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Respraying MDF kitchen doors - 2k or Acrylic?

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  1. #1
    Senior Member YoungBolt's Avatar
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    Default Respraying MDF kitchen doors - 2k or Acrylic?

    Hiya good folk,

    Now that I've completed my deck project - it's onto the next one; refreshing my kitchen!

    Currently have vinyl wrapped kitchen doors in which all the vinyl wrap is doing that lovely thing it does; peel. Half the doors are looking really average with tears and peels and the rest are likely to do the same soon.

    It looks a bit average and I want to make the kitchen look sellable and bit more modern.

    Ordinarily I would just look at getting new draw fronts, but lucky for me all my cabinets are custom sized (previously fitted by the now defunct "Box and Build" company) so I can't buy anything off the shelf. That means custom sizing which isn't cheap.

    So far the cheapest option seems to be to rip off the vinyl wrap and respray the drawer and door fronts.

    So here's my question - have you ever resprayed your kitchen doors? What paint did you use and what was the finish?

    Which would you rather see when buying a house - 2k or acrylic?

    Also - I'd love some tips on how to achieve a good finish I've done a bumper and door in 2k before on a car so I do have some experience spraying with the paint.

    Thoughts/opinions?

  2. #2
    Je pense, donc METRIX's Avatar
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    You will most likely find a glue on the MDF which held the shrunk plastic on there, it will need removing before painting.
    Mieux vaut prévenir que guérir

  3. #3
    Senior Member YoungBolt's Avatar
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    Good sand and a bit of wax & grease remover should do it no?

  4. #4
    1K Club Member Pulse's Avatar
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    Default Respraying MDF kitchen doors - 2k or Acrylic?

    As Metrix said, the prep will be hardest, you also need to fill the edges.

    I've used thinned timbermate putty for the edges then Mirotone paint. Prime all over then two top coats. I used the acid catalysed lacquer.


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  5. #5
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    Painted an entire kitchen in acrylic, its not as tough as 2 pack but a lot more forgiving and easy to repair. The prep is the killer, the top coat either 1 or 2 pack is easy as.
    Prep consisted of sand and bog any holes, primer / surfacer followed by spray putty. Allow to dry and then lots more sanding, spot putty any other dings and another coat of spray putty for some problem areas. Finally a fresh coat of primer / surfacer and then the color coat.
    With the acrylic it is easy to buff any spots if you are missing some gloss, with 2 pack you want to make sure its good off the gun because if you have to buff it you will be in for a world of pain.

  6. #6
    Je pense, donc METRIX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YoungBolt View Post
    Good sand and a bit of wax & grease remover should do it no?
    Don't underestimate how long the prep can take for these, if they are older doors the glue is probably similar to a contact adhesive, the newer ones use more environmentally friendly water based product.

    I have done a bit of MDF spraying, the edges are the part you need to concentrate on. I found spray putty in a can works well, it fills all the pores and sands to a smooth finish.
    Mieux vaut prévenir que guérir

  7. #7
    Seasoned DIY droog's Avatar
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    What paint did you use and what was the finish?
    Just normal acrylic, as for the finish you be the judge.
    kitchen2.jpgkitchen1.jpg

  8. #8
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    The trick to painting the edges of mdf is the primer. It requires a sealer type primer. Zinnser BIN is the easiest to use and widely available. Sand the edge with 240 grit paper. Spot prime the edge with a brush. The mdf will soak it up like a sponge. You can usually brush it twice in one shot. The idea is to saturate the edges. Allow it to dry for an hour. Sand it with 320 grit. Prime the entire panel. Cabinet shops typically use a catalyzed sealer/primer.

    We do this on raised panels. You cannot tell the difference between the original hard surface and the machined bevel.

  9. #9
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    You can use standard acrylics, or enamels, so long as acrylic is what goes on first. you will get sheen marks and adhesion problems with oil based alkyds on mdf due to the waxes present all through the panel. this cant be removed. But thee single pack methods are really just for the average handyman. If you want to be proud of it, and get a proffesional long lasting result, read on..

