I am painting my bathroom cupboards.. and have a problem!!

I am using good quality primer....good quality paint...a Purdy brush...BUT...my paint job looks terrible...WHAT am I doing wrong? This is why I stay away from doing anything...nothing every works out... YOU guys make things seem so 'easy' and yet when I attempt things...major FAIL....lol.... Any suggestions out there? Oh and yes I prepped the surface...first also....
  21 answers
  • William William on Feb 28, 2017
    Use a small foam roller and foam brush for a smooth finish. Removing the doors and hardware makes for easier painting.

    • Laura Laura on Mar 03, 2017
      Thank you for your reply. I wish I would have...leason learned !

  • Jennifer | CrazyDiyMom Jennifer | CrazyDiyMom on Feb 28, 2017
    Make sure you have enough paint on your brush, but not too much that it's dripping off.
    When painting with a brush, one of the worst things you can do is keep brushing over it.
    When you need to redip your paint brush, don't go back over what you've already painted and end your last swipe of the brush, by going backwards back into where you just where. Does that make sense? lol
    Brush------------> Then brush from where you left off -------------------> then go just back into where you left off

    • Laura Laura on Mar 03, 2017
      I am "trying" to understandwhat you mean. But I think that I have been making the mistake of going over the paint too many times.. as it seems to "lift" off that way. My biggest issues is "wwhat is too much paint but not not enough paint"... lol. Thank you for replying

  • Cindy Hagemann Cindy Hagemann on Feb 28, 2017
    Thin coats and be sure to let it dry in between each coat. Sand what you have done and start over.

  • Hillela G. Hillela G. on Feb 28, 2017
    You can also try to use chalk paint, so that you don't need to prime

    • Laura Laura on Mar 03, 2017
      Thank you for replying. I thought of using chalk paint. But I wanted a high gloss look and it seems that chalk paint is used more for distressed looks and is usually rather dull looking.

  • Keri Johnson Keri Johnson on Feb 28, 2017
    Can you post a picture of the problem? We would have a better idea of the issue if we could see it.

    • See 1 previous
    • Loretta Loretta on Mar 13, 2017
      What kind of paint are you using? I find latex paint sucks, in my humble opinion. It does tend to lift off more than other paint. But it does sound like you may have figured it out. Also, you can get poly acrylic sealers for chalk paint, in dull or glossy finish, just FYI. Once you paint with chalk paint you will LOVE IT, it is soooo easy and almost fool proof! If you have not started painting over, try some chalk paint. Good luck, keep asking if you have issues and don't get discouraged. Like someone else on here said it is part of learning, no one does everything right the first time.

  • Rosanne Rosanne on Mar 02, 2017
    automatic paint sprayers are a wonderful invention! They paint a thin coat that doesn't "glob" (unless you get too close to your project). Make sure you cover everything, or paint outside, so the overspray won't get on everything! I am using mine this summer to spruce up my cabinets... we'll see how that works out.

    • Laura Laura on Mar 03, 2017
      Thank you for replying. I would have loved to have used a paint sprayer...but I am in Canada and it is Winter here...outside painting is not an option...lol... BUT I want to "attempt" my kitchen cabinets also (thought for my 1st DIY project I would go small..bathroom cabinets) and I may try a sprayer. However, afterthis NIGHTMARE I just may NOT do my kitchen now at all...lol

  • V Smith V Smith on Mar 02, 2017
    Why does it look bad? If it is your painting technique keep trying. If your paint is giving way to little pock marks (or fish eyes), there may be silicone on/in the wood (often from products like Pledge). If that is the case you may need to sand and scrub the wood and then repaint. In the future when working with an unknown history of the piece wash well before sanding or stripping. Good luck.

