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When you are not sure what a cabinet is painted with, always go with oil based primer. Then you are set to use oil or water paint on top. Think of it this way; if you pour oil and water together, the oil just lays on top. It doesn't mix.
The same applies to paint, the oil base paint will just lay there and will not mix or adhere to water base paint or primer and will peel. Whereas oil base primer makes an agreeable base for either!
I always use oil base primer. Then I can use latex paint if I need. I much prefer oil base paint even if the clean up is a bit messier, it fills cracks and small holes plus it otherwise covers much better. My favorite brand of paint is Kilz including their primer. For polyurethane, Minwax indoor/outdoor satin is by far my favorite. I use it to put a water proof finish on all table lamps, nightstands and such when we purchase them.
Take a rag with stain that matches the wood, followed by a quick sanding with 00 steel wool, wipe off with a slightly damp rag and finish with a couple of coats of Minwax Polyurethene Satin finish on a thrift store purchase and be amazed at what it does.
By Latrtatr from Loup City, NE
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The paint on the bedroom walls is peeling in most places. What is the best way to remove or cover it with new paint?
Paint peels for a reason, usually improper surface preparation but also if there is a heat or dampness problem going on with the wall.
For example, if the paint that is peeling is a latex that was applied to a surface previously painted with an oil based enamel without sanding and using primer to provide a 'grip' or 'bite', the latex will peel after a few months.
Using a scraper, you'll need to carefully scrape the peeling paint off. Then prepare the surface properly by sanding the wall and applying a primer then the new paint. The following link will tell you more about the causes and remedies for peeling paint: