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How to Refresh Gloss Paint on Trim and Cabinets

How to Paint Shiny Coatings on Trim and Cabinets


Trim and cabinets are commonly finished with gloss or semi-gloss paint to repel dirt and stains. These shiny coatings also repels the next coat of paint.


Attain your best results on these shiny surfaces by buff sanding with 220-grit sandpaper before you paint. Remove sanding dust with a dry terry towel and a shop vac.


Click To View "How To Sand."


Then apply an oil-based primer and re-coat with either water-based or oil-based paint. Oil-based topcoats are typically more durable and can be cleaned with disinfecting household cleaners.


Water-based topcoats cannot be cleaned as aggressively.


Click here for DIY instructions for stained surfaces.


NOTE: When removing the sanding dust, Do Not apply solvents to your terry towel ... solvents can make the surface gummy.


Wipe with a dry terry towel for best results.

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Posted 2014-11-26T20:26:39+0000  by Pat_HD_ATL Pat_HD_ATL

I too was raised in the old school where it was written in stone that when one went over an oil paint, an oil primer was required to assure a good bond. However, the new generation of 100% acrylic paints, such as Behr's Ultra, are perfectly capable of giving excellent bond directly over hard, slick oil paint substrates. Further, Behr's new Alkyd Water Based Enamel is also capable of giving excellent bond directly over a hard, slick oil substrate.

To test this, I made several strips of of door casing which were primed with an oil primer and then painted with Glidden's Oil Enamel  in a dark gray. After dry, one was painted with  Ultra Semi-Gloss Ultra Pure White, and one with Behr's Alkyd Water Based Enamel. After 24 hours of drying, it is impossible to scratch the new top coats loose!
Both showed superior leveling with no signs of brush strokes. Both showed excellent coverage with only one coat, however, in the "real world" with back and forth brushing, two coats would be neccessary for coverage.

To test the point, NO preparation was given to the old slick surface. I wanted to test the worse case scenario.  Both paints bonded without dulling with a de-glosser or scuff sanding. However, I would not suggest omitting such preparation in the rel world!

Unfortunately, Behr's Alkyd is not generally available in Home Depot stores across the country. It is available on HD Online. It has been a great seller in Southern California where oil  paints have just about disappeared due to emission laws. Fortunately, my store in Portland has been granted test market status for the Alkyd and is selling very well. After several months of selling it, I have been getting overwhelmingly glowing comments.
Posted 2014-11-27T06:59:12+0000  by ordjen
Thanks for adding to the thread Ordjen!

In your reference, the term "Old School" also means "Tried and True."

In other words, painting techniques that produce noteworthy results that are worthy of re-use over and over again.

So, even though it may seem like overkill, I continue to recommend buff sanding with 220-grit, priming, and then painting.

Whether you call it "Old School," "Tried and True," "Overkill," or "Guaranteed Success the First Time," methods that produce high-quality results are worth repeating.

Contractors, who paint every day, may develop their own variation.

But DIYers, who paint once every year, can't afford the time or resources to fail and then try something new ... they should stick with techniques that guarantee success the first time!

When Paint-and-Primer in One had been on the market for about three months, a contractor brought one of twenty-seven doors he had painted to The Store.

After a small amount of prep, he brushed a film of paint over each factory finished gloss door and found that instead of scratching off, the film came off the doors in larger sheets.

Since this experience, I continue to recommend primer first ... particularly on semi-gloss and gloss surfaces.

Over wall sheens, like flat, eggshell, and satin, Paint-and-Primer in One covers and sticks well.

I absolutely love the fact that Behr and Glidden continue driving paint quality standards higher year-after-year.

But there is also no substitute for "Old School" painting techniques that produce quality results the first time!
Posted 2014-12-11T21:53:17+0000  by Pat_HD_ATL


I certainly did not mean to discourage time and tested methods of surface preparation, merely to suggest that in my tests I wanted to test the most unforgiving surfaces. As stated, "I would not suggest omitting such preparation in the real world"!

I too discourage using the paint and primer products directly onto slick factory finishes, such as come on our new metal doors. Here I recommend a really good scuff sanding and priming with an oil based primer. I installed one of these metal "primed" doors on my new garden shed when I moved to Portland nine years ago. Proscrastinator that I am, the door is still unpainted and looks like new! Some primer!

All generalizations have their exceptions, I am really leery of any paint that is deep in color and loaded with tint. Adding 10 or 12 ounces of glycol to a paint definitely affects its perforance, including adhesion. Here a dedicated primer would be in order. All my test samples alluded to above, were done with straight white out of the Ultra and Alkyd cans.

As a side note, Behr does not look kindly upon the use of Floerol in its Ultra line. They prefer water only. I would agree that in general, Floetrol does give more wet time. I have used the prolduct for decades.

The WB Alkyd label states not to thin at all. I actually called Behr and got hold of one of the chemists that developed the product. I wondered why the WB should not be thinned, whereas the oil alkyds are commonly thinned. His reply is that they were afraid that  customers would see the word "alkyd" and just assume that mineral spirits would be its solvent. He replied that the WB Alkyd could indeed be considerably thinned when neccessary for spraying. Over a well sealed surface, it actually brushes and levels  well straight out of the can. I have been redoing the woodwork in my own home with this product and have been thoroughly impressed so far. It is difficlt to see any difference between the original sprayed acrylic finish and the new brushed finish.

My personal bias, having applied oil paints for over 50 years, is to get too comfortable and be too much of a "doubting Thomas" when new products come along. Ultra and Behr Alkyd are a quantum leap over the latex paints of old!
Posted 2014-12-16T20:05:25+0000  by ordjen
Consistently Great Advice!

That's how I think of your contributions Ordjen!

If DIYers take time to review your comments, they'll benefit from years of "How To" experience ... "cutting the corner" toward success.

As always, thanks for your outstanding contributions to The Community.
Posted 2015-02-05T21:09:57+0000  by Pat_HD_ATL
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Posted 2015-06-04T16:12:34+0000  by Pat_HD_ATL
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