Author Topic: Need help choosing paint to be painted over kitchen cabinets in rental house  (Read 1988 times)

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Offline Stan Tillinghast

  • Posts: 298
We have a rental house in Arizona. The last tenant was a woman with long fingernails, and she has left big scratches on the cabinet door and drawers. We had a painter there who was forced to retire because all his workers left.

The existing paint was gummy when we bought the house, our now-retired painter did a decent job of touching up, but the old paint still tends to be too soft. It doesn't come off with alcohol, so it may not be latex, but it is not hard like a good enamel.

I tried getting matching samples and painted a couple of backsides of a drawer and part of a door, but without a sprayer I was not happy with the results.

By the way Citrix stripper easily removed all the paint down to what appears to be finished birch, in a simple rail and style with flat panel style. I'm sure these were very inexpensive cabinets. It's possible that there was inadequate sanding and priming of the cabinets prior to initial painting.

I'm afraid I'm going to have to hire someone to strip all the existing paint and respray with a paint that will be very resistant to scratches, etc. over time. No idea what that would cost, but would have to get quotes.

I have a Rockler/Earlex sprayer, but I have never used it. It's too big a job for me to feel comfortable taking on, but I would like to be able to know enough about the paint choices to make an informed decision before getting the job done.

I would greatly appreciate any advice from my more experienced fellow FOGgers.

Edited to add: Does anyone have experience with the proprietary N-Hance cabinet refinishing? Cost? Durability?
« Last Edit: May 18, 2022, 01:21 AM by Stan Tillinghast »
Für uns...ist das Beste gerade gut genug!

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Offline Packard

  • Posts: 1410
I shoot Benjamin-Moore's Advance with a HVLP sprayer.  I also brush and roll it.  For spraying I thin it about 10% with water.  Just enough so that the paint atomizes.

Advance dries slowly and is fairly thin out of the can.  The slow drying is both an advantage and a disadvantage.  It dries slowly so it self levels nicely.  But re-coat times are 12 hours, so two coats will take more than one day.

The whites cure very hard.  A full cure takes 7 days.  In high gloss it is rated as an exterior finish.  In all others, it is an interior finish.

Dark colors can take as much as a month to fully cure.  And it never cures as hard as whites and light colors.   

It is supposed to be self-priming and I treat it that way.  I did shoot over Sealcoat (dewaxed shellac) and it crazed and I had to sand and start over.  I don't know how well it will adhere to your surface. 

My B-M dealer charges $5.00 for samples.  I would do that and check.  If the current finish is soft, top coating it will never be really hard.

I've used PPG's Breakthrough! and I only stopped using it because the local PPG dealer went out of business.  That finish dries insanely fast and cures very quickly.  You do have to have good command of your spray technique and arrive at an ideal thinning ratio as it dries so fast that it will not self-level.  Expect to pay about $50.00 - $55.00 per gallon of either. 

Offline cpw

  • Posts: 360
Our painter brushed and rolled two coats of Advance for our rental before we sold it.  Used BIN as a primer because it dries quick and for additional hide of the dark oak.  It looked good because Advance self-levels well.  I've personally sprayed and rolled Advance.  Spray is a bit better, but rolling or brushing is good enough in a lot of cases.

Offline Sparktrician

  • Posts: 4283
I have to ask, given the level of effort required to strip the old finish off prepare the surfaces, then spray them with a new finish, wouldn't it be far more efficient (physically, fiscally, and time-wise) to just replace the doors and drawer faces? 
- Willy -

  "Show us a man who never makes a mistake and we will show a man who never makes anything. 
  The capacity for occasional blundering is inseparable from the capacity to bring things to pass."

 - Herman Lincoln Wayland (1830-1898)

Offline Stan Tillinghast

  • Posts: 298
Sparktrician, that possibility has occurred to me, but I thought I would start by getting quotes on re-painting first.
Remember this is a rental house; long-term durability is probably my first concern; and painted cabinets seem to be as popular as finished wood cabinets these days (they would not be my preference).

There's also the important factor of time: we want to get the work done ASAP and the house rented out in order not to lose a month or more of rent.
Für uns...ist das Beste gerade gut genug!

Offline xedos

  • Posts: 585
Sparktrician has given you the best answer. 

