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Need help with Kitchen cabinets

tlecapli's picture

I am new on this Forum.  I need some help with painting my kitchen cabinets.  1) They are a "terra cotta" brown veneer/wood (builder grade) and matches the same coloured tiles on the floor.  If I were to paint the kitchen cabinets a cream/off-white--will this go with my terra cotta coloured tiles??.  The tiles are too expensive to change--so I thought this may be a better option.2) to paint the cabinets (wood/veneer)--what are the steps? do I need to sand them down? can I use a roller to paint or is spray painting my only option?  What kind of primer should I use? Should the paint be semi-gloss or high gloss? How many coats? 

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lmurphy's picture

I don't think you can go wrong with cream or off-white, and either would definitely work with terra cotta tiles. Don't know if you saw our top paint picks of 2011, but there's some nice whites and taupes:

Nestor_Kelebay's picture

There is also a thread about painting melamine kitchen cabinets just below this thread  that may be worth reading through.

Nestor_Kelebay's picture

Tlecapli:I can't help you pick a colour, but I can help you pick a paint.People shy away from oil based paints because they're concerned that oil based paints will yellow with age.  What people don't understand is that oil based paints WILL NOT yellow in well naturally lit rooms or any areas exposed to plenty of direct or indirect sunlight.  For example, if you paint a wooden window sill with oil based paint, it will never yellow on you.  The second thing people don't understand is that the yellowing that does occur in oil based paints is completely reversible.  If you have furniture painted with oil based paint that's kept in a basement and has yellowed over the years, just take it into a well lit room, or even take it outside if it's rain-proof, and the yellow discolouration will disappear in a couple of weeks.So, if you want to paint your kitchen cupboard doors, and it's well lit room from large windows (or plenty of them) then I'd opt for an interior alkyd paint, and that's only because latex paints simply aren't hard and durable enough to stand up to the constant handling that kitchen cabinets doors put up with.  You're going to be constantly cleaning finger prints and dirt off the doors, and eventually scrub a latex paint right off the doors.If your kitchen is not well lit, and you're concerned about the yellowing of an oil based paint, then I'd go with a product sold by General Paint in Canada called "Envirogard" paint.  This is a water based paint that dries to a much harder film than normal latex paints, and it doesn't yellow at all.If you're planning to paint the tops of the shelves, then you're wanting the hardest paint you can get (that's also user friendly).  That's because it's the tops of the shelves that have to stand up to the most wear and tear.  In my apartment block, I use Benjamin Moore "Melamine" paint in the 303-90 white tint base on all 22 sets of kitchen cupboard and cabinet shelves.  BM "Melamine" is a urethane fortified alkyd paint, which means it's an interior alkyd paint with polyurethane added to it so that it dries harder and stronger than it otherwise would.  I find that this paint stands up very well on the shelves, and that I can remove most marks from it with a Magic Eraser, or if push comes to shove, with acetone to dissolve a very very thin layer of the paint's surface.  But, being an oil based paint, Melamine does yellow with age, especially in a dimly lit area like the inside of a kitchen cupboard.  If you want to stay away from that yellowing, then I'd opt for Envirogard paint on the inside of the cabinet, too.  I think General Paint has outlets in major cities all across Canada.If it were me, I would sand the surfaces down that you want to paint.  Then I would prime with an interior oil based primer, and apply the primer with a roller.  You won't be able to get into every corner with a roller, so where you have to brush the paint, then make use of paint "conditioners" like Penetrol and Floetrol.  Penetrol and Floetrol are both made by the Flood Company, and both are essentially fairly viscous thinners for oil based and water based paints, respectively.  By thinning the paint you slow it's drying time, and that allows it to self level better to prevent brush strokes.  The problem is that if you just thin the paint then it has a tendency to drip or sag on vertical surfaces as it dries.  So, both Penetrol and Floetrol are more viscous than water or mineral spirits so that the paint doesn't become less viscous as you thin it with these conditioners, and that prevents the paint from dripping or sagging as it dries on a vertical surface.How well a paint hides depends largely on what colour it is.  That's because paints get their colour from tiny coloured solid particles in the paint called "pigments".  Some pigments are more opaque than others, and some are (because of their colour) better able to absorb light than others, and some are (because of their size) better able to scatter light than others.  All else being equal, you get your best hide with the "inorganic colours" or the "Earth Tones".  Ask to see the colours in your paint store's paint tinting machines.  The different colourants will have different colours because they contain different pigments, and those pigments will be classified as either organic or inorganic.  The organic colours are the "colour wheel" colours, like red, blue and yellow, and the green, orange and magenta you can make by mixing.  All of those "colour wheel" coloured pigments are organic pigments because they're all made synthetically in a lab from chemicals that contain carbon atoms.  The inorganic pigments are the "Earth Tone" coloured liquids in the paint tinting machine.  Those include white, black, yellow oxide which is mustard yellow in colour, red oxide which is reddish brown in colour, brown oxide which is chocolate brown in colour and raw umber which is a very dark brown in colour.  If you can find a paint colour who's tint formula calls mostly for these inorganic or "Earth Tone" paint colourants, then you'll get better hide with each coat than colours who's tint formula calls mostly for organic or "colour wheel" coloured paint tinting colourants.Also, all things being equal, the flatter gloss you opt for, the better it will hide with each coat.  But, in spite of that, I'd go with a fairly high gloss paint on cupboard or cabinet doors simply because they have have to be cleaned often from being handled.How many coats of paint to apply is hard to tell.  What I'd do is give one of your doors an extra coat of paint.  You should notice that that door has a "higher colour density" than the other doors.  Then, just keep applying coats of paint to all the doors until you don't notice any difference in colour density between the door that has the extra coat of paint and the others that don't.   Once you can't tell the difference between N and N+1 coats of paint, then you know that you've got complete hide of the underlying primer, and adding further coats of paint won't change the colour density of any of the doors even one iota.

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