Refinishing Oil-Painted Kitchen Doors

Advice on compatible spackle and paint for re-coating over a five-year-old oil paint job on kitchen cabinets. June 17, 2009

I run a small finishing shop and use only solvent and water based materials. One of my customers that I finished a bookcase for asked me recently if I could refinish her kitchen doors and drawer fronts. The kitchen was finished five years ago with Proclassic Extra White Oil paint in Satin. All fronts are MDF. She had cabinet shop spray all fronts and her husband brushed/rolled cases after install.

The kitchen is in a good shape; however there are a few doors/drawer fronts with edges chipped or rubbed through the finish and two under the sink slightly water damaged. My plan is to sand everything with #280 sandpaper and edges with #180 soft sponges, fill the nicks with Mohawk crayon and hand brush Preprite Wall and Wood oil primer over the exposed MDF edges and water damage. After sanding again lightly over primer I would spray the doors with the same paint they used the first time. Since I do not have any experience with oil base materials I have some questions.

Will this work? Do I have to wash the doors with mineral spirit before sanding? Is 24 hours drying enough time to safely flip the doors? Will my pressure pot with Binks 2001 gun (66S air nozzle) work if I flush it good with mineral spirits? One last question: does oil base paint change color over time? If it does I might have to match existing color on the kitchen and not just get new can from the store.

Forum Responses
(Finishing Forum)
From contributor G:
I have a suggestion - why not use whatever product you are comfortable with and have it tinted to match the existing color? There's no need to use oil paint just because it was the original coating. Also - I'm not sure what type of Mohawk crayon you have, but you obviously must know that wax based crayon will resist the new finish.

From contributor A:
If there are chips, dings, or scratches I would fill them with Muralo Spackle. Sand everything that needs sanding with 220 grit. Prime anything that needs priming with BIN shellac white primer (oil primer sucks). Topcoat with the original thinned 10-20% with Naptha. Do not use mineral spirits when spraying.

From the original questioner:

I believe that her husband will have to repaint cabinets, too, so I am stuck with whatever they were using the first time. Yes, I was stupid enough to consider wax filler. I will use spackle as suggested and I do have a few cheap spray guns that I can use for this purpose. I am just more comfortable using pressure pot. Is #220 sandpaper not too coarse? Will there be scratches still showing after one coat? Will there be any adhesion problems if I use Bin shellac white primer?

From contributor A:
I recommended the BIN primer because it sticks to everything and everything sticks to it. Try to get the original Mural Spackle if itís available. Do not purchase the lightweight spackles. DAP's spackle is kind of rubbery.