Kitchen Cabinet Paint Options

ShishuJune 29, 2011

Hi All,

I am looking to paint our kitchen cabinets white (and later all of the trim throughout the house in a matching white), and was all set to use Cabinet Coat. However, after reading through this forum, you've got me reconsidering! With all of the praise for Fine Paints of Europe and Farrow & Ball, I am throwing them in the mix too. With that in mind I have a few questions.

My main priorities for the paint I choose are durability, toxicity (I say this instead of VOCs, because I would think that the effects of paint on indoor air quality are not limited jst to VOCs, and that not all VOCs are created equal), and finish.

It sounds to me like Cabinet Coat will be very durable. It also seems it is now low VOC (

Now, it sounds like people are absolutely loving FPE Eco for this kind of job. My main concern is that the VOC level is much higher than the alternatives. This is where I am wondering if VOC level might be misleading (maybe I am hoping this!). I am also a little concerned about yellowing, especially since I will be using white, and the kitchen is not particularly bright. Would Eurolux be a terrible choice for cabinets (is it durable enough)? Also, not that it makes a huge difference, can anyone tell me if you can clean up Eco with water, or do you need mineral spirits?

Which leads me to Farrow & Ball. This seems to be a well-liked alternative to FPE, and is low-VOC. My main concern here is durability. Can anyone comment on the durability of this paint on cabinets in relation to Cabinet Coat and FPE?

Finally, how are the leveling properties of FPE and F&B compared to Cabinet Coat?

I know that was a lot of questions, and I really do appreciate any insight and advice you all can offer. Thanks!

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Lori A. Sawaya

Cabinet Coat is just easier IMO. And the price point, while I know does not matter sometimes, just can't be beat for what you get in the can.

If you think CC might be too glossy, you should check out ACE's cabinet paint. You might find that a lil less shiny.

FPE and F&B are, obviously, more of an investment. I would advise you to buy quarts and experiment/test. See what you think and then decide.

Because it is going to be a huge project and if you're looking at the uber brands, you should know exactly what you're going to end up with before you spend any money or time. Nothing's worse than being surrounded by sanded down, prepped-up naked cabinets with several gallons of paint you don't like working with staring you in the face.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2011 at 3:34PM
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Shishu my heart of hearts I figured the only real way to decide was to give each a try for myself. I was just hoping someone might chime in and say something like, "If you don't use F&B, then you are nuts!" :)

And, yes, in the end, I do think Cabinet Coat makes the most sense. But, having never used one of these truly premium paints, I am not completely sure what I would be missing (and since this is a job I don't want to repeat in the near future, I don't mind paying the extra).

Thanks for your thoughts funcolors!

    Bookmark   June 30, 2011 at 4:14PM
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better be sure you can handle this, unless you have racks to store the removed doors and drawers, at least a two car garage of space for spraying, a 1000 dollar sprayer, power Sander, and some sprayer training, and a week and a half of time, don't even think about doing this. Pro looking results don't come with a brush and roller sorry, not a satin finish paint in the light of a kitchen. Do a vanity first , seriously . I do this for a living , and have come across many diyers that have tried this with very unsatisfactory results. Remember the goal is to have visitors to your home think you bought new cabinets this cAnnot be achieved with brush and roller marks. I know I would never get paid for Anything less than work that could pass for factory finished. Sorry!

    Bookmark   August 31, 2011 at 5:36AM
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Christopher Nelson Wallcovering and Painting

at least a two car garage of space for spraying, a 1000 dollar sprayer, power Sander, and some sprayer training, and a week and a half of time, don't even think about doing this.

all the above and YEARS of spraying experience to boot

    Bookmark   August 31, 2011 at 5:49AM
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I used Cabinet Coat and my cabinets look great! No brush/roller marks etc.

I took my time....3 weeks. I used our ping pong table to lay the doors on...hahaa. Also used heavy duty paper plates to lay the doors on to elevate them.

They were mostly painted with high density foam rollers.

It's not that hard, just time consuming. You cannot just slop the paint on though. :)

    Bookmark   August 31, 2011 at 10:39AM
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I have two vanities in the bathroom plus each have a 15 inch wide by 80" tall linen tower attached. There are 26 doors and drawers, most of them are the small vanity type of drawers but doors are normal size. I have been given a price of $1200 to paint. The person I have been dealing keeps saying the whitest they can go is Aesthetic White SW as that is the lightest it comes in their "special super duper paint" they use. It's too tan actually putty color. I am now considering doing it myself except that I signed their contract, will probably cost me $500 to get out of. But if I go ahead with the project it will cost me even more and I won't like it when finished. I was told Friday that they are now going to charge me more to take off the plastic thermofoil on the doors and drawers since I freaked when I saw it lifting on the edges when they brought back a sample door, it was fine before that. Not sure how much additional that will be. Seeing that there are many different paint choices that you have listed here I am thinking I could do this. I have a two car garage, a power sander, my bathroom has been torn apart since May so what's another three weeks?

