I’ve done more painting in the last year that I’ve ever done in my life, and with each project, it seems like I pick up another tip that makes things easier, or makes the finish prettier. So, like a good blogger who cares about her readers, I’m passing those on to you.
A few days ago, I was at John & Alice’s house painting cabinet doors and the granite man stopped by. He was asking me all about the process I was using (Are you using oil or latex? Oil, of course! Very good. Are you using Penetrol? Definitely!)
Then he asked me if I had ever used one of the little foam rollers. I have used a foam roller…once…a long time ago…and I hated it. The finish wasn’t smooth, I could see roller marks and ridges. It was awful. But he said that that’s what he used on his own cabinets, and the finish rivaled a sprayed finish. Hmmmm…I was intrigued.
Then it dawned on me that the one time I used a foam roller, I was still a novice DIYer and really had no idea what I was doing. Those were also the days when I was still using latex paint for everything. In addition, that was way, WAY before my discovery of paint conditioner.
So I decided that I would give his idea a try. At the time, the cabinet doors already had one coat of oil-based primer (that I sanded lightly) and one coat of oil-based paint, to which I had added Penetrol paint conditioner and had applied with a brush.
I started by using 150-grit sandpaper to sand the brushed layer to a smooth finish.
Next, I used a dry brush to remove all of the paint dust. I always use a dry brush for this (rather than a rag or tack cloth) because a brush can really get into crevices and corners, where rags or tack cloths have a tendency to push dust into the corners.
Next, I prepared my paint by adding a bit more Penetrol and mixing thoroughly. (I had added Penetrol previously, but oil-based paint and Penetrol both contain solvents that will evaporate over time, especially if you’re working on a big project where you have the can open for hours at a time, as is the case when painting kitchen cabinets.)
I did still have to use a brush to paint all of the routed details and edges on the door.
As you can see, the brush left ridges of paint on the flat areas.
So I used a rag to wipe away the excess paint. Leaving it would allow it to start drying as I finished up the other brushed areas, and would be visible on the final finish. So don’t let your doors be ruined by built-up paint ridges!! Wipe those away as soon as possible.
After all of the routed areas and edges were brushed, and the excess paint was wiped away, I used the roller on all of the flat areas. Notice the paint ridge left by the roller (see the arrow). It took some practice to make sure that none of those were left on the final finish.
And when it was dry, I was left with a gorgeous finish that is as pretty darn close to a sprayed finish as you can get without actually spraying.
I think it’s very important to remove the doors from the cabinets before painting, so the door can be flat while they’re drying. That way gravity can do its thing and help the paint to even out over the couple of hours after you’ve painted. (Oil-based paint is slow-drying on its own, but Penetrol extends the drying time, which helps the paint to smooth out even more.)
Next Tuesday the granite countertops go in, and then on Wednesday, the subway tile backsplash will go in. I can’t wait to see it, and share some pictures with you!!