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Re-painting a very old china hutch

Posted by snas (My Page) on
Sat, May 17, 08 at 7:14

My condo has a built-in china hutch that I would like to re-paint. The previous owners painted the shelving and trim white and the drawers purple and red. Needless to say, it looks awful. I want to paint it all white. I think the white paint they used was enamel, but I'm not sure about the red and purple paints (they're probably latex).

I would really not be surprised if lead paint was used many coats of paint ago (the building is over 100 years old). There are no children in my home, I'm not pregnant, and I'm not planning on eating any chipping paint, so I'm not going to test for lead. But it's probably there.

That being said, I have some questions as to how to procede:
1. Should I clean it first with a cleaning solution? TSP or TSP substitute? Ditex?

2. Should I wet sand it or skip this step altogether?(given the likelihood of lead paint)

3. Do I need to prime over an enamel paint? I assume that I will need to prime the drawers to get rid of the bright red and purple.

4. What should I use for a top coat: If enamel, what type? Or should I try Cabinet Coat? Or oil-based paint?

5. What is the best type of brush to use for this project? Can I use a roller for the larger surfaces?

Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Re-painting a very old china hutch

First, your idea about checking for lead is a wise idea. You can purchase lead test kits at paint stores, hardware stores, or home centers.

Second, I would use a respirator when sanding any lead based paint.(At least use a dust mask)

Third, you can check to see whether the paint is latex or oil by using rubbing alcohol on a rag or paper towel. If the color of the paint comes off on the rag, it is latex.
Otherwise, it is an oil based paint.

Fourth, yes I would prime the surface. I would also recommend the primer be tinted off white. Off white covers deep colors better than white primer.

Fifth, you can use Cabinet Coat, Pratt and Lambert Accolade, or any paint you so desire. Remember that oil paint will yellow over time while latex will hold the true white longer. The only oil paint I like is Pratt and Lambert Red Seal Satin Oil, although they do have a high gloss oil that looks great.

I suggest you use a soft bristle brush. Wooster Series 4169 and 4171 have a soft formulation that will work well with the latex paint products. Oil based paints should use a China Bristle brush for the best results. The Wooster Yachtsman brush works well. On the flat surfaces, I recommend a foam roller. Whizz Pro Foam Rollers work better than the Wooster Foam rollers and comes in 2, 4, and 6 inch sizes. I find they work better than any rollers on Doors and panels.


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