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Minnesota Gal 06-02-2007 09:34 AM

Refinishing "golden oak" cabinets in kitchen - please help!
 
Hi all,

I'm wondering if anyone has suggestions for my work refinishing the cabinets in my 80's inspired kitchen. The former owner of my house LOVED Menards - most of my home projects involve undoing his remuddling (all on a budget!).

I have several golden oak cabinets I'd like to refinish, either to a darker "gunstock" or "mission" color, or if that doesn't work, I plan on painting them white.

I am using one cabinet door as my tester, and when I sanded down the golden oak finish and applied some of the darker mission color, the grain (that wide oak grain) got REALLY dark, almost black, and it looks really ugly. The color outside of that dark grain is pretty, a rich dark brown.

What do I do to minimize that super dark grain? Would some wood sealer help before I stain? I have something called "soft wood sealer" but got confused on whether I should use that or not since oak isn't a soft wood. If anyone has any ideas, that would be great. I'd like to avoid having to paint the cupboards if at all possible.

Thanks,

Liz

Gerry Kiernan 06-02-2007 10:55 AM

You can try thinning the stain before applying it. Also, You can try applying the stain, letting it stay on for a very short time, and then wiping most of it off with rags. If still too dark, try wiping the finish with thinner soaked rags before it has a chance to dry out too much.If still too dark go to plan "D".

Plan "D" start with a lighter stain.

Please do not paint them white. It seems that in all the redecorating shows now the people all want to take beautiful wood and paint it white. Makes me want to gag.

I was doing some red oak once, and wanted a nice light stained finish, and used a combination of above. When I put the stain on it was a lot darker than I wanted, so I used the above, and was very pleased with the results. I ended up with a nice golden colour, with just a hint of red.

PS: Make sure you dispose of the rags in a sealed metal container. I don't want to read about you later.

Regards: Gerry

slickshift 06-03-2007 08:08 AM

I can't tell from here if it's darker than it should be for the stain you used
But I'd have to say off-hand, try a lighter stain

sleepy23 08-11-2007 09:21 PM

have you made any progress on your cabinet project?
we also have the golden oak cabinets and really want to take it to some of the richer, more popular colors. I really want the dark cherry or maybe red mahogany. I tested just some cheapo sample packs from Home Depot on an extra pc of cabinet and was not happy when using stripper, sanding, or just leaving it as was. I would love to see you results and get any and all advice on how to get something nice out of the golden oak

Da Vinci 08-11-2007 10:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sleepy23 (Post 57303)
have you made any progress on your cabinet project?
we also have the golden oak cabinets and really want to take it to some of the richer, more popular colors. I really want the dark cherry or maybe red mahogany. I tested just some cheapo sample packs from Home Depot on an extra pc of cabinet and was not happy when using stripper, sanding, or just leaving it as was. I would love to see you results and get any and all advice on how to get something nice out of the golden oak

Do not paint oak- it's horrible to make look nice because of all the open pores. You can stain over existing by sanding the finish with 220 grit paper and using a "Gel Stain". Those sample packs are penetrating stains - lots of extra work- harder to work with. Minwax makes gels, but our favorite is ZAR- best gel stain made in my opinion.

Red Mahogany or cherry by themselves will go orange or pink over the golden oak. We like to mix mahogany and dark walnut together for a nice tone, but you can buy some pints and mix them together to test. The trick is to apply it, let it tack up a few minutes, then gently wipe off with cheesecloth. You can leave it dark or lighten it up by removing more. Let dry overnight and coat with polyurethane or my favorite- McCloskey Satin Heirloom varnish.

Bay Area Painting Company

joewho 08-12-2007 07:07 PM

Sounds like the stain is soaking into an area where the grain is rougher than the rest. Usually, it is just left that way, as this is the natural look of the whole piece.

Some options are, sand the area more that the other areas.

Use the softwood conditioner on that area only. You can make your own sealer by thinnning shellac with alcohol.

Stain the whole piece but wipe the stain off the area quickly while letting it soak on the other areas.

Gerry Kiernan 08-12-2007 10:46 PM

Many years ago, when I was in high school, taking woodworking, we dealt with open pored woods, such as oak, by applying a filler to the wood, which we wiped on, left for a while, and then wiped off. This filled the larger pores, so that the stain would apply more evenly. I cannot remember a brand name, or much else, but if you ask at a wood refinishing , or paint store, I am sure they could tell you what to use. I didn't even think of it until now, because I have always finished oak with a very light colour, as that is my preference.

Good luck with your cabinets.

Gerry


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