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Cabinet Refinishing Doesn't Have To Be That Difficult!!!

In another thread, a Community Member, Lindsay, requested help refinishing her cabinets but exclaimed, "why do cabinets have to be such a pain to paint?! "


Because the answer is buried deep inside another thread, I am reposting it here to make it easier for other members and quests to find and follow.



Hey Lindsay,


Cabinets don't actually have to be that difficult!!!


Try this ... Buff sand the existing cabinets using 220-grit sandpaper (doors off and hardware removed).


Buff sanding is little more than breaking the gloss on the existing finish.


Wipe the sanding dust off using a dry terry towel (do not use mineral spirits or other solvents on your rags; they can make the surface gummy).


Use a natural bristle brush and apply a coat of Glidden Porch and Floor Gloss Oil Polyurethane ... YES Porch and Floor paint ... durable enough to walk on, certainly durable enough for cabinets.


I use this exceptional oil product on my interior doors and trim and it makes a long-lasting durable finish that is easy to clean.


Most important ... you skip all those extra steps and go straight from buff sanding to applying the topcoat.




NOTE: The product label indicates that it is self-priming on many surfaces including previously painted wood.


The product is also self-leveling. So the best tip I can give you is to smooth on a coat (without brushing too much) and then leave it alone for six hours. The surface begins to dry almost immediately upon application ... so if you try to "fix" a flaw in the surface, you will pull snags into the finish and actually create more imperfections.


If you see imperfections, resist the urge to fix them. Allow the first coat to dry six hours, and then use 220-grit sandpaper to buff the imperfections off. Lightly buff the remainder of each piece before applying your second coat.


Two coats of this product should give you a perfect finish ... very much like a factory finish.


Since the product is self-leveling, there is no need to spray (though you can if you have the equipment and ability).


I strongly suggest you keep it simple!!!


When I apply this product, my applicator of choice is the inexpensive Three Inch Chip Brush (approx. $1.50 each).


This oil product requires clean up with Mineral Spirits ... the Chip Brush eliminates the need for clean up and meets the product application instructions to use a bristle brush.


Pay particular attention while smoothing on each coat ... this brush has been known to drop a bristle and you will want to remove them immediately. Then, add a little more paint to your brush and smooth over the spot where you picked up the bristle.


Finally, Glidden Porch and Floor Gloss Oil Polyurethane is available in a white base, but is also sold in bases that can be made into straight black or almost any color between the two.


Several of my customers have changed their cabinets to gloss black using this product. They rave about the look!


So Keep It Simple Lindsay ... buff sand and apply the (white) top coat.


You're going to love the fresh, clean look!!!

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Posted 2011-06-09T14:46:18+0000  by Pat_HD_ATL Pat_HD_ATL

Behr has joined Glidden with a new semi-gloss interior/exterior oil-based cabinet and trim paint.


The product comes in tint bases to make off-white, mid-tone, and deep colors.


Similar to the description earlier in the thread, this product makes cabinet refinishing as easy as 1) buff sand w/ 220-grit paper, 2) wipe off the sanding dust, and 3) paint using a natural bristle brush.


Like almost all oil finishes, you should allow at least six-hours between coats and the product is self-leveling so the brush marks should level and simply disappear as the product dries.



So don't struggle with cabinet refinishing, use these traditional oil products for simple-to-apply finish that looks like it came from the factory.


Available in Behr as well as competitor colors.

Posted 2011-09-08T17:35:51+0000  by Pat_HD_ATL

Hi PatinPaint,


I like your suggestion about using porch paint on the kitchen cabinets. I recently bought the Cabinet Transformation kit to test on some spare cabinets before pulling the trigger.  I like the results but I don't want the brush strokes to be so visible so I think the porch paint would be a better solution for me.


What do you think about using the deglosser in the Cabinet Transformations kit to replace the buffing you suggest in your Porch Paint post. Using the deglosser instead of buffing would save me that despised step of sanding plus the money I spend on the Transformation kit wouldn't go to waste. Our cabinets don't have too much gloss, just that standard 80's oak finish. Let me now what you think.


Also, we'd love to put our sprayer to work. Do you see any benefits of using a brush over the sprayer?


Thans for your advice!



Posted 2011-09-29T03:42:13+0000  by jolivers

Hi JOlivers,


Thanks for the Call Out!


I'm glad you joined the Community!


I am not a great fan of the liquid sandpaper method. Although you wipe it off, it has the potential to leave a layer of chemical on the surface that could prevent proper adhesion of your paint.


TSP is actually easier. It is labeled as a paint prep that de-glosses the surface while also removing dirt and grease.


Just spray on, wait about two minutes, and wipe off with a terry towel. All you do then is let the surface air-dry for several hours and begin painting.


