Kitchen cabinets that are painted will always add color and brightness to the room and make it a better place to work in. These paint coats will feel the wear and tear of the environment in the kitchen that varies from higher temperatures of ovens and ranges, the humidity brought on by the constant use of water in kitchen sinks, and ultimately the one of age.
If your kitchen cabinets have been painted with gloss latex or acrylic enamel high-sheen paints, then you have paint that is stain resistant and durable, and it may then be not necessary for you to give any added clear coats over the paint. These paints are expensive and need a careful application, so the chances are that you have used other paints that are less superior. This is where you will benefit when you cover these paints with a clear coat like polyurethane.
You can cut down on the effect of water and tear by applying a clear coat polyurethane varnish finish on top of the coats of paint. This can help them to look new and will in the long run extend the life of the cabinets. Though unfinished wood is the best for polyurethane, it can also be applied directly on any surface that has been painted, like your kitchen cabinets. When you apply this polyurethane varnish on the paint, what you are doing is that you are sealing it in plastic. This plastic is so tough that it is difficult for anything to penetrate it. To add to this durability is the fact that it is very easy to apply polyurethane and it also dries quickly. It is highly resistant to water and any chemicals or oil fumes from your cooking. These polyurethanes come in various finishes from the low gloss, high gloss, and satin, and can be water-based or oil-based. This gives you a wide choice and allows you to match it with any decor you have in the kitchen.
Solvent-based polyurethane is suited to cabinets that have been painted over with oil-based paints. Do not use this polyurethane to give a clear coat over water-based paints, as this can cause problems for adhesion and this will lead to flaking. A solvent-based polyurethane is not as flexible as any water-based undercoats, and this can lead to the occurrence of cracks. So for oil-based finishes, stick to solvent-based polyurethane. Polyurethane also gives a great finish to the floors. If you are coating this for some time after the cabinets were painted you need to get expert guidance on the paint that has been used so that you choose the best polyurethane. If your paint on the cabinets is low-sheen or stain latex paint, you are well-advised to use a water-based polyurethane. This polyurethane must not be applied to kitchen cabinets that have a high sheen as this can prevent the topcoat from properly adhering to the coat below. Make sure that you get clear polyurethanes, as some of them have colors that allow them to resemble shellac. These polyurethanes can completely change the way our cabinets look, something you will not have bargained for.
A clear coat of polyurethane will not hide any defects that are there on the painted surface, and you need to separately attend to these before you start the application fo the clear coats. It is always better to use polyurethanes clear coats that have a high gloss for kitchen cabinets. Dust and dirt control is very important when you are using clear coats of polyurethane. So you need to cover any ducts that convey air and make sure that you have swept the floor clean and mopped it well before you start on the application of clear coats. You will also need to wipe down the painted surfaces of your kitchen cabinets completely and also allow them to dry out completely before you start applying the clear coats.
Use a brush, applicator or lint-free cloth to apply the polyurethane. The polyurethane dries very quickly and any defects can be difficult to touch up. Ensure the kitchen is well lit up so that it allows you to spot any defects in your application. Apply a second coat if you feel there is a need for it, but in general, a well-painted kitchen cabinet will do well with just one clear coat.