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Discussion Starter #1
Hello and thanks for stopping by.

Doing an interior repaint for a VIP client and they want these cabinets to shine. I've done a couple cabinet jobs but it's not my bread and butter. The last cabinets I did was a small set of oak in a rental/flip for a friend. Cleaned and sanded down the clear coat, primed with BIN shellac and top coated with Pro Classic through a Graco 395 and FFLP tip, sanding between coats. Turned out perfect... for a rental/flip. Don't get me wrong, the owner was very pleased, but it was missing that pop. It just didn't have that factory finish I wanted. It was a 95% factory, to me, and on this one I want 100%.

With that said, what system would you recommend to achieve that here? I'm waiting on color(s)/sheen from the owner, but other than that I have full say.
I was thinking:
  1. clean with mild detergent/degreaser
  2. sand with 150, 220, maybe higher?
  3. fix imperfections with wood filler, sand/tack
  4. spot prime/prime
  5. top coat with FFLP sanding between coats with 320(?)
So my question is A: does that sound sufficient, and B: what's your go to primer/top coat when you want to show off?

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Well, first off, a "factory finish" would be starting with bare wood and using either conversion varnish or lacquer.
How much effort are you willing to put into a 70 yr old kitchen is the question..
Obviously prep work will be the key factor here.
I can get "factory like" finishes with BM Advance 7 days a week. Not as durable as a conversion varnish though.. but I also don't have to sand back to bare wood.
 

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Unless you strip those bare, you're never going to get it looking like a factory finish. They're in rough shape.

Your method seems fine for most cabinets, but these look like they'll need extra TLC in the prep department. The existing paint isn't adhering well, which means anything you put on top of it is limited by the existing paint.

I'd sit down with the customer and try to break the news to them gently. It would be cheaper to buy new cabinets than to do all the work necessary to make those ones perfect. Offer them a Band-Aid solution of cleaning them up and making them look better, but be clear that it isn't necessarily meant to last.
 

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Merry Christmas everyone.

My suggestion is Bin shellac, sand imperfections if necessary and follow up with the PPG Breakthrough after 15 minutes. In and out and collect your checkin the same day. Advance is a nice product, drying time and curing time are the only questions.

Tis the season and I am trying to be impartial! FWIW Ben Moore interior products have the greatest aesthetic appearance in the industry for well over 60 years that I have been associated with paint. How they survived the Berkshire Hathaway acquisition in the year 2000 is an amazing feat. Unlike Merv Griffin's acquisition of Mary Carter Paints in the 1980's, a company who I previously worked for. Peace
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Well, first off, a "factory finish" would be starting with bare wood and using either conversion varnish or lacquer.
How much effort are you willing to put into a 70 yr old kitchen is the question..
Obviously prep work will be the key factor here.
I can get "factory like" finishes with BM Advance 7 days a week. Not as durable as a conversion varnish though.. but I also don't have to sand back to bare wood.
I'm not well-versed in the solvent-based department. That was my father's expertise, and considering that it was a major contributing factor to the "was" part, I passed on the chance to learn from a master. Of course he started before warning labels were a thing, and didn't always wear a mask, but still. I'm not opposed to using them, just not my wheelhouse.

What's your go to for conversion varnish? I have a Woodcraft pretty close that carries General Finishes.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Unless you strip those bare, you're never going to get it looking like a factory finish. They're in rough shape.

Your method seems fine for most cabinets, but these look like they'll need extra TLC in the prep department. The existing paint isn't adhering well, which means anything you put on top of it is limited by the existing paint.

I'd sit down with the customer and try to break the news to them gently. It would be cheaper to buy new cabinets than to do all the work necessary to make those ones perfect. Offer them a Band-Aid solution of cleaning them up and making them look better, but be clear that it isn't necessarily meant to last.
The worst parts seem to be the higher traffic/wet areas. In general I wouldn't say the paint is failing too terribly, all things considered. They're definitely beat up though. The customer wants to keep things original so new cabinets are out of the question. They are also well-to-do, so it's possible I can sell them on a complete overhaul. How might you approach this if cost/time wasn't a factor?
 

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I'm not well-versed in the solvent-based department. That was my father's expertise, and considering that it was a major contributing factor to the "was" part, I passed on the chance to learn from a master. Of course he started before warning labels were a thing, and didn't always wear a mask, but still. I'm not opposed to using them, just not my wheelhouse.