    • Laura Laura on Mar 03, 2017
      Thanks for replying. I did wash the cupboards down first. Not sure what "fish eyes...pock marks" are.... but they were all streaky. ..brush marks every where...white streaks left...etc. But from reading other replies... I think my mistakes are my issues are...it was my 1st coat...I am having a hard time figuring out "how" to load my brush with the right sound of paint..not too much..not too little and I am going over my work too many times... At least I think this is what I am doing wrong. The second coat looks a little better...but still not perfect. I was ready to give up. I think I just suck at painting....lol

  • Linda Soria Linda Soria on Mar 02, 2017
    Floetrol - is a paint additive. I painted all the woodwork in my house white but was not happy with how my doors were drying. After some research bought this product and added it to latex semi-gloss enamel. When the paint dried, it looked like I spray painted it on. Love this product. Google it!

  • Laura Laura on Mar 03, 2017
    Thank you for replying. I have heard about that before....is it really that good? I actuallylooked at it in the store. I live in Canada and it was a small for tune to buy it. ( we pay so much more for EVERYTHING over here). But if it is that good, it may be worth the investment.

  • Nancy Nancy on Mar 03, 2017
    Roll on the paint first with a foam roller. Buy good quality small foam rollers if it is a tight space. Use a great quality (I use Purdy brand) paint brush. The brush MUST be for latex paint. Put the paint on with the foam roller just to get it on. Now, go over the rolled paint with the brush in one direction. This is done to achieve a professional finish. Do not overlap with the brush or go over any area again. It is best to always use a primer. Let dry. Sand lightly. Use a tack cloth to remove sanding dust. Paint first coat. Let dry. Sand lightly. Use a tack cloth to remove sanding dust. Paint second coat.

    If you are patient with yourself and the paint, you will do a wonderful job. Prep work is 75% of the job. Make sure that whenever you paint wood, you clean it very well with a TSP mild solution and also be sure to remove ALL cleaning residue and rinse well. You must let the surface really dry before you even consider starting the painting process. Slightly damp surfaces or cleaning solution residue can really ruin the final result.

  • Nancy Nancy on Mar 03, 2017
    Don't get overwhelmed. Mistakes are a learning experience. Don't get flustered or frustrated by your first project. We all have failures in our past. I am NOW a great painter. But often I painted through a veil of tears. Maybe, they made the paint flow better! Good luck and don't give up. We were always on a very tight budget so we had to take on home improvement projects ourselves.

  • Jennifer | CrazyDiyMom Jennifer | CrazyDiyMom on Mar 03, 2017
    If the paint is lifting off on you, then you're probably going over it too much. I like to dip my paint brush in a little less than halfway and then sort of tap both sides of the brush on the side of your container to sort of knock off extra. Then brush from left to right once until you are running out of paint. On your next stroke, brush again right to left from where you left off. Then when you go back over it from left to right, end your brush stroke just into your previous section. It's ok if it doesn't look perfect, the paint should level out and blend together. Maybe that makes more sense?? LOL
    Make sure you have plenty of paint brushed on but not too much that it's running down. You do want a good amount of paint brushed on. And don't be tempted to continue going over it or to "touch it up". I know it's hard looking at the "lines" of paint, but let it level out and dry.
    I worked for a painter and those were the main things that made my painting skills much better.
    Good luck!

  • Regina Regina on Mar 03, 2017
    First, before you begin painting anything, make sure your project is clean, sanded, and you've taken time to wipe all the sawdust from sanding off. That usually requires a damp rag, and some drying time afterwards.

    Then, more likely than not, you will need to apply a primer. Follow the same tips people are giving you for painting - just enough paint on the brush that it doesn't run down it. Allow that to dry.

    Finally you paint. And realize you will probably need to apply two coats. Again, you have to allow the first coat to dry before applying the second. I usually give it a good 24 hours.

  • V Smith V Smith on Mar 04, 2017
    Fish eye or pox marks are what appear when the paint cannot cover little places that have silicone on the old finish or in the grain of the wood. They are round and dished down sorta like little moon craters. I am glad to hear that this is not the problem you have because it can be a real pain when it is discovered. We all have to start somewhere, your painting will improve with each attempt. There is a heap of help online. Here is a link to Ask This Old House on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QwrnQT39Oxw

    • Laura Laura on Mar 04, 2017
      I am SO ready to give up and NEVER paint again. They look absolutely terrible. (I am disabled and this is just been so hard on me...physically.....and now mentally). But I will watch the link. Thank you again....such kindness on Hometalk !