You're not going to spray Advance or any other thick emulsion coatings with a SprayStation. 

What you've got to answer for yourself is : what's the downtime for a given choice ?  Ordering doors may take 2 weeks or two months.  Getting on a painter's schedule could take the same or more.  Waiting for a finish to cure before recommissioning the unit is not advantageous either. 

N-hance is nothing more than a UV cured coating that has been packaged for field work.   Which means you are more susceptible to user error because the light is hand held.  Don't know pricing , but I've been around long enough to know that their cost will make a new set of cabinets attractive and perhaps cheaper.   The coating is $$$ and more labor intensive than a regular quality respray because there's more labor and machines to buy.  Plus the franchise fees have to be passed along.

Offline Packard

  • Posts: 1410
I have to ask, given the level of effort required to strip the old finish off prepare the surfaces, then spray them with a new finish, wouldn't it be far more efficient (physically, fiscally, and time-wise) to just replace the doors and drawer faces?

And while he is at it upgrade to soft close hinges.  It is is an older cabinet (it probably is) then going from a 3/4" overlay to a 1-1/4" overlay will cover more of the face frame and will make for a more modern look. Most popular now is shaker, which is also the easiest to produce and the cheapest (you can use 1/4" MDF for the center panels.

But before doing that, confirm that the hinges are available. They have been on backorder for a long time now.

Offline afish

  • Posts: 1332
I almost said that earlier sometimes its just easier/better to make new.  Im guessing these are cheap builder grade cabs.  so a reface might just be better.  But if painting I would at least step up to something like the SW emerald as a min.

Offline xedos

  • Posts: 585
New doors can be ordered painted, stained , raw - your choice.   And, a factory finish will be better than a field applied one all things being equal.


Given the soft and unknown finish already on there, it's a junk shoot that the prep will yield a great and durable finish.  Not impossible, but the number of gotchas along the way are numerous.  Corrections require more time and material -and- become frustrating for even the most seasoned and mild mannered painter.

Like I said earlier - check out the cycle times for each way.  It appears you are assuming that getting a painter in there will be the fastest option.  It may may be, but ya really should verify.  In my area anyone worth having is at least a month out, and the guys that don't require handholding are three.

Offline Peter Kelly

  • Posts: 133
Remove the doors and drawer fronts and take them to a furniture repair place to be stripped and painted. This would only leave you to clean and paint the face frames, end panels, toe areas which would be considerably less effort and likely quicker than scheduling a painter.

Offline Dan C

  • Posts: 64
I have shot Advance with a couple different Graco sprayers with great results using an FFLP tip.

Offline Stan Tillinghast

  • Posts: 298
Quote
Remove the doors and drawer fronts and take them to a furniture repair place to be stripped and painted.

OK, I was wondering about that option. I'll look into it.

I've also seen some YouTube reviews of Advance and SW Emerald Urethane; I'm inclined to try out one or both with roller/brush to see if I can get an acceptable finish--not just for this project but for future use in our home.
Für uns...ist das Beste gerade gut genug!

Offline Sparktrician

  • Posts: 4283
Quote
Remove the doors and drawer fronts and take them to a furniture repair place to be stripped and painted.

OK, I was wondering about that option. I'll look into it.

I've also seen some YouTube reviews of Advance and SW Emerald Urethane; I'm inclined to try out one or both with roller/brush to see if I can get an acceptable finish--not just for this project but for future use in our home.

If you're concerned about keeping the rental property generating income, get the doors and drawers refinished or replaced by a company that does that full-time.  They'll likely have the necessities in stock.  You can experiment with Advance and Emerald on your own time and get used to them more thoroughly while the property is generating income.  Just sayin'...
- Willy -

  "Show us a man who never makes a mistake and we will show a man who never makes anything. 
  The capacity for occasional blundering is inseparable from the capacity to bring things to pass."

 - Herman Lincoln Wayland (1830-1898)

Offline Axis39

  • Posts: 29
I have used Advance.  It's okay, but not my favorite, or my first pick.

We have recently discovered a couple of products that we really like.  The first is the Pro Industrial Alkyd Enamel, from Sherwin Williams.  It is a water born polymerized oil, that is very hard, and settles out nicely, even rolled, and hardens really, really nicely.  But, dry time is a bit longer, redcoat as well.  We found we needed it to harden for a few hours before re-coating...  sanding is forever before it comes off clean.  Full cure is something like 24 days?

