Recently, a friend mentioned her attempt to paint her wooden kitchen cabinets white using latex paint. Several months after she’d completed them, they’d yellowed and were difficult to clean. We’ve heard that complaint before about latex-painted furniture, and experienced the way it can remain “sticky”, a serious problem with bookshelves. We’d always thought that oil-base paint was the only serious solution. Fortuitously, Jim Dillon, a reader and cabinet maker, had just commented on our ‘the magic of an orange table top + high gloss oil paint‘ post, sharing a water-base solution he’d discovered in his furniture-painting forays.

…it was one of those techniques that I heard about in passing and tried out because it met the needs of the moment – – I had a client who wanted me to build new built-in bookcases and paint them white. Somebody told me this was the solution to books sticking to painted bookcases in August humidity, and it worked too well to not try in other places.

Try it he did, with great success. He blogged his technique for getting a flawless “spray-on-looking” finish by using a mix of latex paint and water-based polyurethane on his blog Thousand Dollar Shop, “woodworking on a a less than infinite budget”.

Next time we want to paint kitchen cabinets, bookcases or furniture with water-base paint we’re going to try it, marrying his instructions with this Young House Love‘s additional info about painting kitchen cabinets.

paint mix story 1
jim dillon

…the only down side is you have to do several coats, sanding in between, to build up an opaque finish…

fortified paint looks like lacquer but goes on with a brush
jim dillon

fortified paint looks like lacquer but goes on with a brush
jim dillon

fortified paint looks like lacquer but goes on with a brush
jim dillon

painted book case

Thanks Jim!

Related Posts: the magic of an orange table top + high gloss oil paint
inside-out painted shelves and drawers
d-i-y color-block decorated storage cabinets
craftily painted tree trunk furniture
two-tone chairs, using paint or upholstery

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2 replies on “miracle water-base paint formula for kitchen cabinets, bookcases + furniture

  1. I am definitely going to bookmark this post! Great trick to remember. I second the thanks to Jim.

  2. Just like Cynthia said, I will always go back to your post. Will be bookmarking this page soon! Thank you for posting these pictures and for sharing some tips. What a wonderful creation you got there! It made me realize that I can do it myself~

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