Painted bathroom cabinets with raised-panel doors

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Forum topic by GregD posted 01-19-2014 08:27 PM 1122 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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788 posts in 3161 days

01-19-2014 08:27 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I built and installed cabinet boxes – plywood with poplar face frames – in my 2 bathrooms. I finished the interiors with 3 coats of poly before installation, but didn’t have time to finish the exteriors. I have a couple of questions I was hoping to get some help with:

1. Finishing: These cabinets are to be painted white. My current plan is to go with a Sherwin Williams latex primer that has a lot of solids and is intended to be sanded smooth. For the finish coat I was going to use a Sherwin Williams interior oil based enamel. Is that a good plan or are there better suggestions? I think I’ve seen some people mention that they put polyurethane over enamel. FWIW I’ve ordered an Earlex HVLP sprayer to use on this project.

2. Door panels: my wife prefers raised panels. What material would be best for the panels? What makes the most sense to me is to completely finish the panels before assembly and minimize the amount of finish at the joint between the panel and the frame to minimize the chances of the finish effectively gluing the panel in place. I’ve done this with clear finish (Waterlox), but don’t see that as practical for paint. For flat panels I’d use plywood so there are no worries about movement. MDF also would eliminate movement worries and would route better than plywood, but is heavy, weak, and water sensitive. Another idea would be to construct a panel blank of 2 layers – one layer of plywood, and the second layer with plywood centered in a frame of solid stock about 2” wide such that the routed profile falls only in the solid stock.

-- Greg D.

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788 posts in 3161 days

#1 posted 01-19-2014 08:51 PM

Finishing: I googled a bit more and found General Finishes has two products: Enduro white undercoat and Enduro pigmented white poly. Sherwin Williams has a Kem-Aqua plus white finish and “surfacer”. Either of these would be better finish choices than my first plan.

-- Greg D.

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1162 posts in 2716 days

#2 posted 01-20-2014 06:45 PM

You’re right Greg, both of those options will give better results than latex and/or oil paint. My personal preference would be the General Finishes. It will spray perfectly with the HVLP using the 1.5mm needle set. One coat of undercoat and two coats of white poly should do it. If you are going for a gloss finish you may want to go to three top coats. Spray from about 6” away from the project.
As for the doors, if you spray the undercoat on the panel before assembly, that will take care of the shrinking panel problem where you posssibly could see an unfinished portion. Then assemble the doors and finish as usual.

-- Sam Hamory - The project is never finished until its "Finished"!

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