Last year I posted about a job that went sour. We built a kitchen and, because we don't do colored lacquers, we subbed out the finishing. Needless to say, the finish just flakes off most of the doors and drawer fronts. The finisher has gone back several times to fix it, but he just seems to make it worse. I'm through living in fantasy land thinking he can fix the problem. We just bought new doors and drawer fronts and were going to spray them in house.
The doors are made with a hard rock maple frame and an MDF panel. My question is, what is the best way to finish these doors and drawer fronts so that they don't chip and peel again? I need to match the existing color. The finisher I used said he applied 3 coats of sanding sealer, sanded between coats, then applied two coats of finish, which was a pre-cat lacquer.
The best way to finish surfaces so that they do not chip and peel as a result of the failure to establish a good bond with the substrate and also so that you do not have issues with intercoat adhesion is to properly prep the substrate of your surfaces and to scuffsand between layers of finish. The coatings manufacturer will suggest what grit sanding they like to see for their finishes. That info is in the tech sheets of the coatings materials.
Your goal is to create surfaces which have the proper tooth for the film-forming materials to establish a mechanical grip. Do not neglect to break the edges of your surfaces. No crisp edges is the goal. A coating does not like a crisp edge. Maybe wall paint can work itself around a sharp edged corner, but furniture coatings cannot. How many angels can stand on the head of a pin? Who cares, but how much dry mil thickness can be built up on the crisp edge of a door? Very little. And there is very little decent tooth to get your grip. Blunt edges, rounded edges, eased edges and broken edges are what coatings like. Give them their due respect and you have your best shot at adhesion.