Archive for February 2016

Can I Stain My Cabinets A Different Color?

You can stain your cabinets a different color to give it a new and refreshing look. In fact it is easier to change the color than replacing the old cabinets. Going from dark wood to a lighter color can be strenuous. However, applying a dark color for your light wood cabinets is usually an easier process. But before staining your cabinets a different color, it is always important to know the construction of the cabinets and whether the cabinet finish is sealed. In casehow to refinish cabinets the cabinet finish has a sealer, you will first need to determine which type of sealer was used for the cabinet finish. Knowing these details will help you determine how to proceed with staining your cabinets.

Cabinet Construction:

Typically, most cabinets are made of either solid wood or light plywood. There are some cabinets that have thin layers of veneer so that the wood pattern becomes uniform. Sometimes, veneers are used to intimate some special woods that are more valuable. When it comes to stain your cabinets, it is important know the construction of it since plywood and veneer require special care. The method of staining cabinets also depends on the cabinet’s finish. In order to determine whether the finish is sealed, you can apply a drop of water to the surface. If the water soaks in, you can say that the wood is not sealed. Depending on the type of surface, you may need minor treatment before staining.

Stain Products:

You can use stains to darken the unsealed wood cabinets. The stain will darken the cabinets with a great polyurethane finish. In case, the cabinet is sealed with anything other than polyurethane finish, it will need to be stripped of the finish before staining. Also, you need to test the stain in an auspicious area before using stain on the cabinets. This ensures that you will get the actual color you want. Since the interior color and finish of the cabinet is quite different from the exterior surface of the cabinet, the interior of the cabinet may not be the best place to test the stain.

Surface Preparation:

You need to remove all doors and drawers from the cabinets before staining it a different color. You should also take off all the handles, pull knobs, hinges, and any other types of hardware from the cabinets. Under any circumstances, you should not sand the unsealed cabinets. If the cabinet has other types of finish, you will need to strip the finish to bare wood so that it accepts stain.

Modern Masters Metal Effects


How to work with Oxidizing Copper Paint

Turn wood, plastic or metal into what looks like aged patina copper

  • Creating a copper patina finish is pretty easy nowadays
  • First coat the item with Modern Masters Metal Effects Primer. This will protect the item from the acid to be used later and also provides a tinted undercoat.
  • After primer is dry apply a first coat of Modern Masters Metal Effects Oxidizing Copper paint and allow to dry; apply a second coat (brush/roll or spray) and while the paint is still wet, spray the wet copper paint with the Patina Aging Solution of your choice…Modern Masters sells one that will turn the surfaces green and another that turns the surface a reddish patina….use both for a super cool look!
  • When dry (overnight) you are finished or you can put a coat or two of Modern Masters clear UV coating for a super durable finish
  • Some projects we have used this technique on are: mailboxes; light fixtures, doors, shutters, gutters, wrought iron gate hardware….really the possibilities are endlesssssss 🙂
  • Have fun!


Fine Paints of Europe Eco Hybrid oil enamel


Fine Paints of Europe on Coronado Home

The finest primer and paint available

  • FPOE oil undercoat is a true oil primer in the old tradition. It is a long oil primer so that it is slow to dry but really soaks in to the substrate and bonds like in the old days. It is thick and after a few days of drying, will sand to super smooth
  • After priming FPOE has two products for getting a surface mirror smooth. Both are old fashioned Swedish Putty. One is brush grade (applied with a brush) and one is knife grade (applied like spackle).  When this application is dry, we sand with 220-400 sand paper before applying Eco or Hollandlaq/DutchLaq
  • If you want the very finest in craftsman applied European finishes….Fine Paints of Europe is it!

Is oil paint still available?

Entry door with Fine Paints of Europe

What are the Best Deck Finishes?

Deck finishes are often used to give your old wooden deck a new look. Moisture from rain, snow, or humidity sometimes causes problems like raised grains, cupping, and splitting. Furthermore, ultra violet rays from the sun breaks down the wood deck’s lignin that holds the wood’s cellulose fibers together, which causes the wood’s natural best deck finishescolor to gray. Only a good deck finish can help change the shabby look of your deck.

