kitchen cabinets..paint or restain?
1970's kitchen cabinet fronts....dark stained , deeply groved wood. kind of looks like stained plywood or something. Would like to take the cheapest and easiest way and restain but want a lighter vs darker stain. Can this be done? What products do you recommend?
I'll let the experts weigh in on products and technique, but we just went through the staining process for some cabinets in our kitchen remodel and tried to match a run of new cabinets... almost impossible to get it perfect. Also, word to the wise... be sure you can do the staining outside or in a garage. The stain and then the varnish we used on top were over the top toxic smelling.
No real easy way to restain a darker wood and make it lighter!
Unfortunately there is no easy way to restain the wood lighter. You will need to strip off the original varnish and sand almost all of the darker stain off. This is a pain and very time consuming. However you will eventually be able to achieve the results you are looking for. If you are painting them then I would suggest taking the cabinet doors off, and laying them down on newspaper or a dropcloth somewhere when painting. You will need to use a stain blocking oil primer to block the pigment from coming through then topcoat with a high quality satin - gloss sheen (oil preferred) oil or latex paint. Use a brush and the small whizzie rollers to do this.
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If they are hardwood, and uniform in color when you start? No greasy fingerprints and such near the stove? You might be able to bleach some of the color out of them but your unlikely ever to get the results I think you want. Try one first. If they happen to be pine or something soft, do not waste your time.
You will need to remove any protective coats to try this though so use one of the new gel strippers for this. Then put on a coat of shellac, and strip one more time. Sand lightly and see what you have.
By the way, you might find just striping the old varnish or poly off helps for the look you want?
Restaining kitchen cabinets
Hello, first time posting,
I'll post an intro soon. I'm a young 63 yr female, artist and handy, but not experienced in home improvement diy.
We are in a townhouse with standard laminate kitchen cabinets originally installed 1987. Where I lean over the sink, the stain on the doors is mostly worn off. (Not sure but I think typical means the cabinets are laminate but the doors and panels are wood?)
We just had a contractor come in to estimate laminate flooring for our entrance hall, and he also gave a $100 estimate to sand and restain the kitchen cabinet doors, and said he thought he could match the color of the other doors.
I doubt these days any contractor would do anything for $100. Perhaps this is a really easy job that I could do myself, sanding restaining the 7 doors that are worn.
1. Do you think I can match the color on the 7 doors, without sanding and staining all the cabinets? (not looking to lighten these...)
2. Would I polyurethane ALL of the doors after I have stained? Is polyurethane necessary where I restain?
3. What product/s should I buy, and what is the process?
4. Maybe I should take him up on his $100 to do the work?
5. Alternatively, my partner is suggesting painting white, which I am nervous about, in terms of resale value and in terms of it looking "home-made"
I've attached 4 photos:
Photo 1, 2, 4: show the worn areas
Photo 3 shows a good cabinet,
Photo 3 & 4: show 2 different takes on the color of the cabinets (just camera lighting difference).
I just found this board, and I think it could make me much more confident about diy.
Thanks in advance,
oops.. should I have started a new thread? sorry...
Do a search for "ideal cabinet repaint" for info on how to paint these bad boys
(dang, I thought I'd sticky'd that post on cabinet re-paints)
1. Any positive/negative experience with Restorz-It for this type situation?
2. Also there is "Howard Restor-A-Finish." Are these products equally effective?
3. The handyman quoted $700 (not $100) for sanding + 1 coat of stain + 1 coat of polyurethane. I think it would need 2 coats of each. So I am concerned that he won't do a good job; why would he suggest one coat is enough? I need to phone him again.
4. The cabinets are wood, the doors are wood, but the center panels of the doors are thin 3/8" wood. The sides of the cabinets are the laminate.
We don't want to paint them. My first choice would be to have them stained dark brown with the wood grain showing. My second choice would be to have the color similar to what it is now, but where the varnish is worn to look good and match the rest of the doors.
What do you suggest?
Do you think I can make it look good and last for years by using Restorz-It or "Howard Restor-A-Finish?" Do you think it would be better to have a contractor sand, stain, and polyurethane the cabinets? How many coats of stain and how many coats of poly would be advised?
I'm back and my kitchen is just about done.
We took a $67 risk and bought Restorz-It online and are more than THRILLED with the results. The only reason I can think of why this product is not famous and all over the internet is that it is such a wonderful, easy, and inexpensive option, that it is banned from the Big Box stores ....
The only thing I took real caution about was REALLY cleaning and cleaning and cleaning with the nice smelling Restorz-It cleanser, which is grapefruit- seed based, very concentrated, like an orange cleanser but more concentrated. The woman customer service rep said the stain could dry sticky if it was not cleaned enough, and there were 25 years of grime on the corners since there were no knobs or pulls. Perhaps I over-did the cleansing, but it was all so easy and pleasant.
I didn't even take the dishes out of the cupboards.
We washed it down. 24-hours later we stained the first coat.
It took 2 of us about 45 minutes to put the stain on.
3 days later we stained the second coat.
You cannot really change the color. We were hoping to darken our stair railings, which are the same oak as the kitchen cabinets, because we are having maple floors put in, and we thought the darker contrast would be nice. The Restorz-It darkens the parts of the grain of the wood that would soak up the stain, but the parts without the grain would still be the same color. I'm not sure I'll like this effect. We are trying it first in one bathroom.
I have youtube videos of before and after, and I'll post some photos here too. You can see the before above in the earlier posts.
A fabulous product, and I have left-over so I can re-apply in a year or 2 or 3 as needed, though it seems fine. It is not shiny as in some of the photos. It looks like restored wood, with the oils and depth of beautiful wood. I'm just amazed still. Our kitchen remodel, with all new stainless steel appliances, granite counter and new sink and faucet, walls painted and the Restorz-it and knobs cost about $5,000. Thrilled.
Etana, Silver Spring, MD
here's 2 home-made videos we made; we're getting nothing from the Restorz-it company, it was just practice making a video for me
Before Restorz-It, including the washing:
I'm in the middle of refinishing my cabinets. I used Minwax furniture refinisher and steel wool to strip off the old finish. I applied new stain and then tung oil finish. I've got the doors done and it's looking great. Moving on to the frames now.
I agree with everyone else that you (most likely) won't appreciably lighten the existing stain.
I refinished my hardwood floor in one bedroom and the result was the floor was so dark it almost looks black. Is there any products out there that might lighten the floor without going through the whole process of sanding etc. Would appreciate any information that you can give me.
Thanking you in advance
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