Self leveling oil based paint issues

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Jrflat

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Aug 15, 2022
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When we bought our house 15 years ago we decided to repaint out oak kitchen cabinets. They were in need of a refresh and we did not want to replace them. At that time someone at Sherwin Williams recommended that I use an oil based enamel paint since it would self level and provide a nice finish. It was also very durable and would work well on cabinets with high traffic. I sanded down the finish, primed and painted them and they turned out great. I used a brush to paint them and there were no brush marks at all.
Fast forward 15 years to present day. After all these years its time for another refresh, after 15 years they are showing wear after being spilled on and bumped into. Overall we were very satisfied with how well the oil based enamel worked so I bought some more of the same paint and repaint. I started with one section of the cabinets at a time and have completed one section around our stove. I cleaned the cabinets with a degreaser, sanded them just a little bit and again they turned out great.
Last week I started on our kitchen island. I repeated the process and when they dried I have a ton of brush marks. I sanded everything down to remove the brush marks and applied another coat of paint thinking maybe I applied too much paint or went over the paint after it was slightly dry. Again, I had brush marks when they dried. I talked to someone at Sherwin Williams and decided to buy a new brush for oil based paints with natural bristles. I sanded everything down again and this time just tested it out on one cabinet door and again I had brush marks.
After this it was suggested that I add an extender into my paint to help slow the drying time. The thought was that now my paint was drying to quick and was not allowing the oil based paint to self level. I purchased a M-1 extender for oil based paints and applied a coat of paint and I am still getting brush marks. I even tried adding a second coat thinking that would help level things out but still no luck.

Does anyone have any suggestions? I am at a loss. I cannot understand why this exact process worked just fine for the other set of cabinets in my kitchen that turned out great, but not these are not truing out. I do have a couple of thoughts below that I am not sure are impacting this.

Is it the heat/humidity? 15 years ago when I first did this it was in winter (I live in Wisconsin so its a cold climate). I painted the doors and drawers in my basement so it was not hot and humid out at all. This time I started this project in May or early June just when it is starting to warm up. I had the first section of the cabinets done before the heat and humidity started in our Wisconsin summer. Now its much warmer and there is some humidity in the air even with the AC on, could this be impacting my oil based paint?

Thank you in advance!
John
 

DFBonnett

Retired decorating contractor
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Apr 17, 2012
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You might try using Penetrol in the paint.
 
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