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Old 04-26-2016, 10:13 AM   #1
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Kitchen Cabinet Refinishing Question


So - I'm in the middle of refinishing my kitchen cabinets. Right now, I'm stripping the varnish and finish off all the cabinet doors and drawer faces. No issues there. However, I am having some difficulty getting the varnish and finish off of the cabinet trim and cabinets itself.

The product I'm using is Citristrip. Again, this stuff is working no problem for the doors and drawer faces. I laid it on thick as instructed on the packaging. Let it soak for 6 hours and nothing came off except for the citristrip itself. Some areas flaked a bit.

Does anyone have any advice or tips to help expedite this?

Thanks!

-Ryan
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Old 04-26-2016, 09:45 PM   #2
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Re: Kitchen Cabinet Refinishing Question


Is it possible that the cabinets themselves are not varnish/stain, but woodgrain foil over some kind of plain basewood or particle board?
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Old 04-27-2016, 06:30 AM   #3
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Re: Kitchen Cabinet Refinishing Question


They're definitely not thermofoil. Like I said, I was able to remove the finish off the actual cabinet doors and drawers, just not the actual cabinet box. It seems like it is some sort of laminate.
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Old 04-27-2016, 08:55 AM   #4
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Re: Kitchen Cabinet Refinishing Question


I think that is what Chuck is saying. The boxes a lot of times are made with either melamine or some type of veneered ply. It is prefinished and looks great, but you don't refinish it. Typically in a cabinet "refinish" job, you only do the doors and face frame, leaving the rest as is.

You could ratchet it up and use a methylene choloride stripper if you think there is some type of finish to be removed. It is, however, very noxious and you'll need some real rubber gloves to handle it.
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Old 04-27-2016, 09:18 AM   #5
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Re: Kitchen Cabinet Refinishing Question


I think that's what it is - veneered plywood. The cabinets themselves were just stained I was able to get to the unfinished wood no problem. As far as painting the veneered plywood, should I just use TSP to clean it, sand it, prime, then paint?
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Old 04-27-2016, 09:50 AM   #6
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Re: Kitchen Cabinet Refinishing Question


i wouldn't do anything.
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Old 04-27-2016, 10:01 AM   #7
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Re: Kitchen Cabinet Refinishing Question


Meaning don't paint them at all or just go ahead and paint as is?
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Old 04-27-2016, 10:14 AM   #8
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Re: Kitchen Cabinet Refinishing Question


if it is a pre-finished veneer, don't do anything. When is the last time you took notice of the inside of someone's cabinets?

Just an aside, pics do wonders.
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Old 04-27-2016, 10:25 AM   #9
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Re: Kitchen Cabinet Refinishing Question


It most likely is a laminate after the more and more I read the differences between the two. I'm sorry if I haven't been completely specific with what I wanted to paint. Just the cabinet doors, drawers, and outsides. Because you're right...no one sees the insides

Most things I've read about painting laminate is clean the surface, sand with 220 git, prime, and use a latex enamel for the paint.

Here's an image of the outside. The two bare spots are from heavy sanding which is why I think it's laminate.

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