Painting Kit. Cabs. - need suggestion

I'm about to paint my kitchen cabinets. Actually I did it once a number of years ago. They were finished with varnish or polyurethane (not sure which). I sanded, etched, and sprayed them with Zinsser, then with an oil based enamel. They didn't turn out particularly well or bad for that matter.
So anyway I need to re-do them and I'd like to do a better job than before. Last time I bought a $100 Wagner airless sprayer.
So this time around I want suggestions. What material and what equipment.
Thanks Ken
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I use a brush. I brush on a couple of coats of sandable enamel undercoat sanding between coats. Then I brush on a couple of coats of oil based enamel. Oil based paint is getting hard to find. I would shop at a high quality paint store.

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scribbled this interesting note:

For painting kitchen cabinets, I'd use the same process I would any other interior woodwork...
Sand, clean, prime with sandable primer. Depending upon the level of finish I want, I may repeat this step up to two more times.
After all the priming has been done, clean them well. Use a tack-cloth to get all the dust off. Let the dust settle for a day and do it again. Then, after masking off all the rest of the house (a closed doorway or drop cloth tacked up across an open doorway will do the trick) and after masking off all the surrounding areas that I didn't want painted, I'd begin with a high quality oil based enamel. If I want an exceptional finish, I use a sprayer and thin the paint just a bit. If I want to rush, I use Japan Dryer so the paint dries faster-it lessens the amount of time between coats.
Spray a coat. Let it dry. Sand, clean, repeat. Two or three times. Thin coats are better than heavy, unless you are a good judge of when to stop spraying, in which case you spray until the paint flows together, and then stop.
It is lucky you are doing this yourself. The cost in this kind of project is the labor, not the materials and equipment. As for the equipment, I like a HVLP sprayer.
Good luck
-- John Willis snipped-for-privacy@airmail.net (Remove the Primes before e-mailing me)
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Today I purchased a Graco XR7 airless sprayer for about $450. Decided not to get a bottom-of-the-line unit since I'll be using it a lot over the next 2 years.
The paint salesman said that a good quality Latex paint, mixed with Floetrol should give a good finish when applied with the airless sprayer. I am somewhat dubious about that - I always considered latex to be a cheap imitation of "real" paint (oil based). But based on his recommendations I'll go ahead with latex. I'll start the process and post the results
Another thing I learned is that oil based paint is getting pretty hard to find. Lowes had just a couple of cans. I wanted a very bright white for the cabinets rather than just a plain white. That also helped me decide to go ahead with latex. Also, nowadays all the oil based paint is labeled that it is to be used only over metal substrate and only for commercial applications. The paint guy said it's the same oil-based paint they always sold, they just label it that way for legal reasons - to discourage homeowners from using it because they usually don't dispose of waste products proberly.
Ken.

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Surface prep is MOST important, if it were ME I would brush it and add that flow stuff so its smoother.
Brushing washes the paint into the surface below, whereas spraying just applies a coat. it doesnt adhere as well and cabinets take lots of abuse.
so sand all surfaces, wash down and rinse repeatedly, let dry a few days, since water can get into cracks, use tack cloth, prime, sand again, tack cloth again, then finish coat.
since I am basically lazy brushing is less work, and besides getting into every crevice with a sprayer is tough.
let us know how it comes out
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Ken wrote:

The formulation of oil paint has changed so much because of environmental issues that it just isn't the product it was years ago. But conversely, latex/acrylic paints have also changed, and are now much more like the old oil-based paints. That's why you don't see oil-based paints around much anymore.
--
nj_dilettante
in the words of the immortal Sgt Schultz:
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Latex paint can stick to items setting on it for years after its been applied. I would shop at a paint store not Lowes. I would make certain I had a good sales person and that the paint I purchased was suitable for cabinets. Don't rush the dry time. I have never had latex paint work for cabinets. If I was to try some today I would give it a through test before using it.

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On Thu, 16 Feb 2006 17:33:29 -0800, "Pat"

Amen. And latex scratches easily. Will not dry hard enough for cabinets. I painted mine with a brush 25 years ago using primer, and then oil-based semi-gloss paint, and smoothed it with a flat paint pad while it was still wet. Came out smooth as glass. I have painted them only twice since. Three times in 25 years isn't bad! And they look great.
Here's an idea: how about prepping them well and painting them carefully with a brush the first time around and using your paint sprayer the next time? With a solid base coat (or coats) the sprayer would work well for a second go around.

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