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painting veneer kitchen cupboards

I'm going to paint the kitchen cupboard and they are veneer.  I bought TSP cleaner for them and am at the stage of the process.  What kind of bonding primer would be best?  I am looking at Kilz and thinking of doing 2 coats.

Should the top coat be enamel?  This is the only medium I've never used.  I want to do this project perfectly as it will be this way for years; however, I'm doing so many home projects (flooring throughout installed by HD, new roof, etc.) this year that cost is an issue.  What is the best value to use and is enamel paint difficult to work with?  Is it always oil based?  How many coats should I apply?  Any assistance you can give me I would love to get.  Thanks so much!!  Carrie.
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Posted 2015-07-14T10:33:52+0000  by shults shults

Welcome to our community Carrie! 

Thank you for your questions. :-) 

You are off to a great start by cleaning the cabinets with TSP. Priming the cabinets with Kilz 2 will work great for priming the cabinets. Two coats isn't necessary, but if you are going from a dark color to a light color, it may not be a bad idea. When I painted by cabinets, I was going from dark brown to white and I applied two coats of primer and it turned out great!  

Now, lets talk about enamel paint. The word "enamel" refers to the hard finish a paint leaves once it is dry. It used to refer oil based paint because oil based paint dried super hard and left a shiny finish. 

Nowadays, both oil and water based paints are referred to as enamel paints. Water based paint have come a long way and the finishes are just as durable as oil based paints. With that being said, you can use either an oil or water based paint for your cabinets.

I would recommend using a satin or semi-gloss finish. Satin is a little less shiny than semi-gloss. If you find yourself cleaning your cabinets often, you may want to consider using a semi-gloss finish, as it will be easier to clean. 

Water based paints are easier to work with than oil based paints. At The Home Depot we offer a wide variety of water based paints that can be tinted in any color of your choosing. Click here to see our latex based paint offerings. 

I would highly recommend visiting your local Home Depot location to check out the colors available and to have the perfect color made just for you. 

One last thing before I let you go, typically two coats of paint are applied, but sometimes only one coat is needed for the project. 

If you have any more questions, please let us know! 


Posted 2015-07-14T12:36:34+0000  by Christine_HD_ATL
Hey Shults,

Over several years a full discussion of your project has developed on The Community.

Click thru to Cabinet Refinishing Doesn't Have To Be That Difficult for a full discussion and product review for your topic.

Personally, I think oil-based paints are much easier ... prime with oil-based Zinsser Cover Stain and paint with Behr oil-based semi-gloss.

The primer dries in about an hour.

Apply paint using long, flowing strokes with a natural bristle brush and then do not touch the surface again for six-hours.

When left alone, oil-based paints self-level into a perfectly smooth, beautiful finish.

This combination will withstand cleaning with regular household kitchen cleaners ... water-based paints will not.
Posted 2015-07-14T14:55:44+0000  by Pat_HD_ATL

Here's just another perspective. 

From my personal experience, oil based paint is harder to work with. While it does leave a beautiful finish, oil based paint is stickier and harder to clean up afterwards than water based paint.  Cleaning up afterwards requires mineral spirits, while water based paint can be cleaned up with water. 

Ultimately, the choice is up to you on which you choose.You will not be disappointed, no matter which you choose. 

Please send us pictures of your finished project! 

Posted 2015-07-14T15:43:50+0000  by Christine_HD_ATL

I would have to agree with Pat, that oil ios indeed easier to use than acrylic/latex paints. The very "attribute" of quick drying makes latex difficult to apply with a brush. A latex paint begins to skin over in only a couple minutes. The average do- it- yourselfer is not used to this time constraint and heavy brush marks are the result. Oil paints have a much longer "set time"and continue to level internally even after the surface appears to be set. A smooth, hard, brushmark free surface is the result. Further, oil does not exhibit the gumminess that latex does. A vase placed on oil paint will not stick to the surface, as will a vase on latex.

There is an alternative to either an oil or latex: Behr Alkyd Water Based Enamel. This product has the attributes of a true oil paint, with the convenience of water clean up. Unfortunately, not all Home Depot stores carry the Alkyd, although it is available online.

Since handling this product for the last 15 months, my store has sold about 500 gallons of it. Annecdotally, I can say the response from customers who have used it, is overwhelmingly positive!

OOne of the advantages of the Alkyd is that it has excellent adhesion to existing sound surfaces. It does not need a primer when applied to old painted or varnished surfaces. Normally, two coats are required for good results. If bare wood is present, a dedicated primer should be used first.

I personally have tested this product directly over high gloss oil enamel. It cannot be scratched off without great effort. The test piece also exhibits absolutely no brush marks.
Posted 2015-07-16T06:17:55+0000  by ordjen
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