    The highest quality would be a 2 pack, and rather than just saying 2 pack and leaving u to do the research, there is only one way to go.
    Prime the mdf with this, it is a non rust inhibition epoxy primer. all the contents relate to adhesion, not rust prevention.
    http://www.duluxprotectivecoatings.c...imer_pc200.pdf

    Then the only white 2 pack i would ever consider inside a house is Dulux Durethane, as it has no oil in it and will not go yellow. It is the only true polyester urethane available.
    http://www.duluxprotectivecoatings.c...hane_pc410.pdf

    Read these technical documents and you will understand more.

    This stuff is all available at your closest Dulux Trade Centre.

  10. #10
    Community Moderator phild01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rebuildr86 View Post

    The highest quality would be a 2 pack, and rather than just saying 2 pack and leaving u to do the research, there is only one way to go.
    Prime the mdf with this, it is a non rust inhibition epoxy primer. all the contents relate to adhesion, not rust prevention.
    http://www.duluxprotectivecoatings.c...imer_pc200.pdf

    Then the only white 2 pack i would ever consider inside a house is Dulux Durethane, as it has no oil in it and will not go yellow. It is the only true polyester urethane available.
    http://www.duluxprotectivecoatings.c...hane_pc410.pdf

    Read these technical documents and you will understand more.

    This stuff is all available at your closest Dulux Trade Centre.
    Can it be used out in the open or is application restricted to a spray booth of sorts?

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    according to who, the EPA? well they would say it requires a booth, but who's checking.
    You can buy this stuff over the counter.
    Yes it has ISOs in it, but the reality is, so little of it is sold to the DIYer nowadays, that someone spraying their kitchen is going to do literally nothing to the populations health.
    So long as u are not standing in a closed room, (you would never spray anything in a closed room anyway), u will be fine.

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    if they are ISO free, they will yellow without weekly UV exposure

  13. #13
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    The other issue with 2 pack is the drying time. With acrylic the surface will flash off very fast, in some conditions as it comes off the gun, meaning that you "can" spray it out in the yard.
    For 2 pack you dont need a full booth but you will need a clean area set up to keep the dust down while it dry's.
    Any dust nibs in the acrylic are easy to buff out and while you can buff 2 pack it is a lot more difficult to achive a consistant finish.

    Do agree that a 2 pack will look better and be harder wearing, but only if you get it right in the first place.

  14. #14
    Senior Member garfield's Avatar
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    I had the same problem a few years back, the vinyl was coming off and was faded etc.

    I used a heat gun to remove all of the vinyl wrap, then used acetone to remove the glue which worked a treat. I brought 2 part polyurethane and primer, and painted all of the door fronts and drawers. I taped up inside what I couldn't take off and paint, and dragged the compressor and paint gun inside and painted the fixed parts as well.

    Take it from me though you'll need a booth if you want a good finish. At first I tried to wet down the lawn and paint when there was no wind, but no matter how hard I tried or prepared I'd always get dust or insects on the paint job and would have to sand them down and repaint them. In the end I was lucky my brother had a friend who made cabinetry and had a booth who let me use it for a week to get it done, and it made such a difference.

    If you'd like to put in the extra's and do it in 2k it is certainly well worth it, but I'd suggest maybe painting some first and get used to how to paint them as at first if you don't you'll be constantly sanding them back and repainting until you get a good finish that you'll be happy with... Also definitely get a booth and save the hassle of trying to do without as you'll soon see it can't really be done anywhere near as good out of one.

    Good luck with it all

  15. #15
    Community Moderator phild01's Avatar
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    Could you prepare them for finishing and send them off for a pro finish.

  16. #16
    Senior Member YoungBolt's Avatar
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    Wowowow so much great advice!!! Thank you!!

