Two-pack (or two-pack) paint is a special type of paint for cabinets, cupboards, and other surfaces.
It uses a hardener with the paint to make the surface durable and scratch resistant.
If you inherit a home with two-pack cupboards or you bought two-pack cupboards yourself and are looking to repaint them, then you may wonder if it’s possible.
We found the answer for you as well as a few other things you should know about the two-pack finish.
Can You Paint Over Two Pack Cupboards? (Everything To Know)
Yes, you can paint over two-pack cupboards.
It requires the skills of a professional, however, because the process isn’t as simple as only applying new paint.
The best paint job will come from another application of two-pack paint.
Sanding the cupboard down and roughing it up can let you get away with painting over the cupboard without using more two-pack paint.
What Is Two-Pack Paint?
Called both two-pack and two-pack paint, this type of paint is popular with kitchen designers and cabinet makers.
Professionals mix two different materials together.
The first is acrylic paint or melamine.
The second is polyisocyanate resin or a similar hardener.
When mixed, the two ingredients create a glossy finish that’s hard and durable.
This type of paint has seen a lot of use in the automotive industry.
Car detailers will use two-pack paint to give cars that glossy and shiny appearance.
It protects the car from small-time impact damage and scratches and can help it retain its color.
Kitchen designers started to use two-pack paint on cupboards, cabinets, and other surfaces to give them the same glossy appearance and protective layer.
Cupboards see a lot of use, and the added extra layer of protection can help them last longer.
The problem with using two-pack paint is that it’s dangerous during its application.
Professionals need to apply two-pack paint.
They use special gear and equipment to make the paint, then apply it.
The mixture is primarily dangerous until it dries.
As it dries, it lets off toxic fumes.
Professionals will vacate the area, ventilate it, and ask homeowners to stay out of the home during the drying period.
In some instances, like a cupboard, the object can dry outside or in a shed.
Something that’s built into the kitchen, however, has to remain indoors.
To ensure your family is safe while two-pack paint is in use, you should heed the professional’s advice and warnings.
How To Paint Over Two-Pack Cupboards
If you want to try and paint over two-pack cupboards on your own, then it’s important you follow the right instructions.
This method follows the process of sanding and roughening the cupboard to allow new paint to stick to it.
If you want a professional paint job, then you’ll need a professional to apply two-pack paint over the cupboard instead.
Otherwise, follow these steps to paint over two-pack cupboards with a fresh coat of paint.
1. Sand The Cupboard
Two-pack paint acts as a protective barrier on the cupboard.
The molecules on its surface don’t take to new paint well.
To help its adhesion, you need to remove some of the hardener’s surface.
The best way to do that is to sand the cupboard.
Because this can become messy, it’s a good idea to remove the cupboard from the room.
Place it on a tarp outside and either manually sand its surface with at least 80-grit sandpaper or use a sanding tool.
This process will generate some dust, so it’s a good idea to wear a mask for protection.
Sand the cupboard until the surface is rough and most of the finish is gone.
2. Clean The Cupboard With Acetone
You’ll need white cloth and acetone for this next step.
It’s a good idea to have multiple cloths on hand.
Dip the cloth in the acetone and wipe down the cupboard.
The acetone will remove latex paint on the cupboard’s surface.
Thanks to the properties of two-pack paint, this may not remove all the paint, but it can dull the color.
Switch cloths to prevent dust from collecting on the cupboard’s surface.
If it does so, then you’ll notice dust specks on the cupboard when the two-pack paint hardens again.
You’ll never remove the dust after that happens.
Keep wiping down the cupboard until your cloth comes away clean of paint.
3. Prepare The Room
While the cupboard dries, you can prepare the room for a new coat of paint.
If you’re painting outside, then you can prepare your area.
For interior painting, cover the floor, walls, ceiling, and other surfaces that you want to block from the paint with tarps.
For exterior painting, a single tarp on the grass or cement will suffice.
Before you paint, take a moment to consider the temperature.
Exterior painting may need to move indoors if the temperature isn’t ideal.
Temperatures that are too hot or too cold can impact the paint’s ability to adhere to a surface.
The same goes for humidity.
If the climate is too humid, then it can affect the paint’s consistency and quality.
Latex paint works best at temperatures between 50 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
If the exterior temperature exceeds that, then you’ll want to move your cupboard indoors to paint it.
4. Paint The Cupboard
The easiest way to paint your cupboard and assure an even coverage is with a spray painter.
There are two different spray painters that you can use to paint over two-pack cupboards.
The first is with an airless spray painter.
This type of spray painter attaches to your paint can.
You can spray paint by pressing the trigger.
It doesn’t require the use of an air compressor.
It’s an ideal tool if you only want to do a little bit of painting.
The other spray painter is an air compressor-powered sprayer.
This type of painter is more heavy-duty.
You have better control over the coverage, but it does require the use of an air compressor.
If you want something professional grade, then it can become expensive.
However, some cheaper air compressors are available for DIYers.
Choose your method, then add the new paint to the sprayer.
Spray an even coat of paint over the cupboard.
Then let the paint dry.
You may need to apply a few more layers of paint after that.
If the two-pack paint was dark, then it could take several layers of paint to cover the original color.
5. Let The Cupboard Dry
When you’re satisfied with the number of layers that the cupboard has, you need to let it dry overnight.
