What paint + top coat should I use for built-in cabinet/shelving unit?

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Forum topic by Creations316 posted 03-21-2018 06:37 PM 1022 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1 post in 872 days

03-21-2018 06:37 PM

I have done a handful of projects that I painted, but I just used paint I had on hand (paint meant for walls). I was never happy with the way they turned out. I am working on finishing a commission job for a custom built-in cabinet/shelving unit, and the client wants it painted white. I have been doing some research, but I haven’t found exactly what I am looking for. Does anybody have any personal experience with a specific paint brand? What about a top coat? The cabinet face frame and doors are made with poplar, and the rest is made with birch plywood.

5 replies so far

View Ripper70's profile


1378 posts in 1714 days

#1 posted 03-21-2018 06:42 PM

Worth investigating:

Sherwin Williams ProClassic Interior Waterbased Acrylic-Alkyd

-- "You know, I'm such a great driver, it's incomprehensible that they took my license away." --Vince Ricardo

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John Smith

2512 posts in 968 days

#2 posted 03-21-2018 07:21 PM

photos of your issues and concerns will help us help you.
I have had good results with Valspar, Ben Moore and Sherwin Williams.
personally, I like a good Waterbased Acrylic-Alkyd enamel for things
that get a lot of use – like doors, casework, cabinets, etc. just as Ripper suggested.
keep in mind that the home owner will more than likely clean often
and use the wrong cleaning agents that could very well damage the paint
that you applied. (think out of the box).
high traffic areas demand a high traffic resistant finish.
starting with a penetrating stain blocker sealer is the first step.
paints are designed for specific applications: as you said, wall paint is for walls.
trim paint is more durable and holds up well to high traffic situations.
Jbay, a valued member here just finished a remarkable furniture piece that is all white
and it will be interesting to see his finished project with the painting summary.

a forum that I visit a lot is – - – you may get some good info there also.


-- there is no educational alternative to having a front row seat in the School of Hard Knocks. --

View hkmiller's profile


235 posts in 887 days

#3 posted 03-21-2018 07:40 PM

If you have a sprayer, you can go with White catalyzed lacquer.

This is a great product:

-- always something

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235 posts in 887 days

#4 posted 03-21-2018 07:43 PM

If you have a sprayer, you can go with White lacquer.

This is a great product:

-- always something

View John_'s profile


251 posts in 2511 days

#5 posted 03-22-2018 03:10 AM

Take a look at General Finishes. They have a pigmented poly in black or white in three different sheens – satin, semi-gloss or gloss. Very easy to work with. Usually dries in 2 hours, easy to sand and is formulated for spraying.

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