One product we spray, but can be brushed, rolled, and a lotta guys use airless spray guns, is the Scuff-X from Benjamin Moore.  It really dries quickly.  Re-coat is only 2 hours.  Dries to the touch quick.  It is really, really scratch and scuff resistant!  We just finished a project, where other contractors paneled the walls in the halls, living room and some of the private spaces with 1/2" MDF panels, with a beveled edge on each panel.  Panels were about 24" wide, I think.  But, they were finished with Scuff-X and they have not seen a single mark, even with other contractors (including us) bumping into everything they shouldn't!

Another product we spray is Sherwood Chem Aqua (a waterborne lacquer).  It is super fast drying, and looks beautiful!  It dries to the touch in 15 minutes....  Sand in 25. Re-coat in 30.  Cures to rub out in 24 hours, to stack in 8-12 hours, I believe...  We really love this for clear finishes.  But, we are trying the tinted version tomorrow.

That's my .02,

Offline tjbnwi

  • Posts: 6591
  • No longer in Cedar Tucky Indiana
@Axis39,

The pigmented KA+ will show a slight orange peel for a few days. It has coalest enough to work with as the clear. It just takes longer to tighten.

For primer use Gen II, Surfacer if you can’t get Gen II.

A step up is SW Hydro Plus, an aziridne crosslinker can be added to increase the hardness of the film.

Above are the two products we use in the shop. I hired a young lady and trained her to be our finisher, I don’t think she realized she’d be applying 100 gallons of product a month minimum. For the general public they can be hard to come by.

@Stan Tillinghast,

Look into Cabinet Coat. BM bought the company a few years ago, you may be able to find it at your local Ace Hardware.

Stix primer will be your friend….

Tom


Offline Axis39

  • Posts: 29
One of the chicks at one of the local BM's was suggesting the Stix.  But, I got a call from a customer and we never finished the conversation.

I guess I need to look into that stuff.

Our biggest desire is speed, and leveling....  Not necessarily in that order.  But, our hope is to sand within an hour.  Does the Stix dry quickly?  Does it pill when sanded?  I am definitely going to go do some research!

Thanks for all the shared info!  I for one really appreciate the knowledge and generosity!

Offline tjbnwi

  • Posts: 6591
  • No longer in Cedar Tucky Indiana
One of the chicks at one of the local BM's was suggesting the Stix.  But, I got a call from a customer and we never finished the conversation.

I guess I need to look into that stuff.

Our biggest desire is speed, and leveling....  Not necessarily in that order.  But, our hope is to sand within an hour.  Does the Stix dry quickly?  Does it pill when sanded?  I am definitely going to go do some research!

Thanks for all the shared info!  I for one really appreciate the knowledge and generosity!

If you are going to shoot KA+ or Hydro Plus on new material use SW Gen II or Surfacer. With a little air flow both are ready to sand on a 65º day in 15 minutes. Sand with 240.

If you’re shooting over existing, clean with Kurd Kutter, rinse, prime with Stix. Stix is about 30 minutes to sand. Stix sands well.

With waterbornes, air flow for drying is more important the temperature.

Never ever mix KA+ and KA. The reactions cause them to turn orange.

KA+ is an acrylic, HP is a urethane. HP is more viscous.

Tom
« Last Edit: May 19, 2022, 11:37 PM by tjbnwi »

Offline Stan Tillinghast

  • Posts: 298
An update on our own situation:
I got a quote from a local painter: it was $6700 for kitchen and bathroom cabinets.
I looked at Barker Door and made a guess on average size cabinet door x 25 = $120 x 25 = $3,000.
Not much difference in price between a painted alder/MDF door and a maple door with clear coat.

Bottom line: we won't do anything now. When we get a chance to get doors and drawers measured, I can get a quote on replacements.

In the meantime will try to get response from furniture refinishing service.

I will try some paint samples of perhaps Emerald Urethane and BM Advance for my own edification.

Thanks all for your help!
Für uns...ist das Beste gerade gut genug!

