Need Advice Refinishing Oak Cabinets

 
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Old 08-31-2007, 07:21 PM   #1
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Need Advice Refinishing Oak Cabinets


I would like to figure out a way to refinish my kitchen cabinets. Thay are oak with light brown finish. I would like to know how I can get them to look cherry or maple. I have consider wood grainning but not sure if it hold up well. Is there a way to strip them and get them to look like maple or cherry without wood grainning. My concern is I would like hide the heavy oak grain.
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Old 08-31-2007, 09:17 PM   #2
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Re: Need Advice Refinishing Oak Cabinets


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Originally Posted by welovepainting View Post
I would like to figure out a way to refinish my kitchen cabinets. Thay are oak with light brown finish. I would like to know how I can get them to look cherry or maple. I have consider wood grainning but not sure if it hold up well. Is there a way to strip them and get them to look like maple or cherry without wood grainning. My concern is I would like hide the heavy oak grain.
Have the cabinets refaced and buy new doors. By the time you strip them all you will have paid for the job in labor. Sorry.

Rick

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Old 08-31-2007, 10:22 PM   #3
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Re: Need Advice Refinishing Oak Cabinets


Maple is too blond so a complete strip would be necessary. You can probably do a cherry by having a spray shader made up for it. You will have to find a more specialized wood finishes store in your area. If you have a paint store that makes up spray only dye stains, I guess a shader is basically a spray stain with some binder added. The plus from spraying only and not wiping is the color does not collect in the pores of the oak so it would be more uniform. Using the dyes means that there is still good transparency to the finished product, something that you cannot achieve with a pigment stain.
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Old 09-01-2007, 04:00 AM   #4
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Re: Need Advice Refinishing Oak Cabinets


Dean that sounds interesting thanks for the advice. I know just the guy that would have something like that. Its a mom and pop paint store he has all the specialty stains, and other items cant find anywhere else.


I am not worried about stripping the cabinets thats not a problem. What my main concern is I would like to hide the heavy oak grain and have a more solid look like maple or cherry not the color maple or cherry but the look of the wood.
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Old 09-01-2007, 11:43 AM   #5
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Re: Need Advice Refinishing Oak Cabinets


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Originally Posted by welovepainting View Post
Dean that sounds interesting thanks for the advice. I know just the guy that would have something like that. Its a mom and pop paint store he has all the specialty stains, and other items cant find anywhere else.


I am not worried about stripping the cabinets thats not a problem. What my main concern is I would like to hide the heavy oak grain and have a more solid look like maple or cherry not the color maple or cherry but the look of the wood.
We do a lot of custom cabinet work. I have Never been able to completely get rid of Oak grain, it's almost not worth it. Now, we have been able to fill the pores pretty well (using topping mud or crawfords spackle), and once primed/painted looks beautiful EXCEPT, the waviness of the wood. SO, the pores can be filled, but the waviness is still there. It can take 3-4 coats of heavy filler and light sanding to get rid of most of it.

Best case scenario is to take a natural wood filler like SW carpenters putty (which can be sanded/stained easier than DAP), and tone or glaze cabinets with a good Gel stain to get the look you want. We use ZAR.

Hope that helps...

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Old 09-01-2007, 05:02 PM   #6
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Re: Need Advice Refinishing Oak Cabinets


Thank you for the advice really apreciate it. So the best way is to put a graining base on then gel stain then varnish?. Do graining bases hold up on the eges of the doors something tells me that it might chip away over time?


Thanks again.
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Old 09-01-2007, 07:20 PM   #7
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Re: Need Advice Refinishing Oak Cabinets


welove,

As Da Vinci states, getting rid of the oak grain is very difficult if not impossible. It's very open, course, wavy, and deep. Whereas maple and cherry are fine, tight, and straighter (depending on the piece).

Your tactic would be to completely fill the oak grain, then replicate cherry or maple with base color, correct color glaze, and graining tools. And finish with whatever protective coating you like best.

All finishes chip away in time on high wear edges and corners.

Or just stick some Maple Contact Paper over

No seriously, have you considered a veneer ?

Look at this stuff:
http://www.jacaranda.com/

the page you want to see their products is:
http://www.jacaranda.com/woodspecies.html

It is amazingly thin. I showed a sample to an architect B-I-L of mine, and he has spec'ed it out many times. Just make sure you hire a qualified installer to do it right.
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Old 09-02-2007, 04:59 AM   #8
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Re: Need Advice Refinishing Oak Cabinets


to me it seems easier to refinish than reface. I do have alot of experience refinishing cabinets just trying to get some ideas. I have no experience with refacing cabinets and if its similar to wallpaper than forget it because I suck bad at hanging wallpaper.

