paiting kitchen cabinet, brush or roller?

janesylviaMarch 18, 2014

I am going to paint my kitchen cabinets of honey oak to BM simply white. There are many cabinet doors and drawers. I saw people recommend good quality brush. How could I avoid brush stroke marks? Would the following brush be good?
Purdy 144152215 Nylox Glide 100-Percent Nylon Angular Sash Paint Brush, 1-1/2-Inch
Purdy 144152215 Nylox Glide 100-Percent Nylon Angular Sash Paint Brush, 2-1/2-Inch

For painting the slabs on the side, especially the big one under the breakfast bar, should I use brush or roller? Would brush leave brush stroke marks? If using roller, would it leave orange-peel fine texture?

Any input or sharing of experience is greatly appreciated.

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I think the key is to do really thin coats, and maybe thin your paint a wee bit. Like a WEE bit. I painted cabs once with a high-quality brush and it still left brush marks.

When I painted an old bed I got hardly any brush marks at all, but I did lighter coats and the paint was thinner.

The quality of paint will matter a lot, too. Better paints have a "self-levelling" property to them that help hide goofs and and such.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 3:05PM
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I painted my raised panel honey oak cabinets (18 doors/8 drawers). I got 1x1's and laid them on the storage room floor in my basement (could only fit 6 doors at a time) and treated it like an assembly line.

-wipe down all surfaces with TSP in water to remove all grease and wipe dry with clean cloth
-sand all surfaces inside and out
-wipe off all sanding dust with a tack cloth, then a slightly damp cloth
-prime all surfaces well (I did 2 coats). Use a brush on the groove at the raised panel and in all corners. Use light strokes to avoid brush marks. I used a small roller (not foam) on all flat surfaces and on the edges.
-I put on 3 coats of CIL Smart Classic White, repeating brush and roller usage. Don't "glop" on the paint, take care of any drips immediately and give it enough time to dry completely

It took quite a while because I could only do 6 doors with 2 coats on one side a day (drying time 6 hours) but the end result was worth it to me (I don't care for honey oak).

Edit: added "and on the edges" (forgot about that part)

This post was edited by canuckplayer on Tue, Mar 18, 14 at 16:00

    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 3:07PM
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That's the same kind of brush we've been using for our cabinet painting project and they're great. I just wash out the brushes every night and they've held up well. As for the rollers, we did get an orange peel texture from using a roller. Since then, I've been rolling the paint on and then brushing it out to prevent that from happening. It's worked out much better.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 3:10PM
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You are painting things on a flat surface, right? Your post is a little ambiguous--like you plan to paint in place...

    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 3:25PM
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I used smooth surface roller sleeves and BM Signature Series brushes. Instead of having to wash the brushes and change the sleeves every day, I tightly wrapped them in plastic wrap between each coat and reused them for 5 or 6 coats. (I did make sure all paint was cleaned off the handles and the metal of the brush and roller, though. Some of my brushes are 10 years old, and except for a little darkening of the brass band that holds the bristles and fading of the name, they are spotless, no paint spots and the bristles still shine.)
When I changed the sleeves, I scraped the paint out of the roller first with that little "rounded" cutout in the paint stir stick (you'd be amazed how much paint those suckers hold).

    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 3:52PM
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Our process was similar to Canuckplayer, except that I laid on the paint with a good angled brush and then laid off with a small foam roller.

We did remove drawers, but painted doors in place.

We used the new Sherwin Williams alkyd cabinet and trim paint. And SW primer. Soap and water cleanup and scrubbable when cured.

(Before picture is from MLS from previous owner)

This post was edited by juliekcmo on Tue, Mar 18, 14 at 16:06

1 Like    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 4:02PM
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Normally, I do use plastic wrap instead of washing but it didn't work this time. The brush would get clumpy, for lack of a better word. It might have been the paint (BM Advance) or the balmy LA weather or a combination of the two.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 4:14PM
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I used brushes and a foam roller. The key (for me) was adding Floetrol paint additive - in addition to using BM Advance, the additive really helped the paint so on smoothly.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 4:32PM
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I echo what others are saying. I used the XIM version of floetrol; it definitely helped. I brushed all of mine using a brush recommended at the paint store. As far as texture is concerned you might be more worried about the oak than the brush strokes but maybe you're okay with it. I definitely didn't like the look of using the roller but I heard it works better for the hybrid paints.
Another piece of advice is not to scrimp on any of the prep work and be sure to sand and tack off before the next coat. A good primer is a must too. I think I used XIM primer.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 4:42PM
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I used Purdy natural brushes and Behr paint. I bought Floetrol just in case, but didn't end up needing it. Just don't over brush and you'll be fine.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 5:26PM
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Greenhaven, thanks for sharing your experience. I may add paint conditioner, like Floetrol,to make the paint thinner. I'll use BM advance which has a self leveling property.

