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Old paint on cabinets

Hiya ! ...

Here it is :- ...old house , many cabinets,doors ,windows...very old paint (lead) .great condition ! ..rock solid ! ...client does not want them stripped(thankfully) , my thoughts.. No sanding (lead) , just washing,priming & top coat with oil base...I think this is gonna work ...

..what say you ? ...

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Posted 2012-12-13T21:00:48+0000  by Englishrik Englishrik

Hey Englishrik,


Sounds like a great project.


No sanding means a de-glosser is in order. Be sure all of the shine is gone off the surface before priming.


Is the original paint an old based product?  You do not want to place an oil based finish over latex paint.


To determine if the present paint is latex, take a rag and apply denatured alcohol to it. Rub the paint surface in an inconspicuous area, if the paint comes off its latex.


Only apply latex paint over existing latex paint. Once you have determined the type of paint on the cabinets the rest is easy.


You might consider using a modern latex paint such as Behr Premium Plus Ultra. It’s a paint and primer in one formula, which will save a lot of time and effort over using a separate primer coat.


 If you are not making a radical color change this product will get the job done with great results.


Let us know how the kitchen turns out.



Posted 2012-12-14T01:34:31+0000  by Mike_HD_OC

Hi ! ... Defiantly old oil based...gonna take your advice & degloss to you or behr but I do like  oil based paint on cabinets & drawers...

Posted 2012-12-14T02:14:36+0000  by Englishrik




I would second your preference for oil paint on cabinetry or furniture, especially if shelving is involved. Oil dries to a much harder finish than latex/acrylic. Acrylics retain a gummy feel, particularly when it is humid. Heavy dishes placed upon acrylic will tend to stick to the surface .Brushed on oil exhibits much better leveling characteristics than acrylics.If there is a drawback to oil, it is that alkyd oil yellows badly with age.This is especially noticaable on white kitchen cabinets.


For reasons unknown to me , many Home Depot stores no longer carry a selection of tintable  oil trim paint. Nor do HD stores carry spraying lacquers. This alienates many professional painters and quality oriented amateurs.

Posted 2012-12-15T06:46:26+0000  by ordjen

Hi Englishrik,


My recommendation of latex paint was based on the idea that we did not know what type of paint was on the cabinets. If it's oil based then oil based would be the best choice for refinishing.


Often home owners have no idea what type of paint is on their cabinets. In cases like that, I always recommend latex to be safe. As I mentioned before it is unwise to apply oil based paint over latex.


Let us know how the project turns out!





Posted 2012-12-17T22:16:51+0000  by Mike_HD_OC

Hi mike ! ...

Thanks for the reply.....

..un fortunately the client has just bought the place...masses of cabs..over 20 doors,all baseboards & moldings...he thought that he could just slap 1 coat of water based on everything !...he now thinks that I'm a con artist & is getting other doubt he will find a cheap painter that will do it...his loss ........RIK





Posted 2012-12-17T22:42:01+0000  by Englishrik



In your post, you make a couple generalizations with which I might differ: "You do not want to place an oil based finish over latex paint". I would agree that it is a bad idea to intermix oil and latex coatings in exterior applications which are subject to extreme and sudden changes of heat and humidity. Their differences of expansion can wreak havoc on exterior surfaces, causing severe paint failure and peeling.  However, interior surfaces are relatively  temperature and humidity stable.The differences in expansion are not a factyor here.


I have on occasion gone over poorly applied "ropey" latex paint with a good oil enamel undercoater followed be a coat of low sheen oil enamel in an attempt to lessen the poor finish of the original latex finish.The sanding of the heavy bodied oil undercoater did much to fill in the bad texture of the latex paint. The low sheen and superior leveling ability of the oil finish coat also lessened the poor texture of the existing paint job.


"Only apply latex over latex." In the past, I would have agreed with this also. However, modern acrylic paints are now capable of bonding to slick, hard surfaces such as oil paint, varnish and melamine. Witness the advent of Cabinet Transformations which uses an acrylic bond coat directly over such surfaces. Behr Ultra is also capable of bonding to slick oil and varnish. Naturally, standard preparation practices such as scuff sanding should be used. I have tested Ultra directly on slick, high gloss urethane varnish and oil paint and can attest that it cannot be scraped off by normal means.


I am from the "old school."  I tend to have beliefs acquired over many decades as a painting contractor. Many learned the hard way, and many bordering on old wives tales. Modern paint chemistry is constantly improving the synthetic water based paints. It is incumbent on me to constantly be questioning my beliefs, questioning whether they still hold true.

Posted 2012-12-18T07:07:58+0000  by ordjen
Hey Englishrik,

Since we spoke last, they marketplace has offered several options like Liquid Deglosser.

Although not among my favorite products, I would find it useful in your situation ... no sanding.

Simply apply a thin coat of deglosser with a cotton rag and wipe the surface in gentle swirling strokes.

Wipe into the corners but ensure you don't leave a heavy stream of the deglosser.

Remove visible excess and allow the coating to dry.

Your new top coat can be applied directly over the dried deglosser.

How easy could it be?


Thick layers have been known to crack and take off new paint ... the main reason this is not my favorite.
Posted 2015-12-08T22:17:08+0000  by Pat_HD_ATL
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