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I painted my kitchen cabinets. Worked well but over time they have become sticky in areas often touched; near knobs. I think it is a bit of grease from cooking but when I try to clean them, paint comes off and they are still sticky. The rest of cabinets are fine.

  • I have lightly sanded and repainted in these areas in the past but in time the problem returns. – user48560 Jan 31 '16 at 5:03
  • If the cabinets are a laminate (plastic) or "faux wood" and not real wood from a tree the paint won't adhere well. – ojait Jan 31 '16 at 17:26
  • How long before the first peeling issue? And the type of paint used (oil or latex)? – ojait Jan 31 '16 at 17:27
  • It takes some practice, but a quick spray of oven cleaner, (the caustic stuff) followed up with simple green, and a light scrub (used green scrubby) with an immediate rinse with a rag makes grease come off easy. We use such a combo on cabinets, plant shelves near kitchens, greasy fans in kitchens, etc. Just be careful, because the over cleaner can and will take off the paint in large quantities if you leave it for any amount of time. But the sodium hydroxide will react with the grease and make the grease literally just wipe off where you could not scrub it off before. – Damon Feb 1 '16 at 22:58
  • BTW, what is your question? I did not see one. – Damon Feb 1 '16 at 22:59
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If the paint is peeling off the wood surface then most likely there was a problem with how the cabinet was prepared for the paint or with the paint itself.

Painting any surface located in a kitchen takes more effort and attention to details when prepping it for paint. As you already know grease from cooking that becomes airborne in water vapor will adhere to wall surfaces and accumulate over time. For proper paint adhesion it must be removed through scrubbing with a de-greaser-type cleaner. Most commonly used is the cleaner labeled or containing "TSP" (Tri-Sodium Phosphate). Added to warm water and applied with a sponge (or sponge mop) the cleaner easily cuts through greasy build-up. Rinse the applicator often and then re-wipe with fresh clean water to remove any residue.

Since the cabinets are already peeling it will be hard to hide the edge of the paint with a new coat. You can try sanding the edge to "feather" or angle the transition so when another coat is applied it may be less noticeable. But I would guess since the wood hadn't been prepared you will continue to have peeling issues. It may be wise to start anew by sanding all the door faces to remove new paint, clean with TSP and prime and finish coat.

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The paint isn't the main issue here. Repainting is just a temporary fix as the grease comes back. If it's upper cabinets as well, then your exhaust fan isn't working well enough and needs to be cleaned or replaced. However, I'd suggest just looking up some good degreasers to clean it off with. Dawn, magic erasers (could harm the paint), etc.

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