What's your go to for conversion varnish? I have a Woodcraft pretty close that carries General Finishes.
...
The worst parts seem to be the higher traffic/wet areas. In general I wouldn't say the paint is failing too terribly, all things considered. They're definitely beat up though. The customer wants to keep things original so new cabinets are out of the question. They are also well-to-do, so it's possible I can sell them on a complete overhaul. How might you approach this if cost/time wasn't a factor?
Conversion varnish you need to totally get down to bare wood. Not to be used over existing finishes.

Scrape and sand what you can, fill, prime with an oil primer. Topcoat Cabinet coat or possibly general finishes white poly.

Anything more than that you might as well replace them.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Merry Christmas everyone. I worked @ Sherwin for many a year and their Cabinet and kitchen refinishers went with either the Sherwood lacquers waterborne or solvent. SW architectural products have a tackiness in their design that renders Emerald or Pro Classic ineffective in a commercial environment. Countertops were topcoat with the automotive clear coat over a Zolatone or Patina finish. Easy test, paint a board with any product of your choice, place a cup and a book on top of the board after 3 days. If it sticks, it is not the correct product.

My suggestion is Bin shellac, sand imperfections if necessary and follow up with the PPG Breakthrough after 15 minutes. In and out and collect your checkin the same day. Advance is a nice product, drying time and curing time are the only questions.

Tis the season and I am trying to be impartial! FWIW Ben Moore interior products have the greatest aesthetic appearance in the industry for well over 60 years that I have been associated with paint. How they survived the Berkshire Hathaway acquisition in the year 2000 is an amazing feat. Unlike Merv Griffin's acquisition of Mary Carter Paints in the 1980's, a company who I previously worked for. Peace
Merry Christmas!

So, Breakthrough for expedience and Advance for best quality/aesthetic? Is Sherwood tintable?
 

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Merry Christmas!

So, Breakthrough for expedience and Advance for best quality/aesthetic? Is Sherwood tintable?
Breakthrough through looks and feels pretty darn nice plus you can recoat in two hours verses 16. You can spray them late in the afternoon and have not a problem transporting and hanging them the following morning.

You just have to make sure you can get the v50 in your area, the v51 is not rated for cabinets. Also, make sure you spray it with a 308 tip any other size and you'll be hating life.

If this were my job I'd clean then sand with 220, wood fill and sand again then prime with Bin. Bin lays down so smooth I rarely ever see the need to sand them again unless I see a speck of dust in it or something. Hitting them with 320 won't hurt but may not be necessary. Then spray them twice with v50 Breakthrough satin and they'll be looking nice.
 

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I'm guessing this is oil based paint on cabinets? It may be backwards, but I always sand first, and then wash them down. I figure that way I've dusted them at the same time as cleaning. I like to use Liquid TSP. Anyone else use this? Or, is Dawn just as good?

---> Step 1: Label carefully before/during removal.
I like to tape and label everything before removing, and then eventually I either use marker under the hinges when I remove them for painting, or carve the numbers into that spot with a wood burner.
Nothing worse than trying to figure out where a door or drawer goes, and finding it doesn't quite fit right.
 

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Breakthrough through looks and feels pretty darn nice plus you can recoat in two hours verses 16. You can spray them late in the afternoon and have not a problem transporting and hanging them the following morning.

You just have to make sure you can get the v50 in your area, the v51 is not rated for cabinets. Also, make sure you spray it with a 308 tip any other size and you'll be hating life.

If this were my job I'd clean then sand with 220, wood fill and sand again then prime with Bin. Bin lays down so smooth I rarely ever see the need to sand them again unless I see a speck of dust in it or something. Hitting them with 320 won't hurt but may not be necessary. Then spray them twice with v50 Breakthrough satin and they'll be looking nice.
I like BIN as it sands really well, you can wetsand it like automotive primer almost after being on a day. Just sands mirror smooth. I think if he did two coats and used it as a filler/sanding primer it would look awesome, but he still has a possibly failing coating underneath. I've used Breakthrough and Advance and would say Advance is definitely more oil like, but Breakthrough isn't bad. Breakthrough would feel like a better version (much better version) of Proclassic, Advance would feel/look more close to oil. Since it's a 50s house and they're wanting to go for something retro by keeping the cabinets, Advance might just "fit" better in terms of finished feel. I'd also try to go satin vs gloss to hide some imperfections, too. On the original paint job you can even see some stipple/etc that I don't think you'd get with modern paint and even a microfiber cover, so you might actually need something like Bondo glazing putty over some spots to skimcoat it out, if you're not going to bare wood.
 

