Painting wardrobe doors

3 Sep 2015
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United Kingdom
Hey guys,

We have some ancient wardrobe doors which are currently covered in a rather hideous magnolia gloss. We intend to sand them where necessary (run marks mainly) and then use the Zinzzer Bulls Eye stuff as a base primer (to avoid sanding everything, including the picture frame like inserts in them - we don't have the time for it right now).

For the top coat we'd like something as flat and matt as possible. What paint would people recommend? - We saw Dulux site suggested 'Cupboard Paint' - which sounds like rubbish to me and aimed just at the DIY market.

There's quite a lot of doors to do - basically we're sprucing up fitted wardrobes which run the full height and width of the room (4-4.5m roughly). So quite a lot.

Suggestions most welcome!
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Sorry, I would sand them, even tho using bulls eye. Give max key on something that gets a lot of wear and tear like doors, I would say that was important.
Never used or heard of cupboard paint, but just googled it, gets ok reviews other than needs 3 coats. But any wood paint, preferably oil based as harder wearing, should do the trick ok.
Hmm, that would change the project timeline somewhat - mainly because of the intricate bits, not sure if a halfway house would be to lightly key the side of each door which would get the brunt of the wear, or if that would produce an uneven mess... as I suspect it would. hmm!
If very intricate, I don't think it would matter if not sanded but all flat bits you'd probably get away with so it's even. Can;t say too much without seeing the doors tho! It's up to you really, but be a real shame if the paint started chipping later on after your efforts.
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I'll take a pic whe I get home. Also in my arsenal is some polycel liquid sandpaper, which I'd also purchased but not tried yet for this task.

Not sure if I could use this instead of the zinsser, or as well as, so first then zinsser then top coat.
Here you can see the front, back and hinge of the door. As you can see, the previous occupants decided to just paint the front of the doors (badly), the back is still decent wood, so painting that should be quite simple.

As regards the front...

How about
1. Sand some parts if necessary - runs etc.
2. Liquid sandpaper (front), especially grooves
3. Zinsser primer (front and back)
4. Top coat (x2) of our choice

Already a long process for each door! In terms of parts 2 and 3, paint brush I assume?


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Oh an the doors don't appear to be standard width so replacing them would be very problematic from what we can tel (or just expensive)
You know, when you said intricate, I was expecting intricate! *Cheeky grins*.
Personally speaking I would sand the lot, undercoat and then 2 topcoats. I wouldn't use BIN on the front myself as it's not really needed with this job as it's already been painted (therefore primed). I understand you wanted to apply BIN because it doesn't need prep but it is expensive.

Up to you of course! And I know you don't want to spend a lot of time, but some things can't really be rushed if you want a long-lasting & neat finish. Good luck with it all! :)
I must confess, when I got them from the shed I did think they weren't as intricate as I remember. The tall doors are a little different and the top rail (fixed in place) is more so.

I already have a large can of zinsser. The coat now is gloss, so they'll need something no? Either a good key, a deglosser or the zinsser?

Would you take the hinges off and try to get the paint off them? Not sure if there's anything I could drop them in, a-la breaking bad, or if taking them off is a risk.
Yes, you need to do something to the gloss so the next paint adheres. Up to you which method.
And yes, I'd take off the hinges. Even if you don't bother to clean them, at least you're not going to make them worse when you paint and you make life easier when painting with them off - fewer possibilities of drips too.
Cleaning hinges, I guess you could try paint stripper if want an easier option? Doesn't work as well as it once did since they changed the chemicals - think it was because of EU regs.
Zinsser Coverstain is the best for this application. It can be applied to un sanded woodwork and wont come off. Then you can finish the doors in anything you want be oil or water based.
I do happen to have a nearly full large tin of bulls eye 123 though unfortunately!

Does anyone ha e experience with this liquid sandpaper? I got it but I've never tried it out...
I completely agree with Robbie UK. Zinsser Cover Stain adheres to unsanded gloss paint massively better than bulls-eye 123 does to sanded gloss paint.

I've sanded and not-sanded gloss painted doors and over painted with bulls-eye 123 and it comes off quite easily in either case although its adequate in areas that get absolutely no rubbing/impacts. Cover stain is much better even if you don't sand it at all. Using Liquid Sandpaper won't make much difference, cost you more in the long run and be a lot of time and effort.
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Thanks for the reply. I went and read about coverstain, it sounds good but quote a few reports of it being hard to use in brush format? Leaving bad brush marks due to drying too quick and dragging etc. Did you not find this, or did you use a spray?

So you reckon, despite me having (I found a bottle for a couple of quid and though I might be able to use it somewhere!) and still never using (!) that I should swerve the liquid sandpaper??
I've never found it particularly difficult to get a good result with it using a brush. It can drip but wouldn't say its very prone to dripping or brush marks. I think those comments come from the US where I think the formulation is different and designed for spraying.

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