Unhappy with the shine on my painted laminate cabinets!

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I painted my laminate cabinets, and it turned out great except... I thought by applying around 4 coats of Polyurethane it would protect the cabinets from scuffing, and it has but I do not like the shine on the cabinets. It was suggested that I put a flat black on top of the polyurethane and I tested it on a drawer and it seems to have stood up well. Any other suggestions out there?
q unhappy with the shine on my painted laminate cabinets
  12 answers
  • Shoshana Shoshana on Nov 20, 2017
    You can try to scuff sand the entire surface and apply a coat of dead flat polyurethane. That should take care of some of the over-shine.
  • Amazing Grace ! Amazing Grace ! on Nov 20, 2017
    I never heard of dead flat poly..thanks I will look into it.

  • Terry Wheeler Scarlett Terry Wheeler Scarlett on Nov 21, 2017
    Curious as to what paint you used on the cabinets? Mine are laminated and afraid it will scratch off If I paint them. Help!
    • William William on Nov 21, 2017
      Make sure they are clean and dry. Remove the doors and hardware. Mark the doors and cabinets with tape where they go. Lightly sand the doors and cabinets to remove any gloss and roughen the surface for paint with 120- to 220-grit sandpaper. Use a tack cloth or damp rag to remove dust after sanding. Prime with a stain blocking primer like Zinsser 123, KILZ,or BIN and have it tinted to the color of the top coat. This will prevent dark or stained surfaces from showing through the top coat. Acrylic, or water-base, paints are low-fume and clean up easily with water. Alkyd, or oil-base, paints require good ventilation because the paint contains solvents that can irritate your lungs and make you feel sick. Alkyd options require mineral spirits for cleanup, but they provide a hard, durable paint finish. Whichever you use, buy the best-quality paint you can afford for a lasting kitchen cabinet finish. Seal with at least three coats with a water based polyurethane. Use a small foam roller and foam brush for a smooth finish.
  • Maggy Maggy on Nov 21, 2017
    Before painting laminate cabinets you should sand and apply primer. Inever heard of flat poly either. Neat.
  • Lisa S. Lisa S. on Nov 21, 2017
    Wipe with liquid sandpaper.
  • William William on Nov 21, 2017
    Shosana is generally correct. What she calls "dead flat" I assume is 'satin". Most clear finishes are available in gloss, semi-gloss and satin sheens. The gloss level will affect the appearance of your piece, but not its durability.

    Lightly sand to remove the gloss. Use a satin polyurethane to limit the sheen.
    • Virginia Llorca Virginia Llorca on Dec 16, 2017
      In paint, there is "flat", egg-shell, semi-gloss, satin, and gloss. I don't know if it is true for polyurethhane.
  • Terry Wheeler Scarlett Terry Wheeler Scarlett on Nov 21, 2017
    Awesome Thanks so much.
  • Sharon Sharon on Nov 22, 2017
    If you're just looking to take off the shine, I would get some 0000 steel wool and buff it off, then you can add a coat of satin poly over top.
  • Mary Mary on Nov 22, 2017
    I have laminate cabinets and want to paint them, but I'm terrified they will come out bad. Could you please take a picture "up close" so that we can see the cabinets better? Also... what color did you paint them, what type of paint, etc. Thank you! (I love shine on kitchen cabinets... maybe if you just wait a month or so, it might grow on you?)
    • Amazing Grace ! Amazing Grace ! on Dec 17, 2017
      Hi Mary,
      I felt the same way Mary, scared to death to mess up the already ugly pink cabinets. But I did a lot of researching on this and followed a recipe that was revealed on this site. For the most part (except for the shine) it was a success. First, I removed the doors (be sure and number them) I did not remove the hardware from the doors just from the cabinet base. First I cleaned the doors with Totally Awesome Cleaner from the dollar store. I am not sure what is in that product but it really does cut through grease and grime. I lightly sanded the laminate just to rough up the surface a bit and I painted on 4 coats of Black Chalk Paint (Walmart around $6.00). I let each coat dry totally which doesn't take that long with Chalk paint. I did the same with the base of the cabinets. Here is where I made the (shine) mistake... thinking that the shiny poly would be easier to clean I applied 4 coats of poly to each of the doors and the base of the cabinets. This took forever to do (or so it seamed). I live in Florida and due to the humidity it took awhile for the doors to cure before adding the next coat of poly, there were days when the surface was still a little tacky after waiting 24 hours so I waited 48 hours (I did the poly in the screened in porch due to the fumes.)
      I used a sanding block (I don't know what the grit was but it was a soft sanding block) after each coat of poly I lightly and I mean very lightly sanded the imperfections before applying the next coat of poly. Sometimes dust or little particles of whatever would adhere to the poly so this was necessary.
      After 4 coats of poly I used a straight edge razor blade to scrape off the paint and poly that got on the back of the doors. Fortunately the inside of the cabinets and the back of the doors were white so I only had to do the front of the doors (and the base of the cabinets)
      Thank goodness I numbered the cabinets (this is so important) you want to make sure they all go back where they belong, otherwise it would have been a nightmare putting them back together. Hung the doors back up and I thought it looked great until night time when the lights were on, the shine on the cabinets are blinding and it does not look good, in my opinion - looks great during the day when the lights are off, but evening when the lights are on it looks awful. I did this project last Christmas so it has been almost 1 year and it has not grown on me at all. If I had it to do all over I would have used a satin poly or "dead flat" which I did not know even existed. I have included pictures so you could see the process I went through. This project took about a month to complete due to the drying time and the fact that I usually have about 5 projects going at the same time. It might be quicker if you totally devote all your time getting this done, but you can't rush the drying time. Now that I am armed with some solutions to the shine, when I get done with my paper bag floors in the bedrooms I will do something about the glossy look. Don't be afraid to paint the cabinets, it certainly can be done!

      I just tried to pull up all the pictures I took of this project and much to my chagrin I only have five.
  • William William on Dec 16, 2017
    Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus! (Couldn't resist). Polyurethane comes in satin, semi-gloss, and gloss.
  • Lisa S. Lisa S. on Dec 17, 2017
    Find it in a paint store, or a big box store like Lowes / Home Depot.
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