Should I use paint deglosser and or paint conditioner?

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I did a lot of research prior to embarking on the journey of refinishing our kitchen cabinets. They are old, at least 40 year old custom cabinets...and they are solid wood. There are many ridges and sunken areas that will be very hard to sand, even to just degloss the surface. I also thought paint conditioner, as an additive, would be great at settling the finish to a nice, flat, eggshell finish. I went to purchase both products and was talked out of them; I 2nd guessed all of my research. I was told the conditioner would just ruin the paint ("because the paint formula was already perfect"), that it might even chamge the paint color and that I just needed the right foam roller to do the job. And I was told the deglosser was a waste and that sanding would be much easier. I think I'm going back to get the deglosser just because our cabinets are not what he suspected. I attached a pic of a cabinet door. I'm going to need to fill and sand some bad spots anyway, but I'll need overall help of the deglosser. Now, I need some input regarding the paint conditioner. And any other input or suggestions are very welcome!! Thanks!

q should i use paint deglosser and or paint conditioner
  8 answers
  • You do not want a flat eggshell finish. Will be difficult to clean. Satin, semi gloss or gloss is much easier to clean, and in a kitchen they need to be cleaned regularly if you do even a fair amount of cooking. I cook every single day and wipe the cabinets around the stove down when I do the dishes.

    • See 1 previous
    • Got It! Use a foam brush for an even finish. 🌞

  • Jim Cox Jim Cox on Nov 09, 2018

    Q-tips will help you de-gloss these cracks and details


    • See 2 previous
    • Jamie Hunt Scott Jamie Hunt Scott on Nov 10, 2018

      Awesome. Thank you!

  • Debi53 Debi53 on Nov 10, 2018

    I have used deglosser on just about every surface you can think of for over 40 years of doing paint projects. I almost never sand unless the surface has damage that needs to be smoothed. The key is to use plenty of deglosser. I sometimes use two coats of deglosser. Especially with grooves, make sure your cloth is really soaked with deglosser. Use a drop cloth to protect counter tops and floors. Follow the directions of your particular deglosser. (I don't personally care for the deglossers made from 'natural' products. I haven't found them to work very well. Just my opinion.) Then use a high quality bonding primer-I prefer 2 thin coats of primer. This is more work, but you want your paint to hold up. Paint using semi-gloss paint. When doing cabinetry, I prefer oil based paint. It is just more durable. It is harder to work with and clean up, but when it is my effort, I don't want to have to redo the paint in just a few years. I have found that oil based paint and primer really last and are much more washable. Most people will tell you to use latex and it is easier to do. Oil based takes longer to dry and will take longer over all to complete your job, but you will have many years of enjoyment by taking those extra days of effort.

  • Kit Kit on Nov 10, 2018

    First let me say i am not an expert but I have painted cabinets in two kitchens and four bathrooms and used a deglosser every time instead of sanding. Take a door off and take it with you to a paint store. Not a big box store as they don’t always have someone in paint that “knows” what you need. I would go to Sherwin Williams if you have one. Tell them you want to paint the cabinets and they have a couple different formulas that will be right for you. Ask them when their next sale is going to be as they have them on a regular basis and buy the paint then. The paint store people are a wealth of information and they can help you every step of the way. If if you encounter a problem during the process just ask them for help and they are happy to give advice.

    i had very dark cabinets in the second kitchen and they key was finding the right primer and they were able to make a suggestion that worked beautifully. Good luck....it will be so worth the effort.

  • AmAtHome AmAtHome on Nov 15, 2018

    I know several people who recently used deglosser vs. sanding and were happy with the results, but none mentioned using paint conditioner. I hope you post results after you finish, mine are on the list for next year and I'd love to hear/see how it went!

  • Heje Heje on Nov 15, 2018

    I agree with Kit and especially with the 2 coats of primer because of the knots in the wood. I always sand even though I use a deglosser to smooth out some of wood.

  • Lisa Lisa on Nov 15, 2018

    I've read the answers you've received already and love how great it is that hometalkers love to help! I can answer about the conditioner. It is used if you have stripped a piece of furniture down or are starting with raw wood. The purpose of the conditioner is so the wood will stain evenly and not be blotchy. Since this doesn't apply to paint, I feel the conditioner would be an unnecessary step in your project. I hope this is helpful!

  • Dee Dee on Nov 18, 2018

    First off you need to clean the cabinets extremely well before painting. I use Purple Power from Walmart, but you can buy an excellent degreaser at an auto store too. You need to get all the grease off the cabinets before painting.


    Then get a sanding sponge of fine grit. Lightly sand the cabinets, very lightly. Should only take a few minutes. You want your primer to be able to grab.


    Then buy a good stain blocking, bonding primer and either spray it on or roll it on with a mohair roller.


    Sand lightly again. Then you need a semi-gloss paint. Flat or eggshell will not clean well. Again spray or roll on. You will probably need two coats of paint. I would buy Sherwin Williams acrylic, Benjamin Moore acrylic or Behr Marquee.

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