Acrylic Kitchen Cabinets

Buy the Right Kitchen Cabinet Paint You’ll need to choose between acrylic enamel paint and alkyd paint for cabinets. Acrylic, or water-base, paints are low-fume and clean up easily with water. Alkyd, or oil-base, paints require good ventilation because the paint contains solvents that can irritate your lungs and make you feel sick. Alkyd options require mineral spirits for cleanup, but they provide a hard, durable paint finish. Whichever you use, buy the best quality paint you can afford for a lasting kitchen cabinet finish. A self-leveling paint that levels out the brush marks as the paint dries for a super smooth finish is often a good choice for painting kitchen cabinets. It does, however, set up fairly quickly, which can make blending brushstrokes tricky. Paint Cabinets with These Top Colors
acrylic kitchen cabinets 1

Acrylic Kitchen Cabinets

2 × Oil or Latex? Oil or Latex? Photo by Geoffrey Gross These site-built cabinets from the 1960s still had years of service ahead of them, but their look was outdated. The first question homeowners ask is whether to use oil or latex paint. In general, latex paints have been improving steadily, leading some pros to give up oil-based paints entirely. Because they dry quickly and clean up with water, latex paints are more user-friendly than oil-based paints. But many pros still favor oil-based topcoats, arguing that they form a harder, more durable paint film and level out to a smoother finished surface. Latex paints also take longer than alkyd-based paints to cure fully (up to two or three weeks), and in the meantime are susceptible to damage. Bottom line? Either type will provide a good finish. If you do use a latex paint, make sure it is a 100 percent acrylic formulation, which offers greater durability and adhesion than vinyl acrylic paints. A sprayed-on finish will be the smoothest, but there are some drawbacks. If a pro does the job, masking off areas in the kitchen that will not get paint—countertops, cabinet interiors, appliances— is time-consuming (read expensive.) Some pros spray all parts of the cabinets in the kitchen. Others spray doors and drawer fronts after they have been removed from the kitchen, and use a brush on the less visible cabinet frames. If you want to paint yourself, you can probably rent spray equipment from a local paint store. Lots of homeowners do this successfully, even with little previous experience. Yet it’s worth pondering whether the most heavily used room in your house is a good place to learn. You should be able to get excellent results by using a high-quality brush. Stay away from foam applicators. And don’t use rollers, which leave telltale stipple marks.
acrylic kitchen cabinets 2

Acrylic Kitchen Cabinets

Oil or Latex? Photo by Geoffrey Gross These site-built cabinets from the 1960s still had years of service ahead of them, but their look was outdated. The first question homeowners ask is whether to use oil or latex paint. In general, latex paints have been improving steadily, leading some pros to give up oil-based paints entirely. Because they dry quickly and clean up with water, latex paints are more user-friendly than oil-based paints. But many pros still favor oil-based topcoats, arguing that they form a harder, more durable paint film and level out to a smoother finished surface. Latex paints also take longer than alkyd-based paints to cure fully (up to two or three weeks), and in the meantime are susceptible to damage. Bottom line? Either type will provide a good finish. If you do use a latex paint, make sure it is a 100 percent acrylic formulation, which offers greater durability and adhesion than vinyl acrylic paints. A sprayed-on finish will be the smoothest, but there are some drawbacks. If a pro does the job, masking off areas in the kitchen that will not get paint—countertops, cabinet interiors, appliances— is time-consuming (read expensive.) Some pros spray all parts of the cabinets in the kitchen. Others spray doors and drawer fronts after they have been removed from the kitchen, and use a brush on the less visible cabinet frames. If you want to paint yourself, you can probably rent spray equipment from a local paint store. Lots of homeowners do this successfully, even with little previous experience. Yet it’s worth pondering whether the most heavily used room in your house is a good place to learn. You should be able to get excellent results by using a high-quality brush. Stay away from foam applicators. And don’t use rollers, which leave telltale stipple marks.
acrylic kitchen cabinets 3

