Painting oak kitchen cabinet, would brush leave stroke marks?

janesylviaMarch 15, 2014

I have many oak cabinets in my kitchen. I'd like to paint them white. I saw online some people use roller for smooth surface, while some prefer brush. Which one would be better if I'd like to have the effect of smooth surface and cover wood grain? Would brush painting leave brush stroke marks? If not, are the following the right ones to use? I am afraid roller painting would inevitably leave fine texture.
Purdy 144152235 Nylox Glide 100-Percent Nylon Angular Sash Paint Brush, 3-1/2-Inch
Purdy 144152215 Nylox Glide 100-Percent Nylon Angular Sash Paint Brush, 1-1/2-Inch

On the side of the breakfast bar, it is veneer instead of wood. What's the best primer to use? I saw people recommend SW PrepRite Problock seals and bonds latex primer, is it the best one for my situation?

Also, do I need to sand them to almost bare wood using rotary orbit sander and sand paper? I would use BM advance simply white paint.

Any input or sharing of experience is greatly appreciated.

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The FIRST 2 questions I'd ask you b4 you even THINK about a brush OR roller-type:

1) How smooth are the cabinets...when you look CLOSE I mean! Close your eyes & lightly drag a fingernail across them. If not absolutely smooth, your nail will "catch" slightly. This is the case with 90% of Oak cabs. Because of this, the choice of roller/brush can be mostly irrelevant.

2) How fussy are you...relative to having a REALLY smooth finish that is??? If you feel the typical "oak-pits", you WON'T have glass-smooth cabs without other work being done!

Once the cabs are scuff-sanded, and ALL dust removed...your choice of primer is fine....

BUT >>>> If you want a REAL smooth finish, you've got more work to do...

I'll wait for any answers!


    Bookmark   March 16, 2014 at 9:30PM
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Thank you very much, Faron.

1). The cabinet is not smooth. I can feel the oak grain.
2). I bought a Bosch rotary orbit sander, some sand paper and sand sponge. I'll sand the surface and try to make the surface as smooth as possible before priming and painting them.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2014 at 11:31PM
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Instead of a ton of sanding...
One option is to use a "Grain-filler".
* These are often skimmed on, much like finishing drywall joints.
* Once this is dry, LIGHT finish-sanding is done. Think body-work on a car here!
* Now the "grain-pits" are filled, & finish-sanding is done.
* NOW you can prime and paint.
* Consider some FPE products. Their Swedish-Putty ("Enduit") can be used to perfect your surface.
* You'll be on another level with stuff like this...

Link below.


Here is a link that might be useful: Enduit by FPE...

    Bookmark   March 17, 2014 at 1:39AM
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IMO if you don't fill the grain - the cabinets are going to look tacky.

I would remove the door and drawers, and have them laying flat. Use a foam brush - no brush marks.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2014 at 1:08PM
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Yes, fill the pores (grain).

I did this like 10 years ago. Big job if you want it to look right.
I used ML Campbell grain filler. Apply, scrape off with a plastic scraper. let dry, Sand. Repeat till flat. Yes, it's basically like doing drywall mud.

Mine turned out pretty nice. Turned oak into maple,

1 Like    Bookmark   March 17, 2014 at 7:46PM
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Christopher Nelson Wallcovering and Painting

for the brush I would use this one
Purdy Pro-Extra Dale 2-1/2"

the pro block primer is ok but Zinsser 123 would work fine and might be a little cheaper

    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 2:59AM
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Thank you very much for all your help. I researched online, and found applying grain filler to achieve a glass top effect is a very big job. I saw BM also has a grain filler called BM Benwood Interior Finishes Wood Grain Filler. I don't know if applying grain filler would take much more time and effort than sanding. I have more than 40 cabinet doors and drawers and some slabs, and the slab under breakfast bar is very big. After painting the cabinets, I will sell the house. I don't know if using grain filler would be an overwhelming job to me.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2014 at 7:03PM
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Sanding won't remove the grain. Oak is like that all the way through. It's filling the grain or nothing at all. Personally I think that oak looks just fine painted and filling all that grain just isn't worth the effort.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2014 at 9:33PM
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Christopher Nelson Wallcovering and Painting

I agree with paintguy

    Bookmark   March 26, 2014 at 3:23AM
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As a homeowner, I agree with the two pros above (paintguy and christophern).

I painted an oak vanity and did not fill the grain and I love it. Still looks like wood :).

    Bookmark   March 26, 2014 at 12:54PM
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Wise people here that's for sure!


    Bookmark   March 26, 2014 at 9:34PM
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Paintguy, Chris, tuesday_2008, and faron, thank you very much for your help.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 2:19AM
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janesylvia, I agonized over this issue also - I feel your pain! lol.

I'm a homeowner, kitchen cabinets were oak with a kind of pinkish finish popular in the 90's I've been told? They were looking bad. I replaced the uppers with new cabinets (to extend to ceiling) but lowers, I painted and they look great!

Then I took the old uppers and put in the laundry room...painted same white as in kitchen and they also look great.

I did try the rollers, various types, but all left exactly what you mentioned, a line. Some very slight bubbling too. Spraying was above my skill set. Instead I used a good brush (Purdy's, my fav!) Gosh, with oak, the grain is gorgeous coming through and *in my opinion* the brush application is a nice compliment to the entire look. I don't notice any brush strokes although I'm sure they're there, just not readily visible with the oak graining.

I painted the cabinets white. I heard all kinds of nays on doing that, painting them myself,the color, yada yada yada, but I love the finished look. It is not a smooth finish, like glass or something, it has some character. It might not be a look for everyone but for me and everyone that sees it, it's a winner.

I washed the cabinets real good, let dry real good, lightly sanded, did a tack cloth several times over to get any lint, sawdust off and then took the plunge.

I used a newer product (newer at the time, which was within this past year) which was an all-in-one paint available at HD. "Behr Premium Plus Stain Blocking Paint and Primer in One." Had it tinted to the white color I selected. I went with semi-gloss finish but I think that's a personal choice, to each their own on the sheen level. I don't find these cabinets to be overly shiny.

Honestly, just figured might as well try painting them myself. Luckily it worked well for me..I did of course try one small door panel first to be certain this was a go. Also one last piece of advice: allow them to dry FOREVER before using and definitely wait on adding hardware, like handles or pulls until the paint is dried/cured/whatever the professional term is for that!

This was my experience and it turned out well. I hope the same for your project if you decide to tackle it. Best wishes!

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 2:51PM
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