will have to use a brush because the cabinet faces are recessed. Should I just use my Purdy brush, made specifically for oil?

    Here's an example of my cabinet fronts: http://tinyurl.com/357jdrr

    I've put this job off for the last couple years because I feel intimidated, even though I am a pretty good painter. So if anyone has tips that might help motivate me, I'd be very grateful.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Portland, Oregon, formerly of Chicago
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    1,580

    Default Re: What is the toughest paint for kitchen cabinets?

    Zuzu,

    The article you linked to gives very good advice on painting cabinets. I offer you my observations on cabinet painting, which I have found to be useful over the years:

    Acrylic paints are inherently inferior for cabinetry or furniture. They do not dry hard. They retain a sticky, gummy feeling. They do not flow out, as does oil paint, although if sprayed, they can give a nice smooth finish. Their most redeeming quality is that they do not yellow, as does oil paint.

    If at all possible, spray the coating. Brushing will never equal a sprayed finish. If you do brush, invest in a top of hte line brush. I prefer the Purdy Oxhair Brushes. They are pricey, but worth it. Small foam trim rollers are also useful in rapidly applying an even coat, folled by knocking down the roller texture with the oxhair brush.

    I am partial to BIN sealer which you mentioned. It has incredible adhesion and will not "fish eye" should you have missed a speck of grease.

    I always removed the doors and drawers and took them back to my shop. I would spray them with BIN, followed by a finish coat of oil enamel. I always sprayed them in the horizontal position, even though it meant it would be a 2 day process. The BIN dries so fast that both sides can be done within a couple hours. I would then spray the back of the doors with the oil enamel, then flip them and paint the fronts on the following day. I was using professional grade HVLP spray equipment.

    The base cabinets would be done according to the household situation. If the entire kitchen was being redone, spraying was the preferred meathod. Otherwise, rolling and brushing BIN as primer and oil paint as finish coat, was used. Obviously, spraying requires a great amount of covering and masking, especially if you intend not to re-paint the entire area. Also, if the house is occupied, care must be taken to really isolate the fumes and overspray from the living area.

    Other painters have other meathods and mine are not written in stone, but I hope this gives you some insight.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: What is the toughest paint for kitchen cabinets?

    Thanks, ordjen, those are some great tips. The house is occupied, and I will be doing the work myself. I am not a professional painter, but I am can probably rent a paint sprayer at my local hardware store.

    My only option for spraying would be in the basement. Or outside. I have cats, so outdoors would be ideal, but it's the wrong time of year with falling leaves and temps. If I go the basement route, I might have to rig up a clothesline and screw hooks into the tops of the cabinet fronts to hang dry. Has anyone tried this? I'd be afraid of drips, as I believe oil is runnier than latex.

    Also, do people paint the cabinet interiors? The article mentioned avoiding foam. I assume they mean those disposable foam brushes, not the foam roller, which gave a very smooth finish when I used it, and rolling the insides would go a lot faster than brushing.

    Also, does anyone have a favorite paint brand, one that dries nice and hard? I tend to like Benjamin Moore, and I believe I can get the color I want as an oil, but I want something really durable.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Fargo, ND
    Posts
    137

    Default Re: What is the toughest paint for kitchen cabinets?

    The "Cabinet" paints, such as Cabinet-Coat by Insl-X; ACE Cabinet, Door & Trim; are two medium-priced "Hybrids".
    These are nice Leveling paints, that are BOTH Alkyd/Polyurethane-fortified and waterborne paints.

    The top end stuff, FPE, is quite stunning.
    * Their ECO series, is a waterborne alkyd. EXCELLENT for cabinets/trims, etc.
    * The Eurolux Interior Gloss would also be stud!
    * These cost a pretty penny...but if ya want top-end appearance...
    * FPE info: http://finepaintsofeurope.com

    Faron

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    4

    Default Re: What is the toughest paint for kitchen cabinets?

    The FPE does look rich. Of course, I look at just about any paint web site and swoon a little. I've never seen FPE in my local paint and hardware stores, and I didn't know there were paints more expensive than Farrow and Ball, heh heh. I found a retailer within a half hour drive, so I'll go look in person, since some of their fan decks cost as much as a gallon of paint.

    When my father restored an 1805 Colonial-Federal, he used to freeze his paintbrush overnight. He'd wrap it in foil and stick it in the freezer, thaw it the next morning, and resume painting with alkyds. He said it saved the time (and toxins) of cleaning with mineral spirits every day.

    Does anyone think this was a bad idea? The wood trim and doors and windows (he restored 48 of them) looked perfect. And he takes excellent care of his tools.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Portland, Oregon, formerly of Chicago
    Posts
    1,580

    Default Re: What is the toughest paint for kitchen cabinets?

    I used to do the cool brush storage thing all the time. It does not have to be the freezer, but merely a nice cool place. This time of year in cool climates, the garage is fine. Wrap it tight if you put it in the fridge, you don't want the food to taste like paint!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Fargo, ND
    Posts
    137

    Default Re: What is the toughest paint for kitchen cabinets?

    Brush-care:
    Technically, Oil paints can handle a lighter freeze or two. After that, the paint itself does start to suffer a little...especially if paints were, say, left in a very cold garage all winter.

    Modern Latexes are GONE after one freeze. Molecular links get shattered irrepairably. Don't freeze a brush if using Latexes. The Fridge is OK overnight though!

    I've been lucky enough to have sampled some FPE stuff.
    * The Hollandlac Brilliant (Gloss Oil) is very stunning...you can see your reflection, and words from a book in the finish!
    * The "Hybrid" ECO-series is also very luxurious looking.
    * I used the Eurolux Matte in my downstairs bath. I was very taken with this paint after I torture-tested it...!

    Faron

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Portland, Oregon, formerly of Chicago
    Posts
    1,580

    Default Re: Wha* is *he *oughes* pain* for ki*chen cabine*s?

    Guess Faron and I mus* have been sniffing *he same s*uff before *yping *hose las* en*ries !

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Wha* is *he *oughes* pain* for ki*chen cabine*s?

    Apparen*ly! And I'm no* sure I like *ha* *his forum has suddenly become all abou* His Old House. lol

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Fargo, ND
    Posts
    137

    Default Re: What is the toughest paint for kitchen cabinets?

    Oh c'mon now...
    Just cuz I'm at a paint store all day long DOESN'T mean the fumes get to me.........that much..... !!

    Faron

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