canuckplayer, thanks for your help. I bought woven mohair and woven dralon fabric rollers for very smooth surface. I have 23 cabinet doors and 18 drawers. I don't know if I can paint all at a time, but I'll try to. I don't want to spend too much time doing batches, because remodeling other parts of the house already took quite a few months and will be finished very soon. I'll make use of my garage. What is your "1x1's" mean? Also thanks a lot for sharing your tip of how to keep brush and roller sleeves in good shape without washing and changing them after each use.

Juliekcmo, thank you for sharing your information and pictures. You did a wonderful job. Your new kitchen is much nicer.

KristenSGC, thank you very much for sharing the tip. I'll also lightly brush after rolling to remove the orange-peel fine texture made by roller. Also thanks for your information about the plastic wrap. It might not work for me either. I'll also use BM advance and I live in the bay area which is quite warm these days.

Kirkhall, thanks for your question. Yes. I'll remove the cabinet doors and drawers, and paint them on a flat surface.

Nottina, many thanks for your tip. Will one quart of Floetrol be enough if I paint two coats of BM advance?

Browneyes776, thank you very much for your information. I also think brush would work better on cabinet doors and drawers. But for the big slabs on the cabinet sides and under the breakfast bar, brushing evenly would take quite a while. I plan to use roller first, then brush to remove the brush marks. I'll use rotary orbit sander, sand sponge and sand paper to sand them first then tack off, and sand between each coat. For primer, I am considering SW PrepRite ProBlock Interior Exterior Primer/Sealer .

Errant, thank you very much for sharing your experience. I'll see if I need floetrol, and I'll not over brush.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 3:12AM
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BM says not to use Floetrol. Advance is a hybrid paint, and it already dries more slowly (the oils in the paint) to help it level. I read on the paint forum about somebody using Floetrol with Advance and it totally ruined the paint. BM says their paint doesn't need thinning, but if you absolutely must, to add a Small amount of water.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 10:24AM
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I painted my kitchen cabinets myself last summer. I used the BM Advance, which worked well. I took all of the doors off and painted them in the garage laying flat. I got a bunch of scrap wood (trim pieces and strapping) and chopped them into 6-8" pieces, then drove 2 nails through each one to make drying stands for the doors.
I used a foam roller and a high quality foam brush for the cabinet frames. It left a very faint eggshell pattern, but was generally very smooth. Still have a few drips that bug only me...
I used a paint sprayer that worked off my compressor for the doors. It worked great, and I had never used anything like that before. The door surfaces are perfectly smooth and lovely. You do need to have a space you are not worried about trashing a little bit. I used my garage- set up most of it as a drying area, then used plastic hung from the ceiling to make a painting booth. It kept most of the overspray confined, which was fine in my old garage. There is a slight texture difference between the doors and frames, which I am Ok with because the doors are so lovely, but which might bug some people. I was also very fastidious about sanding and tacking off between each layer. The cabinets were older birch veneer that had been varnished.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 10:29AM
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Oh, one more thing I did that I don't know if it's been mentioned but I also washed the doors with a deglosser in addition to sanding. I think I used Krud Kutter.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 11:05AM
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If you sand, you don't really need to use a deglosser. Just take your time, keep a wet edge to your brush to avoid lap marks. Don't skimp on the prep, apply thin coats and give your cabinets plenty of time to cure.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 1:55PM
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@ happy grrl: I'm sorry but I disagree. IMHO you need a degreaser first. It really cuts down on the sanding time. You're not trying to sand the grease and other splatters off. TSP takes it off really well. I'm sure there are other products too, but this is the only one I've ever used.
If you don't get all the grease off, it can bleed through the paint.

@janesylvia: 1x1s are just strips of wood which measure 1"x1". I think they're also called furring strips. I got them because they were the cheapest. But, any size wood works, as long as it's clean and lifts your door off the floor. Otherwise, you can actually paint it to the floor--not fun.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 7:54PM
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