Monday, January 5, 2015

Painting Cabinets

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I've talked about painting my kitchen cabinets since before we even moved into our current home.  There is nothing wrong with them.  They are a quality, 19 year old, golden oak stained cabinet.  The rest of our trim and doors are also oak.  It's just a lot of oak for me personally.  I have looked at many different paints to complete this task over the years.  We've found some really good option, really good colors, just not a really good time.  It's a big job!  It will take time to clean, prep, and paint a full kitchen.  Then more time for things to cure.  Last winter I bought hardware...this winter I'm trying to remember where I stored it.  Uh-oh.

Up to this point I was shying away from using the no prime Clay/Chalk type of paints in my kitchen. Hello, chalk and clay are porous, and hello again, there are five of us of varying ages, skill levels, and general neatness that use this kitchen every day.  I was not going to do ally that work only to find someone managed to smear peanut butter on a door front while searching for a plate.  I may have changed my mind.

I retail American Paint Company paints and products.  This Fall they released a new product called Hard Coat.  Everyone who used it raved about the look, feel, and durability.  I decided to test it out on a spare kitchen cabinet I had picked up.  This was a small oak raised panel door.  It was raw wood so some slight difference from my own golden oak stained cabinets.  With all existing cabinets I would recommend a thorough cleaning with TSP or another degrease/degloss type of product.  Life happens all over our cabinets...just saying'.

I painted 2 coats of Home Plate, a creamy white, a coat of Hard Coat, taped off glazed 1/2 of my board with our brown glaze because I can't decide if that's what I want to do on my own cabinets, and finished with another coat of Hard Coat.  I did also do some light distressing to see if I liked that.  Then I sat it aside and ignored it for a month.  Paints and finishes need time to completely cure to their test their permanent durability.
See all those products on and around the door.  That's what I used to test the durability after the door had cured.  I used the wooden handle on the paint brush and scratched it around.  I used the paint key and scraped it all over.  I took the screwdriver and drew circles on my door.  Now, I could dent the wood, but no paint or finish came off that I could find.  Hopefully most of us would not use these types of tools on our own kitchen cabinets, but I wanted to see if paint would start to flake off.

Probably one of my biggest fears though is the dreaded food stain.  So I put a glop of mayo, salad dressing, olive oil, and spaghetti sauce on my door and left it for an hour or so.  Then I wiped it off with a damp cloth.  (You would not want to clean your painted or stained wood with Clorox wipes or other strong cleaners, just warm, soapy water is good!)

You know what, I was so pleased to find that none of those products created a stain, or appeared to penetrate through the Hard Coat at all!

I have decided that I'll start in the bathrooms and work my way up to the large kitchen project!  Hard Coat is an awesome product and I'll be using it a lot, especially on table tops.  I am so excited to be able to paint with our Natural, No VOC paints on these indoor projects!  And I'm super stoked about Hard Coat, which definitely lives up to it's name!

For the locals, I stock Hard Coat in the booth (#208) at the Brass Armadillo, and I have some at the workshop here at home.  Let me know if you have any questions!

It's that time of year when we look to freshen up our homes.  Let's get busy!



  1. That is so smart to test that way. Sauce splashes and milk drips are what I seem to always find on my cabinets, so if or when I paint them I'm gonna do this test too.


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