So if you don't want to sand, use TSP!  TSPRdyToUse.jpg


You have two paint choices, Behr Oil Semi-gloss and Glidden Porch & Floor High-gloss. Both can be made in almost any color. Be sure to ventilate the room before you begin.


NOTE: Oil-based paints are self-leveling and easy to apply. Use the white foam roller and/or a natural bristle brush to smooth on a layer and allow it to dry for six-hours. Be sure to keep plenty of paint on your applicator and be cautious not to work the brush back and forth too much ... it can create air bubbles on the surface. And, if you see an imperfection, resist the urge to "fix" it ... after six-hours use 220-grit sandpaper to buff the imperfection smooth and then touch-up the spot.

Posted 2011-09-29T12:12:00+0000  by Pat_HD_ATL



Thanks for such a quick response. 2 last questions before I head out to HD:


1) I plan to glaze the cabinets after painting them (your glazing video has inspired me!) Will the two paints you suggested will be ok with glaze?


2) I read your recommendations on how to bruch/roll the paint onto the cabinets. What about a sprayer? Is there an advantage to using a brush or roller over a sprayer? We already own one, so this wouldn't be an additional cost. 


Thanks for your advice!



Posted 2011-09-29T14:39:01+0000  by jolivers

Great AJS!


Glad the video inspired you!


Glaze is a sticky media that will adhere to almost any finish. I commonly recommend working over satin, semi-gloss, or gloss. Glaze will embed into lower sheens preventing you from manipulating the appearance of your finished piece.


So, your answer is yes, go ahead and use the glaze over these finishes. Oil-based glazes can be found at other supply houses and they may work even better over oil-based paints. The risk with water-based is rub-off, but most of my customers are trying to "age" their cabinets and actually want a seasoned appearance.


As for spraying, the smoothest results are often gotten by spraying. Spraying is an art that is commonly learned over time. If you choose to spray, plan to adjust your sprayer to reduce the output and then apply several light coats ... allowing six to eight hours between coats and lightly buff sand each coat before you apply the next.


When you're done, come back and share your handy work ... then you'll be inspiring us!!!

Posted 2011-09-29T15:00:55+0000  by Pat_HD_ATL

Hi PatinPaint!


Last question, I think!


I just got back from HD. They didn't have the BEHR product you mentioned so I'll go with the Glidden which unfortunately didn't have a wide selection of kitchen-ish colors to choose from. Can the oil based enamel paint be tinted to any color?  There are some colors in the Martha Stewart collection that I love. Boy, I want it all, huh? :smileyhappy: 


I also picked up some TSP. Thanks for that suggestion! 

Posted 2011-09-29T17:41:14+0000  by jolivers

Hello Again AJS,


You are so right ... the Glidden oil-based paint can be tinted any color ... including Glidden colors, competitor colors, color matching, and variations of colors through adjustment.


I use the Glidden oil-based product on the inside of my front door. My dog likes to stand near the door and greet my guests, so I thought it would be easier to wipe off using high gloss oil. Several years after application, it still looks fresh and clean.


As for your comment, "Boy, I want it all, huh?" When you shop at The Home Depot, never doubt that you can expect exactly what you desire. The trick is to discuss your ideas with your Paint Associate. They will assist you by recommending several options ... often including creative solutions to help meet your needs.


Glad you're shopping with us!!!

Posted 2011-10-04T11:54:23+0000  by Pat_HD_ATL

Hi Pat,


Hello from Toronto. Found you online searching for refacing cabinates.Excellent, excellent ! tips and information, so much that I can't wait to start  our cabinet refacing project.


Unfortunaetly, I am not able to find exact same products on the website.


Can you suggest which one of below would be best alternate to the Gildden Oil based Paint you suggested. I am not sure whats the difference between enamel, satin or gloss.  But we are looking for a nice bright white GLOSS finish for the cabinets.


Link 1   ;   Link2 ;   Link3 ;   Link4



thanks again, have a goodday.

Posted 2011-12-16T06:13:57+0000  by karma2000

Hello Karma2000,


Thanks for the call out!


Your link2 is the "alkyd" product most similar to the one describe in this thread. The "clean up" line on the instructions should read, "Clean up with mineral spirits."


I looked at the specifications and it did not list high-gloss, so verify that with your Paint Associate before your purchase.


Can't wait to see photos of your new cabinets!


Oh Canada! I had the great fortune to visit your beautiful country for three weeks recently and I found the people to be very warm and gracious. The beauty of many of my stops was breathtaking ... I would recommend the trip to anyone!!!

Posted 2011-12-16T17:24:40+0000  by Pat_HD_ATL

Hi Pat, thanks for pointing in right direction. Was away for vacation and didnt get to start on this yet. But, found out today that the cabinates are laminate. Will this Alkyd product work for laminate refacing. Any special tips or instructions?


Hope you have a happy new year and best wishes.


Posted 2011-12-31T03:51:58+0000  by karma2000
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