Open windows to help the fumes escape from the home if you painted inside.
If you painted outside, then you don’t have to worry about breathing in toxic fumes, but you will want to keep an eye on the weather forecast.
6. Re-Apply Finish
At this point, the cupboard will have a new coat of paint.
If you only want a new coat of paint, then your project is complete.
Those who want the glossy finish of two-pack paint, however, may want to apply a new finish to the cupboard.
At this stage, it’s possible for a professional to come in and apply a two-pack finish to your cupboard.
Your previous sanding can help the finish adhere to the cupboard better.
A professional is needed to handle the application of two-pack paint because it contains toxic fumes.
They know how to safely apply it.
When they’re done, your cupboard will have a new coat of paint on it and retain its glossy and hardened surface.
What Are The Benefits of Two-Pack Paint?
Considering two-pack paint can be dangerous to apply, you may wonder if it’s worth the extra trouble.
There are actually a lot of benefits of two-pack paint.
Here are some of those benefits.
1. Hardened Exterior
One of the best aspects of two-pack paint is its ability to harden an exterior.
The resin creates a thick layer over the surface of the cupboard which protects it.
You use your cupboard every day.
The door likely slams closed every time.
A cupboard that’s coated in two-pack paint will last longer against such abuse.
That means you’ll have to replace them less frequently.
2. Glossy Appearance
Homeowners use two-pack paint primarily because of its glossy appearance.
It makes a surface look lavish and modern.
This type of finish can transform a standard cupboard into something that evokes a feeling of luxury and sophistication.
3. Doesn’t Peel
There are other materials that can also imitate a glossy appearance.
One of the most popular is laminate.
It’s cheap and easy to apply.
It’s also easy to ruin.
Laminate and similar materials can peel in response to moisture and heat.
It doesn’t make it ideal for use in the kitchen or bathroom.
Two-pack paint doesn’t peel.
No matter how hot the kitchen becomes or how much moisture there is in the bathroom, the two-pack paint will keep its conformity and rigidity.
When applied right, you won’t notice any crumbling.
It can last a long time.
4. Various Color Options
There are tons of different colors that you can find with two-pack paint.
You may not even need to paint over it.
You can have a professional apply a new coat of two-pack paint with the color that you want.
Because it uses acrylic paint, there’s virtually no color that you can’t use.
With a massive number of options available, you can have your two-pack paint make your cupboard match the rest of your kitchen with ease.
5. It Comes In Other Finishes
Although two-pack paint is best known for being glossy, that isn’t the only finish that you can choose.
There are other finishes like satin, matte, and even metal available.
The benefit you’ll receive instead of a glossy finish is the protective layer.
If you don’t want your cupboard to look glossy, then it doesn’t have to.
You can choose a matte finish instead with the color that you have in mind.
Another one of its best qualities is its scratch resistance.
Considering how many times you use your cupboard, having the ability to resist scratches is important.
Scratches don’t only mar the surface of the cupboard.
They also ruin the paint job.
Using two-pack paint keeps anyone from digging deep into its surface to strip away the paint.
The result is a cupboard that looks great for several years.
Another important aspect is that it’s heat-resistant.
If your cupboard is close to an oven or in a hot kitchen, then it needs to be heat-resistant.
Being exposed to heat can make a cupboard’s paint or finish deteriorate.
You may notice chipping, peeling, or even melting.
That isn’t something you have to worry about with two-pack paint.
One final benefit of two-pack paint is that it’s water-resistant.
This is an important feature of a cupboard because it protects the objects inside of it.
It also increases the cupboard’s lifespan.
If a wooden cupboard faces exposure to water, then it can be ruined.
The two-pack paint can resist some of the water and save the cupboard.
In a busy place like the kitchen, you need all the protection you can get for your storage and countertops.
What Are The Disadvantages Of Two-Pack Paint?
While there are great merits to using two-pack paint, there are a few disadvantages to using it as well.
Here are some of those disadvantages.
1. Only Professionals Can Apply It
It’s dangerous to apply two-pack paint to cupboards on your own.
This is not something that DIYers and amateurs should handle.
As a result, it does cost more to have your cupboards painted with two-pack paint.
You’ll have to decide for yourself if the investment is worth it.
2. Toxic Fumes
Two-Pack paint is dangerous while it is drying.
If the professional can’t remove the cupboard from the room before painting it, then it needs to dry indoors.
That means the entire area is going to be subject to toxic fumes.
You may need to leave the home during this process.
3. Dries Slowly
Compounding that problem is the fact that two-pack paint has a slow dry speed.
That’s because there’s little solvent inside of the mixture.
Another problem with it drying slowly is that it can collect dust.
As the dust settles on its surface, it becomes trapped inside the hardener.
Removing the dust is impossible.
4. Requires Ideal Curing Temperatures
The paint also requires consistent and optimal temperatures to cure correctly.
Fluctuating temperatures and humidity levels can impact the quality of the hardener and paint.
That can make painting cupboards outside difficult.
It’s possible to paint over two-pack cupboards, but it requires a lot of work.
An easier method is to have a professional re-harden the cupboard by applying more two-pack paint with the color that you choose.
Using two-pack paint is dangerous while it dries and only professionals should use it.
Consider these tips above when considering painting over your two-pack cupboard.