Back story: I'm painting my kitchen cabinets. I am committed to putting a protective coating on them. I recently painted my bathroom cabinets and I had an issue. I sanded to the wood!, primed, painted and still saw some cracking in the paint. When I say cracking, the paint didn't chip off, it just formed weird cracks. My order was Behr Latex Primer > Sherwin Williams Emerald Urethan Trim Enamel SEmi Gloss(suggested for cabinets) (water based) > Minwax Polycrilic water based. I later found out the polycrilic from Minwax is only recommended on wood...

Anyway, I think I'll use a polyurethane moving forward, in place of the polycrilic. That way it's urethane on urethane. I'm hoping this way the paint won't have these crack features. But I'm not sure how to layer sheens? This is my big question. Should I do a Satin paint, under a semi-gloss polyurethane? I feel like doing a semi-gloss urethane on a semi-gloss paint would look too glossy. Am I thinking about this the wrong way? Anyone have some experience / suggestions on this?

  • Search for "alligatoring" and see if that looks like what happened, or post a picture of what happened...that can be done deliberately for effect, or it can happen unintentionally.
    – Ecnerwal
    Jun 8, 2020 at 1:09

1 Answer 1


Flat, flat, flat, followed by whatever you put on the surface. Flat gives you "tooth" for the next layer without you having to sand it (tooth) into a gloss finish.

Though given the described problem, I'd take a careful look at the "latex primer followed by urethane paint" W.R.T. "weird cracking."

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.