  • Cheryl Cheryl on Mar 04, 2017
    The best way for me is a sprayer but I did have very good results with a small foam roller. The paint went on smooth. I only used a brush in an area where it was too close for the roller to reach but then went over with the roller as close as I could in that same area. Works great!

  • Rosanne Rosanne on Mar 07, 2017
    Actually Laura, I put up sheets in my craft room and spray painted our bathroom vanity doors, and they came out real nice. But if you have never used a sprayer before, you may want to wait for summer, just to see how the spray covers. On my first attempt indoors, I had some "cleaning" up of over spray to do! I thought the sprayer would be real expensive, but Wagner has some good ones that aren't too costly. I am an artist , so I figured I could use it in my art work and around the house as well.

  • Wendyrama Wendyrama on Mar 07, 2017
    Floetrol will change your life! Expensive but you use very little.

    Here's the hard part. My mantra: load roller or brush, (brush no more than half way up the bristles) Think letter N or W. Down, up, down, up, now the hard part----step away! Next next stroke should stack on to the N filling it in and moving across. it's not an exact thing but you are right. Over working the paint is usually the cause of most paint drama, when weather or surface interactions seem not relevant.

    resist at at all cost the urge to touch up brush marks after laying the N or working it 3x. You'll be like a crazy person trying to resist but trust the paint. Good paint self levels.

  • Deanna Nassar Deanna Nassar on Mar 09, 2017
    Remove doors and drawers, hinges, and pulls, or knobs. Take wood parts outside or into room with lots of paper to catch drips
    One thing that is a real problem is if paint is too thick; Thin latex with small amount of water and lots of stirring.. It should look about like a glass of fresh milk, not runny but not like glue either.. Use a pan and small roller. Put pan in plastic bag to cut on clean up. Pour only enough paint in bottom of pan to fill the reserve. Roll roller into paint and then roll on raised portion of pan to help remove excess paint. Roll the paint on door in one stroke. You can go over it but only once to catch any missed areas. Roll up/down and go to next area. Paint doors, all sides. drawers only on front piece(same as door), not sides, bottom etc. It can cause drawers to stick if you do. While they dry paint the rest of facing(parts seen on cabinets) when doors open. When all is dry put in some shelving paper and line drawers. Do not judge your job just put everything back together and let it settle. Like any project you will see flaws that no one else would notice; just because you did it.
    First time I tried to paint a room I worried over it because I was married to a pro. I saw glaring errors but he saw only a couple of misses. After a while it started looking better.
    Get a book on home repairs. Reader's Digest used to have a good one. Also a few person tools; Phillips(cross tip), Slotted tip driver, pliers(chanel lock or adjustable will be most helpful), Hammer, Tape measure. Sometimes you can find all of them in a set at hardware store. One company puts them out with pink handles...for the ladies.
    PS. I am now disabled..or not as able as I once was. Attitude is everything. Hang up a sign: She believed she could So she DID! Saw it on etsy.com

  • Diana Deiley Diana Deiley on Mar 11, 2017
    Nancy from Detroit has the best detailed information. When I do my cabinets I roll from left to right, top to bottom slightly overlapping the previous roll, with as much even pressure as possible and always with a foam roller. I paint the back sides first, then the front.....for drying purposes. Two coats each with proper drying time between coats. Semi gloss finish in kitchen for durability. Best of luck.

  • Eroque022810 Eroque022810 on Mar 13, 2017
    I can so relate that's why I end up replacing or paying someone else to do it. Deanne seems to make sense try her way. You already spent the money so don't give up now. Just remember that once your done you will have learned a new thing that you can reuse or that you will need do it again not worth money, time (which is money) and stress. Good luck.

  • Diana Diana on Mar 19, 2018
    Why does the paint look bad? Just wondering cuz after I paint my kids room the paint looks chalky and blotchy.. thinking I have mold in walls but don't know what to do