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How do I prepare varathaned oak cabinets for paint?

My wife wants our perfectly good oak kitchen cabinets painted white.  They are varatahaned.  What is the easiest method to prepare them for paint that will result in a quality finish?

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Posted 2013-07-02T23:31:37+0000  by TMeiwes TMeiwes

Hi there TMeiwes,


Thanks for joining our community!~


Great to hear you're undertaking this DIY project. If you can, we'd love to see some before and after pictures of the project so that they can be displayed on the forums here for the rest of our users to see. = )


The biggest thing I can tell you is that prep work is the key to this project. Your first step is to sand the surface lightly so that you break the initial gloss layer and give the area a bit of tack. Once you've done that, wash the area down with TSP and an abrasive pad. After you've done so, wash the area down with water. Make sure you're very thorough with doing this as leaving residue on the cabinets can mess with the finish of your prime coat.


Next, prime the area with a decent primer. Often I'll see people using a product such as Zinsser B-I-N, however I have also seen it done with Gillden Gripper as that works great for adhering to multiple surfaces. This could take between 1-2 coats to properly set.


Afterwards, you're set to apply your new topcoat color. = )


As an alternative, one of our resident paint guru's ordjen has recommended a bit of a different approach towards a similar project using varnish. He had great results in using BEHR ULTRA Paint & Primer-in-One for this surface. You can view his discussion in the topic: how to paint over varnish.


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Posted 2013-07-11T14:56:42+0000  by Jay_HD_CHI
Hello TMeiwes!

Polyurethane coatings repel dirt and stains ... and they repel other coatings like paint.

Oil-based primer, like Zinsser Cover Stain, is labeled "Sticks to all surfaces without sanding."

In addition, this primer can be tinted similar to your new cabinet color; providing your first coat of color while priming.

Allow the primer to dry one-to-two hours and then apply any topcoat ... water-based or oil-based paint.

Oil-based paint will be more durable and allow cleaning with standard household detergents.

Water-based paints will require non-abrasive, non-solvent cleaners.

But either will result in a long-lasting, beautiful new kitchen.

Paint and primer in-one products are useful over other water-based paints, but tend to scratch off if applied directly over polyurethane.
Posted 2014-12-04T16:42:25+0000  by Pat_HD_ATL
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