Need prep & painting tech. help for old dirty louvered wood doors.

Recently remodeled kitchen (new cabs, countertops, appliances) screams for completion; the remaining louvered wood bifold doors interior to patio slider, plus the louvered shutter-style cupboard doors on what my contractors called "the hutch" need painting to match the color of the custom kitchen cabinetry. I've purchased the semi-gloss color-matching paint but need professional/personal experience advice on 1) how best to prep the unfinished but dirty/stained wood on the bifolds and shutters, 2) best type of paint applicator to use (i.e., paintbrush or sponge), and 3) how to prevent paint from dripping from the front-facing sides to the backsides of the louvers on all doors during the process. Bottom line: is this something I could actually do on my own with success? Or would you recommend hiring a professional painter (with paint booth and airsprayer equipment) for execution?

Thanks in advance for your suggestions!

  4 answers
  • Kim Kim on Dec 03, 2017
    I love to paint and would consider this a super tedious project. It will be time consuming but worth it in the end.
    Step one: Remove hardware. Sand Clear down to wood. Fill any divots with wood filler and sand till smooth.
    Make sure all surfaces are smooth and clean.
    Do your louvers move? If not great! You don’t need to tape!
    If they do, you need to make a painting plan so that you don’t paint them open (or shut). I would tape the exterior frame so that only the louvers get painted.
    Prime your louvers with a primer like Kilz and allow to dry thoroughly. For the painting, try a small foam roller, if that won’t work, use a 1” paint brush rated for your type of paint. Don’t overload your brush. Your brush should only be dipped into the paint about 1/4”. Apply several thin coats (allowing to dry in between) vs. one heavy coat to avoid drips and runs.
    Once the louvers are completely dry, remove the tape and tape the louvers edges so that you can paint the frame.
    I hope that helps.

    • AJ AJ on Dec 03, 2017
      Hi, Kim in Pomona -- multiple thanks for your reply to my query! Very helpful!!

      Agree with your assessment -- it's definitely going to be a super tedious job -- one panel at a time. Am approaching this as my wintertime project now.

      Luckily, the louvered slats in these things are fixed, so the taping step might not be required prior to painting.

      So appreciate your suggestions re: priming with Kilz after hardware removal and thorough sanding down, as well as your recommendations for brush types and detail on paint application.

      Obviously am a novice at detailed painting but so want to pull this off on my own -- but without making any glaring mistakes that would detract from the otherwise totally new professionally renovated kitchen space.

      Thank you so much for taking the time to put together a most helpful detailed response!

      --AJ in Kennewick, WA

  • Sharon Sharon on Dec 03, 2017
    If you are remodeling, why not get rid of the dated louver doors?

    • See 2 previous
    • AJ AJ on Dec 03, 2017
      Thanks for the suggestion, Sharon. However, I want to retain the louvered style of the cupboard doors because it complements the style of the louvered bifold doors on the interior side of the sliding glass door that opens onto the patio outside the dining space.

  • Trudy Trudy on Dec 03, 2017

    You can buy a spray system at ACE Hardware for less than $20 where you thin your latex paint, put it inside and spray paint. It takes many light coats but was so worth it.

    • AJ AJ on Dec 03, 2017
      Thank you, Trudy -- did not realize such a system is available for a reasonable price! Alas, my home has neither a basement nor a garage, so I'd have to table this project until spring 2018 when the spraying could be done outdoors. However, I WILL go to ACE and check out this system; if it will work with the oil-based enamel I'll be using, I may decide to wait till spring --  .

  • Trudy Trudy on Dec 04, 2017
    Or do like I did this weekend, and paint outside in the sunshine when the temp gets above 50! Good luck