Spraying vs. Rolling Kitchen Cabinets

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Don't worry about dry time. Worry about cure.
FWIW, how heavy did you apply the test coat?
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If I use an additive with an oil based paint, I only add thinner. Regardless, under good conditions the oil based paints need to dry over night for you to be able to touch the surface.
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We are not terribly opposed to either satin or semi-gloss for the cabinets but I'd like to know which would be better at hiding the brush strokes better. The high gloss we had was as I said horrendously difficult to work with in terms of hiding brush strokes. I also read the flat is very difficult as well. Since both satin and semi-gloss are in the middle there, are they about the same or is one generally better than the other in terms of being the easiest to work with to attain smooth finish?
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I have one more pressing question:
I should have everything sanded down to bare wood in a few hours, now what are the recommendations on priming? Should I still prime now that it's bare wood? I used the oil-based Zinsser Bulls-Eye 1-2-3 before but that was over a TSP-washed poly gloss. I've read a lot of places that it's not absolutely necessary to prime if using a top- quality paint. I went to the paint store and decided on some Sherwin- Williams ProClassic Alkyd paint. If priming is still recommended, what are some best of the best primers and what would be a kind I'd look for in a Sherwin-Williams store? Thanks for all the help!
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GG.and.UN. wrote:

Primer is usually applied over fresh bare wood. The idea is to seal the wood grain and prevent it from soaking up too much paint or varnish. If the wood soaks up the solvent too fast, the paint doesn't have time to level before its dry. For old work, even sanded down to "bare wood", I would expect the wood grain is still full of the old coating, what ever it was, and therefor a prime coat isn't going to do much for you. The last time I did a good paint finish on kitchen cabinets, starting from bare new wood, I did one coat of ordinary shellac, let dry over night, sand it out with 220 grit in a pad sander. Then a coat of oil based gloss enamel (trade name of "Larcaloid" or something like that). Dry overnight so its hard enough to sand without clogging the sandpaper. Then sand again. The sanding rubs down the high spots, and makes the surface flatter. Wipe down with a tack rag to get all the sanding dust. Apply a second coat of enamel. Let dry. Sand again. At this point my cabinets looked good enough so I hung them, but you can do a third coat and they will look better. The last sanding leaves a flattish finish. A coat of Butcher's wax brings out a nice semi gloss look. I used a good quality bristle sash brush to apply primer and enamel. Do the best brush cleaning you can to keep the good quality in the brush for the second coat. Now aday's the paint stores are moving to all water based paint. The water is getting better, and it might be good enough, but back then you had to use oil based enamel to get a decent finish. A lot of "interior" paint is good only for a flat finish on sheetrock. I've been told that good water based gloss enamels exist but I haven't used one and I'm still a little suspicious of anything that doesn't have oil in it.
David Starr
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A primer is used to insure a good bond between the material and the paint. Also, it can be used to smooth imperfections. Do a "very" light sanding after the primer to knock down any dust speck bumps. Wipe off the dust and apply the paint. Typically it is best to use the same brand primer as the paint that you will be using.
The SW top of the line Alkyd is what I used to paint the trim and flat slab doors in my house. I did not use any additives at all. I would prime if going on top of bare wood. The wood will soak up some paint and better it be your first coat of the less expensive primer than the top coat material. If going over existing paint I prep the old surface by wiping down with Liquid Sander and then going straight from there with the final top coat.
With that paint I had great results painting the slab doors with the 4" small cell roller where the door hung. As another poster indicated, get the paint on the door and don't over work it. When it has good coverage work another area. Practice on the back side of a door until you get the feel. It really is pretty simple. the trick is to not get too much paint on the roller and create a mess.
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GG.and.UN. wrote:

Yes, of course! Putting enamel on bare wood is an exercise in futility.
I repeat... 2. No paint surface will be smoother than the underlying surface. It must be dead flat and smooth. It may be that the brush marks you are seeing are being telegraphed from a less than properly sanded undercoat.
I can't tell you which to use but you need one that builds well and SANDS EASILY. It needs to build in order to achieve a layer thick enough to sand perfectly flat and smooth. There are very few household primers that will fit the bill. There are numerous suitable ones available at auto paint supply houses.
Not trying to be unkind or uppity but you obviously have no experience with what you are trying to do. Getting a flawless enamel paint job is very difficult and my best suggestion would be for you to have it professionally done.
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dadiOH
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Thanks for everyone's suggestions, I really appreciate it.
Don't worry about it dadiOH, I appreciate your comments as well.
I'm an avid DIY and I enjoy it. I'll always call a professional if necessary and I am definitely not afraid to do so. They don't need to be perfect, but I want to shoot for that. Also, I don't necessarily ask a lot of questions because I am clueless - I just want opinions so I can wage them all together and there is nothing wrong with that. A man seeking counsel is wise to do so.
Also, I live in a town of only a few thousand and I called every remodeling place within the vacinity and no one does alkyd spraying.
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Usually the shinier the surface the more the imperfections will show up. With stain, the surface has to almost be perfect and evenly sanded with the same grit over the entire surface. If you do not sand the entire surface with the same grit you will have areas that absorb more stain than the smoother areas. Flat normally hides the most problems but tends to absorb stains and dirt much more easily. In a kitchen or bathroom I recommend a glossier finish when painting.
Be sure to work in the Ideal temperature and humidity conditions recommended on the can of either paint or stain.
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GG.and.UN. wrote:

If you add Penetrol per the label, drying time should not be an issue. Get your work area real clean after sanding and before painting. If you are getting noticeable amounts of "overroll", then perhaps your roller is too loaded or you are pressing too hard. Keep a small foam brush, wrung out in mineral spirits, to smoothe the overroll...very light touch.
In other posts, the question is asked whether to go with satin or semi. For cabinets (or kitchen or bath walls), I think semi is easier to clean.
Shellac primers - I forget whether it is Bullseye or what - dry very fast and are tough to brush out. They are really "overkill" for new wood with no knots or bleed/stain problems. Ordinary primer of your favorite paint brand should be fine.
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Go to your local Sherwin Williams store and buy either a foam roller cover or a mohair cover. They'll know what your looking for. Also, to help with leveling, buy some Penetrol. Add about 1/2 cup - 1 cup per gallon. This will help tremendously with brush marks. If you still have problems, it could be the primer underneath. It you don't start off with a smooth surface, the best paint in the world cannot fix it.
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OK, I need a group hug so bear with me:
I feel like we've spent a lot of time on this already and haven't received very good results.
I've been laying out my solutions and have come to these conclusions:
1) Tomorrow I sand everything down and redo everything using the hotdog roller and the BM with Penetrol. The thing is I can't roll everything and will have to brush in certain areas and I worry about the inconsistency.
2) Tomorrow I sand everything down and buy the darkest ebony stain I can find and stain all the wood. Hopefully the wood will be dark enough that all the ugly grain of the (birch?) wood will be hidden. What's the feasibility of this?
.
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GG.and.UN. wrote:

Zero.
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dadiOH
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Well, thanks for your recommendations.
What I decided to do is what Norminn slightly hit upon: use semi- gloss.
So I'm going to go out and buy some more paint but I don't feel like driving an hour to get to a BM dealer so I'm goin g to try a Sherwin Williams paint; maybe the ProClassic line. What is their top product concerning alkyd paints that are tintable?
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With a 4 inch 1" diameter roller you will be surprised how close you can get to corners and into tight spots. I typically use a brush when doing cabinets to get small cramped areas. The foam roller will also do trim pretty easily.
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