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Whether to paint doors hanging or flat - cant decide whats best

Hi - I’m a beginner taking on painting my own kitchen. I’m still confused despite all the advice here as to whether I should be painting my unit doors flat - as I see laid out on lots on posts here - or hanging on their hinges.

If flat then I assume I can only paint one side on any day and not sure how I’ll be able to keep a large enough area pristine to fit all the doors and drawers laid out flat for the duration of the job as I think I might not manage 3-4 minutes a door.

If I understand Russ’s post correctly, I can paint frames and back edges of doors and rehang them before painting each coat front and back in one go in situ. So does that mean all 4 coats - primer to topcoat - to frame and back edge before rehanging? I can’t find any pics showing a half way stage like this but this would suit my space better.

Also - How do you avoid problems with the edges with either method.

My kitchen is new wood/MDF and my utility room old oak kitchen units cleaned back with Krudkutter. I’m planning to use a Zinsser primer, LG tinted undercoat, 2 coasts LG oil eggshell.

I hope someone can set me straight - I want to get it all clear in my head before I start.

If you post a picture of each type of door (new and oak) so we can see the hinge it may be easier to advise. otherwise you are on track with paint choice. Avoiding paint build up on edges is a matter of taking care, having a small “dry” brush handy is helpful if you see any ridges in wet paint, along with eyes on stalks. I’m sure Russ will pop by to clarify too.

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I think Russ may be refering to the new style European hinges that lever out when the door opens, These are easily refitted with 2 screws whilst supporting the doors. Standard 3 screw brass hinges will be a pain to keep taking on and off.

I tend to paint the doors off until the final coat on the exterior when I brush them to match the units.

LG oil u/c and eggshell is a good paint but will take a while to dry and laying them flat will leave them open to dust settling on the surface. Holmans Paints can tint to similar colours with their Feelings Semi-Matt (eggshell) and as well as drying faster will be an easier product to apply with a little practice.

Hello wrenbird, lets see if I can set you straight on this:

Now I don’t have one set procedure for doors it can vary according to the type of hinge or I make it up as I go along!

Assuming you have either a butt hinge (on frame) or standard kitchen clip hinge (set on carcass and inset to door)then I would do this:

Remove all doors and label, where hinge has been removed. Remove (BH) butt hinge for now or if (SKH) standard kitchen hinge, leave on carcass but not on door. If you leave on carcass they don’t need re-setting! Stack your doors and proceed to prep, prime and paint your frames, whilst in between coats you can continue with doors. Prime the back hinge edge and back of door with Zinsser primer, BIN? Coverstain? 123? depends which???

Flat back primer and apply u/coat.
Nib u/coat and apply top coat x 1

Once final coat is dry on frames re-hang doors, you can then proceed to finish re-hung doors, as required with TLC to hinge edge on final coat.

If its the SKH then you can re-fit doors after each coat. Paint hinge edge and stile where cut outs for hinges are,therefore your not handling a wet door. Pop a screw back in top and bottom to hold door in place, proceed to paint the back whilst edge is still wet. Use some cut down wooden beading or dowling to place behind the door to keep it open slightly; this stops it catching/sticking whilst wet and keeps an air flow to aid drying. Continue to paint each front face of doors in turn, thus helping to avoid fatty edges.

Fellow TP’er, Martin Dunn tells me the new WB LG eggy is excellent! As an option! or as Ron sugests Feeling Semi Matt (eggy).

Hope this helps?

Considering its gone 12.00 on a Saturday night and I spent all Friday night sailing up and down the Thames helping Mr Lincrusta & Co entertain 10 Russian visitors by drinking copious amounts of neat Russian Vodka and Jagerbombs, I think I did well to answer that?

It may read different in the morning though!

Wow, answers on a Saturday evening (or was it Sunday morning)- that’s dedication from you guys, thanks.

I loved the term fatty edges - thanks for that!

It’ll take me a while to digest that lot, and in the meantime I have to research the WB paints which I hadn’t previously considered, so have a bit more reading up to do

Given I have some 32 doors/drawers to paint (plus all the carcase insides and a separate 8 door/3 drawer oak dresser to Polyx) the WB might be the best option if I can get a hard wearing finish which dries nice and flat and matt.

As for hinges, old units are SKH - not many of those and new units are BH, I will attempt to attach a pic of this one.


Use the same procedure for flush hinges and most definitely look down the water based route, especially with a kitchen of that size! That way areas can be coated and dry much more quickly.

Whats your spec for the inside of the carcasses?

[quote]Quote from Prime Decoration on September 22, 2013, 20:07
Whats your spec for the inside of the carcasses?[/quote]

Its oak veneer inside carcases and I am using Osmo Polyx Hardwax Oil 3044 Raw. I’ll be using this on the oak dresser and oak worktop (furniture rather than kitchen item, this). I am getting the hang of applying very thinly and may give a lime roller a try for the large areas now they have arrived.