    I might try a panel with 2pack and see how I go. Preference is 2k due to the finish and durability but I'm aware it's very difficult to get right and there's little room for error, not to mention the need for good ventilatiin due to health risks and good sealed spray area due to dust. I plan to spray in a garage that I would lay plastic around use a air humidifier l.

  17. #17
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    We renovated our kitchen about 8 years ago. The cabinets were still good but the "plastic" timber doors were a bit shabby. I checked out all of the options and in the end went with new custom made to size doors from Sydney Doors at Wetherill Park. They did HMR MDF pencil round edge doors in the exact gloss polyurethane colour that SWMBO wanted (she chose a Dulux paint colour and they were able to match it)... and with new handles, were the cheapest option. The doors are are still going strong. I am sure there will be someone in Melbourne who can do the same thing for you.

  18. #18
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    this is now a poll, but the question and optons dont makes sense
    the question is which is cheapest and most effective. thats impossible, thats 2 questions.
    perhaps u are asking for value for money?
    the result of this poll will be useless, people on here are mostly armchair experts who have either:
    a. never painted a polyurethane or,
    b. never painted a kitchen cabinet
    c. no idea what a new door means, vinyl wrap or coated or
    d. none of the above knowledge
    hehe

  19. #19
    1K Club Member Pulse's Avatar
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    Default Respraying MDF kitchen doors - 2k or Acrylic?

    The mirobild acid cat lacquer flashed off quick and I sprayed outside in the open, doors on paint cans on a gravel driveway, not much isocyanates in it either.

    looks good 10 years later with no chips or water penetration even though it was normal mdf


    ===================================

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pulse View Post
    The mirobild acid cat lacquer flashed off quick and I sprayed outside in the open, doors on paint cans on a gravel driveway, not much isocyanates in it either.

    looks good 10 years later with no chips or water penetration even though it was normal mdf


    ===================================
    There are multiple kinds of 2 pack finishes.The one you used is a acid catalyzed conversion laquer/varnish. There are no isocyanates in those products.

    The isocyanates are in 2K urethane. They massively increase the durability. In the cabinet industry the primers are typically 2K ureathane as well. The products used for boats, steel, and other tough substrates use an epoxy based primer. Over the last 10+ years the cabinet industry grade products have removed most of the iso as well as most of the formaldyhde in the acid curing products.

    The acid cure products are the standard go to product in the cabinet industry. The paints are pigmented clears. The 2K urethanes are often used for applications like wet look Lego colors which are often buffed. These are true paints. The acid cures are an excellent choice over moisture resistant mdf. The real issues show up near sinks and dishwashers. This is where a small scuff or damage will eventually ruin an ordinary piece of mdf.

    There is are several reasons why shops use good booths. The fumes are flammable and dust is always a problem. The faster the product drys dust is less of a problem. Acid cures dry faster than 2k Urethanes. The Acid cures are safer in general. Full kit is highly recommended for the 2k Urethanes.

    The latest 3m literature says their regular good filters do work on iso. However, you will not know when they stop working. They recommend using new filters very frequently.

    People should always use good respirators when spraying anything.

    This is for the original poster:

    The prep work involved in your project would lead most people to new doors. You will have to remove the doors, remove the defective coating, use lots of acetone to remove the glue. Prime. fill defects, resand, may be reprime, topcoat, 2nd topcoat. All doing the best sanding job you can pull off. All spraying done in poor conditions. All of this handling then reinstall.

    Sounds like you have little to no experience spraying these types of finishes. No idea what gear you've got. Big enough compressor, good guns?

    2nd option throw away the doors. Have new doors of whatever quality you can justify. Once you get them, you handle them once in the installation. Yes, buy new doors or accept a ton of work and a likely average result spending tons of time and money on high quality finishing products.

  21. #21
    Community Moderator phild01's Avatar
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    Wonder how YoungBolt ended up with all this. I'd be interested in the type of gun and nozzle size used. Also I was once told best to use satin finish melamine mdf board.

