Best way to paint raw maple cabinets.


I have washed maple kitchen cabinets that were in great condition except the finish was flaking off. I sanded the cabinets down to the bare wood. I want an old world look, so I want to paint and glaze them. What kind of primer, paint, glaze, top coat should I use? Should I try to paint them by hand or spray them? Never used a sprayer, but will do so if I know what kind of sprayer to buy. What is the difference between lacquer and oil base paint?

3 Responses

  1. Ok, here is my opinion, and there will be multiple opinions as to the answers to your questions.

    From bare wood, we use a Sherwin-Williams product called "Easy Sand." This product can be sprayed or brushed. I have found this product sands as smooth and easy as a Lacquer Base Coat, without the noxious odor. Drying time is quite similar. In your situation I would apply 2 coats of primer, sanding in a moderate fashion between coats. This system will usually prevent the wood grain from penetrating the finish.

    After the second coat is allowed to dry to label specifications, sand to a slick, smooth finish. Dust and vacuum the cabinets. For our cabinets, we use another Sherwin-Williams product, Pro Classic Alkyd cabinet paint. 2 coats of this product and you will be ready for the glazing color of you choice. We prefer to add a final clear coat to this system in order to protect the glaze.

    There are too many differences between lacquer and oil base paint to mention here. One I find important for this situation, Lacquer MUST be sprayed as the dry time is seconds. Buying a sprayer is the simple part of spraying cabinets. I learn each time I spray cabinets and I have been learning how to spray cabinets for 20 years.

    Second most important choice in painting is the applicator. Buy good, not cheap. Your finish will be no better then your brush.

  2. I just finished the same project at my house. I sanded the maple cabinets down to bare wood with 150 grit sandpaper. I then rolled oil based primer on with a high density roller being very careful to maintain a smooth surface. Then I rolled on two coats of high-gloss latex paint with the same high density roller. The key is rolling carefully to maintain a glassy smooth surface. It looks great! I even had a kitchen designer friend upset because she figured I ordered new through someone else!

  3. For your project of achieving an old world look on your maple kitchen cabinets, you will need to start with a high-quality bonding primer to ensure the paint adheres well to the wood. Choose a bonding primer specifically designed for use on wood surfaces to prevent peeling or chipping in the future.

    For the paint, opt for a durable and high-quality latex or acrylic paint in a color that complements your desired old world aesthetic. Matte or satin finishes are ideal for replicating the aged appearance you are seeking. Consider using a paint with built-in self-leveling properties to help achieve a smooth and even finish.

    When it comes to glazing, select a product designed for use on painted surfaces. Choose a glaze in a color that will enhance the desired old world effect, such as a darker shade for creating depth and highlighting details. Consider experimenting with different application techniques to achieve the desired level of antiquing and distressing.

    To protect your newly painted and glazed cabinets, apply a clear top coat specifically formulated for use over painted surfaces. Opt for a durable finish such as polyurethane or acrylic to provide protection against daily wear and tear in the kitchen.

    In terms of application method, both hand-painting and spraying can be effective, with each method offering its own set of advantages. Hand-painting allows for more control and precision, which can be beneficial when trying to achieve a custom or distressed look. On the other hand, spraying can provide a smoother and more professional finish, especially on larger surfaces.

    Ultimately, the choice between hand-painting and spraying will depend on your level of experience, the size of your project, and your desired end result. Whichever method you choose, be sure to carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions for each product to ensure optimal results. Taking the time to properly prepare, prime, paint, glaze, and top coat your maple kitchen cabinets will help you achieve the old world look you desire while ensuring a durable and beautiful finish that will stand the test of time.

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