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Prepare craqeleur coated cabinets for flat paint finish

Hi folks
I have a client who has asked my advice on a kitchen that she is considering options.
She will certainly refurbish but is thinking about painting the existing doors. I would love to get my teeth into it but would appreciate some advice from the masters. The existing paint work is in a crackleuor finish so has that fine crazing all over.
She would like a fine paint finish, so I’m interested to hear what you would do to achieve this?
Strip, face fill, sand?
I was considering taking a door and seeing how it would rub back, so what would be they most cost effective way to get the job done?
Looking forward to hearing your point of view.


Mirka with HD 120g, 240g abrasives finish with 320g and apply Pegaprim Isofix tinted to the top coat. The Isofix should lock down any pigment present and stop any bleed through or tanning should you happen to cut back through to the timber substrate.

Thanks Russ
Not familiar with pepagrim would that be abut a two part primer?what’s it like to apply?
I had considered blackfriars problem solving primer, but the thing that’s giving me cause to stop and think is the rub down to take out the crackles. .sounds quite considerable in labour. I haven’t got a sander yet but will be considering buying the Mirka Deros prior to getting to this one, but its a big outlay eh?
I am just wondering if it is a realistically cost effective way to proceed or would she be better to fit new doors?

Hi Ciaran

from what you have described, Russ is spot on and mechanical sanding the paint effect back to a smooth and solid surface is the efficient and effective way to go to ensure a professional paint finish.

The follow up question is not “How do I get around using a good sander?” but “How do I get tooled up for the job so I can deliver what the client needs and should expect from a professional kitchen painter?”

From what you have posted so far about the work you do, this is the job to make your sander purchases - not the next one, or sometime never!

I can assure you, or any professional who offers kitchen painting services, that if you are properly equipped, then your next client and the next one and the next one (and you) will be more than happy with the investment. Clients will tell their friends about the quality, convenience and cost of the refurbishments you do!

But advising clients to replace doors, when a good sanding would do the job…?

This article on options to refurbish a kitchen is well read, and illustrates the merry go-round people find themselves on, trying to find alternatives to the service that a well equipped and experienced professional hand painted kitchen specialist an offer.

The TP Boss Man beat me to it there!

I was going to say Ciaran that swearing is not allowed on here (replacing doors) never heard such gobbledeegook! Unless there falling to bits, dont let a bit of crackle glaze deter you.
Invest in that Deros mate, it will make prepping enjoyable, believe me. With those interchangeable pads you have literally 2 sanders in one: 5" for trim etc… and the 6" for larger areas.

The Pegaprim Isofix is a shellac based primer which I get tinted by Holman Paints. It has better flow out than ZINBIN but dries just a fast, I flat back with 320g Mirka Gold Flex pads around intricate mouldings and machine sand or block the flat areas with the same. And providing you don’t cut through the coating, proceed with WB top coats.

I tell you now Ciaran, using a dust free sanding system will win you work as well as make your prepping days enjoyable.

Now lets have no more of that silly ‘replacing doors’ talk.

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Thank you Sir for your nailing home the point.
It is much appreciated and I fully accept your suggestions. I was not looking for a way round sanding, merely looking for the best option for my client. The point i make, is that using a sander or not, its going to be labour intensive and therefore expensive. Just looking to cover bases so that I am equipped to give the word.
My resitance to buy an orbital sander is cash flow at this present time. Too many holidays and new business setup costs since April. …its ok cos its a long game plan and i can see my future months forecast turning that around. An orbital sander will be the first present I buy myself then.

Please don’t feel that im trying to cut a corner that’s not my style.
Thank you for your article, I will direct my client to it. We probably won’t be beginning it till next year so I should be prepared.

Hey I understand that you guys have paid your dues on kitchen painting and its not a job for pretenders. I am here to learn my friend not to pretend and I will treat your guidance like gold.
Big thanks

Thanks Russ I will mknd my language in the future;-)
You offer me priceless advice thank you much sir.
All taken on board.
Do you have some where for a competitive price on the Deros?

Your more than very welcome Ciaran

Try these guys: Hallmark-Fraulo, however their website is down at the minute, you can find all details on the latest TP Newsletter