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Cabinet Paint - Primer Question

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Forum topic by kyngfish posted 03-17-2020 04:00 PM 589 views 0 times favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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kyngfish

114 posts in 892 days


03-17-2020 04:00 PM

Hi All,

Making some shop cabinets to hang on my wall and I wanted to paint them with something reasonably durable, but also quality looking. So I was going to go for some enamel oil-based paint because it seems to withstand life better than latex. Last time I did this, I also used oil based primer, and it took a really long time to cure for sanding and finishing. Is it fine, or even recommended to use water based primer for quick drying and then oil based paint for durability?

Open to other feedback or suggestions as well.

Best


21 replies so far

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

6310 posts in 3296 days


#1 posted 03-17-2020 04:18 PM

I suggest you reconsider the top coat. Many of the new paints are now 100% acrylic, and much better than the old latex paint (they are still called latex in most cases). I’ve used them on several utility cabinets, including one that sat in my greenhouse for about 4 years, and the paint has held up very well. Just be sure to check for the 100% acrylic, it will (or should) say that on the label somewhere. I should point out: I did apply that paint over an oil based primer.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

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kyngfish

114 posts in 892 days


#2 posted 03-17-2020 04:24 PM

I tried an acrylic coat on some chairs for my dining room and while the finish was good, the durability vs. the enamel stuff was blah. Is there any reason you’re recommending acrylic other than the drying time? I have a good compressor/spray gun, so i normally get pretty good finishes

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wildwoodbybrianjohns

1815 posts in 350 days


#3 posted 03-17-2020 06:10 PM

Never oil over water. Water over oil is ok though.

-- Wildwood by Brian Johns: The Big Bang: Nothing - exploded into Everything. Thanks to Nothing.

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Fred Hargis

6310 posts in 3296 days


#4 posted 03-17-2020 07:34 PM

I suggest acrylic because the water based is so much easier in a lot of categories…. clean up, odor, dry time. The clean up is even more important if you spray. I see wear and tear on a chair as being a little higher than on a cabinet, I’d probably not want to use it in a chair either. I’m not suggesting that the acrylic paints as as tough as their oil based counterpart, but they are a lot better than the paints of just a few years ago…and a huge step better over the latex wall paint most of us remember.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

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controlfreak

927 posts in 404 days


#5 posted 03-17-2020 07:47 PM

Although oil primer can have a longer dry time it shouldn’t take any longer than a day. If a lot of tint gets added it may lengthen dry time unless you add some japan dryer. The idea with primer is to not have it dry too fast which is why I don’t like latex. Oil has more time to penetrate into the material and this increases the bond. You can top coat any primer with any finish you like however you can not ever paint latex over any gloss oil finish without deglossing and a new primer coat. Even though you can paint oil over latex a new primer coat will help adhesion. Nothing is worse than a finish that each time it is bumped it chips or flakes.

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maxyedor

40 posts in 1127 days


#6 posted 03-17-2020 09:19 PM

I would use BIN Shellac based primer. Just recently started using it and it’s awesome! Hides stains extremely well, dries in 10-15 minutes, pretty much anything will stick to it, sprays like a champ.

For the top coat, I’ve been really happy with Milk Paint and Dunn Edwards Aristacoat Alkaloid paint.

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CaptainKlutz

3330 posts in 2297 days


#7 posted 03-17-2020 09:29 PM

Enamel cabinet finish? Sounds like need to finish stamped metal cabinets made in 1950’s, very old school! LOL

Could use what the professional cab shops spray on cabinets: pigmented pre-cat lacquer for kitchen/bath, or pigmented 2-part conversion varnish for office cabinets?

Both cure in less than a day. Solvent systems are more durable than Water Base (WB). Any decent industrial paint supplier can also recommend the proper primer for top coat, and it might even be a WB. They have pigmented pre-cat primer, as well as general purpose vinyl/acrylic primer systems. If you want wood finishing tech from 70’s/80’s, can even buy pigmented 2K polyurethanes.

If can tolerate solvent system, look at Sherwin Williams Industrial Wood Coatings site for local industrial coating distributor. Their solvent lacquer and CV coatings are proven reliable, and industry standard others use for comparison.

For WB system, IMHO SW is not one of the better choices today? Look for a Renner, Target, or Gemini distributor in your area. If I believe my suppliers, a lot of the cabinet shops in my area are using Gemini WB top coats? Have used Gemini WB clear top coats and they were least objectionable WB I have found till recently.
Sprayed a test quart of new Renner WB poly and was surprised. Was harder than most, and performs more like a CV. Waiting for next cabinet project to give it a serious trial. It’s been a favorite in EU for many years, but just recently came to US due licensing issues with SW (Renner makes Slayerlack sold by SW).

Bottom line; Dump the enamel. Loads of better choices.
Which one is better for you, will depend on which supplier you have access to locally where you get your finishing materials and professional advice. ;-)

Don’t forget you can only believe half of what you read in online forums. :-0)
But your local supplier wants you to be successful 1st time, every time, and give them return business.

Best Luck.