Not everyone wants tan or dark cream color cabinets. My question is do these companies make a whiter white in the special cabinet paint? I don't mean refrigerator white just not such a dark white that it is no longer white but tan or dark creme.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2011 at 7:28AM
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Lori A. Sawaya

The whitest the can go is Aesthetic White from SW?

Would love to hear the reason for that one.

And $500 to get out of their contract because the problem is for $1200 they can't paint two bathroom vanities in the color of white you want?

And, AND! they poo'd-up one of your doors and are now going to charge you MORE because they didn't know the correct course of action to take and thusly failed to quote the project accordingly?

Oh my goodness. I'm so sorry this happened this way.

Contracts can be so confusing. I can't believe they would make you *take* a color you don't like and not give you a way out of the contract. Customer service and world-of-mouth promotion is obviously not a priority for them.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2011 at 11:49PM
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thank you funcolors, I needed a little sympathy. This has caused me great discomfort can't sleep, worry about it and I keep putting it aside to think about but then taking it back up. I have tried to think where I could have been at fault or confused someone but I really can't see how there was any confusion. I am the customer and I am going to have questions and requests and moments of indecision where I need their guidance but she was never here for more than a few minutes at a time so it's not like I was taking up massive amounts of her time and I did purchase their services. I'm blindsided at how this person talked to me and now I am faced with how to handle this person. I am very soft spoken and handling these types of things is very hard for me. From the beginning I said I either wanted to do an espresso color or a white on the cabinets. I ended up ruling out the espresso as I was afraid it would chip and the chips would show more. In the contract it says you get up to three sample doors so I agreed to let them do a sample door in Martha Stewart "gull" which they said was a new color they were introducing to the line. It was so dark when she brought it over I bulked at that. This seemed to make her very mad. She said I don't know what you want and the only other color we can do is Aesthetic White and if we do Aesthetic White it will be just as white as you have now. I had said I wouldn't mind them being a "little" darker but not much. I got a sample can of Aesthetic White and it's nowhere near that white in fact it looks the same color as Martha Stewart gull only not as green. When I said it was too dark she got mad and again said I don't know what you want. I've always only had one request, to repaint my white cabinets white was at first interested in the espresso but ruled it out. I also said I don't want any lines on them or fake shadow lines painted on, no distressing just paint the darn cabinets white. The sample door she brought back had shadow lines on it, I couldn't believe it... Then to make matters worse the door that they took off of my cabinets was painted a completely different cream color so that they will have to remove that to even paint it the gull color if I had agreed to that color. I'm so upset that the thermofoil is coming off since they took the door. She says they can just glue that back down. I don't want to pay $1200 for something that is lifting and you know that it will just get worse as time goes by. I'm so distraught over this. I don't know how much it will cost extra to have them take off the thermofoil I guess they use a heat gun, it bubbles up and then they scrape it off though I am not sure how that's done.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2011 at 9:18AM
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Lori A. Sawaya

OMG. What a beotch. This is not right.

Martha Stewart's Gull is an old Martha color from her Signature Color Collection that was exclusive to Sherwin Williams and discontinued in 2007. And it is not a color I would classify as a white.

I have not one fat clue about thermofloil cabinets. If any of my clients ever painted thermofoil they nor I realized what they were.

What would happen if you just told her this wasn't working out - you can't work with her? They ruined one of your doors and if that wasn't bad enough they/she can't fullfill her end of the contract so there is no more contract and you owe nothing?

Doesn't sound like she/they want this job to me. Who knows maybe they would be open to your saying just forget the whole thing if that's what you want to do.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2011 at 11:25AM
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thanks fun, I will try that. It would be the best thing for us both I think. Now I am stuck with the ruined door and I will have to buy the end panels she was going to put on for me 4 unpainted doors = $360 and I don't know what else. That is the best case scenario if that would be all I would owe but I am not sure what else I might have to pay. I gave her a check for $40% of the job already and have nothing in my hand. She also said she did 4 sample doors for me which to save me, I don't know what she is talking about, I only ever authorized the Martha "gull" door. But that is what she is saying and I guess it's what she is going to charge me for. I honestly have no idea how she came up with that. Sigh...hopefully this will end well at this point I would happy if it just ended. I don't want to work with her. I think with all the bad news in the world people are just in a bad mood!!

    Bookmark   September 6, 2011 at 11:39AM
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