Spraying Latex Paint on Kitchen Cabinets

It can be hard to get good flow-out and leveling when spraying a water-based latex paint on cabinets. January 29, 2009

A client has asked me to build a new island cabinet and wants the paint to match one of their wall colors, which is Ben Moore's Aura interior matte finish in Tuscon Red. I was thinking of stepping up to a semi-gloss for cleaning and durability. Has anyone tried to spray an interior latex house paint on kitchen cabinetry? I'm spraying with a low end HVLP system. What were your results and what things should I pay special attention to? Is there a comparable product available with good color matching?

Forum Responses
(Finishing Forum)
From contributor D:
Yes. I do it frequently and I thin with flowtrol, a latex thinning agent added to the paint instead of water. I use just a regular cheap cup gun. I know there’s a lot of backspray but I think a heavier finish coat works well. Two coats at least then topcoated with a w/b lacquer - again two coats minimum.

From contributor P:
My Becker Acroma distributor color matches solvent and waterbased pigmented lacquers to Ben Moore colors. I have used the wb with great results and spray it through a $50 HVLP gun with no additives. If you have a BA distributor near you, see if they can help you out.

From contributor M:
We use Becker products as well. My ML Campbell supplier will match any Ben's color. I have sprayed Ben's alklyd paints but not their new Aura. I have heard great things about its sprayability, but that was from my B-Moore dealer.

From contributor A:
We tried some Ben Moore latex on a maple bath vanity a couple of months ago to match a customer's existing colors. We also sprayed the interior doors while we were at it. We thinned with flotrol and sprayed with an HVLP gravity feed. The problem that we had is that we had a problem with texturing due to the viscosity of the paint and possibly too high of an air pressure.

We kept playing with the adjustments and sanding between coats, but still couldn't get the texture out. We ended up hand painting to get the paint to "lay down" in order to satisfy the customer. Now we have changed over to Sherwin-Williams KemAqua lines for our clearcoats and sealing and we can get light colored lacquer tints through our local store (but working through their regional industrial coatings specialist to assist them) and they will do darker colors from the regional dist. in about two days. We are very happy with the SW products on cabinets and millwork. It’s still hard to beat Ben Moore on walls though.

From contributor S:
The BM Aura line is latex and really not for cabinetry. Try BM WB Enduro line. So far it’s the best I've found. No thinning required whatsoever. I'm spraying through an old Capspray 3-stage turbine. A note on Flotrol; it does certainly make WB paints "flow" better, however it alters the chemical composition of the paint therefore making it less durable. If thinning is necessary just use distilled water.