How to paint stained and lacquered cabinets

Written & provided by Benjamin Moore in Edmonton.

Kitchen renovations are probably one of the most frequently sought after, and most expensive reno projects you can take on, with new cabinets costing anywhere between 10-20,000 or more.  What are you to do if that’s outside your budget, but want to refinish the kitchen anyway? What are you to do if you have stained and varnished cabinets and want to paint them?

Most contractors will tell you that it’s an expensive process and that’s largely due to labor.  They will have to sand off all the clear coat, whether its lacquer, polyurethane, varnish etc (when I say clear coat it just means a generic term to cover the multitude of products that do the same thing), and then you need to sand all the stain out of the wood so that it won’t bleed through the paint.  Much like cedar wood on a deck or exterior of a house, without the proper prep it will bleed through any coating you apply.

So instead of doing all that work yourself or getting a professional, I have a better solution for you and its one that you can easily do, and it’s called Stix primer.  Stix is a primer that Benjamin Moore makes that is a complete solution bonding primer, you can prime ceramic tile, pvc pipe, varnished surfaces, even glass, where other primers are meant for drywall or wood.  Once the surface of whatever it is that you want to paint is primed, you can use any semigloss paint to topcoat and without spending thousands of dollars you have a brand new kitchen.

Now while I say that you can use any semigloss paint to do cabinets (or doors and trim/casing for that matter), ideally you go with an enamel paint.  Standard wall paints are softer than enamels, which means that as far as impact durability or washability, the enamel will outlast and outperform the standard latex paint everytime.  We have either the cabinet coat or the advance for this, both great products, but Stix followed by advance is not only the system I personally use, but also what all the contractors who buy from us like to use because of how easy it is to get the result you want.  So if your doing a kitchen reno, come see us at any of our three locations and ask about Stix primer, and Advance enamel.

Contact us today! Benjamin Moore


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