Pickled oak (yuck, yuck) kitchen help. Please!

soooomanyboysJanuary 18, 2009

Really! Who the heck ever liked pickled oak cabinets anyway? We just bought a new (to us) house and it has pickled oak cabinets. I can't afford new cabinets at this time so I will be more than happy to paint them,(besides the layout is good and there are already granite countertops and pretty pretty stainless appliances installed so we are good there).

I am having new maple doors and drawer fronts made locally (for the crazy low price of $12 each) so the doors won't have the graining issue. I was just wondering the best way to paint the existing oak boxes and fill in the grain as best as possible. I am patient and am willing to do whatever I can to make best end result. I do need it to be durable though, I have 4 boys (somedays it feels like 400!) and they are not delicate!

I'd love any ideas that you all might have, I have seen so many amazing transformations here and I am up for suggestions!

Any recommendations of a quality paint and primer would be greatly appreciated too! Thanks!

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I have the same color kitchen cabinets. They were once in demand and popular but new colors have made them passe. ugly?
I am in the same dilemma... cabinets are good. I priced new and they will cost about 18k installed. I now have a quote to paint and glaze for 3000. unlike you my counters need redone. Granite costs 6500. I am leery about taking on such a big painting effort myself. It will take two weeks. Pergaps You can consider this option?

    Bookmark   January 18, 2009 at 10:26AM
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You could do a taupe on the perimeter cabs like people here have been discussing lately - that would look really nice! And then you could do the island a different color, if you wanted, or not. Maybe a dark red? Or black? I can't see what color your counters are, but maybe something like that would work. It's a fun opportunity - we did this when we moved into our house and had heinous cabs and it was a great fix until we did the big remodel.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2009 at 10:56AM
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bondo - look in the auto parts section.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2009 at 11:15AM
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Bondo would be one way to go, but there are more user-friendly, less chemically-intense solutions(Bondo has a intoxicating aroma). I believe Brushing Putty was recently under discussion in the paint forum, and that will be your most practicable solution for filling the grain of previously-finished oak.
I like the pickled oak. That's just me. It's due for a comeback any time!

    Bookmark   January 18, 2009 at 11:23AM
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Really! Who the heck ever liked pickled oak cabinets anyway?
(raising hand meekly)Me, in 1986. I thought that pickled oak was the coolest thing ever!

    Bookmark   January 18, 2009 at 11:53AM
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Ok...sorry...I didn't mean to offend thut the pickled oak lovers out there! It's just not for me.

Thanks for all of the great ideas! I love the Bondo idea! I think there might be some out in my garage... another story for another day.

Keep 'em coming!

    Bookmark   January 18, 2009 at 11:59AM
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I had pickled look (pink!) maple cabinets in the home I recently bought and had them painted white. I've since updated the hardware, too, and am now onto the counters. They painted up just beautifully.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2009 at 12:10PM
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Here's a link of nodirthere who painted her oak cabinets and wanted to get rid of the grain. If you look down through the posts, you'll see her step by step process. Sounded like it worked for her to get the piano finish she wanted. http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/kitchbath/msg0222484911572.html?50

    Bookmark   January 18, 2009 at 12:19PM
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Ok...sorry...I didn't mean to offend thut the pickled oak lovers out there! It's just not for me.

No offense taken. Just pointing out that 20 years ago pickled wood was very much the in thing. You can bet that 20 years from now you we will be questioning some of the choices that we are making now.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2009 at 3:37PM
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Ya, I too was thinking - what fabulous choice of today will be the pickled oak of tomorrow....

    Bookmark   January 18, 2009 at 7:01PM
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So true...I LOVED white-washed oak, in fact I still have a few
pieces of furniture that I still love that are white-washed oak!
Which things will be laughed at 20 years from now is right!

    Bookmark   January 18, 2009 at 7:28PM
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fill the grain with joint compound, look for the kind with dust control added. Fill it lightly because you will sand most of it off. I recommend mixing a little water with the spackle in a spackle pan to make it spread easier. Then buy a random orbital sander to sand the flat areas. Use a 120 grit to sand it down. If you can hook it into a vacuum that would be most beneficial at keeping the dust under control. Sorry, before you do all of this, clean the cabinets with paint thinner or 409 to remove the grease. and sand the surfaces with 120 grit before you fill the grains. Then vacuum the area and tack it off with a tack cloth. 2 coats of primer and 2 coats of paint should do it. I just used the sherwin williams harmony primer and I thought it worked pretty well, plus the fumes were much better then conventional latex paints. Not to come off to negative, but I would be wary of 12 dollar door and drawer fronts. I would want to see a sample door to see the quality, I have heard of deals like that turning into nightmares.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2009 at 7:50PM
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Okay... am I the only one that thinks the kitchen looks good, with pickled oak cabinets and all?

It really doesn't look that dated to me, with the exception of the light box over the island.

In my previous kitchen we had honey stained oak cabinets that screamed 1980's and we paid someone to come in and paint them. The people we bought the house from kept the place filthy so we had to do a major degreasing treatment on the cabinets to get the new paint to stick. It really did look good. We had the painted cabinets for seven years and by the end there were plenty of chips and I would not call it the most durable solution (this is with one sweet demure little girl and one wild little boy). We had used oil paint on them, so perhaps a latex wouldn't chip as much?? I don't know. The oil paint was thick enough that the grain didn't really show up much.

If it were me (and it is clearly not, so take it for what it is worth)... I would put my money into removing ceiling light box and perhaps a little work on the cabinetry on the fridge side. The cabinets above the ovens and the fridge being just 12" depth is not ideal, and fridge sticking so far out into the space is calling more than a little bit of attention to itself with the stainless front and black sides and top of fridge just inches above top of oven cabinetry. I would possibly put some money into this and live with the cabinets for a while. Sorry if this offends, just being honest as I see it and trying to help.

I think your kitchen is really pretty and I bet with nice window treatments and bar stools, it will be a dream.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2009 at 8:53PM
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Yours don't look as yucky as mine do.

I am doing what Marita did - I am painting them white. Here you can see the new white paint next to my pink pickled oak. I have finally finished the uppers and will start on the lowers tomorrow. I did not fill in the grain. I cleaned, sanded, primered and used 2 coats of SW Pro Classic.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2009 at 9:18PM
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I had the same pickled oak and painted mine with Sherwin-Williams oil based paint. I did not cover up the grain. Alternatively, you can use a gel stain if you want to darken them or keep the wood look. It is almost like paint. Just make sure to sand really well first so it will spread and absorb evenly.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2009 at 9:24PM
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P.S. Forgot to say I painted mine an off-white/cream color. Your kitchen is large enough and bright enough and there is a lot of space compared to the amount of cabinetry, that you could go really dark like an ebony if you wanted. It would look really good!

    Bookmark   January 18, 2009 at 9:26PM
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I also don't mind pickled oak as long as it isn't that pinky color. I actually like robynpa's before cabinet very much. It's not what I would choice but it looks fine to me. The after is fine, too.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2009 at 10:02PM
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I like your kitchen! Did you ever redo your cabinets? Please post 'After" pictures and tell us with similar kitchens what you ended up doing. Thanks so much.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2011 at 5:06PM
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I have pickled board and bead through out my beach cape and I want to paint it white but it turns yellow the pickling even after four coats of paint. Any ideas?? I there a paint that would cover the pickle without for coats and still be white? I'm willing to do 2 and maybe web three coats but four is a lot and it's still not completely white.....

    Bookmark   August 29, 2011 at 1:40PM
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