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How to prepare laminate for painting

Listed under Blog, hand-painted kitchen Posted Sep 02 2010

I have had a few emails asking

– how do I paint a kitchen with laminate doors?

– how do I paint a kitchen with highly lacquered natural timber doors?

The answer is the same for both, and as usual – it is all in the preparation.

Tools of the trade to prepare super shiny surfaces for a coat of Dulux Supergrip Primer

1 – You take a bucket of water.

2 – You dampen the surface of the door with a damp sponge.

3 – Dip the 180 grade (black) wet ‘n’ dry in the bucket, then sand the mouldings and fiddly bits. Wipe off the residue with a damp sponge.

4 -You use the green Oakey sanding block (fine / medium grade) to provide a grip/key on the flat surfaces.

5 – To remove, for instance, old plastic bumper domes, I use the Beeline scraper which gets rid of glue in one or two swipes.

6 – When the doors have dried off there should be a layer of dust on the surface. Use a nobbly kitchen cloth or nappy? to remove the dust easily.

7 – Vacuum the dust up

8 – Wipe over surface with a tack rag.

The laminate or high gloss lacquer is now ready for a coat of Dulux Supergrip primer.

Tips for preparing for Dulux Supergrip primer

a – The chemists would probably say the Supergrip is grippy enough for the laminate not to need sanding beforehand, but – sanding wet does more than provide a slightly roughed up surface for priming.

By using a wet abrasive, you also remove all nasty grease and kitchen crud – something not usually emphasized on the side of a tin of primer for laminate.

b– I am a big fan of Zinsser primers, but I have found that Supergrip is best for laminate. I used it, or a similar Dulux creation as far back as 1990, it worked then, so I am not too keen to change!

c – To get an idea of how vigorously you need to sand laminate, draw a cross with a pencil and sand off the mark. That is enough grip for the primer.

d– It takes about 8 hours to sand / clean down the laminate doors and frames in a kitchen with 15 units.

If you wait till the end of next week, you can see the transformation of a dark oak kitchen into a traditional hand-painted masterpiece. The spec is:

Prepare and apply one coat of Dulux Supergrip Primer; one coat of Dulux oil based undercoat; 2 coats of Little Greene Paint Co Olive Oil eggshell, sanding down and cleaning with tack rag between coats.

And if it sounds like hard work – it is! But now you know someone who can do it for you.



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6 comments to “How to prepare laminate for painting”

  1. acmasterpainter

    [new post!] How to prepare laminate for painting – via #twitoaster https://traditionalpainter.com/how-to-pre

  2. UPVC Doors

    Many thanks for the excellent tips. I am about to start a similar project. One of the most anoying thisngs i’ve found in the past is cleaning the dust up before paining, so spend extra time on this area.

  3. mark

    noticed you use dulux undercoat…at the moment i am a little concerned about the sandability of the undercoat after all the new regulations and considering using a different product.Whats your opinion on it..is it still suitable for you?

  4. Traditional Painter

    I have moved away from Dulux and use Little Greene undercoat and am happy with it, it behaves as I would expect. The Dulux u/c post 20101 is OK but is not the paint of old.

  5. mark

    nice one…i will take a look at Little Green undercoat and give it a go. Great site btw

  6. Traditional Painter

    as oil undercoats go, LG does tick all the boxes! More than can be said for a lot of the post 2010 oil paints.

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