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Old 10-02-2012, 12:32 PM   #1
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Sanding and staining kitchen cabinets, remove?


hey all,
sorry if this is a basic question but this is my first time doing this. when refinishing kitchen cabinets should i remove the uppers from the wall and sand and stain or leave them mounted and refinish while attached to the wall? thanks

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Old 10-02-2012, 12:42 PM   #2
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Sanding and staining kitchen cabinets, remove?


Either way would work.
More work to remove them though.

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Old 10-02-2012, 03:09 PM   #3
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Sanding and staining kitchen cabinets, remove?


On the other hand, as long as you mark them so you are not scratching your head as to where they go when you put them back, cabinet doors are a lot easier to deal with laying horizontal and flat in the garage or wherever if you have the space.

And you were not planning on going through all the effort of refinishing your kitchen without removing hardware to clean it or update it too right?
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Old 10-02-2012, 03:21 PM   #4
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Sanding and staining kitchen cabinets, remove?


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Originally Posted by sdsester View Post
On the other hand, as long as you mark them so you are not scratching your head as to where they go when you put them back, cabinet doors are a lot easier to deal with laying horizontal and flat in the garage or wherever if you have the space.

And you were not planning on going through all the effort of refinishing your kitchen without removing hardware to clean it or update it too right?
i should have been more clear. i took the doors off to refinish them and am replacing the hardware. was wondering about the actual cabinets.
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Old 10-04-2012, 11:41 AM   #5
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Sanding and staining kitchen cabinets, remove?


I did mine- 1968 brick ranch... the cabinets were built onsite so removing the frames would be a big chore as they aren't 1 individual cabinet after another, some of the backs and bottoms are continuous and many share their inside 'wall' if you will.

I removed the doors and labelled them, removed hinges and hardware, sanded the faces of the cabinet frames, sanded the door and drawer faces.
Sand the doors more than you think you need to and graduate to finer and finer grit finish sanding by hand with the grain. You don't want your new finish reacting to a finish from the olden golden days or sanding marks showing up, the new stain will highlight any blemish/ sanding scratches you leave in the wood, and will not get along with any traces you leave of the old finish.

Water based if you want fast drying, oil based if you want to be adventurous (I went with oil). Getting the color tones (red mahogany stain 2 coats) to match regarding the various doors/ drawers/ cabinet faces was the hardest part, and for me at least drying times were a bit long (oil based). Trying to get the color tones to match is why I put 2 coats of stain on, if you hit a home run with 1 coat of stain scream out in joy, crank up the music, and move on.

My process- Once I got the original varnish or whatever it was off with the random orbit sander, I switched to hand sanding with finer grits, always going with the grain, and finished with a sanding block and fine paper before tack ragging, wood conditioner, then staining x2 and poly x a few. Took a LONG time... couple weekends with a coat/ sanding marathon during the week here and there. Just sanding with the random orbit took several hours, many sanding pads, and I was hunched up for a couple days after with a sore back and cricked neck- HA!

Also sanded (fine grit) between poly coats and thinned the poly more and more each coat. The final couple of coats were superfine grit, gentle hand sanding and really thin wipe on coats of poly- turned out nice.
Read up lots on it, youtube any topics you want to see in action...

Set up a staging area for your drawers and doors to dry and have a helper- one after the other have the helper bring them to you and your products- stain/ wipe/ have the helper put them in a spot to dry- racks/ boxes/ boards set up across 2 chairs- whatever. Same with poly if you go that route.

Good luck!

Last edited by John in NC; 10-04-2012 at 11:51 AM.
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Old 11-07-2012, 07:59 AM   #6
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Sanding and staining kitchen cabinets, remove?


Both ways would work just fine...

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