Have started painting cabinets - 3 questions have come up

pokyhokyJune 24, 2010

Hello helpful people! I am painting my lovely 70s kitchen cabinets black (SW oil based), then will be sanding off the edges (distressed look). This isn't my first project like this, but it's definitely more critical than the china cabinet or vanity I have done. I have 3 questions:

1. I've prepared the cabinets with TSP, light sanding and damp cloth. I am not using a primer. Should I be doing 2 coats, or is this necessary? I will be finishing them with the Diamond Varathane recommended here, I am thinking 5 coats.

2. If I put the paint on thicker, will it minimize brush strokes? I am using Purdy natural bristle brushes.

3. My cabinets have a beveled edge, so that if you were to lie the door down flat, it wouldn't matter if the front or the back of the cabinet was face-down .... the edge wouldn't touch the surface. Is it better to paint the edges when I paint the back side or the front side? I'm not able to hang the doors, so I am painting one side at a time, letting them dry 24 hours, then flipping them over.

Thanks so much. The advice here is terrific.


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You are definately on the right track by preparing the surface properly. I would not put the paint on thick, always do nice even coats and you'll probably only need 2 coats. Unless your cabinets are oak, then you may need more. What's so great about oil is that it self-levels, so apply a nice even first coat, lightly sand and do your finish coat. Once you do your "distressing" you may have some touch-ups.
And, always make sure the front of the door looks its best. I would prop the door up (maybe a paint can or some other item to keep it off the surface. Then, you can spin the door as you paint getting a nice clean edge -- no drips (or fingerprints). And, if you lay the door on a flat surface, the painted edges will stick to whatever it lying on.
I always paint the flat surface first, then work my way around the edges, making sure to "feather" along the sharp edges making certain there are no drips. Sometimes, a smaller artist brush comes in handy.
Also, I think 5 coats of varnish is overkill, but do what you are comfortable with.
I did my china hutch black with a distressed finish a few years ago and it gets better looking all the time!

    Bookmark   June 25, 2010 at 7:04AM
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Hello. I am getting estimates on painting my house. Is it right that oil based primer is put on wood repair, and bare places then a latex paint is used?

Also, one estimate with Sherwin Williams and one with Kwal. Anyone know anything about Kwal?

Thank you, Pat

    Bookmark   June 26, 2010 at 6:25PM
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