Remodeling a kitchen with paint
March 15, 2021 3:26 AM   Subscribe

Apparently it's possible to paint over tiles and laminate cabinets and get an okay result. Looking to spruce up an ugly looking kitchen and would like the result to last around five years. Has anyone done this and can tell me how it worked out?
posted by kinddieserzeit to Home & Garden (12 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Yep, I have done exactly this in my 80’s laminate kitchen! I followed the instructions on the tin and it has held up amazingly for nearly 6 years now - looks as good as the day I did it. Most people don’t even know it’s paint until I tell them. I did white paint over dark beige laminate and it even covered the, uh, ‘feature tiles’ (orange and dark brown patterns). I used White Knight brand (I’m in Australia so brands might be different).
posted by Salamander at 3:41 AM on March 15, 2021 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: I'm also in Australia! I'll check out that brand
posted by kinddieserzeit at 4:10 AM on March 15, 2021

Best answer: I'm not an Aussie but it looks like you can buy INSL-X STIX primer there, which I've used here with really good results. It even bonds to polyurethaned/varnished wood. Just make sure it's stirred or shaken really really well before use.
posted by JoeZydeco at 6:33 AM on March 15, 2021

Best answer: I did this - in the US so I'm sure whatever brand I recommend will be negligibly useful. I did use a brand that is intended for this purpose. I did a light gray over dark walnut laminate and despite my terrible painting skills - it really looks so much better. The worst part was scraping and stripping all the years of dirt and cooking grime off the laminate. Holding up just fine - heading into year five with nary a touchup needed.
posted by rdnnyc at 6:50 AM on March 15, 2021 [1 favorite]

Best answer: There was an Instagram person I saw recently who did this with a kit. It was a kit designed to make your laminate have a marble look with paint. I just tried to find it and didn’t have luck (because Instagram) but it looked pretty good. I’d think a straightforward application would be easier.
posted by amanda at 6:55 AM on March 15, 2021

Best answer:
posted by H21 at 7:02 AM on March 15, 2021

It's a step up in work but frequently cabinet doors and drawer fronts can be replaced without much work and give you a clean surface to work off off as well. Also sometimes not a bad way to easily "modernize" a dated kitchen.

Are those laminate floor tiles? I'd worry about painting floor tiles....
posted by bitdamaged at 7:07 AM on March 15, 2021 [1 favorite]

Best answer: We did this in our house for a while, to delay a more major kitchen renovation by a few years. We painted the laminate countertop with a special two-part epoxy (?) paint from Rust-Oleum, and it held up surprisingly well.

We were planning on painting the cabinet doors as well, but it turned out that cleaning all the accumulated grease off of the upper cabs near the stove was so labor-intensive, we just left them until we could afford to replace the cabinet doors completely. They had never been cleaned, and the only product that seemed to work well at stripping the grease was Methyl Ethyl Ketone (MEK). After cleaning a couple of cabinets we decided it wasn't worth it, but YMMV of course.
posted by Kadin2048 at 7:29 AM on March 15, 2021

Best answer: I've done it it works and lasts, but you do have to be careful about it. I'm a klutz and my husband is rough on things, so the areas we used often started to show wear, for the want of a better word, after about 18 months. The things we used less frequently looked fine though, so upper cupboards looked better than the lower ones the dogs would scratch at to get fed etc. But again we were rough on our cabinets.

The secret, like with most DIY projects, is do not skimp on the preparation. As an example, if the instructions say to clean off the surface, then scrub it clean and get all the grease off, don't just give it a quick wipe. Also start in on an out of the way spot until you feel good about your application method.
posted by wwax at 8:11 AM on March 15, 2021

For removing grease: use TSP/trisodium phosphate. It's quite alkaline and turns the grease to soap that's easy to wash away. (Likewise it'll really dry out your skin, though is not otherwise toxic, so you want to wear gloves while you use it.) Solvents like MEK, referenced above, can also clean off grease, but are far more unpleasant and unsafe due to volatile fumes.
posted by Sublimity at 11:09 AM on March 15, 2021 [2 favorites]

Best answer: My cabinets are wood so that part is different but we painted the tile with special epoxy stuff. I'll link before and after. (actually, the after is first)
posted by beccaj at 11:27 AM on March 15, 2021 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: @bitdamaged, The floors are an ugly linoleum but we'll put up with that for now and then eventually redo the floors. So no worries about painting floor tiles!

Thank you everyone, so many great answers. We'll definitely be giving this a go. The plan was just to paint the splashback and the cupboard doors, but now I'm considering whether the bench is a possibility too!
posted by kinddieserzeit at 3:04 PM on March 15, 2021

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