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How to Paint Kitchen Laminate Cabinets

Right off, painting laminate cabinets in the kitchen is less straightforward than wood painting. The success rate of the painting will be directly related with; the type of laminate and its adhesion, or separation that may have occurred (notable around molded contours) and also the quality and appropriateness of materials and skill-level with which the new finish is being applied. See first painting wood cabinets much of which applies here.

Once you have chosen you coordinated color and top grade acrylic based paint:
  • Begin the prepping phase. What makes painting laminate surfaces unique, is mainly found in the area of proper preparation. In addition to normal cabinet painting prodecures, you will want to thoroughly inspect the surfaces for any lifting that has taken place. Any areas of seperation will have to be asfixed with contact cement and allowed to fully dry before the painting. Sometimes other compounds can be applied, even wood glue in some cases or crazy glue on small limited areas. Masking these spots down with blue tape until drying is complete to prevent out-of-place drying.

  • Note: only the best efforts should be made to ensure substrate tightness, because even as it stands, some laminates will lift even after just being wetted with paint, which is indeed difficult to detect beforehand. An in-born risk in this type of finishing.
  • Following the prep, caulking and masking sequence, including an overall sanding now to roughen the substrate that is to receive primer -- apply a primer formulated for the surface (unlike wood primer, per se) followed by the type of top coat chosen. Some all-surface primers provide great results for the kind of top coat being applied. Beware that adhesion is a particular challenge for both primers and paints and oil based paints may actually chip or flake from the surface, regardless of proper steps at preparation. Weak spots include any areas targeted by repititive hand grabbing and rubbing (like cabinet edges and drawer faces that are frequently pulled) and edges exposed around cabinet cases. Some applications are best relaminated, although painting is normally the most economical choice. Apply two finish coats minimum.

  • Mode of Application; the cabinets should usually be sprayed, due to the ultra smooth surface and also due to the extremely low absorption rates of laminate substrates. However on the upshot - spraying renders the second and third coats quickly applied (with each coat being applied followed by a scratch-sanding, less intensive per each successive phase) to achieve the smoothest possible finish. Additionally, cleaning the area thoroughly prior to application(s) and maintaining this cleanliness throughout is vital in order to to remove any airborne particulates from landing on the finished surfaces. Wiping the surfaces with a tack cloth is a proven way to help toward this end.

  • Areas to be painted - on the drawers, often the faces alone can be painted, excluding the inside drawer box.

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