Q & A

I've been getting questions about how I refinished our kitchen cabinets and so today I'm answering some of those questions.

We have put new wood around our windows and the marks have come through. Will this stop it, if so where did you get it? We used primer but some brown marks still came through. Also you can see the lines in the wood.

Are you talking about the Zinsser Primer? It is great for stain blocking. You can get it at Home Depot. As for unwanted grain in wood, use Dynamic Dyna Patch. Most paint stores carry it - got mine at Sherwin Williams. A little goes a long way so just apply enough on a flexible putty knife to fill in the grooves and then remove excess before it dries. The goal is to have very little sanding to do when it's dry.

Would it not break away after awhile though or shrink causing the paint to crack? Have you got any pics of those white cupboards real close up?

No, this stuff is not like wood or drywall compound - it dries hard and does not shrink. Google this product to learn more about it.

Here is a close-up of the doors - they look like the paint was sprayed on! It's all in using a good primer, small 1/4" nap paint roller, and several coats of polyurethane. I do a light sand with a 250 grit sanding block after the primer dries to make sure the surface is nice and smooth before applying the first coat of paint. I repeat this step between all three coats of paint and between all four coats of polyurethane.

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Painting Tip To Avoid Clean-up

Are you like me and hate cleaning brushes between coats?

Put your brushes and rollers inside a plastic zip lock bag and seal. When working with multiple brushes, label the bags accordingly.

The bags can sit out for several hours but if you're not getting back to them within 24 hours, simply put the bags in the freezer. They don't take long to unthaw. I use this trick for stain too.

If you left your brushes out too long and they got all hard and crusty, soak the bristles in a container of  Laundry Fabric Softener overnight.  Rinse them with water and your brushes will be as good as new again!

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Kitchen Cabinet Transformation

This is a project I've been working on for months. Talk about slow, tedious, elbow grease personified! I think the results will be well worth my troubles. 13 more cabinet doors to go!

Well, as can often happen, mid way through I decided to change the plans! I had some concerns about staining the upper cabinets dark brown because I think they might recess our already small kitchen. I was inspired by a few kitchens featured in decorating magazines.
Yup, I've painted the upper cabinets white!  I  can hear the gasps from those who believe it's a sin to paint solid wood.  I felt the same way once upon a time but I've learned that sometimes good design calls for the forbidden paint can.
In order to give the bulkhead the appearance of drywall, we applied Dynamic Dyna Patch over the seams, corners, and the grain in the wood. This stuff dries hard, doesn't shrink, and with a light sanding will be as smooth as ice. The plan is to paint the bulkhead the same color as the walls and the crown white like the cabinets. Getting there, five more cabinet doors to go! I cannot say enough about Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 Primer/Sealer. It seals the wood, blocks stains, and paint adheres to it like glue.
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