Asked on Oct 01, 2014

Kitchen cupboards staining and chipping

Sue Rogers
by Sue Rogers
In 1980 My kitchen cupboards were made from pine plywood with just a clear stain on them. Two years ago I decided to paint them antique white. The paint expert told me to use floor paint as it was much more durable. Last year I had to do some touch ups. However, a lot of stains show up quite clearly. The cupboards have no fancy lines or them frames on them. After 30 years I needed to do something with them so I used wood filler and send at the mall down. Now my problem is everything shows up on them they're chipping and I'm quite disappointed. What can I do so that these things do not show up? Also, how do I make them a little fancier?
kitchen cupboards, diy, kitchen design, paint colors, painting, Before and after
Before and after
  19 answers
  • Hannah V Hannah V on Oct 01, 2014
    Maybe change up the hardware? Sometimes new knobs can make a huge difference in how fancy cabinets look! In regards to the chipping and staining, I'm sure an all purpose cleaner can keep off the stains. I personally love magic erasers. For chipping maybe just touch up the white paint when necessary? Hope this helps! :)

  • Sue Rogers Sue Rogers on Oct 01, 2014
    I did change the hardware and it looks great. I just do not understand the staining as it only started this year. I have tried all cleaners. I thing I may have to Repaint. I reprinted it last year and that is when the staining started. Thanks for your suggestion I do appreciate your email

  • Chris aka monkey Chris aka monkey on Oct 01, 2014
    @Sue Rogers try using a primer first sue... kilz is fantastic for blocking stain... you can put some molding on the top doors to keep cost down something as simple as half round which you can cut with a hand saw and a miter box if you don't have one use glue and small brad nails put them on first before you paint or prime i love love your sink and faucet now if you want extra easy just sand and distress them and rub a little dark stain on and wipe off that way any problems just become part of the vintage look good luck xx

  • Shari Shari on Oct 01, 2014
    I wish we could see a close up picture of some of these areas that are staining. Before you originally painted the cabinets, did you use any kind of sealer or primer over the pine? Pine knots contain resin which can seep from the wood and ruin a paint job and I see a lot of knots in the photos of your original cabinets. If they were not sealed properly before painting, I am wondering if this is the source of the stains you are seeing. I'm also wondering if the original stain of the cabinets could be bleeding through the paint. This last time you painted, did you thoroughly degrease all the cabinet surfaces before painting? Cooking grease residue could also cause staining and most certainly cause paint adhesion problems (chipping). Admittedly, I'm no paint expert but porch/floor paint does not seem like the appropriate paint for wood cabinets, especially when paint companies have developed paints especially for cabinets and the wear and tear kitchen cabinets are subjected to. I don't know what paint brands or paints stores you have available to you in Canada but if you decide to paint your cabinets again, I would suggest consulting with a couple different reputable paints stores, or even professional painters, for product recommendations. You should also consider buying the best quality paint you can afford so hopefully you won't have to undertake this project again any time soon. I have found spending a little more for a top quality paint really does make a difference, not only in how smoothly it goes on but in its longevity too. Perhaps you can give us a brief summary of what prep work and products you used before painting, plus post a few photos showing the cabinets up close, especially the areas that are staining, so HT members can better advise you.

  • Hope Williams Hope Williams on Oct 02, 2014
    Lightly sand your finish. Then use spray shellac. Lightly sand, them apply ( my choice) chalk paint and finish with polycrylic. You can use wood carvings, fabric framed on the fronts. Your possibilities are endless. I'm attaching pics for some visual reference. Please note, none of these are mine, just references for myself.

  • Polly Zieper Polly Zieper on Oct 02, 2014
    I wouldn't paint them again. There isn't much to be gained by putting more stuff on top of cabinets that aren't real , solid wood. They're bound to chip/ scratch again. What if you got beadboard cut to the size/shape of the door and drawer fronts, glued or nailed that onto the fronts and put thin trim/moulding around the edges to 'frame' the doors and drawers?

  • Jan Jan on Oct 02, 2014
    I saw some cabinets with wallpaper on them and they were awesome. Maybe a textured wallpaper then paint?

