Paint or Stain Kitchen Cabinets? For a rookie!

Discussion in 'Painting Forum' started by jimmybirdie, Feb 14, 2011.

  1. Feb 14, 2011 #1

    jimmybirdie

    jimmybirdie

    jimmybirdie

    Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2011
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    I posted this in the General forum but didn't really get an answer.

    I am buying a house and I thought about replacing the cabinets but we can't afford to spend 20K right now. The cabinets are in good shape but a little bit dirty and the wood color is too light for me.

    I am thinking about either painting or staining the cabinets. My question is which method will give me the best result considering that this is my first home improvement project.

    Currently my plan to to remove one kitchen door, sand it, stain it and wait to see the result. If it turns out bad I may then try to sand it again and then paint it. I will get the keys in march so right now it is just planning.

    Please feel free to give me any tip,

    Many thanks,

    See the pic of the kitchen below.

    kitchen1.JPG

    kitchen2.JPG

    kitchen3.jpg
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2011
  2. Feb 15, 2011 #2

    inspectorD

    inspectorD

    inspectorD

    Housebroken Staff Member Admin Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2005
    Messages:
    4,502
    Likes Received:
    267
    Save yourself some $$ and time. Just buy a cleaner and start scrubbin. I use steel wool where the stuff gets real bad. You will be pleasantly suprised.
    Then when your done, some ol fashion murphys oil soap provides a little shine.
     
  3. Feb 15, 2011 #3

    nealtw

    nealtw

    nealtw

    Contractor retired

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2010
    Messages:
    23,892
    Likes Received:
    3,117
    I used waterbase paint and put clearcoat after that.
     
  4. Feb 16, 2011 #4

    HDwetPaint

    HDwetPaint

    HDwetPaint

    Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2010
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hey Jimmybirdie that’s a nice looking kitchen and I agree with you everything being very light in there I think it will look better with a darker contrasting cabinet color. First before anything like you had mentioned test your new color or coating on an area that won’t be seen or that can be covered up easily, maybe inside a cabinet door. Every piece and type of wood will accept stain differently so using a test piece of the same type is important when doing a large project like this.
    If it is stain you decide on you will need to completely remove the existing finish and start with a fresh wood surface best results. When doing a large number of cabinet doors I suggest you start out with a stain and finish stripper, these are mild strippers designed to give you a fresh slate almost ready for stain without damaging or discoloring the wood below. Once the stripper has done its job giving the cabinets a light sanding to help open up some of the wood pores is always a good idea and will give your finished product a much more uniform look. Once you’ve done this you just need to be sure to wash them down with some mineral spirits and remove any dust on the surface and you’re ready to stain.
    If it’s a coat of paint you have decided on then it’ll be a bit easier than the above prep work. You will still want to make sure the cabinets are clean and free of any grease or dirt prior to applying your basecoat. Just using a mild household degreaser or a mild detergent such as a few drops of dish soap in a gallon of warm water will be just fine. After the cabinets have dried you will again want to lightly sand them, as mentioned above a medium steel wool works great for this or even some fine grit sandpaper. This step is just to ensure proper adhesion of the next steps just a “scuff coat” you aren’t trying to remove much material at all so this is a pretty quick step. Once you have this done you are ready to prime then paint. Another cool option with painted cabinets dependent upon what color you decide on is a glaze top coat, it is used to accent the cabinet’s unique woodwork and give it a completely different look.
    Whatever it is you decide to do be sure to ask any questions you may have regarding your upcoming project.
     
  5. Feb 16, 2011 #5

    3gmp

    3gmp

    3gmp

    Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2011
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    I added some moulding, beadboard and trim had mine painted with oil based paint. I would strongly suggest having the doors and drawer fronts sprayed. It has been almost a year and a half and they look great.


    Good Luck!

    NewKitchen.jpg
     
  6. Feb 17, 2011 #6

    jimmybirdie

    jimmybirdie

    jimmybirdie

    Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2011
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi 3gmp,

    Very nice kitchen. I also plan to add the handles like you have there.

    Did you have experience spray painting before working on the doors and drawers? How many layers did you spray? Did you use paint brush or roller on the rest of the cabinets. If I decide to paint, I think I will try spray paint the doors and drawers first. Worst case, I just strip the paint and do it again.

    I have yet to decide wether to stain or paint yet. I will try staining one door and see how it goes.


     
  7. Feb 17, 2011 #7

    jimmybirdie

    jimmybirdie

    jimmybirdie

    Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2011
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    HDwetPaint,

    Thanks for your detailed message. I will try staining the backside of one door first. I will attempt to list the steps for staining, please correct me if I miss something:
    1. Remove doors and drawers
    2. Use Stain and Finish Stripper to remove existing finish
    3. Sanding
    4. Wash with mineral spirit, dry
    5. Staining,

    Thanks,

     
  8. Feb 17, 2011 #8

    3gmp

    3gmp

    3gmp

    Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2011
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    We painted the frames with a mini roller, but had someone professionally paint the doors. We have about 60 doors and drawers and it was too big of a job for us to do. Our painter did two coats front and back.

