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Painting with a Foam Roller

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Do the small foam paint rollers work well, for painting smooth surfaces, like kitchen cabinets? Years ago, I used a foam paint roller and it created many, many small bubbles on the paint surface. I will be using latex paint.

By skf620 from Southern IL

Recent Answers

Here are the recent answer to this question.

By Sheila [3]08/12/2010

I used them on my kitchen cabinets when I redone them. I poured the paint in a paint tray and when I put the paint on the roller I would scrape it on the edge of the tray to get off access paint. When I rolled it on my cabinets and had NO bubbles on them.

By Gary Mattox08/11/2010

I used to work in the paint department of a home building store. I sold and tinted paints of all kinds. When I paint I use nothing but Dutch Boy. ACO hardware in my area sells it. It is so creamy and goes on great. I also paint all tho it has been a while. I used what is called Liquid Sand Paper on finished wood. You spray it on and your paint will stay on.

By Sara Holbrook08/07/2009

Just a couple of notes. Cyinda made some good comments, but I'd like to just clear up a couple of things.

Latex paint just means that it's water-based. 100% acrylic paint is latex. Basically, 100% acrylic paint is very good quality. Paints of lesser quality use other fillers, and are therefore not 100% acrylic.

Your best bet for painting cabinets, to make sure they turn out beautiful AND durable, is to first prep them properly.

Clean them with TSP. This is tri-sodium phosphate. It comes in a powder form, sprinkle a little in a bucket and add warm water. If you have sensitive skin, wear gloves while you're cleaning your cabinets.

Second, prime them with oil-based primer. I know, everyone hates working with oil-based products, because it's harder to clean your brushes, but trust me on this. Oil-based primer will ensure your paint sticks like crazy, and won't peel off in a few years.

Lastly, paint with two coats of a semi-gloss sheen or shinier. Lower sheens, such as eggshell or flat, will nick and scuff much more easily. Lowe's has a terrific one, it's called Kitchen and Bath Enamel. This is a semi-gloss sheen paint specifically designed for high-traffic areas. It has an anti-mold and mildew agent in it, to prevent mold growth, and it's designed to be super-scrubbable.

I would highly suggest removing the cabinets, as well as all the hinges and drawer pulls. Again, yes, it takes longer, but you'll be much more satisfied with the results. (As long as you've got the drawer pulls and hinges off the cabinets, why not take the opportunity to clean or replace them too?)

And yes, the Kitchen and Bath Enamel is a water-based paint. Don't believe people who tell you that you cannot paint water-based paint over oil-based primer. This can be done without any problems. What you want to avoid is painting oil-based paint over latex primer.

By Cyinda [214]08/02/2009

The foam rollers are supposed to be the next best thing to spray-on paint for smooth surfaces. I may be wrong, but I'm pretty sure the bubbles were caused by you pressing down to hard. You have to first fill the foam roller totally (to remover most of the air) then squeeze out the excess, & after that, paint as usual. As far as what "RealtorRose" said about using a good paint brush, this can't be emphasized enough! You'll most likely want to buy a natural hair brush. A good brush can be a bit pricey, but if you take care of a brush like this it will last you a lifetime!

* In fact, recently, my mother had her walls painted by an awesome professional indoor painter who'd been in the business for years. My mother asked him why he wasn't "Taping off" the ceilings & baseboards. His reply was that his brush was so good that he could paint a straight line with ease so he required no tape! (now that's a good brush & a great painter in my book!).
About 7 years ago we had a house fire which required our 1967 "wood" cabinets being repainted. I struggled with using Oil or Latex & chose Latex. The pros took them down, primed them then sprayed them with Latex. Oh my gosh! You wouldn't believe how good they looked! Not a run, streak or brush mark was on them. They looked like they came that way (painted a light shade of off-white instead of the scratched old wood they originally were)!

They only thing I wished I'd known back then was that 100% Acrylic paint is better that Latex because it sticks much better & lasts longer. In fact, sometimes you can get by without a primer with Acrylic paint. You can find 100% Acrylic paint in the paint area at Home Depot. It usually costs the same as Latex & can be tinted in the same colors as latex. It also comes in indoor & outdoor in every sheen (gloss to matte). 100% Acrylic is usually marketed for "Masonry work" like brick, rocks & cement because it sticks to pretty much anything. If it were me, I'd use 100% Acrylic to paint your cabinets. (It's also water-based)

Before painting & after you wash your cabinets down with TSP or whatever, go back over them again with a soft cotton rag & plain rubbing alcohol. The Alcohol will remove any oils left over from your hands & also any dust or residue left from the cleaner you used. The alcohol will quickly evaporate & it will get your cabinets (or whatever) ready for your paint or primer. (As far as primer, I recommend Zinsser 1-2-3 or Gripper. I myself don't like the "Kills" brand). I know that Zinsser 1-2-3 can be tinted to match your paint color (at no charge) so this is a bonus too!

If you want the very best cabinets possible & you don't mind the hassle of removing them from the hinges (you'll only need a screwdriver) you can buy a gravity-feed paint sprayer at Big Lots (or most liquidation stores) for under $40. (I bought a brand new one at a garage sale several weeks ago for only five bucks!) but you'd need an air compressor to run one of them. You can get a small air compressor for around $50 bucks these days. You'd most likely get lots of use from it, these gravity-feed paint sprayers can't be beat for painting or staining lattice, fences, trim & other things around the yard & home.

But, If you're like me & you don't want the hassle of removing the cabinets, a good foam roller is second best!

---> For OPPS areas (after the Latex or Acrylic paint has dried) like on your cabinet hinges & hardware, use Rubbing Alcohol or Fingernail Polish remover to clean up the area.

By Rose Smith [44]08/02/2009

Yes, I just finished painting my kitchen cabinets white and they turned out terrific. I used both a foam roller and good paint brush. The foam roller was very helpful painting the flat surfaces of the cabinet doors. I used a paint from Benjamin Moore that was for kitchen cabinets.

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