Offline Axis39

  • Posts: 29
An update on our own situation:
I got a quote from a local painter: it was $6700 for kitchen and bathroom cabinets.
I looked at Barker Door and made a guess on average size cabinet door x 25 = $120 x 25 = $3,000.
Not much difference in price between a painted alder/MDF door and a maple door with clear coat.

Bottom line: we won't do anything now. When we get a chance to get doors and drawers measured, I can get a quote on replacements.

In the meantime will try to get response from furniture refinishing service.

I will try some paint samples of perhaps Emerald Urethane and BM Advance for my own edification.

Thanks all for your help!

A lotta guys I read online like Emerald and Advance.  I have not used either, BUT.....  My son has experience with Advance.  He liked how it flowed out, but felt it took too long to dry.  He said he was having problems getting more than one coat on every 24 hours.  (This was in the Mid-Atlantic, high humidity typical).

I have used a few things on cabinets recently, trying some things out.  My son and I have settled on Scuff-X and Kem Aqua, currently.  They are waterborne and dry quickly enough to sand and redcoat within the same day.  I believe Scuff-X rolls out nicely....  In fact, many guys I read about roll face frames with the stuff, then spray the doors.  Might be an option?  I personally like how it settles out and how hard it dries.


Tom, I'll be looking for Generation II today!

Offline MaineShop

  • Posts: 121
I think Tom has given the best advice on here as to products to use. We spray a lot of solvent based pre cat lacquer on our kitchens. In reality that is the standard on a lot of kitchens just because of the fast turn around time, we are usually giving a light sand within 30 mins, it is also a much more durable finish, some products will resist acid after. We use ML Campbell a lot. I think the company is owned by SW. Have used the sherwin williams pre cat clear as well but have not been super impressed. Industrial finishes can be hard to get without a good supplier so if you gotta deal with what you can get locally BM advanced is an acceptable finish for most residential kitchens in my opinion.

Be aware the solvent based lacquers are extremely toxic to work with. You will be high as a kite in 15 mins without some good personal protection. But they dry very fast, are very durable, and are very forgiving on runs and a dusty environment.

Keep in mind you cannot put a lacquer over an oil based finish typically.

Just my two cents

Offline Axis39

  • Posts: 29
One of the chicks at one of the local BM's was suggesting the Stix.  But, I got a call from a customer and we never finished the conversation.

I guess I need to look into that stuff.

Our biggest desire is speed, and leveling....  Not necessarily in that order.  But, our hope is to sand within an hour.  Does the Stix dry quickly?  Does it pill when sanded?  I am definitely going to go do some research!

Thanks for all the shared info!  I for one really appreciate the knowledge and generosity!

If you are going to shoot KA+ or Hydro Plus on new material use SW Gen II or Surfacer. With a little air flow both are ready to sand on a 65º day in 15 minutes. Sand with 240.

If you’re shooting over existing, clean with Kurd Kutter, rinse, prime with Stix. Stix is about 30 minutes to sand. Stix sands well.

With waterbornes, air flow for drying is more important the temperature.

Never ever mix KA+ and KA. The reactions cause them to turn orange.

KA+ is an acrylic, HP is a urethane. HP is more viscous.

Tom

Tom,

We picked up some Gen II and some of the Sealer/Primer today.  Reading the tech sheets, I decided the sealer wasn't appropriate for our current project, some cabinet doors, as we already had some primer.  It was mostly sanded off, but we just didn't want to sand any more.  LOL

We shot the Gen II.  Took us a couple of minutes to find the right air/paint mixture, but once we did, they are turning out looking like a finish coat, straight out of the factory!  Thanks!  We've been seeing drying to sand times of close ot the tech sheet's stated 45-60 minutes to sand.   (for those coats that went on a touch too thin, or needed a touch to cover up the mistakes of former coats).

Tomorrow I have some raw face frames to shoot and will be trying the Sealer.  We are really looking forward to seeing how it does as well!


We did get connected with the wood finishing systems expert.  The Industrial Coatings shop is actually closer than the retail stores we've been using (that don't show up in Google Maps).  So, we will be trying to eke out some training and advice from them as well.

But, I wanted to give you my heartfelt thanks for your advice!  It will save us man-hours, labor-dollars and help us produce better products!  I cannot even begin o thank you enough!