  22. #22
    Senior Member YoungBolt's Avatar
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    Gday Phil

    After getting some quotes for a new doors and existing doors to be resprayed, I decided to install a new kitchen instead.

    Quote for new doors and fridge/side panels was $1900 and quote for respray was $1500 plus I’d have ro do the prep work.

    In the end I spent around $5k but bought and installed a new ikea kitchen with a better layout and better fittings.

  23. #23
    Community Moderator phild01's Avatar
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    I did an Ikea kitchen for someone and despite the crap instructions, it went together well and ended up being a very nice kitchen . However I did need to reinforce the flimsy bottom cupboard backs which were like cardboard. Especially the bottom corner carcass.

  24. #24
    4K Club Member Marc's Avatar
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    I have an ikea kitchen that is 15 years old. The bottom cabinet doors and drawers paint started to peel off, and some of the doors under the sink started to swell at the bottom edge. called a couple of places that respray kitchens, and they first quoted ~$800 but after I sent photos they all said, forget it, too much water damage, get new doors.
    Unfortunately Ikea changed the size of the doors that are now shorter, so no go.

    I took the doors and drawer front off, scraped old paint off and sanded. The swollen MDF I first sanded all the swollen bits off till the panel edges were flat again, then saturated with low density epoxy resin, west system 105.
    Next day, more sanding and then automotive high build primer (in a pressure can), several coats.

    Subsequent days, 3 coats of acrylic paint colour matched by the car paintshop, all in spray cans. I have never used a paint gun nor do I own one.
    I waited one day for each coat to dry, and light sanded between coats with very fine foam sanding blocks.
    The result was surprisingly good and the colour matched perfectly with the older paint on the rest of the kitchen.
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    Community Moderator phild01's Avatar
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    I am going to have a crack at painting some panels and just ordered a quality HVLP spray gun yesterday. Next issue is the paint, something that is tough, won't yellow and has high gloss straight off the gun and quick drying in open air with no need for cutting back or buffing. Rubbing back requirement may rule out automotive acrylic paint.

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    4K Club Member Marc's Avatar
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    HVLP ... is that the airless guns? THe good ones are thousands of dollars. I bought a $300 once with disastrous results
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  27. #27
    Community Moderator phild01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc View Post
    HVLP ... is that the airless guns? THe good ones are thousands of dollars. I bought a $300 once with disastrous results
    No, it's air. An Iwata 2spray. Read the $20 ebay cheapies are rubbish.

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    very interested in your progress, phild01

  29. #29
    Community Moderator phild01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by r3nov8or View Post
    very interested in your progress, phild01
    Choosing paint will slow things down but looks like automotive acrylic for starters as I can take my time leaving paint in the pot for the next day, I don't think you can do that with 2 pack.

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    Quote Originally Posted by phild01 View Post
    I am going to have a crack at painting some panels and just ordered a quality HVLP spray gun yesterday. Next issue is the paint, something that is tough, won't yellow and has high gloss straight off the gun and quick drying in open air with no need for cutting back or buffing. Rubbing back requirement may rule out automotive acrylic paint.
    With some practice it is possible to get good results with auto acrylic.
    I sprayed my previous kitchen in standard auto acrylic outside. No wet sanding or buffing, all that was needed was a hand polish with a basic auto cream. Not a mirror finish but plenty of gloss.

    See post 7

  31. #31
    Senior Member garfield's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phild01 View Post
    Choosing paint will slow things down but looks like automotive acrylic for starters as I can take my time leaving paint in the pot for the next day, I don't think you can do that with 2 pack.
    Hi Phil, I did mine a few years back and used polyurethane paint from Evic paints. I have recently made and painted my own MDF doors for a laundry Reno and this time I used 2k automotive paint. I can tell you that the polyurethane paint is 100% better. It had a really glossy appearance and was so so easy to keep clean.

