How to keep painted cabinets from chipping?

oceanbaby_2008September 18, 2008

We are in the process of choosing the paint for our cabinets, and I'm wondering if there is something we can do to help resist chipping. Is there a special paint, a special process, or anything in particular that you know is helpful?


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    Bookmark   September 18, 2008 at 7:29AM
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great question. I painted my bathroom cabinets and even though I don't have a problem with chipping, I do get nicks in the paint very easily.


    Bookmark   September 18, 2008 at 7:57AM
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We had our white painted cabinets repainted about 5 years ago and the painter insisted on using an oil paint. They still look good today - no chips and the drips wipe off fairly easily.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2008 at 8:03AM
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We used BM oil based satin and so far no chips.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2008 at 8:37AM
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I have the same concern and was wondering if certain painted finishes are more "fixable" if they do chip.

I have the impression -- and would love to be corrected on this -- that a factory catalyzed varnish might be more durable but cannot be easily repaired, whereas a regular painted finish might mark (not chip) but can be easily fixed. Is this correct?????

    Bookmark   September 18, 2008 at 9:01AM
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You might want to take a look at Hollandlac paint. It's a high quality enamel (very durable) used to paint many of the wonderful doors you see in Holland. Fine Paints of Europe carries the line.

Here is a link that might be useful: Hollandlac

    Bookmark   September 18, 2008 at 9:20AM
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We used oil base for the kitchen cabinets for this reason.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2008 at 10:18AM
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You may want to think about one possible problem with oil based paint--it will yellow over time. Of course, you won't notice it because all the paint will yellow evenly, but if you need to touch up your cabinets at some point, the touch up paint will not match the original paint.

My painter who was adamant about using oil paint has now decided that the latex's are better. His understanding is that companies are putting more of their research and development dollars into the latex paints. Check out BM Aura paints. People love them.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2008 at 10:33AM
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My custom cabinets were painted in the shop using a lacquer that my cabinet guy says is high quality (and complies with Calif. EPA regulations). I am so disappointed with it! After only 6 months I have many chips along the edges and they are almost impossible to touch up.
I think regular old painted cabinets with latex paint would be easier to touch up because you could always sand and paint over them.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2008 at 11:47AM
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The absolute best product for keeping your painted cabinets pristine??

Birth Control!


But seriously, come join us on the paint forum and do some searches. The consensus there is that the new 100% acrylic waterborne paints (different from just "latex") are superior in performance to oil, especially because oil is actually more susceptible to chipping/cracking over time, as it dries hard and brittle. 100% acrylic, on the other hand, stays somewhat flexible over time, and is thus less likely to crack and chip. It also won't yellow. I've also read (on the paint forum) that mildew and bacteria grow better in an oil paint environment, but I haven't found any sources to explain that claim to me.

But birth control is still the BEST product for keeping your entire kitchen (heck--your entire home!) looking it's newly remodeled best. I wonder why more KD's don't offer it at the initial consultation.

Course, if you already HAVE children (as I do), then the next best option would be a certain well known proposal. A Modest Proposal, if you will....

Here is a link that might be useful: If Jonathan Swift were coping with new paint, tigerwood floors and a fireclay sink...

    Bookmark   September 18, 2008 at 11:58AM
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The typical finish for kitchens is conversion varnish.
Its better with moisture & chemicals.

The lacquer that chipped was probably stale or improperly applied. We use ML Campbell Agualente (WB ) and its great.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2008 at 12:56PM
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Well, I definitely already have children, so it's too late for that!

I'm writing all of this down, and will talk with the cabinet guy about it.

A question: The Hollandlac paints are oil based - does that mean that they will also have a yellowing issue?

I'd love to hear more about Aura paints if anyone has experience with them on cabinets.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2008 at 1:07PM
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There are lots of posts about Aura on the paint forum. If you are painting yourself, the caution is that Aura is tricky to apply. If you do a search over there for "cabinets" you will probably be reading for days!

Both Sherwin Williams Pro Classic and Benjamin Moore Satin Impervo seem to be two of the most popular choices for cabinets. Oh--and a product called Cabinet Coat (not available in all areas). Those 3 are all 100% acrylic waterborne paints. They are also a bit tricky to apply well, but nothing that can't be mastered with a little time and effort.

I'm currently painting my kitchen with the Satin Impervo product. Wow--it is a huge job! If I had my way, I'd have a pro hand paint my cabs (no factory finish, and no sprayer) b/c I prefer that look, and it is easy to touch up if necessary. It is also easy to change in the future. So that is one other consideration: is this your "forever kitchen"? Do you think you might want to change the color someday?



    Bookmark   September 18, 2008 at 1:50PM
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I used supposedly the best (definitely the most expensive $60/gallon) paint available to finish my kitchen cabinets. BM Aura satin finish latex Black Bean Soup which was recommended by my local BM rep. The finish turned out amazing, exactly what I was looking for. I wanted the woodgrain to show through, and even after 2 coats it does nicely, but it chips like crazy (and yes its all from kids).

I washed the cabinets with TSP twice, AND sanded with 220 paper and then again with steel wool prior to painting and I still get chips.

Now here is the real dilemma. I could further protect the paint and limit some of the chipping with a clear coat finish, but right now, if the paint chips, it is easily touched up with a q-tip and blends extremely well.

If I add a protective coating and the paint is chipped, I don't believe I can so easily repair the chips or repairs will be much more noticeable!

If anyone has had success with clear coat over paint let me know which product you used and if it can stand up to teens or if it can be touched up.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2010 at 1:44AM
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