However, before you purchase the finish for your deck, you have to learn more about what the best deck finish is. While there is no official rating system to determine which deck finish is the best, you can find the following instructions helpful to choose the best deck finish.

Stains and Sealers:

Deck finished mainly fall into two categories – deck stain and sealers. Both deck stain and sealers are designed with a purpose to seal out the elements. But the sealers are clear and available in a non-pigmented finishes. On the other hand, stains are available with a little pigmentation.

As mentioned earlier, stains are available with little pigmentation. You can also find semi-transparent and solid-colored stains. Stains are quite different to the paints. Paints actually create a surface film, clear and pigmented finishes and penetrate the wood surface. Paint can also stand up to huge amount of traffic. A good quality deck stain does three things – it prevents water, preserves the wood from moisture, and protects the wood from UV rays. The best deck finishes are those that offer all these three features.

Oil or Water Based Deck Finish:

Deck finish can be either oil or water based. Depending on your requirement and priorities, you can choose oil or water based deck finish. Oil-based deck finishes offer more and long-lasting protection since they penetrate the wood deeper than water-based finishes. Alternatively, water-based deck finishes are very easily to wash. Water based finishes are more forgiving in high moisture conditions and even a damp wood surface can absorb water based product. On the other hand, the wood surface should be properly dry before it accepts an oil-based sealer. With so many good quality water based finishes available in the market, water-based finishes also last longer than they did a couple of years ago.

Clear or Color Finishes:

Homeowners are fond of clear wood finishes since they let the natural grain of the wood to show through. As clear finishes are transparent, you can’t leave any lap marks while applying the sealers on your deck, which is a common issue with color deck finishes.

How to Tell If I have Oil or Latex Paint on My Walls and/or Trim?

It is really important to know what type of paint you currently have on the walls or trim. Typically, most homes that were built before 1970s had all their trim plus walls and ceilings in kitchen, bath and laundry  painted with oil-based paint products. Oil-based paints were most commonly used at that time and by many painters up to the early 2000’s However, if you are oil or latex paint teststill not sure what type of paint yo have, you can perform a quick test.

Rub the Surface With Denatured Alcohol:

  • First clean the surfaces well with any household cleaner to remove any dirt
  • With a cotton rag or cotton ball, rub denatured alcohol (available at paint store) on the surface. If the paint comes off onto the rag, you have a water based paint with an acrylic latex base. If no paint comes off after a second rubbing then you have oil based paint with an alkyd oil base.

Regardless of the type of paint, clean all surfaces very well before painting

  • If trim surface is presently oil based; sand it well so that there will be a microscopically rough surface for new coating to adhere to. Once sanded, you can go over with your topcoat of either hybrid oil or acrylic (but only if sanded well!) If in doubt, use an intermediate coat of acrylic bonding primer before your finish coat of oil or water based paint.
  • If trim surface is presently water based enamel, I still encourage sanding….but because some water based enamels do not dry sand well, I recommend wet sanding to achieve a paintable surface. A sanding sponge and a squirt bottle of water with a little dishwashing liquid will allow you to get a very nice surface with no dust. Be sure to wipe down the surface with clear water and a clean rag to remove any soap/dust residue.
  • If you are painting walls and ceilings that are presently oil enamel, you must de-gloss the surfaces with TSP or sanding as even new oil enamel will not stick well to old oil enamel…when in doubt, use a bonding primer before your finish coat.
  • Yes you can paint water based over oil enamel and get good results BUT, you must use a first coat of bonding primer to assure proper adhesion.

There are some significant differences between oil and latex based paints. Top quality oil based paints tend to be very smooth when touched. At the same time, cheap acrylic latex paints can have a more rubbery feel.  A cheap oil can take forever to dry and yellow in time while a premium grade acrylic will keep its color and be as hard and smooth as an automobile finish (as a matter of fact, many auto finishes are water thinned now!)

They key is to buy the proper paint for the intended surface….exterior trim is often best painted with a softer, more flexible water base acrylic so that the paint flexes and moves with the extreme temperature changes (something oil enamels do not do well) Oil enamel can be the preferred choice for s deep glossy look on a protected front door. There is no one paint type that fits all the needs on all the interior and exterior surfaces of a home.