-- If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all, - Albert King - Born Under a Bad Sign released 1967

View CWWoodworking's profile

CWWoodworking

871 posts in 981 days


#8 posted 03-17-2020 11:35 PM

For the insides I’d use prefinished plywood.

+1 for precat white from SW. 3 coats and your done in 1 day. No need for primer. Chemcraft also makes a nice precat.

On the water based side, breakthrough from ppg would be a good choice for shop cabinets. No need for primer. Sprays great with an airless.

View Robert's profile

Robert

3788 posts in 2283 days


#9 posted 03-19-2020 05:16 PM

There’s no reason to use oil based paint anymore.

There are acrylic enamels and pigmented lacquers just as durable.

BIN shellac based primer and SW Proclassic is a good combo.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

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Brad

135 posts in 4576 days


#10 posted 03-19-2020 07:00 PM

I’ve been researching this topic for my kitchen cabinet project as well! @CaptainKlutz I’ve heard the SW pre-cat is also the way to go but what are the color options for this product? Can you get it made up into any of the colors SW carries?

-- Brad -- www.bradfordwoodworking.blogspot.com

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kyngfish

114 posts in 892 days


#11 posted 03-19-2020 07:09 PM

I’m willing to give some of the new water-based paints a try, but last time I went to sherwin williams for something similar, they swore up and down the acrylic they had was just as good, and it really wasn’t. I do like the idea of a pigmented lacquer, but I guess since these are garage cabinets, it’s a good opportunity to experiment.

Thanks for the insights.

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gtrgeo

134 posts in 1233 days


#12 posted 03-19-2020 07:51 PM

Zinsser 123 is my go-to primer for painted wood. This stuff covers well and as darn near bulletproof. I have even had items in the shed that just received the primer as I usually have it tinted gray when I buy it. This primer adheres well to materials or spots I have had trouble having other paints stick.

George

View Joel J's profile

Joel J

55 posts in 2741 days


#13 posted 03-19-2020 08:49 PM

I typically go with SW Easy Sand Primer (Oil based) then topcoat with SW Pro Classic. If you want to toughen up the finish, you can shoot water based polyurethane over the top of the paint. That combo is as tough as oil. I have shot both many times over the years. Also, oil based paints yellow if they are not exposed to daylight. So on something like cabinets, the interior of doors will yellow over time and you will definitely notice the difference between the outside of the door and the inside. The Easy Sand Primer can be sanded within an hour or so here in the dry climate of Colorado..

-- Joel, Denver, CO

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Joel J

55 posts in 2741 days


#14 posted 03-20-2020 02:54 PM

Also I wanted to mention, I cut the SW Easy Sand Primer with lacquer thinner and I believe that is why I can sand it fairly soon after I spray it. I typically use a cheaper HVLP gun with a 2.0 tip and spray it.

-- Joel, Denver, CO

View CaptainKlutz's profile

CaptainKlutz

3330 posts in 2297 days


#15 posted 03-20-2020 05:54 PM


@CaptainKlutz I ve heard the SW pre-cat is also the way to go but what are the color options for this product? Can you get it made up into any of the colors SW carries?
- Brad

Have seen SW pigmented pre-cat in both white and medium tone base, but only the largest industrial distributor in town has the tone base for darker colors. Have only used pigmented white pre-cat a couple times, and a light green color once; so all can say it was easy and fast with those colors?
(usually stick to clear lacquer)

For all but large open grain woods, or sappy pine; +1 don’t need a primer.
Simple schedule: one coat, sand, two more coats, done.
If want to change gloss and add depth, add one thin coat of satin clear.
Just don’t put down the color coat too heavy or it might crack when fully dry. Lacquer has max film build.


last time I went to sherwin williams for something similar, they swore up and down the acrylic they had was just as good, and it really wasn t.
- kyngfish

Sorry to say, this is kind of crap recommendation delivered if you visit a regular retail store.
You must find an INDUSTRIAL WOOD COATINGS location!!!
If they don’t stock ‘Sher-Wood’ Pre-cat or ‘Sher-Wood Kemvar’, you have wrong store!
(Also, IMHO the SW acrylics are too soft, and WB Slayerlack are temperamental to lay down. I don’t recommend any SW WB finishes for fine wood working. SW Acrylics are OK for painting a house only.)

Don’t despair. Need to be more persistent.
Here in Phoenix, we seem to have a useless SW retail store recommending acrylic in every neighborhood.
Despite the size of Phoenix, there is only ONE full line industrial location in town!

Now, There are two of the largest retail stores (one on east/west sides of town) that support both consumer grade finishes, and commercial painting operations. They usually stock SOME of the Industrial Wood coatings, and some DTM industrial enamel/urethane/epoxy systems used on metal in factories. They can order any Industrial coating if needed, but only stock the ‘often sold’ products for local businesses. Mine on east side stocks only clear pre-cat, and white pigmented Kemvar conversion varnish. They are also a little short on furniture finishing experience, and new folks will make same crap acrylic recommendations. Have to visit the full line store for best advice, and access to all materials.

YMMV
and Best Luck.

-- If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all, - Albert King - Born Under a Bad Sign released 1967

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