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Discussion Starter #1
I have personally installed unfinished oak cabinets from lowes in my remodeled home. I'm not a professional but most sections are pretty tight. I've been reading for several weeks and after a trip to sherwin Williams I have began to doubt my initial decision to lacquer. I have not finished the kitchen or dining room paint nor laid the floor. So overspray isn't a large concern. I own an airless sprayer.

What I want. I like the hidden grain clean contemporary black look... And my sherwin Williams guy assured me he couldn't make black lacquer which i thought was odd and tried shoving oil based paint down my throat. Would someone advise me the best route to take to make my cabinets last and look great ?!
 

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We have an introduction section where you can say a few words about yourself. If you fill out your profile in your "User Control Panel", you can list any hobbies, experience or other facts. You can also list your general geographical location which would be a help in answering some questions.

It's a whole lot easier to do finishing on uninstalled cabinets. I would do a test with spraying a black aniline dye (alcohol based). It could be called "lamp black". It can be topcoated with most film finishes, and I would suggest a waterbased polyurethane.





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I have personally installed unfinished oak cabinets from lowes in my remodeled home. I'm not a professional but most sections are pretty tight. I've been reading for several weeks and after a trip to sherwin Williams I have began to doubt my initial decision to lacquer. I have not finished the kitchen or dining room paint nor laid the floor. So overspray isn't a large concern. I own an airless sprayer.

What I want. I like the hidden grain clean contemporary black look... And my sherwin Williams guy assured me he couldn't make black lacquer which i thought was odd and tried shoving oil based paint down my throat. Would someone advise me the best route to take to make my cabinets last and look great ?!
The problem with many paint stores including sherwin williams is they cater to the homeowner and a black lacquer is more of a industrial finish. Sherwin Williams makes a lacquer you could use and they could special order it for you. Google Opex Production Lacquer. It would be a lot easier for you to work with however at the end of the day the oil based enamel would be a better product. The production lacquer is a nitrocellulose lacquer which isn't very water resistant. If for example water was allowed to drip down the front of your sink after a year or so the finish would start pealing in spots. A better lacquer for what you doing would be a waterborne lacquer, Kem Aqua Pigmented Lacquer from Sherwin Williams. Another enamel you could use is their quick dry enamel. It is a solvent based enamel thinned with toluene that would dry to touch in a hour or so. I have forgotten the name of Sherwin Williams quick dry. In the 1990's I painted aluminum patio furniture and street lights with their enamel and it held up well.
 

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I'm not sure you will be happy with the look of black oak unless you use some type of wood filler. Oak has so much open grain it just doesn't give a smooth finish. I would use cabinetman's suggestion and go with a black dye and poly top coat.
 

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well i wish i could see my cabinets fully painted in various ways so i could pick the way that looks best after the fact... but i cannot. Thats why im imploring you experts! MY background is diverse and not specific in any natures, if its broke i can fix it if its finish work i usually have enough skill to make it look ok. My painting skills have grown a bit and i think im pretty good at that. With that said there are some minor PAPER thin grooves on the face frames of the cabinets in places i havent tried sanding yet but its not PERFECT.

after its all said in done i want a rock solid product thats going to look great and hold up be washable etc.. and me not FLOP and have to (heaven forbid) resand everything back to bare wood and start all over.

Ive never used a grain filler is that a special product or would wood filler do the trick? Sounds like alot of extra work. but if it has to be done i would definitely do it to achieve what i want to achieve.
 

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Ive never used a grain filler is that a special product or would wood filler do the trick? Sounds like alot of extra work. but if it has to be done i would definitely do it to achieve what i want to achieve.
Do not confuse the two different types of products. "Grain filler"...AKA "paste wood filler", is used for filling the grain and pores of wood prior to applying the finish.

"Wood filler", or "Wood Putty" is used to fill holes and do repairs to wood. It's not to be used as a grain filler.






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so cabinet man you think the best thing to do is buy the powder analine dye mix it with alcohol brush it on, then spray poly over the top? that will be easy / durable finish and have a nice look also? ive never messed with any dyes or such... not that i cant its just foreign to me at the moment. I am a quick learner :p
 

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well i wish i could see my cabinets fully painted in various ways so i could pick the way that looks best after the fact... but i cannot. Thats why im imploring you experts! MY background is diverse and not specific in any natures, if its broke i can fix it if its finish work i usually have enough skill to make it look ok. My painting skills have grown a bit and i think im pretty good at that. With that said there are some minor PAPER thin grooves on the face frames of the cabinets in places i havent tried sanding yet but its not PERFECT.

after its all said in done i want a rock solid product thats going to look great and hold up be washable etc.. and me not FLOP and have to (heaven forbid) resand everything back to bare wood and start all over.

Ive never used a grain filler is that a special product or would wood filler do the trick? Sounds like alot of extra work. but if it has to be done i would definitely do it to achieve what i want to achieve.
If you wish to use grain filler it is a little extra work but not overwhelming. What it would be like is smearing drywall mud on the cabinets and then wiping it off with a rag. It wouldn't take that long. What I use is a oil based grain filler. It stays moist longer than the water based grain filler. You brush the grain filler on like stain in the direction of the grain and let it thicken a little and then either squeege the excess off with a squeege like you clean the windshield of your car or you can rub the excess off with a rag rubbing in a circular motion. Let the grain filler dry and what little is left on the surface sand level. Then the wood could be stained or painted. On stained wood it would be best to use a grain filler that was tinted close to the color stain you are using. A natural grain filler can also be tinted to your needs if you can't find one the color you need.
 