Also this is my own house and I cant stand the thought of hiring someone to come in my home and do the cabinets when I could probally refinish them myself for half the cost a refacing company would charge.
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Old 09-02-2007, 09:46 AM   #9
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Re: Need Advice Refinishing Oak Cabinets


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Originally Posted by welovepainting View Post
to me it seems easier to refinish than reface. I do have alot of experience refinishing cabinets just trying to get some ideas. I have no experience with refacing cabinets and if its similar to wallpaper than forget it because I suck bad at hanging wallpaper.

Also this is my own house and I cant stand the thought of hiring someone to come in my home and do the cabinets when I could probally refinish them myself for half the cost a refacing company would charge.
Oh, why didn't you say so?
i understand that- it's your own place. Then time is not such an issue, although you have to factor if it's worth your time, or if you'd be better off spending that time estimating, painting etc.
The other thing we do is recommend the clients buy just new doors, and we refinish all cabinet boxes which is WAY easier than all the details on the doors...

Good Luck- and use the largest blade you can to apply filler to help fill waviness- 2-3 coats will get you close...

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Old 09-02-2007, 01:42 PM   #10
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Re: Need Advice Refinishing Oak Cabinets


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The other thing we do is recommend the clients buy just new doors, and we refinish all cabinet boxes which is WAY easier than all the details on the doors...

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That's the ticket right there. Take all your door and drawer front dimensions to a kitchen cabinet supplier. Pick new ones and install, (a screwdriver should do it). You'll only have a problem if the old cabinets are home built with wonky dimensions. And buy some new handles and knobs.
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Old 09-06-2007, 01:45 AM   #11
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Re: Need Advice Refinishing Oak Cabinets


Quote:
Originally Posted by Da Vinci View Post
We do a lot of custom cabinet work. I have Never been able to completely get rid of Oak grain, it's almost not worth it. Now, we have been able to fill the pores pretty well (using topping mud or crawfords spackle), and once primed/painted looks beautiful EXCEPT, the waviness of the wood. SO, the pores can be filled, but the waviness is still there. It can take 3-4 coats of heavy filler and light sanding to get rid of most of it.

Best case scenario is to take a natural wood filler like SW carpenters putty (which can be sanded/stained easier than DAP), and tone or glaze cabinets with a good Gel stain to get the look you want. We use ZAR.

Hope that helps...

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Probably before your time but whatever happend to paste wood filler? Lacquer base product kill it in our market?

Rick
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Old 09-06-2007, 07:42 AM   #12
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Re: Need Advice Refinishing Oak Cabinets


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Probably before your time but whatever happend to paste wood filler? Lacquer base product kill it in our market?

Rick
Not before my time- used to use it when I'd build oak tables as a hobby. They still sell it although mostly available through floor finishing suppliers, so not as convenient. Also, it's harder to sand which makes it difficult around trim of a cabinet door.

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Old 09-24-2008, 11:36 PM   #13
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Re: Need Advice Refinishing Oak Cabinets


I've had great success refinishing oak cabinets use 2-3 coats of a high build xylene base primer to fill the grain, then top coat with catalyzed lacquer which is very fast drying and durable. Finish is automotive quality and very durable.
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Old 09-27-2008, 05:01 AM   #14
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Re: Need Advice Refinishing Oak Cabinets


Xylene exhibits neurological effects. High levels from exposure for acute (14 days or less) or chronic periods (more than 1 year) can cause headaches, lack of muscle coordination, dizziness, confusion, and changes in one's sense of balance. Exposure of people to high levels of xylene for short periods can also cause irritation of the skin, eyes, nose, and throat, difficulty in breathing and other problems with the lungs, delayed reaction time, memory difficulties, stomach discomfort, and possibly adverse effects on the liver and kidneys. It can cause unconsciousness and even death at very high levels. Xylene or products containing Xylene should not be used indoors or around food.
Studies of unborn animals indicate that high concentrations of xylene may cause increased numbers of deaths, and delayed growth and development. In many instances, these same concentrations also cause damage to the mothers. It is not yet known whether xylene harms the unborn fetus if the mother is exposed to low levels of xylene during pregnancy.

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