    A neighbor used Gel Stain on her cabinets and they look fabulous. If you have a small vanity or something you might want to try some techniques on that or buy an old cabinet on Craigslist or your local Habitat for Humanity store.

    What kind of wood are those cabinets?
     
  9. Feb 17, 2011 #9

    jimmybirdie

    jimmybirdie

    jimmybirdie

    Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2011
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    3gmp,

    I have no idea what kind of wood it is or if it is even wood. I worried that it might be some kind of laminate. I didn't have time to inspect the cabinets carefully. We spent an hour at the house and then decided to buy it. I haven't have access to it since. Right now we are in escrow and hope to get the keys in march.

    thanks,

     
  10. Feb 17, 2011 #10

    3gmp

    3gmp

    3gmp

    Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2011
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    It is a lovely large space. The area with the 4 cabinets alone in the first picture would look great if you put some beadboard up as a backsplash (painted or stained like your cabinets) had the doors cut for glass added some corbels under the cabinets to make a china hutch area.

    I can't wait to sse your transformations.
     
  11. Apr 19, 2011 #11

    royalpei

    royalpei

    royalpei

    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2011
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    [QUOTE
    I am thinking about either painting or staining the cabinets. My question is which method will give me the best result considering that this is my first home improvement project.

    [/QUOTE]

    We need to do ours too, they are UGLY!!!!!!
    We were wondering can you buy molding to put on cabinets? Something made especially for that, or just something to pick from in the wood section?
    We are still trying to decide stain or paint.
    I really need some answers.
     
  12. Apr 25, 2011 #12

    DIYMom

    DIYMom

    DIYMom

    Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2011
    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    1
    [/QUOTE]

    We need to do ours too, they are UGLY!!!!!!
    We were wondering can you buy molding to put on cabinets? Something made especially for that, or just something to pick from in the wood section?
    We are still trying to decide stain or paint.
    I really need some answers.[/QUOTE]

    You might want to start a new thread to get more responses to your question. :)
    I don't know about molding for cabinets but in response to your last question, I think staining looks best. From a women's point of view: Most of my friends prefer stained and only went with paint if they had too (because of damage easier to cover up or laminate cabinet).
     
  13. Apr 26, 2011 #13

    jimmybirdie

    jimmybirdie

    jimmybirdie

    Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2011
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hello everyone again,

    After careful examination of the cabinets. They are not real oak. Just very thin oak laminate on particle board. Because of this, I wasn't sure if staining will turn out good or not. The number one concern is that sanding this will damage the laminate and expose the particle board.

    So we decide to clean the cabinets for now and paint the kitchen. Here are some images. I still haven't remove the paint tape in the pictures. We will replace other appliances with stainless steel appliances.

    I will tile the kitchen the living room. After that I will also add crown molding.

    Thanks,

    IMG_1905.jpg

    IMG_1907.jpg

    IMG_1908.jpg
     
  14. May 23, 2011 #14

    Alyssa

    Alyssa

    Alyssa

    Member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2010
    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    0
    Staining keeps it looking more "rustic" with the grain showing. it really depends on your taste. Personally I love painted woods cabinets... but again its all taste. Good lucj! It looks like you have a beautiful kitchen to work with.
     
  15. Nov 10, 2011 #15

    carrolla

    carrolla

    carrolla

    New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2011
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    I also would like to have a beautiful house but I am about buying aluminum cabinet doors to the kitchen. I would like to know if you know any good company in Denver that manufactures aluminum cabinet doors? what is your experience? C.:welcome:
     
  16. Nov 10, 2011 #16

    joecaption

    joecaption

    joecaption

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2011
    Messages:
    2,046
    Likes Received:
    295
    Another option is to replace the doors and drawer fronts and just refinish the boxes. You have no idea just how long it's going to take to sand and refinish all those cabinets. Your taking at least a couple of weeks full time to sand, stain and reseal.
    Paint will never hold up as well as stain and poly.
     
  17. Nov 12, 2011 #17

    jimmybirdie

    jimmybirdie

    jimmybirdie

    Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2011
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi Again everyone,

    I didn't do anything to the cabinets. I just cleaned them real good, and put on handles/knobs. I also finished my tile job. The kitchen looks decent now. I did a really good job on tiling.

    Check out the after pictures and take a look at the before pictures on the first post.

    Many thanks,

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2011
  18. Nov 12, 2011 #18

    jimmybirdie

    jimmybirdie

    jimmybirdie

    Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2011
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    [​IMG]
    flash was on so the tile looks yellowish

    more on the family room side
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2011
  19. Nov 14, 2011 #19

    bighill

    bighill

    bighill

    Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2011
    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    0
    That is a very interesting light brown wood color they used. I would stain them if I were you.
     

Share This Page