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If you wish to use grain filler it is a little extra work but not overwhelming. What it would be like is smearing drywall mud on the cabinets and then wiping it off with a rag. It wouldn't take that long. What I use is a oil based grain filler. It stays moist longer than the water based grain filler. You brush the grain filler on like stain in the direction of the grain and let it thicken a little and then either squeege the excess off with a squeege like you clean the windshield of your car or you can rub the excess off with a rag rubbing in a circular motion. Let the grain filler dry and what little is left on the surface sand level. Then the wood could be stained or painted. On stained wood it would be best to use a grain filler that was tinted close to the color stain you are using. A natural grain filler can also be tinted to your needs if you can't find one the color you need.
I call the type of filler "solvent based" instead of oil base. The other type would be "waterbased" Most directions suggest to rub the paste cross grain and then long grain with a rag like burlap, for best results. For whichever brand you use follow the directions on the product.





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OP before you start on your cabinets why don't you just get a few extra pieces of oak and do some test finishes. You can try various types to see what you like the best. Then you can use that system on your cabinets.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
So alcohol die and water based poly, or grain filler and paint or lacquer. Someone suggested oil based pro enamel from s&w ... What about conversion varnish?

That would cost a lot of money to get a sample of all of those and test wood lol
 

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So alcohol die and water based poly, or grain filler and paint or lacquer. Someone suggested oil based pro enamel from s&w ... What about conversion varnish?

That would cost a lot of money to get a sample of all of those and test wood lol
If you were to spray oil base poly, or any oil base product, the likelihood for the finish to run is high. It's a heavy bodied finish that stays wet a long time... long enough for all kinds of dust and little critters to land on it. It would be difficult to get a good finish spraying the cabinets in place.

If you want an oil base finish, it will impart an amber tone. For that media, I would suggest using a wiping version. Another drawback is that it will stink pretty bad for a long time after it seems dry.

That's why I suggested a WB poly. It dries fast, easy clean-up, and very low odor.





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I never wanted to mess with oil but a feel simple were trying to push me that way. That's what interested me about the lacquer and my dad recently used his airless sprayer on clear lacquer as a finish to his stained cabinets. Is the alkaline die method gonna be a smooth finish like most poly? But I've been told the wb lacquer is a special order product and the guy says he can't assure a solid black in any of his lacquer.


So sorry if this is hard to follow I'm driving home. :/

So if I use lacquer on oak I have to grain fill it but the wb poly I do not ? Isn't that the stuff they finish floors with also?
 

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I never wanted to mess with oil but a feel simple were trying to push me that way. That's what interested me about the lacquer and my dad recently used his airless sprayer on clear lacquer as a finish to his stained cabinets. Is the alkaline die method gonna be a smooth finish like most poly? But I've been told the wb lacquer is a special order product and the guy says he can't assure a solid black in any of his lacquer.


So sorry if this is hard to follow I'm driving home. :/

So if I use lacquer on oak I have to grain fill it but the wb poly I do not ? Isn't that the stuff they finish floors with also?
Grain filling is your option either way. You can do it or not with either media.





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Discussion Starter #15
Ok so in your opinion which yields the best finish total package ! I know oak is fairly pourous and I'm not a big fan of the grain showing ... And in the future consideration of getting married and having to paint the cabinets to a womans preference opposed to just mine

Although for post makest feel rather hard to please lol but u just want to ensure I am pleased with my work and investment both time and money
 

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Ok so in your opinion which yields the best finish total package ! I know oak is fairly pourous and I'm not a big fan of the grain showing ... And in the future consideration of getting married and having to paint the cabinets to a womans preference opposed to just mine

Although for post makest feel rather hard to please lol but u just want to ensure I am pleased with my work and investment both time and money
I can't tell you what you'll like the best. Personally, I like a finished wood that still has the look and feel of wood.





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You are doing black and oak is oak. Pick up a board from HD, it wont cost much and you can see what the cabinets will look like with the different finishes. You can do small test sections and see what you will be dealing with. Just makes sense to me.
 

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I never wanted to mess with oil but a feel simple were trying to push me that way. That's what interested me about the lacquer and my dad recently used his airless sprayer on clear lacquer as a finish to his stained cabinets. Is the alkaline die method gonna be a smooth finish like most poly? But I've been told the wb lacquer is a special order product and the guy says he can't assure a solid black in any of his lacquer.


So sorry if this is hard to follow I'm driving home. :/

So if I use lacquer on oak I have to grain fill it but the wb poly I do not ? Isn't that the stuff they finish floors with also?
It would probably be best to fill the grain on some scrap oak and finish it and likewise finish a piece of wood with the grain showing and see which you like the best. Generally the grain isn't filled on oak however going black I personally would like it filled better.

The dye is just for the color. It won't affect the smoothness of the finish. The dye would be under the finish.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
The cabinets I have I can pick up a few filler pieces and do some test samples

I'm on my phone no clue how that got posted upside down sorry
 

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