I'm planning to repaint my oak cabinets. I'm going for the distress look.
I was going to lightly sand the varnish and use Zinseer Bullseye 1-2-3
shellac primer. The reason for the oil-based primer is that in case I sand
off too much of the varnish and expose the wood, the oil-based primer won't
swell the raw wood.
That was the plan until today... I ran into a faux finish expert. He told
me to use water-based primer (Zinseer Bullseye or Kilz Premium). Also, only
one coat of primer, one coat of topcoat, then glaze and two coats of
Is one coat of primer enough? I was told that if the varnish were sanded
off, the stain can bleed through to the top coat. So, isn't two coats (or
more) of primer neccessary?
He also told me there is no need to sand inbetween any coats (other than
sanding the corners and the trims to create the distress look). Is that
I saw the finish product he did. It looks great. Only one coat of primer
and one coat of topcoat? Is it because it's the distress look, so that one
coat of topcoat is enough?
thx in advance.
Only finishes that amalgamate with previous coats are lacquer and
shellac. Varnishes don't so scuff sanding between coats is needed for
a mechanical bond. There is an "open window" after application where
sanding isn't needed for a next coat but it usually times out too
soon. I made a sideboard using poplar with hard maple for top.
Painted it with latex, wife sanded parts to distress then I put two
coats of waterbased gloss Varathane on top. WB varnish doesn't yellow
as much as oil based does. Finishes other than gloss use flatters to
achieve their sheen but aren't as transparent at gloss.
On Fri, 2 Jul 2004 02:00:49 -0400, "wendi"
Not if you want a long lasting finished product. Sanding between coats
smooths out the previous coat, knocks off any gloss that could
possibly be there, and gives a better, longer lasting, and more
professional finish. There is no substitute for elbow grease.
Of course if he uses only water based paints, then there is no sanding
between coats since water based paints, in general, don't sand very
well at all. Then again, they generally tend to show brush marks since
the paint doesn't flow like oil based paints.
If you are worried about bleeding then use a stain blocking primer.
Again, I would recommend an oil based primer, sanding, cleaning,
another coat of oil based primer, another round of sanding, and then
the finishing technique of your choice.
(Remove the Primes before e-mailing me)
Hm... What is varathene? I was planning to use MinWax's Acrylic
Water-based is much easier, and I won't get dizzy from the fume. Brush mark
is fine because I'm going for the distressed look.
Zinseer Bullseye 1-2-3 claims no sanding (it stick to anything), and one
coat is enough. Is that a false claim?
My biggest concern is priming raw wood areas. I have a couple of spots
where the raw wood is showing. The water-based primer might swell the wood!
I'm going to use scotch brite (or 150 sand block) to scuff the surface,
hopfully that won't reveal more wood. Can I spot treat those areas with
polyurethene and then scuff? Or, put a water-based wood conditioner that
MinWax recommends using for water-based stain?
thx in advance
scribbled this interesting
The biggest problem with painting already "varnished" kitchen cabinets
is the grease and dirt that will still be on them even after a thorough
cleaning. Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 Primer Sealer is an acrylic latex. It is
not the best for sealing stains and grease. You are much better off with
Zinsser B-I-N. It is a 4 pound cut of white pigmented shellac. You can
apply oil or water based coats over it. It is fantastic for sealing grease
and stains as well as preventing bleed through. It is alcohol based so no
smoking and open the windows. It dries quite fast so don't over brush it.
Being a 4 pound cut, it takes a little practice in using it but it is really
the best. One coat of primer should be all that is needed. If you apply
the primer unevenly and miss a few spots, then a second coat is required.
As for sanding, why? You should just be scuff sanding at most for coat
adhesion. If you are sanding to achieve a "worn" look, you might to
The topcoats are the two coats of varnish. I assume by top coat you
mean the top coat of colored paint needed to give that two tone look. Only
one is needed.
