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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A customer wants me to paint her cabinet doors, using Insl-X Stix bonding primer, then a finish coat. This would have to be some amazing stuff to stick to her high-gloss laminate. It was recommended by the guy at the paint store.

I am very reluctant to do it, as I don't see how I could warranty it. Any comments about the stuff?

- Bob
 

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Insl-X scares me, I've used it on a mantle that was coated with an oil poly, the next day I could pull it off easily with my finger nail. It might be one of those products that takes 7-21 days to bond but I don't like taking those chances. If you sand and use something like liquid sand paper to clean them and de gloss as best you can so the primer has a fighting chance. Shellac based primers are my first choice, 2nd would be Cover stain. A test on a single door wouldn't be a bad idea either.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I think I'd walk
If it were a prospective job, I wouldn't even think twice about it; I'd just say no. But I'm already doing a condo remodel for the customer, so I need to spend a moment seriously considering it. They're just flat pieces, so I'll offer her an attractive price on new doors, regardless of my yes/no/pricing decision on painting the existing ones.

I'll do one test door anyway.
 

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I would try and talk her out of painting them. If not I would try wet sanding and/or a deglosser. That's the only way you're going to get any adhesion and even then their not gonna hold up to any abuse. Then finish coat them with the hardest finish you can get.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Just to close the loop on this: I did a sample door, was OK with the durability, the customer liked the appearance, so I accepted the change order and did the work. The Insl-X primer sticks as well to the particular laminate as any primer would stick to anything - you could scrape it off with a scraper or by working hard with a thumbnail, but you could damage most primers on most surfaces with the same tools. We sanded the edges to ease the hard laminate corners, sprayed primer and sanded, sprayed primer a second time on a few of the doors, and sprayed a couple layers of finish. They look great, and I'm comfortable that they're as durable as they need to be.
 

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The primer is the most important part of coating slick surfaces, otherwise the entire coating system may be compromised. I agree that the Insul-X and XIM are excellent bonding primers. Surface prep still must be done to maximize adhesion.
 
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