  • Bonnie Conner Bonnie Conner on Oct 02, 2014
    I added trim to mine.

  • Melissa Leach Melissa Leach on Oct 02, 2014
    I agree with priming the cabinets before repainting and also like the idea of attaching beadboard to the cabinet fronts. May I suggest painting the bottom cbinets a darker color and leaving the top cabinets white. Another idea is to put glass fronts on a couple doors or to even remove a couple cabinets and add open shelving. Good luck!

  • Linda Lemiere-Zile Linda Lemiere-Zile on Oct 02, 2014
    Maybe what you are seeing as stains are really the pine knots coming thru. In that case you will need to prime and repaint. The is also the one thing about painting cabinets is they will chip over time. Some say to be a clear poly coat over the paint to protect them. The new chalk paints work pretty good on cabinets as well I have heard and do the wax finish after. Good luck.

  • Liliana Wells Liliana Wells on Oct 02, 2014
    If you decide to repaint, make sure you sand and prime with something like Kilz to prevent the resin from the knots or previous paint to come through. We had stained and varnished cabinets in a previous house that were dark. We washed them down, sanded them lightly then put two coats of primer and painted them with Rust-Oleum. About ten years went by before they started chipping. That's to be expected with constant use, like a kitchen. For a quick fix, change of hardware is the thing to do.

  • Jor372227 Jor372227 on Oct 02, 2014
    Call Andre Nel at 0827700137 he is a carpenter and maybe can help you

  • LaVida LaVida on Oct 02, 2014
    Think twice about the extra cleaning time before you add trim--cleaning gunk out of grooves with a toothpick takes too much time! We're now in our retirement house, and I'd give anything for plain. My husband likes to cook (fry), but he doesn't like to clean and his vision problems keep him from seeing splatters and spills. Also I love to have our grandchildren, 9 and 4, help me bake but they aren't the greatest at cleaning either.

  • Aisling Chalian Aisling Chalian on Oct 02, 2014
    My kitchen cabinets were boring white when I moved in, so I used something like this: I can't find the specific ones I used, but I'm sure you can find some you like. (Sorry the picture doesn't show -- they're apples. Mine are apples and grapes)

  • M'sMammy M'sMammy on Oct 02, 2014
    I also have plywood cabinets. I painted and am not too happy. Worst of all the doors do not meet up like they should and I DID number them all. I think the hinges stretched!! Anyhow I fixed that by sanding off edges and bottoms, etc. Like the idea of the wallpaper. I know you can get paintable textured wallpaper so Maybe I'll look for that. Best of luck with yours.

  • C C on Oct 03, 2014
    First I would HIGHLY recommend you use Zinsser BIN. It works even better than Kilz. It is thicker than traditional paint, and requires good ventilation, but it sticks like glue {no chipping} and will kill the knots in pine wood that notoriously bleed through paint. For adding detail.... shaker style is the simplest way to do this {all simple straight cuts} and gives the option of with or without beadboard centers The pictures I attached are not my own, just ones I found to give you a visual ;)

  • Judy Roberts Judy Roberts on Oct 07, 2014
    My parents had pine cabinets like these over 50 years ago and they did (at the time) what was a common thing~ they started with just the plain pine cabinets and "whitewashed" or "pickled wash" their cabinets and they were beautiful for 30 years or more!! I wish I had some like that now~but the wood used now is not beautiful like the old pine with knots like you have!!!!! You can find out how to do this on" WikiHow: Whitewashing old furniture. They have very good instructions!!!

  • Kathy T. Kathy T. on Oct 08, 2014
    I have worked retail paints. This is one home improvement you do not want to cut costs (excluding designer named products). I agree with all of Carri's suggestions. Zinsser Bin not cheap but will make the rest of job easier. Also covers stains and odors. In addition I suggest using TSP, deep cleans and degloss. Sand imperfections especially the pealing areas. I like Purdy products rollers, covers etc. Suggest the Purdy roller with foam cover for smooth finish. Finally a quality paint. Google consumers choice, how to, videos. Find something you're comfortable with. Good luck. Show us when you finish.

  • Sue Rogers Sue Rogers on Oct 09, 2014
    Thank you one and all