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?
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!
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
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.
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.
Yes, of course! Putting enamel on bare wood is an exercise in
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
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
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.
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
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
Be sure to work in the Ideal temperature and humidity conditions recommended
on the can of either paint or stain.
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.
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.
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
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?
Well, thanks for your recommendations.
What I decided to do is what Norminn slightly hit upon: use semi-
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?
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
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