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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My wife wants to re-do the kitchen cabinets. They're all wood, 60 years old and in perfect condition, so we're keeping them since we couldn't buy this kind of workmanship again. However, I'm a bit clueless as to how to get the stain off, if I sand the cabinets it will take forever and I feel like I won't be able to get the nooks and cranies without smoothing the edges, so will a product like this....

http://www.wolman.com/product_detail.asp?ProductID=2

work?

are there any other similar products better for my purpose? we will be re-staining the cabinets with a darker stain.

Thank you!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
and it will do exactly what I'm looking for? just curious, why does everyone recommend sanding in that case?

Thanks for the quick help
 

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Stain is intended to fill in the wood grain and you will never get all of out and back to the original wood. These stripping products will get some of the pigments out and certainly the varnish off but in the process they will cause the grain to swell and "raise and check" a bit and the only way to resolve that is with sandpaper. Some strippers sort of gray old wood.

If you really have time and patience for this? An old timer, before I became one, taught me to strip what I could and then apply a coat of shellac. The shellac MAY bond to some of the stain pigment in the grain. Let it dry and strip it out.

You can also try bleaching but be careful.

You are probably better off getting what you can off and then picking a stain that will blend. You will probably find things a lot brighter getting the old varnish off?

I don't know the product mentioned but read the label carefully. A lot of the strippers we used to use were potentially explosive so make sure if you have a gas stove your pilot lights are out. If the water heater is gas and off the kitchen I would turn its pilot light off also.

Obviously use with adequate ventilation and invest in an aspirator if playing with funky chemicals. Don't leave damp or wet rags with the stuff in a heap.

The newer gel strippers are more expensive but safer. This will sound sexist but those of us who worked on old houses hired this half way decent looking woman to come out and strip for us. She had a system that recycled the solvent and collected all the gunk. She was much cheaper than buying the chemicals and doing projects myself.

I use this a lot and find it worth the price.

http://www.abatron.com/cms/buildingandrestorationproducts/woodrestorationmaintenance/clearstrip.html
 

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and it will do exactly what I'm looking for? just curious, why does everyone recommend sanding in that case?

Thanks for the quick help
You would not sand the doors until the top coat has been removed. On nonflat surfaces you would need to avoid the sharp corners and contours in order to not destroy the design. The sanding part is tedious on raised panel doors and the like.
Strip the surface coat.
Bleach if necessary
Lightly sand to eliminate any raised grain
Condition wood that has a tendency to splotch when stained
Stain
Topcoat.
Ron
 
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