Why won't my cabinet paint dry?

brickhouseFebruary 1, 2010

I have purchased 3 different quarts of Ace cabinet paint, tinted 3 different colors of very dark brown.

I have painted 3 different sample boards. The first two were painted over 2 weeks ago. Two coats, waited a day in between.

The second board was painted a week ago, has 2 costs, waited 2 days in between.

The sample board wood is a thin real oak veneer. sanded first, as it was stained, did not prime since it was a sample.

They are all still very sticky. So much so that in a few spots paint will come off on your hands. they are so tacky that they are picking up a lot of dust, etc and are really very dull.

Our humidity is borderline low, they were left to dry inside at about 65 degrees

What's going on?

I need to move forward on painting the cabinets.

Any help would be great, thank you!

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I painted my daughter's toy box with the same paint. It takes a long, long time to dry and a few weeks for the smell to subside. Its been 3 weeks and it still has a strong odor. I'm about ready to buy a quart of Muralo Ultra Satin and start over.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2010 at 9:39PM
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I had the same problem. Tried the Ace cabinet paint in a dark brown color on a sample door. After a whole month, I could still scratch the paint with my fingernail. It was still that soft and tacky. I gave up and moved on to a different paint. I know people here say it's great, but that long of a cure time was just unworkable for me.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2010 at 11:23PM
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I'll call ACE-Technical Tuesday...

* The dark colors I've brushed-out have been fine, AFTER a couple weeks of curing. I've even done dark (Neutral tint-bases) Browns.
* A heavy load of colorant does slow the cure WAAAAAaaaayy down though. Nature-of-the-beast.
* Priming does help these kind of paints though. I can tell the difference in the gloss development.


    Bookmark   February 2, 2010 at 1:27AM
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Thank you! I'd love to hear what ACE says. I was planning to call too, but you probably know all the right questions to ask.

We are painting our kitchen cabs, in place. I can keep do my best to keep everyone away, if they really will dry at some point!

I guess it would help to know what steps would be best to take. How long to wait between each coat, should I sand in between?

I planned to prime with Zinsser 1-2-3, tinted to something, suggestions? I'd sand after priming.

I really need to figure this out and move forward.

Thank you!

    Bookmark   February 2, 2010 at 12:25PM
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I guess I should add that if anyone has any other paint suggestions I'd welcome them.

My paint is matched to Pratt & Lambert Obsidian. So cabinet coat is out. We are rural, but I can get to a BM in an hour. We have a SW, a Rodda store, HD, and a local that sells Pratt & Lambert.

Have been considering FPE after reading everything here. Does this cure any faster? I'd have to order it, no dealers close by.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2010 at 12:34PM
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Ah FRAK...I forgot to call ACE today....Felgerkarb!!!
(think Old-school Battlestar G. here....;-))
I'll do it Wed.!!

I checked the FPE "Specifiers" manual (anyone can request one of these...just call-'em!), and their ECO series paint.

* ECO is best for the "smooth-finish" result.
* Available in Brilliant (Gloss), and Satin.
* There's a REAL RICH looking "Dutch Chocolate", and an "Espresso" color! They also state "...available in White; 7,000 FPE Colors; 3,000 Pantone colors; and unlimited custom-tinted colors."
* They do stress a clean, prepped surface...big shock there!! For optimal smoothness and gloss, they suggest a sanded primer layer using their ECO primer, or, FPE Oil-primer/Undercoat.

>>> Two REAL COOL things about this paint (for a paint-geek like me...):
1) It's a TWO-BASE system. Not the typical 3 or 4 tint-base system in North American paint.
2) The colorants themselves!
* The pigments (and paint resins) are MUCH more finely-ground than normal.
* Instead of real "liquidy" colorants, FPE's are more "paste-like"...VERY concentrated.
* This adds to the incredible depth-of-color, leveling capabilities, durability, and gloss levels achieveable with this stuff.

Soooo...all this means is...you get a fairly fast, smoother, harder-curing film!


Here is a link that might be useful: FPE's ECO info. page...

    Bookmark   February 3, 2010 at 12:23AM
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I guess Ace didn't have an answer......

    Bookmark   February 6, 2010 at 7:34AM
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Many apologies...
I was off Thurs., and Friday was our freight day. My partner was sidetracked doing a painting-project half the day for a new Stihl display...

One of those "Chicken with a head cut off days..."

I'll do my best to find out Monday!


    Bookmark   February 7, 2010 at 2:06AM
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Thanks Faron. I will call next week if you don't have the chance. Been sidetracked over here with installing the new appliances and recessed lighting shopping.

I really want this cabinet paint to work. Love the 'hybrid' concept, it has all the qualities I am looking for, except that it won't dry!!!


    Bookmark   February 7, 2010 at 10:18AM
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I'll tell you as much as I know. 1. You use a base paint to tint to a color. Light base for light colors. Medium base for medium colors and dark base for dark colors. If you use a light or medium base to tint a dark color you will have to use so much tint that the paint will no longer perform.
2. Your problem my also be your board. Try again on a different board. Make sure you follow the instructions on the can.
3. Was the paint made in China? Try another brand.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2010 at 1:47AM
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FINALLY called a resource at ACE-Technical!!!

The news was what I expected...Loooonnngggg cure-time required for full cure-out.
* 1 month+ isn't out of the question she said...
* No known issues with any production batches...
* The MOST common cause, is not what people want to hear...

>>> The coats are probably too thick for a Neutral-base color.
>>> I realized it's frustrating to hear, but it's just the way it goes sometimes. No 2 people will apply the same thickness of paint. What's "too thin" to some, may be a "heavy" coat" to another. It's agonizingly arbitrary, but the paint doesn't care...
* Vertical surfaces will require 3 lighter coats. In neutral bases, even some horizontal pieces will do better with 3 thinner coats.
* Each thinner coat will dry out faster.
* Works the same with spray paints...two thicker coats will take LOTS longer to cure than 3 thinner ones.

Surprisingly, ACE said that a spray furniture-polish will prevent "blocking" of the color(s)! A month needs to pass regardless however...

I know the label says no priming needed. Lotsa brands say that though....and it drives me insane!
You CAN tell the difference in gloss developement and film-hardening!! I've tested it myself a few times.

I hope this helps!!


    Bookmark   February 10, 2010 at 12:42AM
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