I get asked from time to time — how are the kitchen cabinets holding up? It has been nearly a year since I completed my epic kitchen cabinet painting project — and for the most part — they look like they were just painted yesterday.
However if you look closely, you may be able to see some slight wear around the handles on the sink cabinet doors…
…upon closer inspection you can see that some of the paint has completely peeled away around both handles — though it is worse on the right hand side (the side where the trash can is).
Leo’s facial expression pretty much says it all — ugg.
What is happening here may be a humidity/water problem. Here’s how it went down: I finished painting the cabinets in late February — waiting for the appropriate amount of “cure” time before reinstalling the doors and using them. All was well until July — when we had extremely hot and humid weather for about a week. Even though we have A/C, the humidity must have affected the paint around these door handles.
The only other spot that saw any damage was the drawer next to the dishwasher where we keep the silverware. I am thinking that high heat and humid air + us touching these three knobs with sopping wet hands (when putting away still-damp dishes from the dishwasher, having wet hands from washing pots and pans or cleaning and then opening the under cabinet sink to throw wet paper towels away, get out cleaning spray, dishwasher detergent, etc) was too much for the paint job (I used water based paint). In all other areas — where we don’t open the cabinets or drawers with wet hands — the cabinets look like they have been freshly painted.
So what’s the solution? To repair these three spots (sand, prime, paint, let cure) and then top coat at least the area around the knob — if not the whole door — with a few coats of oil based varnish in the same sheen as the paint. Hopefully this will essentially water proof these three areas and prevent further paint damage without having a different sheen than the rest of the kitchen cabinet paint job.
Has anyone else painted kitchen cabinets and had this issue? Perhaps this is why many people recommend using oil based paint on cabinets. Regardless of the situation, I believe these three spots can be remedied and sealed to prevent further damage. While I don’t much enjoy the thought of working on the cabinets again, it is only three small spots that need attention this time — much better than what I was up to at this time last year.
A homeowner’s work is never done!