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Methods for paininting kichen cabinets

llawrence's picture

I have talked to several people about painting my kitchen cabinets. Although the cost comes out about the same, each uses a different method. The problem is that each method has obvious pitfalls:

1. Paint everything in place with melamine. I expect the smell would be bad and it wouldn't be too healthy for our pets

3 Paint with latex in layers. This fixes the smell problem but I'm not convinced that latex can produce a hard or smooth enough finish. I painted a bookcase with the best latex I could find and it scratches fairly easily. But I only used 1 coat

3. Remove doors and spray elsewhere with melamine paint. This leaves the rest to be painted. If we painted the rest with melamine, then there is the smell problem. If we painted the rest in latex, then there is the hardness and finish problems. Plus, how different would surfaces painted by melamine and latex look?

I'd appreciate any opinions.

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JLQ's picture

Hi,  Many people talk about melamine, but all melamine is not created equal - melamine is actually a finish and it is matte and the company that makes the best and only real melamine is Benjamin Moore and they give great advice on how to use the product.  A lot of melamine is actually tinted laquer and that is why you can get high gloss/semi-gloss finishes.  I have used real melamine for years with children and pets and if room is well vented, it has not been a problem, so paint when you can open windows/doors.  Sherwin Williams also makes a great industrial latex paint that they use that is a matte finish, highly durable and they actually use it in their own stores and 2 coats does the trick - I used in a home with dogs and people who were less than careful and it stood up phenomenally well and was not much more than good quality paint.  You do get what you pay for when it comes to paint so be sure you get the best product for high traffic areas.  In latex - high gloss/semi gloss stands up the best, but do your research and talk to the paint people in speciality shops like Benj Moore, Sherwin Williams, Glidden (they have another name now) they can give the best advice as this is their only product and they do amazing jobs with colour matching so if you run out and need to touch up later you can depend on their staff.  Be prepared to put 2 coats on for any surface and remember to prime for the best results.

llawrence's picture

dustbunnydiva;236703 wrote:
I used some allegedly water based melamine a couple of months ago that stunk this house up so badly I had to paint over it. Awful stuff and I will never use it again. I had been assured it was a new type that wouldn't chip like most versions too. No dice, not worth it.

I also had the kitchen painted in oil but it nearly killed the painter and the dog and I. I've used oil before but it really was bad this time. I was just going for selling so wanted to avoid the prep and priming which is why we used oil but I sure wouldn't do that again in a kitchen I cared about living with because even with all the windows open, those fumes were killer.

As for latex, the scratching you are getting is because of the primer (or lack of) on your shelves. If you have a good primer that shouldn't happen. The Zinsser recommended is just the best stuff ever. You could safely coat your doors and then use a latex and be happy with the result.

I used Zinsser and it still scratched.

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