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Old 11-14-2012, 05:55 AM   #1
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how do i stain old, painted kitchen cabinets

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Old 11-14-2012, 07:18 AM   #2
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Are you 100% sure there's even real wood under the paint?
Your talking about a long process on this one if they even can be stained.
They need to be degreased first.
All hardware and doors removed. (mark the doors so you will know where they go.
All and I mean all of the paint will need to be removed.
Depends on what type wood it turns out to be on the next step, soft woods get a wood conditioner, hard woods do not need it.
Everything gets stained. (Gel stains work best)
Once dry a coat of poly is applyed.

A faster way would be to order new door and drawer fronts and just refinish the boxes.

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Old 11-14-2012, 07:50 AM   #3
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You don't stain on top of paint. ( You can do it, but that is more like a faux wood graining- whole different ballgame.)
Best to repaint.
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Old 11-14-2012, 12:34 PM   #4
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You MIGHT get lucky and be able to strip paint and all other layers off. Then shellac and let dry. Strip the shellac and you MAY get MOST all the pigments that have been forced into the wood grain over the years out, if the cabinets were hardwood to start. Not much chance if they were pine or a soft wood.

Then sand and restain. You WILL still have lots of discoloration you will have to blend in with a darker stain then you probably had in mind.

There is one exception I have encountered many times in antique homes but you must pray people skimped on proper paint prep. I have found beautiful, solid oak panel doors and things that were painted over when the trend was that hardwoods showing were icky or something. In many cases, layers of paint down to the varnish came right off with a sharp draw type scraper. I was then able to strip the varnish, sand, and blend to the original stain color. I still had to go a bit darker though.

Anyhow, I guess it depends on what you have. If you want to see what the end result might be, strip the back side of a cabinet door or I guess the front of one to see what you have. The goal in stripping paint and varnish is to get as much from the woodgrain and keep as much out of it as possible. Heat can melt pigments and allow them to melt into the grain so start with scraping first and move up to power (friction generates heat) and chemical strippers as you have to do. Even the chemicals generate heat. An infrared stripper was a great tool I bought late in my career. It focused heat in the paint layers.

Otherwise, paint again or look into refacing if the cabinet frames are solid and you are happy with the design.

Last edited by user1007; 11-14-2012 at 12:39 PM.
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Old 11-14-2012, 05:37 PM   #5
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With all that said, you cannot stain a previously painted cabinet
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Old 11-15-2012, 09:51 AM   #6
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Just to add my $.02 worth you did not say what kind of door and drawer style they are. If they are raised panel or inset panel then it is almost impossible to get the paint from around the panel even with stripper however if they are a flat they can be sanded. A lot of beautiful wood doors and cabinets were screwed up with paint IMHO
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Old 11-21-2012, 05:53 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eloisawilliam View Post
If you're remodeling your kitchen, one of the first things that may get your attention are the kitchen cabinets. But if you're on a budget, replacing kitchen cabinets can be expensive. An excellent alternative, and a great way to redo your cabinets for less money, is to strip the old paint and finishes off of your cabinets and stain them. You'll invest some time, but you'll likely be pleased with the results.Kitchen Cabinets Design

please explain how one gets all the paint out, off, whatever, to stain them

in my experience, it cannot be done
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Old 11-21-2012, 05:53 PM   #8
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Since no one says where they are let me say there is a way, if everything is in good shape, there are places in some areas that can dip things like this and they come clean. The trade-off is sometimes it loosens the glue joints and they have to be re-glued. But for the cost and hassle you could probably buy new doors and drawer fronts. Change the profile and its like a new kitchen.
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Old 11-25-2012, 01:20 AM   #9
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quality finishers can use paints and gelstains or waxed dry brushed and grained to look like wood. that job is only suited for a professional. only other option is stripping/sanding to bare wood or buying new wood
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Old 11-25-2012, 02:34 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisn View Post
please explain how one gets all the paint out, off, whatever, to stain them

in my experience, it cannot be done
Oh, it can be done.....I've done it.....

And will never do it again.....

If you toss enough paint remover and sandpaper at it.....you can get it done.......

My x-b!tch didn't like the 'white wash' stain on cabinet so wanted me to change it.....it would have been cheaper to buy a new cabinet.....

One of the many reasons she is an x-b!itch......
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Old 11-25-2012, 08:19 AM   #11
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I think Mrs. Fixit has sought out more positive feedback. She posted at 5:55 a.m., and checked back for her answer at 6:02, eleven days ago. She's probably elbow deep in stripper and regret.
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Old 11-25-2012, 09:18 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ToolSeeker View Post
Since no one says where they are let me say there is a way, if everything is in good shape, there are places in some areas that can dip things like this and they come clean.
Dipping most always discolors the wood. Not necessarily the end of the world but you have to compensate with darker stain.
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Old 11-25-2012, 09:19 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsheridan View Post
I think Mrs. Fixit has sought out more positive feedback. She posted at 5:55 a.m., and checked back for her answer at 6:02, eleven days ago. She's probably elbow deep in stripper and regret.
Guess I should have been more clear about trying one small door or drawer front to see if it was going to be worth it.

BTW, I am only seeing one post from her in this thread. Is there another?

Last edited by user1007; 11-25-2012 at 09:22 AM.
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Old 11-25-2012, 09:46 AM   #14
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Its called a drive by..
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Old 11-25-2012, 10:42 AM   #15
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Dipping can also soften any glue and weaken joints.

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