I have looked at some of the ‘Feelings’ paint and worried that it gives a ‘manufactured’ smooth plastic finish rather than a hand-painted look. My neighbour’s kitchen is painted but looks plasticky.

But appreciate that I could usefully use the improved drying time and the lower VOCs.
I’m still thinking I may paint carcases of units and hinge edges only of doors, then rehang doors to finish fronts/backs and 3 edges.

These are good bit of kit if you have a fair bit of oiling to do:

If you go down the feelings route, use the u/c also! Its used on many a prestigious kitchen around Europe.

Painting hinge edge only is fine, if time is on your side.

Looking forward to seeing some pics

Okay, here I am again, about to start painting next week after a few delays and a weeks holiday (cycling in France - brilliant). Interiors all done with Polyx, all appliance fronts fitted and fan fitted so no more brick dust and DOH is fitting cornice today…
So thanks to all above advice, I have changed plans to use W/B paint - about to receive my order of Tikkurila Feelings and primer tinted to LG Celestial Blue.

I am planning to lay my doors out as Mark shows. Need last minute advice …
Holman say ‘do not thin’ the paint but what do you all think about a little (or a lot?) of Floetrol or similar. Easier for a beginner? We are borderline on our 4 litres of paint ordered so it wd help it go further for a start. Look forward to more of your excellent advice …

Welcome back from the Tour de france.

On the new kitchen the Feelings primer and topcoats are going to work very nicely.

The official word is just thin with water, without voiding the warranty, so to speak.

If you do thin the Feelings with conditioner, that is getting into fuzzy territory, if anything were to go wrong. It is not unusual for painters to have conditioners (conditioners like Floetrol or XIM, or the Mathys product called Fair Decor) and add them to oil or waterbased paints, if it gets really hot BUT the Feelings formulation is not “normal”, so Holmans are saying don’t thin with conventional conditioners, as they cant guarantee the results.

Obviously they are a supplier and want no come back, and we are end users and don’t want any comeback either. There is no black and white advice on this apart from add water to loosen it up if required.

The oak doors in the utility, you should try a sample area with the Feelings primer and topcoats, just to make sure there is no bleed through. If you see any discoloration, for belt and braces, use the Pegaprim shellac primer (tinted to the topcoat colour) and then the Feelings finish coats.

bonne chance as they say.

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Merci, that’s one less product (paint conditioner) to add to the collection. Are you saying you would always thin? 10%??

I have Zinsser BIN for my first primer coat anyway so presume that would address any bleed/discolouration problems. Will get started on a test area anyway.


Merci and as for Bonne chance, will need some

So water only then. ‘If required’ seems a bit vague - assume only if handling difficult/drying too fast. And how much 10% - ? What are best drying conditions, I assume CH turned off around the painting area and kept low elsewhere and plenty of fresh air.

I am using Zinsser BIN as the base primer on the bare wood and the previously finished oak, so think this should fix any underlying problems.

If it flows and lays off as you want it to, straight out the tin, why spoil it! 5% water is about the max dilution rate.

If you are worried about not having enough paint, from experience, the cost of an extra litre far outweighs the nagging stress of making just enough paint go round. It slows you down, affects your application, and if you thin what you have to make it go further, rather than thin it to make it flow better, that sort of undermines your efforts…

Ok will go with the flow, so to speak. I know I can get next day delivery if I need to on extra paint if it seems to be running short. Thanks

Hi i am looking to gloss some interior doors,i was told by a decorators merchant u can use sickens high gloss for interior work i thought it was for exterior,only i have been using crown next generation,with some very nice results,but want to really up my game if i can i no little Greene is rated on here,but the last time i used sikkens on my exterior i must admit i was impressed,indoors on doors i think it would stand out amongst the rest.

Hi Russm
I hope you don’t mind me jumping in to ask for some information

{ If its the SKH then you can re-fit doors after each coat. Paint hinge edge and stile where cut outs for hinges are,therefore your not handling a wet door. Pop a screw back in top and bottom to hold door in place, proceed to paint the back whilst edge is still wet. Use some cut down wooden beading or dowling to place behind the door to keep it open slightly; this stops it catching/sticking whilst wet and keeps an air flow to aid drying. Continue to paint each front face of doors in turn, thus helping to avoid fatty edges }

I will be paint my own kitchen starting in the next couple of weeks, and I still can’t get my head round Door stacking ,
am I correct in assuming that both sides of the door an all edges are not painted all at once,if that is correct could you tell me how it done using a stacking rack.

Step 1. as I see it clean and prep doors both sides,
Step 2. lay door face side down and prime all edges then paint inside face of door.
Step 3. When door is dry turn over and prime face of door running a dry brush on edges
door can now been put on rack

inbetween door painting bring forward face edges of wall unit or floor unit


Andy are you saying on your post you can add 5percent water to oil based gloss,i thought owatrol paint conditioner,or self leveling gloss would be the solution.