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I like BIN as it sands really well, you can wetsand it like automotive primer almost after being on a day. Just sands mirror smooth. I think if he did two coats and used it as a filler/sanding primer it would look awesome, but he still has a possibly failing coating underneath. I've used Breakthrough and Advance and would say Advance is definitely more oil like, but Breakthrough isn't bad. Breakthrough would feel like a better version (much better version) of Proclassic, Advance would feel/look more close to oil. Since it's a 50s house and they're wanting to go for something retro by keeping the cabinets, Advance might just "fit" better in terms of finished feel. I'd also try to go satin vs gloss to hide some imperfections, too. On the original paint job you can even see some stipple/etc that I don't think you'd get with modern paint and even a microfiber cover, so you might actually need something like Bondo glazing putty over some spots to skimcoat it out, if you're not going to bare wood.
Hasn't BIN been found to not hold up in high moisture areas and have issues with high pH products like breakthrough?
 

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I do a good handful of cabinets a year. I just did a set like this, very old, same type of doors. Prep is the key if you want these to look super nice. I would A. nix BIN as a primer as you will need something with much better build. BIN is too thin and too many coats is asking for trouble. In your case I would look into some sort of nice sanding acrylic bonding primer, meant for building coats on top of each other. B. Invest in some sort of hepa sanding system. Look at surfprep for the small sander and different pads. You will be doing a lot of sanding here, so might as well make less mess and have the tool for future jobs. As far as a vac, festool is king, but others will suffice. C. Once you are sanded down nice, any product will be great. Use a try cabinet grade product for best results. It looks like you have the insides too? A product that can be rolled and sprayed would be ideal, as the interiors are easier rolled. The doors and drawers will be the focal point, so a nice spray finish will do it.
 

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I do a good handful of cabinets a year. I just did a set like this, very old, same type of doors. Prep is the key if you want these to look super nice. I would A. nix BIN as a primer as you will need something with much better build. BIN is too thin and too many coats is asking for trouble. In your case I would look into some sort of nice sanding acrylic bonding primer, meant for building coats on top of each other. B. Invest in some sort of hepa sanding system. Look at surfprep for the small sander and different pads. You will be doing a lot of sanding here, so might as well make less mess and have the tool for future jobs. As far as a vac, festool is king, but others will suffice. C. Once you are sanded down nice, any product will be great. Use a try cabinet grade product for best results. It looks like you have the insides too? A product that can be rolled and sprayed would be ideal, as the interiors are easier rolled. The doors and drawers will be the focal point, so a nice spray finish will do it.
Why couldn't you wetsand instead of dry sand? I understand if you use a metric ton of water you could eventually hit the wood, but at least with automotive stuff I've had way better luck wetsanding and am itching to try the technique (and indeed I have on some pieces of trim at home) on trim or cabinets. The water makes the sanding process go faster and the extra "glide" makes everything smoother than dry sanding, and no dust. The extra glide even helps on gummier/less cured finishes I tried it on, as it makes the sandpaper less likely to clog and drag while sanding. Of course you'd need to be conservative in the amount of water you use, being wood and all.
 

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Why couldn't you wetsand instead of dry sand? I understand if you use a metric ton of water you could eventually hit the wood, but at least with automotive stuff I've had way better luck wetsanding and am itching to try the technique (and indeed I have on some pieces of trim at home) on trim or cabinets. The water makes the sanding process go faster and the extra "glide" makes everything smoother than dry sanding, and no dust. The extra glide even helps on gummier/less cured finishes I tried it on, as it makes the sandpaper less likely to clog and drag while sanding. Of course you'd need to be conservative in the amount of water you use, being wood and all.
You obviously did not see the many pictures the OP posted?? If you did, your suggestion of wet-sanding would not work as wet-sanding is used with ultra fine grits for final sanding not initial sanding. I would not suggest wet-sanding on cabinets with opaque colors.
 
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