The reason the expert's work looked so good is that he has had lots of
practice and acquired an understanding of his materials, techniques, and
substrates. I get the distinct impression that you have not done this
before so it is likely that your finished product will look a bit on the
novice side. Just be careful sanding for the worn look.
I started the prep work today. I started with the 150 grit paper; it leaves
score marks behind. I think it's a little too coarse if deglossing is the
goal, so I switch to 220 grit. Still, there is quite a bit of sanding dust
trapped in the open grain of oak, so I have to vacuum the dust out of the
grain. Or, am I sanding too hard?
My cabinets are not that greasy. Only a couple of doors around the stove
have some grease and grime on them. I'll clean them with Jasco's no-rinse
TSP substitute. I rather deal with TSP than oil-based primer. I know
oil-based primer is the way to go for wood. I just don't think I can handle
this much fume.
I'm reading the description of Bullseye 1-2-3, it claims to adhere to glossy
surface including tile, glass and enameled trim. Maybe I don't have to
Oh no, it also says don't use T-S-P. Why not?!?
Hm... I'm confused here. B-I-N recommends uinsg 4lb Bullseye Amber Shallac
for knots and sap streaks. In other words, B-I-N is not 4lb.
thx in advance.
The 220 grit is probably too severe. Try something like 400 or finer.
You are deglossing, not removing machining marks.
Some cleaning to remove the majority of the grease and dirt is always
useful. It is a matter of how much time you want to spend.
As for the BIN, I misspoke. It is a three pound cut of white pigmented
shellac. If the wood is green or in really bad shape with respect to oozing
sap, a four pound cut of shellac should do the trick underneath the BIN as
recommended. If your cabinets fit into this category, you have a whole
Residual TSP could interfere with adhesion of shellac. Rinse off what
you have used really well with clear water but don't soak the wood. In the
future, just use a capful of dishwashing liquid to a gallon of water. The
idea is to get the wood ready to accept the primer / sealer, not to create a
Remember, you will be laying down pigmented shellac. It does not brush
like wall paint.
I have resorted to spray painting. See my other post titled "spray paint
job => no sanding? oil or water?"
I found that 409 works very well (better than Fantastik) to de-grease and
de-gloss. Do I need to rinse with 409 or Fantastik?
I'm going to stick with water-based product; hoping that the spray gun will
give a smooth finish even with water-based product and no sanding.
Rinsing away any cleaner is always a good idea. Waterborne can always
be sprayed. The ideal finish would never have to be rubbed out either.
Kitchen cabinet refinishes are rarely, if ever, rubbed out.
As long as you apply finish coats within the specified window, you
should not have to do any sanding. Waterbornes tend to burn into the
previous coats but not quite as well as lacquer. Your biggest enemy will be
dirt and dust that settles into the finish.
Of course oil-based can be sprayed. Waterborne can be as well. It is a
matter of getting the right viscosity and formulation so it doesn't dry too
fast or too slow.
As far as I know, all acrylics, whether they be paint or clear coat, are
Typically, finishes that polymerize like polyurethane, vinyl or acrylic
paint, or waterborne clear finishes have a window where a second coat can be
applied without sanding between coats. Waterbornes are a little unusual in
that one or more of the solvents used in the formulation will slightly
"bite" into the previous coat so the window may be extremely large or
infinite. It depends on the exact material you are using. If the
directions do not indicate a window but rather a minimum time, then you have
an infinetely large window. Dirt and grease would eventually interfere so
it is not really infinite.
Putting lacquer over polyurethane is a complete waste of time. Both are
film finishes. Poly cures by polymerization, lacquer is an evaporative
finish. I would be leary of putting a more brittle film like lacquer over a
more flexible one like poly.
Lacquer is typically "oil", really organic solvent, based but there are
waterborne lacquers now available.
Spray in a homemade spray booth or room. Leave it alone while the
pieces dry. Don't go in and out of your room unless absolutely necessary.
One trick that works is to spray down the floor, walls, and ceiling very
lightly with water before spraying your finish. This helps knock down down
the dust and keeps it on the water sprayed surface.
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