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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Greetings. I hope everyone is doing well. I had a painter finish some raw beech base cabinets for a partial kitchen remodel and they used Kem Aqua lacquer tinted white instead of the Benjamin Moore Advance I was originally told would be used. I can see the grain of the wood and was wondering if this would still be the case if they used the Advance paint instead of the lacquer? This is my first time using beech for painted cabinets, but I thought it was supposed to paint well (edit: except paint wasn't used in this case ;))
Apparently there was some miscommunication, on the painter side, and the estimator was out of the office while the cabinets were being finished. My concern is when the rest of the kitchen gets redone the same finish will have to be used and the upper cabinets will be more visible than the lowers and the grain will be even more obvious.

On a side note and in addition to the above, the painter will need to come out and fill holes on the furniture base, toe kick, and screen mold along with the necessary caulking. They say that the caulk lines and holes can be touched-up properly. Will they really be able to fill the holes, prime, and touch-up the finish in the middle of a board without it looking like it was touched up?

Any thoughts and insight from the finish experts is very much appreciated.
 

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Not sure about the Kem but I will say we’ve switched away from Advance for cabinetry- try INSL-X Cabinet Coat next time. Say goodbye to the two big issues with advance forever.

I know this is dumb, but are you sure that’s not just a primer? I know some guys who lacquer prime, sand and ready for finish coat in minutes. Never done it.

We do something similar but with shellac.
 

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Paint only will usually not fill woodgrain
I know Cabinet Coat won't and very doubtful Advance would although I am not very familiar with beech
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Johnny, I'm not sure what they used for a primer as this issue just came about yesterday, but I will find out. I know that kem aqua has a lacquer primer and have heard of using shellac (BIN) as you mentioned.

RRK, It is not grainy like oak, for example, so filling isn't the issue. The problem seems to be that the lacquer is not opaque, so you can see the grain through the finish.
 

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I have used Kem Aqua Plus (water born laquer) several times. I absolutely love this product on new wood. It sprays nice, dries quick and leaves a nice hard finish. I spray a couple of coats of the surfacer first as a "primer." I have had no issues with grain showing through.
 

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Kem Aqua is not a true lacquer, it is a waterborne finishing system with most of the characteristic of lacquer.

The biggest mistake was choosing beech for the cabinets. Without prep they will telegraph. Birch has the same problem.

The Advance would have been the second worst choice on this build they/you could have made. The telegraphing would have been worse and the finish would not have lasted. Adavance does not fully coalesce for 30 days.

Don't use BIN for the primer.

Are you sure it was KA and not KA+? If the product is at the site, post a picture of the label. KA is not self sealing.

Scuff sand the box side, prime with 2 coats of Gen II (SW product), topcoat with KA, done.

I can make all the fills disappear, don't know if the ones do your job can.

Tom
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hello Tom. It looks like just KA, but I'm not sure of the finish schedule. The painter (estimator) didn't get back to me today, likely out of the office. They are a high end company around here, so I would be surprised if corners were cut. It's not a bad finish, just more grain presentation than I thought there would be. What are you talking about when referring to the prep to reduce/eliminate telegraphing?
 

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I know Tom uses trowelable filler, might be one of his tricks for that.

Also curious as to why beech if it was getting painted. I pretty much use maple for paint, door panels tend to be mdf

Can you post up some pics of the grain?

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My rep told me the extreme bond primer has been approved for use under kem aqua, which is nice because it's readily available

I used it on a couple vanity doors for my house when I ran out of the surfacer, top coat is holding up beautifully so far

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Thanks for the picture. That is a waterborne, that said——

DO NOT IN ANY WAY USE/MIX KEM AQUA PLUS WITH KEM AQUA. (Unless you want the cabinets orange......)

See if you can get me the process they went through. Again KA is not self sealing, it must have primer. The PDS states you need to use KA primer, us Gen II instead, higher/better build. Sands as well if not better than the KA primer. They may not be cutting corners, they may not be familiar with the product.


My guess is it is just the panels you have an issue with. Sand them back until you have just a shadow/translucent coat. Apply a coat of Gen II, allow it to cure (about 15 minutes with good airflow) sand with 240, clean dust, prime again, sand after cured, wipe, apply 2 topcoats.

This should solve your concern.

Tom
 

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My rep told me the extreme bond primer has been approved for use under kem aqua, which is nice because it's readily available

I used it on a couple vanity doors for my house when I ran out of the surfacer, top coat is holding up beautifully so far

Sent from my SM-N986U using Tapatalk
Extreme Bond does work, just takes to long to cure to sandable for us. You should be able to get Gen II easily. I like it better than Surfacer.


Tom
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Rich, I used soft maple for my last cabinet job and the tear out from my jointer and planer was terrible. The blades in both are fresh, but maybe not the appropriate angle for that or another issue I haven't figured out. My lumber supplier recommended beech and everything I saw in my research showed it painted well, so I used it. It machined nice.

Tom, I'll let you know when I find out the process.
 

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Seeing as you’re coloring ther cabinets see if you can get brown maple, if not, select hard maple. The hard maples should machine better for you.

If you need to sand back everything on the cabinets, go with KA+ or Sayerlac HydroPlus. (Also a SW product).

Tom
 

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I've only used beech once, and that was on a stained project.

I use hard maple, I had similar issues with soft maple

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I had to check the specs. UMA dries if properly applied @ 1mil (0.001"), a single coat would never cover the grain. Gen II also dries a 1mil, SW recommends a dry film of 1.7 to 2.4 which means 2 coats minimium if applied at the correct wet film thickness. I sand between prime coats which would have taken care of the grain issue you're having.

Tom
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I appreciate the insight Tom. The client has no issues with the finish and is happy with the job so far. The grain is visible in parts if you are looking closely at it and in the right light, mainly in the flat grain boards. It is unlikely anyone but me will be looking that close. I am learning a lot as I venture into this area more and I value the advice. I will post some pics in a few weeks or so once the top is on.
 
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