Cabinet Painting

MrHorspwer

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Prep: Sand all surfaces. If you're going over a non-porous surface (like my laminate countertop), lay down a coat of UMA bonding primer. If the surface is porous (like a new MDF countertop), the bonding primer can be skipped. Paint the surface with regular latex paint in whatever color you choose, it will show through.

Anything you don't want coated in epoxy needs to be covered. Ram Board on the floors and plastic sheeting over all the cabinets. I did my project in two pours. Perimeter cabinets first and island and a small built-in second. That's why the island is covered but the other cabinets are not.

Epoxy: It is a 2-part epoxy (resin and hardener) mixed in a 50/50 ratio. It is covered in two pours: A color coat and a clear coat.

The color coat is totally up to you on aesthetics and there are many, many ways to do it. I did a pretty simple pour. I mixed white metallic powder with my epoxy and just poured, then spread and leveled with a 1/8" notch trowel. Once on the surface, the epoxy is "chopped" with a paintbrush by just dabbing all over. This breaks any surface tension in the epoxy and also re-distributes the metallic, giving a subtle 3D look to the surface. Using a propane torch, go over the entire surface to pop any embedded air bubbles.

For the veining, I used some extra epoxy with black metallic powder added, then chopped where I wanted the veins with a brush. More black epoxy means darker veins. The longer you chop without reloading the brush with black epoxy, the more subtle the dark coloring. You can also use a heat gun to warm and move the metallic, softening and flowing the colors. With the aesthetics how you like, torch again to remove bubbles.

24 hours after the color coat, lightly sand with 220 and do it all again except with nothing added to the epoxy. Pour, trowel, chop, and torch (torching is done three times in 15 minute intervals to really make sure there are no bubbles).

That's a pretty simple pour. There are techniques that involve different metallic powders, pearl powders, glitter, and mica powder. Dyes can be added to the epoxy to tint it. Spray paint reacts with the epoxy and can be used after it is poured or sprayed right into the mixing bucket. Alcohol also reacts and can be used. You can do layers of color in the mixing bucket. Just many, many different things you can do.

Of course, all the while you have to contend with dust, hair, fibers, and bugs landing on your surface. It has a really long working time and remains tacky for 8+ hours. It is "dry" in 24 hours and very light use can resume after a few days. Full curing takes a month. The normal finish is very shiny and reflective. It can be sanded for a more honed look and there are also highly durable top coats in matte and glossy finish.
 
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Looks like a pro job. 👍

If I ever did this to cabinets, I’m going the Benjamin Moore system - their Fresh Start or Insul-X adhesion primer and either their Advance urethane alkyd or Command waterborne acrylic urethane.
 
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@MrHorspwer - when spraying the SW primer did you find that it was going on thick?
I'm finding that it's going on quite thick where I can see orange peel. (When it dries there is no orange peel). I'm using a 310 tip with the included piece inside the gun and pressure is set half way on my project painter plus. Also find it's using alot of paint. SW rep gave me one can but I ended up buying an extra can.

I'm hoping the SW emerald will atomize better.

But just wanted to see if you experienced the same thing.
 

MrHorspwer

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Joined
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@MrHorspwer - when spraying the SW primer did you find that it was going on thick?
I'm finding that it's going on quite thick where I can see orange peel. (When it dries there is no orange peel). I'm using a 310 tip with the included piece inside the gun and pressure is set half way on my project painter plus. Also find it's using alot of paint. SW rep gave me one can but I ended up buying an extra can.

I'm hoping the SW emerald will atomize better.

But just wanted to see if you experienced the same thing.

Are you using an FFLP 310 tip or a TrueAirless 310 tip? I found the TrueAirless tip to use an obscene amount of paint, even with a similar orifice size, compared to the FFLP.
 

MrHorspwer

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Do you paint the inside of the cabinets and drawers?

Generally no, but I guess that would depend on the condition and construction of your cabinets if you're doing it at home.

If you choose factory painted finish for new cabinets, the interior surfaces are typically some type of wood veneer and not painted. Mine are maple veneered plywood on the inside. Only the face frames and drawer fronts are painted.
 

MrHorspwer

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With this thread trending again, I guess I should add the next iteration.

For the epoxy counters, I ended up adding a more durable hardened topcoat that gave it a matte finish.

I also finished up the tile backsplash:
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Overall, everything has held up well since I did the work. The cabinet finish still looks great. There was some wear around the two most used drawers (the silverware drawer and the "junk drawer") and the cabinet where glasses are stored. Each required a bit of touch-up but is unnoticeable now.

With the topcoat and appropriate treatment (using trivets when setting down hot items and using a cutting board with a knife), the epoxy counters are showing no signs of wear.
 
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