The nighmare never ends

dbarnardSeptember 6, 2011

I am about to go insane trying to paint my kitchen cabinets. I have asked the "experts" at the paint stores and even some people that used to do it for a living. I believe I have tried everything but maybe someone out there has a different suggestion. I have been working on them on and off for over a year. They have been sanded so many times they are losing the definition on the trim I put on them. I will list the supplies I am using and then the steps I have taken. I used to paint quite a bit when I was younger but I have never had this much trouble painting anything before. The house was built in the late 50's and they had a clear coat finish on the cabinets. So here goes.

Sherwin Williams ProClassic oil base white. I think I am on my 4th can. I have bought 6 Purdy paint brushes. 4 of the white and 2 of the black bristles. Numerous packages of sand paper, tack cloth, lint free cloths. 2 cans Zinsser 123 oil based primer. 2 cans of Penetrol, several cans of paint brush cleaner and paint thinners. A different sander, a Wagner spray gun and the list goes on....I probably could have paid someone to paint them for what I have spent in supplies. And this is what I have done so far.

Removed the doors. Washed with soap and water. Numbered. Filled holes. Sanded with various grits of sandpaper (worked up to 220). Applied gripper primer, then someone told me that was not and oil based primer so I sanded again. During this time I decided to apply a trim piece to dress them up a bit. Filled the nail holes. Sanded the trim. Primed with Zinsser 123 oil base primer. Applied paint. Didn't like the look, too many brush strokes. Someone suggested I sand after priming to "flatten". So, I sanded again, every time I sanded there would be spots on the corners of the trim that would be sanded back to the wood. I couldn't seem to sand them without that happening so I decided to try and cover it with several coats of paint. Applied another coat of Zinsser, sanded to flatten. Applied paint again. Still hot happy with results. Decided I could use a sprayer. Bought it, used it, wasted a ton of paint, but was getting pretty good at it, but I was having trouble covering those spots on the corners. Then something went wrong with one of the coats, I think I may have thinned the paint too much, I don't really know, but it would not dry. After 6 weeks they were still very tacky. So I decided I wasn't going to be able to use the sprayer and would have to paint with a brush after all. So the whole process starts over again. Sanding, priming, painting. This time I read a blog about using Penetrol. So I tried that. Same thing. By this time am only sanding between coats of paint using 220 and 320 grit. And I am dry brushing the dust then wiping them with a damp cloth then using tack cloth. Then someone else suggested using a low nap roller cover and "back brushing". So I tried that. A little better but not much. Then they suggested more coats. So I tried that. A little better but not much. The last coat I put on looked like it had little tiny fibers in it and specks of dust, so I decided to use a sponge cover and back brush. Same thing. I have cleaned the brushes between coats because it kept showing up on the doors. I strained the paint with nylon stockings, and the strainers you buy at the paint stores and finally resorted to straining it through a lint free t-shirt (took forever) Still looks like dust or lint on the door. I've cleaned the brushes with brush cleaner and used a comb. I can live with some brush strokes, in fact the cabinet boxes looks okay. I can see the brush strokes if I really look for them but the doors looks like someone is raking them with the comb. Anyone have a different suggestion, other than burning them or hiring a professional?

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If you had a roller cover that shed onto your painted surfaces, the only way to get those off is to sand....yes, I know sanding again. If you are a perfectionist, then hiring a pro may be the best option. This is especially true if you are working with oil paint.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2011 at 8:56PM
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How about a foam mini-roller? I've used that with doors and alkyd paint, because I want a smooth finish with no brush marks, and I've gotten good results. In the nooks and crannies of the doors, I might need to use a small foam brush, but only where I can't get in with a roller, and then I roll over what I've brushed to remove any marks (though those won't happen as readily with a foam brush.) If you go this route, Michael's tends to sell 1" foam brushes for something like $.05 apiece. You will need many.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2011 at 11:30AM
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Maybe the paint is defective, or maybe something is seeping out through the wood? I just had a couple of doors painted and it dried just fine so something is amiss here big time. So sorry for your nightmare, it sounds very frustrating. I'm so sympathetic have had projects go that way for me before. All the best to you in finding a solution.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2011 at 8:44AM
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First of all i have never met a expert working in a paint store. They just sell products. They might know there products but they dont know how to apply those products. Pro Classic oil is a very good product. If your using white be prepared because it will yellow over time. Even though its a great self leveling product, no matter how you brush it, mix it, what ever, you will see brush strokes. If you want a factory finish you have to spray it on. Not with a wagner either. You have to use a fine finish sprayer. Graco 395 Profinish is what i prefer. Of course this will set you back $2200.00. It takes months if not years to learn how to use a sprayer. Its a lot harder then people think. It takes most people months if not years to get good at a sprayer.
In your case I would simply lightly sand with a 320 grit sandpaper to get the fuzz off from the rollers. Throw away those rollers. Buy a 4 or 6 inch foam roller. NOT A 1". Less passes the lest chance of leaving roller marks. Thin your paint no more than 10%. Apply and let dry. You will probably have to do a total of three coats. With the proper dry times listed on the can. Usually 24 hours between coats. You can LIGHTLY sand in between coats using 320 grit. Anything ruffer leaves sanding scratches.
Hopefully this info helps you. Good luck.
This is why we charge $2500-$4000 per cabinet job.

1 Like    Bookmark   September 12, 2011 at 3:19PM
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Screw it! Hire a painter and get on with your life.

1 Like    Bookmark   September 22, 2011 at 3:35AM
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