Re-Glazing Factory-Finished Doors

Thoughts on how to refinish brand new painted and glazed cabinet doors, for more consistent results. August 17, 2009

I am trying to help out an existing client of mine who has purchased factory made cabinetry from an upper end manufacturer. Her cabinets are finished in an ivory color catalyzed finish with a mocha glaze. The problem is that the amount of glaze from door to door varies from heavy to almost no glaze at all. The manufacturer has tried three times to change out doors, drawers and panels with no luck. They have finally agreed to pay a third party to "even out" the glazing.

My question is, what steps should I take to ensure there is no future adhesion problems? My thoughts are to scuff all surfaces with 220 add a light amount of glaze to areas as needed and top coat with clear. The mfg is sending out all the products so compatibility should not be an issue. Any input would be appreciated.

Forum Responses
(Finishing Forum)
From contributor D:
Most likely there is a clear coat applied over the glaze. This means you won't be applying new glaze directly onto the old glaze. This may or may not allow you to achieve the look you're after. Scuff sanding the surface is a good idea, but even better in my opinion would be to lay down another coat of clear before you begin glazing. We do tons of glazing with catalyzed products, and the only way we've found to get bullet proof adhesion is to have the glaze sandwich (seal/glaze/seal) be as fresh as possible; as soon as 1/2 hour and no more than 1 hour between each process. No matter what you decide to do, you must do a test piece and scratch test for adhesion before you proceed with the whole job.

From contributor J:
Glazing over the 220 scuffing may get into the scratch pattern issue batted around here several times - you know, the glaze accentuating the sanding pattern.

From the original questioner:
If I were to sand with 320 instead of 220 would there be enough tooth for the clear to adhere?

From contributor D:
The scratch pattern that Jim is referring to is not relevant if you put a coat of clear down first. If you still want to scuff sand after the clear coat, a very light touch is all that is needed. For this we use sanding pads that are labeled "extra fine". I do not know what the grit equivalent is but it's probably closer to 320.

From contributor R:
I'm with Derek on this one. You are making a barrier coat with the glaze and stand a real good chance of adhesion problems. Catalyzed finishes "bite" into previous coats almost like lacquer when they haven't had time to fully cure. I always sandwich any glaze between coats sprayed on the same day. Sand with 320, spray a coat of their clear, let dry, glaze and then topcoat. Hopefully they are sending you application specs for their product including any re-coat windows.

From contributor O:
I think youíre in for a headache but just for bees knees do the best you can on a sample and then explain all the reasons not to do it. Youíre taking all the responsibility for this out of the hands of the manufacturer and placing right smack in your hands. Anything that goes wrong down the road will be your responsibility. A year down the road maybe even two or three, who can tell.

If they plan on paying a third party to do a fix you should have them present you with new doors and drawers and whatever it would take for you to do the job correctly. Trying to even out a project that has dark glazing means that everything has to turn out dark. That look might be too dark for the customer/client.

Just because they are going to supply you with the same materials they use at the factory says nothing about the finishing window. Iíd be willing to bet that the window is closed now, and anything you put on top of a coating thatís gone through the cure time, just might create a bigger problem.

From contributor S:
If the manufacturer won't supply new product for you to take their burden of responsibility, a date in court for your client and the manufacturer may be in order. One thing to look into is when you find out what products the manufacturer uses in their finish schedule, you may luck out and be dealing with products that do not have a build limit. If this is the case, I would re-spray the entire job from start to finish and charge appropriately.