Fiance said she would handle the sanding down and staining of some of our old kitchen cabinets to match new ones we are putting in to save $$. Having never done this before, I told her to read and research methods. We are at the point in the kitchen reno that these need to be done, and not much research has been completed on her part.
SO... she's sanded down the face of the cabinet frames (doing these first so we can reinstall them, doors to be done later). She got the finish off and applied 2 coats of stain (1 after another... she said the stain dried real fast). She is applying the stain with a "stain sponge/rag" sold at HD. We have Spar Varnish Semi Gloss to finish it off.
My question is about the process/technique. Is this being done correctly:
1) Sand down
2) Apply coat of stain, then another coat within 10 minutes
3) Apply varnish/urethane?
I've read about light sanding between stain coats. I've read about waiting a day between stain coats. I've read about sanding after stain before varnish. I guess some general process guidelines would help here... also application methods... would a brush be a better applicator?
She is freaking out a bit because the first results aren't getting near the new cabinets and I need to give her some direction... thanks
It is very difficult to get old wood to match new even if it is exactly the same species. The old wood will have weathered/aged, will have stained from chemicals to strip it, etc. All I can suggest is to experiment with blending stains together, trying different brands and being patient. You might find gel stains a little denser and easier to blend and match.