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triple D 02-05-2008 02:54 PM

Any Advise for Tired Cabinets?
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(This is the wife here...:) I'm sick of my cabinets, but my husband says no to any big spending so I'm wondering if anyone can give me some ideas for them... The house was built in 1989, and the cabinets are original if that helps. Can I paint them or stain them or what...?:confused: I don't think it's real wood. Here is what they look like: It's not letting me upload the "good" picture of them, (it's too big or something) so here's a not so good one, but hopefully you can tell what I'm dealing with).
Thank you for any help!

travelover 02-05-2008 03:46 PM

You might try staining the worn areas then clean them up with a furniture polish.

TheFentonGuy 02-05-2008 03:47 PM

Ours in our 1955 cape are painted white. I was thinking of getting them back to natural wood. Wish we could swap! :-)

guyod 02-05-2008 09:16 PM

I'm with you i can't stand those builders grade oak cabinets.. They look so cheap. The only thing i used on them is a sledge hammer.

If i had to i would try a darker stain and if that doesnt look right then white paint.

A good idea would be to convert a set of doors into glass doors Then use the old door to test on.

triple D 02-07-2008 09:44 PM

Thanks to all for your input! I like the idea of trying a darker stain, I'm just afraid of messing it up and ending up worse off than I started:( I'll put a picture on of whatever I end up doing...

guyod 02-08-2008 06:30 AM

Thats why i suggested a test area or door created by the glass doors. just a thought

travelover 02-08-2008 03:04 PM


Originally Posted by triple D (Post 15721)
Thanks to all for your input! I like the idea of trying a darker stain, I'm just afraid of messing it up and ending up worse off than I started:( I'll put a picture on of whatever I end up doing...

It is not clear from the photo, but I assume your concern is the worn areas. I have fixed cabinets similar to this by finding a stain close to the original color and just staining the worn areas. Then cover it with something to protect the new stain.

ToolGuy 02-09-2008 12:00 AM

They are real wood, or at least the doors are.

You can't stain over varnish. A better way to go would be as follows:

Any areas where the varnish has worn through, sand with 120 grit sandpaper to get it clean. Then stain those spots with... (looks like Golden Oak or Honey Maple) whatever closely matches. Then touch up the varnish with Minwax fast drying semigloss or satin varnish. You may have to touch up the varnish a second time to get the shine right. Or you could lightly sand the entire surfaces and give it a whole new fresh coat of varnish. If you don't clean and sand the surfaces first, the varnish will flake off later, so don't skip that step.

If you want them darker, you could use a tinted varnish, also known as stain/varnish in one. Minwax is a good brand for this.

triple D 02-09-2008 10:55 AM

Darker Stain...
Is the stain/varnish a better option in your opinion, than staining and varnishing in two different steps? Also, if I do the stain/varnish in one and find it to need more shine, would I then use just varnish or do I do another coat of the stain/varnish? ~:) Thanks

SW_Kitchen & Bath Inc. 02-10-2008 01:35 AM

Some Thoughts
That is right, you cant stain over varnish...not sure exactly what your goal is but you could do allot following Tool Guy's advice on the face frames & skins, and just replace the doors with new ones w/new hardware of course, also look at replacing whatever trim you have in the way of moulding. isnt all that unlikely that you will discover that the pains of refacing your old cabinets along with the time and energy involved as well as the expense is about equal to just replacing them altogether, which of course would allow you the option of customizing your look and optimizing your storage space as well.

Good Luck.

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