Tommy Mac Discussions › Forums › Fix-it Forum: Home Improvement & Do It Yourself Repair Forum › refinish kitchen cabinets
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September 2, 1997 at 10:45 pm #10448Barb HamiltonGuest
Anyone have a few good pointers on how to refinish old
but in good shape, kitchen cupboards, from a dark brown
to ‘white’, semi gloss preferrably. Help would be
September 5, 1997 at 10:12 am #76254Terry AlexanderGuest
We have just (I mean in the past week) finished a massive remodeling project on our whole house. The last phase was the kitchen and we were faced with your exact problem. Without going thru all of our failures, the only way to do the job properly is:
1. Strip all of the existing paint off of the existing wood. We found that “BIZ” stripper worked best (trust me, we tried lots of them). You will find this process very labor instensive, messy and rather expensive. But, this is the most important step in your refinishing project. (In our house we have over 50 lineal ft of cabinet, both top and bottom, over 35 cabinet doors and over 35 cabinet drawers).
2. Once the cabinets have been stripped to bare wood, more than likely, the stripper wiil have also removed the putty that was used to fill in the nail holes and staple holes. You will need to refill those holes.
3. Once the hose have been refillled, you now need to sand all the surfaces with 300 grit sandpaper. Reason: the moisture in the stripper causes the grain to raise and you will need to sand the filled nail and staple holes flush.
4. Prime all the surfaces now. We swear by “KILZ” primer. Even though it is more expensive, we suggest oil based primer as opposed to water based primer. Remember, when painting (or priming), pour a small portion of the paint into an empty bucket (or large butter dish or sour cream dish….) and paint from that container. Keep the primer/paint can sealed at all times. Replenish into your paint container as needed.
5. Finally, you are ready to paint the cabinets. Again, we have better results with oil based paints as opposed to water based paints. Also, the high gloss looks we feel looks better than the semi-gloss look. We found, especially using white, that semi-gloss white always looks “dirty”.
Whether 1 coat of paint will suffice or 2 is entirely up to you.
Hope the “tips” helps.
Terry and Barbara Alexander.
September 6, 1997 at 11:23 am #76256JeanineGuest
My project was very similar to the Alexanders’ except I didn’t have to strip paint. My cabinets & cupboards were stained dark walnut. First I removed all the doors, drawers & hardware. Then I gave the bases a light sanding and primed them with BIN. I also prefer the high gloss in an oil base — I used Martin Seynour enamel — and they came out beautifully. Then I started on the door & drawer fronts. I wanted to pickle them, so I sanded them down to bare wood, going through all the grades of sandpaper. This was the most time-consuming part of the project. I chose to bleach them, then I rubbed on MinWax stain in Pickled Oak and wiped it back off — did this twice. After it dried, I coated it with four coats of poly-acrylic finish, lightly sanding between coats. Then I put my hardware back on and re-hung the doors, etc. I did not put any clear finish on the bases — just left them painted. I am very pleased with the results I got. My kitchen looks unbelieveably lighter and brighter now and I think it actually looks larger. Good luck with your project. 🙂
February 2, 1998 at 5:13 pm #77461JAGuest
stripping all varnish from cabinets,sanding,wood looks new.Do I need a sealer to act as a leveler?If I pickle what do I use as a finish coat to still show the grain of the knotty pine?
August 11, 2001 at 10:22 pm #107789Elio MorrisGuest
I have some kitchen cabinets which I have sanded down and want to hang them in my garage. What should I put on them stain and varnish? What would be your suggestion I do?
May 2, 2003 at 8:49 pm #158767bill pelleyGuest
i have cedar kitchen cupboards i would like to know how to refinish planing to replace hinges and handles need to know what to do about old hinge marks on cupboard doors and frames also the cedar is aged need some sort of stain,shilac to make doors match the rest of the cedar in the kitchen shure hope you can help thanks bill
June 29, 2003 at 9:10 am #168746Joean KolakowskiGuest
I want to paint my over 20 year old cabinets. They were very cheap cabinets to start with and were in the house when I moved in here.They are dark wood. The question is ,do I need to sand them down first or can I just wash them with denatured alcohol first? And should I use a gloss paint or a semi gloss? I dont’t know what would look good in an 85 year old house.Hate to start the job and then realize I should have done something differant.
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