Ask the Expert - Home Maintenance

I have a older home in Fort Myers that has formica kitchen cabinets.  The cabinets are still in pretty good shape, but the formica is a wood grain formica.  Kind of out dated  for my kitchen.  I can't afford to have new kitchen cabinets installed but would love to have them painted. Is is possible to paint the cabinets, doors and drawers.  Lorain W.-Fort Myers

 Absolutely.  Whether the kitchen or bathroom cabinets are formica, or wood they can still be painted.  The most important steps in painting kitchen/bathroom cabinets is cleaning the cabinets thoroughly to remove grease.  Then  sand the surface to scuff it up and wipe down with a tack rag, then apply a good coat of oil based XIM Bonding primer to all of the surfaces.  Once the bonding primer dries then the cabinets can be painted. But remember once the surface is painted it can still be chipped just like a car finish can be.  You need to be careful. Here are some pictures of a bathroom Ron's Painting just finished.

Bathroom Cabinets before faux finish- Fort Myers

Painted and Faux Finished Bathroom Cabinets in Fort Myers Home
 

 

 

Bathroom Cabinets Before Paint and Faux Finish
Bathroom Cabinets After Paint and Faux Finish

I live on Sanibel Island and I have aluminum handrails around my pool that I have had painted in the past.  I am noticing that there is black on the handrails and it seems like it is under the existing coating of paint.  We have washed the handrails with a solution of bleach and water and this does not seem to remove the black from the handrails.  Can you please advise me on how to handle this.  Jean B-Sanibel Island, Florida

I am very familiar with what you are seeing on the handrails of your Sanibel home.  The black you are seeing is mildew.  It is actually growing on your handrails under your existing paint.  The last time your handrails were painted, the painting contractor that you had paint the handrails did not wash the handrails with bleach and water and rinse them with clean water.  Because this was not done, your painter just painted over the mildew and it is growing under your paint.  There are two solutions to this problem.  The first solution is to chemically strip the existing coating of paint off of the handrails, clean with bleach and water then repaint your handrails.  This solution is very costly.  Your other options is to clean with bleach and water to remove any existing mildew this is now on the handrails and just paint the handrails.  Unless the paint starts to come off I would recommend just repainting over your existing paint job.  This is the most economical solution. This is why it is so important when doing any type of exterior painting to always wash the surface down with bleach and water then rinse with clean water.  This is a problem all over Southwest Florida, it is not just a problem on Sanibel.

 

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