    I tried to do it in the back yard by watering down the yard with a hose and chose a non windy day but just couldn't get a nice finish and always ended up with bits of crap in the paint. I also tried making a sort of booth in my garage but due to not having good ventilation I'd have problems with over spray. I ended up getting lucky as my brother worked next to a cabinet maker who had a small booth and he let me use it. Was a bit of trial and error getting used to the gun but I must say Evic were also awesome with technical advice and had one of their salesman/paint expert come out and show me some tips on how to paint and also sorted that I was using the wrong type of thinners. Once that was all sorted I got everything sprayed up and it turned out beautifully. The kitchen was just like youngbolts kitchen a vacuum packed laminate that was cracking and fading in colour. I removed all of the vinyl with a heat gun and cleaned all of the glue off with acetone.

    Came up magic and we then had a polyurethane kitchen. I definitely suggest the polyurethane paint and also recommend Evic paints.

    Geoff

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    Community Moderator phild01's Avatar
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    Hi garfield, little confused buy what you say. Initially you used Evic poly but you found that automotive 2k gave a much better gloss. You recommend both now by the sounds of it.
    I have an old suction feed spray gun that I did not want to use because of overspray and why I bought the new gravity gun so tarping off the carport might be okay. I would like to use 2k but it has a small window of opportunity once hardener is added why I feel stuck with acrylic.

    I bet you used a lot of acetone, I have been removing vinyl overlay from my van and gone through nearly 2 litres of acetone on maybe the same area of three medium sized kitchen cupboard doors. Fortunately I will be using new mdf.

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    Read again Phil. He's definitely a poly fan

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    Quote Originally Posted by YoungBolt View Post


    Currently have vinyl wrapped kitchen doors in which all the vinyl wrap is doing that lovely thing it does; peel. Half the doors are looking really average with tears and peels and the rest are likely to do the same soon.
    Interesting as my kitchen is 25yrs old and the vinyl is in good condition no sign of peeling, looks like I am lucky.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by r3nov8or View Post
    Read again Phil. He's definitely a poly fan
    Oops.
    Will give Evic a call.

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    Quote Originally Posted by r3nov8or View Post
    Read again Phil. He's definitely a poly fan
    100% a poly fan.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bros View Post
    Interesting as my kitchen is 25yrs old and the vinyl is in good condition no sign of peeling, looks like I am lucky.
    You are lucky!

    Quote Originally Posted by phild01 View Post
    Oops.
    Will give Evic a call.
    Sorry if I wrote it in a confusing way but Polyurethane all the way Phil. As I said also Evic were great with advice etc once I bought the product too. If you have questions ask to talk with one of their techs and they'll ask you questions and fill you in on all you need to know mate

  37. #37
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    I spoke with Evic today and it was quite helpful. The poly is a 2 pack which I hoped to avoid. I wanted to start of small before committing but looks like I have to buy lots of product before knowing. Bit surprised to learn 3 litres of paint being required for only 8-10 m2. I did forget to ask the touch to dry time.

  38. #38
    Senior Member garfield's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phild01 View Post
    I spoke with Evic today and it was quite helpful. The poly is a 2 pack which I hoped to avoid. I wanted to start of small before committing but looks like I have to buy lots of product before knowing. Bit surprised to learn 3 litres of paint being required for only 8-10 m2. I did forget to ask the touch to dry time.
    They are quite helpful aren't they. It is a 2k paint but I'm telling you the gloss finish on the white I used was nearly mirror like.

    I found that the paint wasn't real expansive for the amount I had to use back then, but we are in covid and high fuel times now so I'd imagine like everything else especially building manufacturing it would have been stung as well.

    From memory there was a choice of slow/medium, and fast drying hardeners. I used the medium I think and it dries pretty quickly Phil.

  39. #39
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    Evic paint won't be feasible being 2 pac. I only intend doing a panel or two a day and don't want to be wasting paint and thinners throwing away unused paint.

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