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Question DetailsAsked on 1/22/2017

I want to repaint my kitchen

hello I want to repaint my kitchen; the walls are white, the cabinets are rustic red, and the the cabinet doors are light caramel. the colors I want to go with possibly is bright red walls, white cabinets, and maybe a grey or bluish doors. can you recommend a good paint please?

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With that mix of colors, two first critical things would be determining whether the existing paints are oil or latex based - oil paints can only successfully (escept with greatou trouble and a lot of nail biting) be used of oil-based finishes (stains or paints or clear finishes). Latex and acrylic leatex can be used over other latex or acrylic latex (not pure acrylic paints like is used soemtimes for faux finishes or murals), or over oil but then only with a fair amount of prep work to roughen the surface aqnd break the glaze so the new paint will stick and not peel off. Oil paints stick better when done right, are less susceptible to fingerprinting or removal with hands on cupboards, wash better, last longer - but a fair deal harder to put on and somewhat more expensive generally - maybe 25% or so for the job typically.

Second item is coverage - red walls over white should be no problem, grey or bluish over caramel doors is going to mean stripping them or a primer first. White on cabinets over rustic red - that is going to be a chore needing stripping or priming plus maybe 2 rather than one color coat for full coverage - or an oil primer (which covers better) IF the underlying finish is oil and does not lift under the oil primer. (Just because the base coat is oil-based does not mean all oil primers can go over it with immunity, especially if brushed on rather than sprayed.

Third thing actually - if there is more than one color (coat) of paint on the cabients or paint over previous stain, take a close look at the surface texture and how well bonded it is - that condition commonly, at least amongst painting/cabinetry professionals, generally means a strip or replace/resurface job because you start adding a new primer and color coat over two or more existing coats and it commonly turns out lumpy and "thick" looking and you have totally lost any show-through of the wood grain - like something from Happy Days. Course, multiple coats looks better in a cottage or farm kitchen than a craftsman or luxury or ultra-modern environment.

You can find some previous questions with answers about cabinet painting in the Home > Cabinets and a few (though harder to find among the much more prevalent general interior and exterior painting questions) in the Home > Painting links in Browse Projects, at lower left - including some discussions on staining, painting, and replacement or overlays.

Of course, if a DIY job it makes a difference if you assume the labor is "free" - but cabinets are one of the tougher things to paint well, so unless you are fairly accomplished at painting with the type you choose, I would recommend maybe trying out on a small bathroom vanity or such, or even go by a cabinet shop and ask if you can get (or cheaply buy for $10-20 or so) a scrap used cabinet with similar finish to experiment on your technique first.

Generally, you have a fair amount of prep and then masking to do - especially if doing insides (which would normally be done first to avoid blotching finished outsides) and outside both, both to clean up food staining and hand oils from the cabinets (especially doors and areas where hands contact doors during opening/closing them), and to "scarf" the surface with fine sandpaper (commonly in two progressive grits like 120-160 then 160-200) to deglaze and provide a roughened surface for the new primer/finish to stick to.

Much easier to get decent results with paint than with stain - commonly it is near impossible to restain satisfactorily with a penetrating stain unless you first strip the existing surface and totally sand it - which if done by a pro commonly is getting close to the cost of new cabinets on uppers (not so close on lowers because of the countertop removal and replacement costs).

My recommendation on cabinets - get GOOD quality brushes, for most paints natural bristle like horsehair - you will be picking a few more hairs out of the paint but the finish result is MUCH better than with synthetic bristles, and on cabinets is where the difference REALLY shows.

Remember your walls and cabinets almost always use different type of paints - walls commonly acrylic latex though can be enamels, cabinets commonly enamel or a cabinet advanced polymer acrylic - and consider washability. Commonly, ceilings (which you did not mention but would presumably be repainted also if you are painting the entire kitchen, if only so it does not need to be done in the near future splattering over fairly newly finished cabinets and walls) would be done in a gloss enamel - normally white or light beige to give more even lighting reflection around the kitchen, except in kitchens intentionally done in dark stone/wood to make them look "elegant". Which many people then spend a lot of money on far more than a normal amount of lighting to lighten up the room after they realize how dungeon-like it can look. Sometimes semi-gloss if you wash it frequently due to poor fan removal of grease from the kitchen or you do a lot of frying or wok cooking or such, because full gloss will degloss quickly with frequent or aggressive washing.

Walls in kitchens I recommend a semi-gloss or full satin for keeping clean and limiting grease/food stain penetration. Cabinets being done in latex usually get a cabinet enamel or cabinet acrylic polymer if being painted rather thann stained, underlain by a compatible primer if going over darker color or surface of dubious uniformity. Commonly a semi-gloss or satin (regular or low-luster) or similar texture - not usually full gloss because of the washing thing, and anything duller or flatter than a semi-gloss or low-luster satin will attract stains too readily.

In a kitchen - my recommendation - never use a flat or eggshell finish - will be a cleaning nightmare.

My personal recommendation on interior paints - and I would stay with one brand and product line for your entire job for compatibility - is DuPont or PPG or AkzoNobel for oil paints, Varathane (first choice) or Valspar for stains (penetrating or heavy-body), and Pratt & Lambert or Sherwin Williams (including their Craftsman Easy Living line, which I have always found works well). I prefer P&L paints greatly even though they are owned by Sherwin Williams, because their paint mixes are still original P&L mixes and go on much nicer and smoother for the acrylic latex product lines. Dutch BOy can look good, especially their enamels - but always seem to need thinning to go on smooth without ridges or brush stroke lines. Brands I specifically stay away from include MinWax, Behr, Benjamin Moore, Glidden, no-name box store brands among others.

Oh - on price - high price does not a good paint make, but a good paint cannot be made and sold box-store brand-cheap either. Since you are only talking maybe 3-5 gallons or so of paints for a typical kitchen (depending on size and if doing cabinet interiors too), at $25-50/gallon, going with a top-notch paint versus cheapo might cost some hundred $ or a bit more - well worth it in finish product appearance.

One other recommendation - before jumping into this repainting, consider if you are going to want or need new countertops or backsplash, upgraded sink, or upgraded kitchen exhaust fan - because you don't want to do repainting then decide on other nearby upgrades which could damage the new paint.

Also whether you are going to pull the appliances and do behind them too (I recommend yes).

And of course flooring - you need double-layer flooring protection while painting (like painters drop canvases over taped-down visqueen (3 mil or heavier plastic sheeting) if you are not later going to be replacing the flooring. Takes VERY little spillage, especially if it dries because it was not noticed, to ruin an area of flooring - and even the cleaning residue can commonly permanently stain the flooring.

On the color choice - if your kitchen is firehouse or farm sounds fine - but the bright red walls are going to be a turn-off to a lot of potential buyers if you are considering selling in the foreseeable future. You might google a search phrase like this - images for red kitchen walls - for articles and photos on red kitchen walls - commonly used on one wall as an accent, but rarely for the entire kitchen because it get overpowering real quickly. Course, better on walls than cabinets if it does not work out well, because easier to redo them without a lot of prep work.

BTW - here is an AL article link on the cabinet updating issue FYI -

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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