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Question: I'm painting wooden kitchen cabinets and someone told me that I need to wash them down with a TSP based product. This junk looks awfully toxic and quite frankly I don't want to add another step, especially if it is unnecessary. I think he's thinking that I need to wash off the oily kitchen dirt to prime the surface but I took off the cabinet doors so the inside (where I'm actually painting) is not especially dirty. Can I just do as I've done previously: sand and then use a primer?

One of the main reasons that people use TSP is to take the oils from the surface and to even knock a bit of the surface from glossy paints. Often people do this instead of sanding. If you are planning on sanding the surfaces, I don't think there is any need for the TSP.

 

Note that for kitchens, you might want to go with some of the specialty primers that provide quite a bit better adhesion to glossy/oily surfaces just in case your sanding isn't perfect. I've used Zinsser Bull's Eye many times and find it to do a great job of holding to surfaces and has the added benefit of being a terrific stain-blocker. Not cheap but I believe it is worth it. (Note that if you use the Zinsser it's best to do it on a day when you can open the windows. It is an acrylic product but it has some ammonia smell.)

We sanded, primed and then painted. Worked like a charm. Thanks all!

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Getting close to venturing into a few painting projects and wondering if anyone has any familiarity with chalkboard paint. Contemplating doing Jack's dresser in it, as he's set on black and this would provide an extra drawing surface.

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That's a very cute idea! I've never used chalkboard paint but I was considering doing just a square in my kitchen. One thing you might want to think about, especially if it is in Jack's room is low or no VOC chalkboard paint. (Of course the primer is filled with good old fumes...) I used low VOC in my place and it really made a difference.

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Oh, my. Magnetic paint. Never heard of this. You can buy self-adhesive magnetic sheets in craft stores and cut them into patterns. Also, about blackboard paint - - the quality is pretty awful and I'm not too thrilled by encouraging children to write on furniture. Crayola has some very washable markers on the market now, too. I really, really loved my old-fashioned real slate small blackboard (about 2' x 18") when I was a kid. I Googled 'em and they still are available for restaurants, etc.

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Yesterday I started experimenting with a crackle glaze on my dresser. As it usually happens, a mistake yielded a brilliant result. I was first doing dark grey on grey and when I realized the crackle really only shows when there is a contrasting base coat, I hastily threw on a cream color meaning to put grey back on top. The cream crackled beautifully, making it look straight out of an expensive antique store. With the wrought iron drawer handles, it looks perfect. Anthropologie, I am so on to you.

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I can't believe I missed this chat about chalkboard and magnetic paint - I've used both of them. I have a narrow return wall between my entry and kitchen (about 18" wide) that I painted with black chalkboard paint. It's my weekly calendar/shopping list.

 

I also needed a sort of screen, so I hinged 2 hollow core doors together and painted the outside white. On the inside, which I use for sketching/pinning up design work, I painted one side with chalkboard paint and the other with magnetic paint which I then painted white. The magnetic paint seems great in theory, but the only magnets that stick well are the sheet-type - the larger the surface area, the better. I keep meaning to pick up some blank business-card-size or larger sheet magnets.

 

You can make your own chalkboard paint in any color you like by mixing latex paint with unsanded grout. Darker colors work better, but it's nice not to be confined to black or green. I think marthastewart.com has the directions.

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Yesterday I started experimenting with a crackle glaze on my dresser. As it usually happens, a mistake yielded a brilliant result. I was first doing dark grey on grey and when I realized the crackle really only shows when there is a contrasting base coat, I hastily threw on a cream color meaning to put grey back on top. The cream crackled beautifully, making it look straight out of an expensive antique store. With the wrought iron drawer handles, it looks perfect. Anthropologie, I am so on to you.

I've been meaning to try that crackle stuff for awhile....I have a blue-painted chair I picked up at Brimfield, in one of Fred's very blue bathrooms....Now, I'll cover it with a contrasting color to make it more aesthetic....

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Carrie: I'm not sure I understand what you are doing. Staining or painting?

 

Blondie: love your door-screen set up. I went to Build it Green today and thought of you.

 

GG: I think you'll really like the crackle. I'm putting the potion back in the closet for now or else it could be a problem.

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I'm in the process of painting the living room / dining room floor a nice pale warm beige. Lovely...can't wait to do the bedroom floor and a bunch of other stuff (doors, etc.). The floor was badly worn wide soft pine with skimpy urethane cover. The paint I'm using is a Pratt & Lambert polyurethane based gloss floor paint. Will take pictures.

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Carrie: I'm not sure I understand what you are doing. Staining or painting?

 

I was given a fairly nice futon bed which was way too light. I re-stained it darker. It was a lot of work and I am sure I pulled a muscle in my neck -- but it is done...

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I bought a wooden stool from Ikea and I'm dying, DYING to paint it. But in the little paper directions, it says (in pictures of course and who knows, they could be saying don't drink paint) don't paint the stool. Are they just being overly cautious to avoid a crazy lawsuit? I can't for the life of me see a reason why it could be dangerous.

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