Acrylic Kitchen Cabinets

You’ll need to choose between acrylic enamel paint and alkyd paint for cabinets. Acrylic, or water-base, paints are low-fume and clean up easily with water. Alkyd, or oil-base, paints require good ventilation because the paint contains solvents that can irritate your lungs and make you feel sick. Alkyd options require mineral spirits for cleanup, but they provide a hard, durable paint finish. Whichever you use, buy the best quality paint you can afford for a lasting kitchen cabinet finish. A self-leveling paint that levels out the brush marks as the paint dries for a super smooth finish is often a good choice for painting kitchen cabinets. It does, however, set up fairly quickly, which can make blending brushstrokes tricky.
acrylic kitchen cabinets 4

Acrylic Kitchen Cabinets

The first question homeowners ask is whether to use oil or latex paint. In general, latex paints have been improving steadily, leading some pros to give up oil-based paints entirely. Because they dry quickly and clean up with water, latex paints are more user-friendly than oil-based paints. But many pros still favor oil-based topcoats, arguing that they form a harder, more durable paint film and level out to a smoother finished surface. Latex paints also take longer than alkyd-based paints to cure fully (up to two or three weeks), and in the meantime are susceptible to damage. Bottom line? Either type will provide a good finish. If you do use a latex paint, make sure it is a 100 percent acrylic formulation, which offers greater durability and adhesion than vinyl acrylic paints. A sprayed-on finish will be the smoothest, but there are some drawbacks. If a pro does the job, masking off areas in the kitchen that will not get paint—countertops, cabinet interiors, appliances— is time-consuming (read expensive.) Some pros spray all parts of the cabinets in the kitchen. Others spray doors and drawer fronts after they have been removed from the kitchen, and use a brush on the less visible cabinet frames. If you want to paint yourself, you can probably rent spray equipment from a local paint store. Lots of homeowners do this successfully, even with little previous experience. Yet it’s worth pondering whether the most heavily used room in your house is a good place to learn. You should be able to get excellent results by using a high-quality brush. Stay away from foam applicators. And don’t use rollers, which leave telltale stipple marks.
acrylic kitchen cabinets 5

Acrylic Kitchen Cabinets

Painting Kitchen Cabinets Make sure your paint is well-stirred, then pour the paint into a paint tray. Load a roller or brush with paint. Start with cabinet doors, which will take longer to paint because you’ll need to allow dry time before you turn them over to paint the opposite side. If your shelves are adjustable and the inside of your cabinets needs a fresh coat of paint, now is the time to start painting them, as well. If they have never been painted, don’t start now. Paint cabinets with light coats. Painting thinner coats mean fewer drips for a high-quality paint job. Be prepared to apply at least two coats per side when painting kitchen cabinets. Don’t Paint Kitchen Cabinets Until You Read This!
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Acrylic Kitchen Cabinets

4 × Ready for Paint Ready for Paint To paint the cabinets, painter Vytas Misenis, of Woodbury, Connecticut, starts with a wash to remove dirt and grease and ensure a good bond between the old surface and new paint. After the tedium of cleaning, filling and sanding, picking up a paintbrush will seem like a reward: A new surface and a new color are about to emerge. If cabinets are heavily stained, use a stain-blocking primer such as B-I-N, a tinted shellac made by Wm. Zinsser & Co. It dries quickly and seals knots and other surface defects that might bleed through the topcoats. But in most situations, according to Harrison Paint’s Shinn, stain-blockers should not be necessary. He suggests either an alkyd or 100 percent acrylic latex primer. If you have stripped cabinets to bare wood, Bonadies recommends using an underbody, a special type of primer that fills minor surface imperfections. This will produce a smoother finished surface. After the primer or underbody has dried, a light sanding with 150- or 180-grit sandpaper will remove dust nibs and other imperfections before the topcoats are applied. The surface should be wiped down after sanding. One coat of primer is all that’s needed. And, finally, it’s time for the payoff. Whether you’ve chosen oil or latex as the topcoat, don’t skimp by buying cheap paint. This is one of those cases where you really do get what you pay for. Latex paint should be applied with a synthetic-bristle brush, which does not absorb water; oil-based paint should be applied with a natural-bristle brush. Gloss paint offers greater protection and holds up to scrubbing better than a semigloss or eggshell sheen. If you are repainting in roughly the same shade, a primer coat and two finish coats ought to do it. You might even get away with one coat over an underbody primer. But painting over a dark finish with a light color is tougher. It could take a primer and three finish coats. Even so, it’s a small price to pay for a kitchen that will look almost new.

Acrylic Kitchen Cabinets