staining oak cabinets

marinesgirlFebruary 3, 2012

I have builder's grade oak cabinets from the 70s. I was considering painting them but someone suggested that I stain them instead to a darker color (right now they are the standard yellow "oaky" color). The cabinets do not have a shiny finish on them so I assume all I need to do is clean them and sand them. I am worried that the new darker stain will not soak in evenly. Is there any way I can avoid this problem other than sanding them thoroughly? Has anyone tried to stain their cabinets darker with good results? Thanks in advance for any assistance!

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Rachiele, LLC

If the doors have a bit of detail, you might have problems sanding all the finish off. If these are factory cabinets, they often have a catalytic finish which is quite durable. I suggest trying the back of a door that is not used much, or better yet, take a false drawer off and try staining the back. If it is not working, no one will see the mess!

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 2:13PM
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marinesgirl

Thanks. trying a false drawer first is a good idea. I keep toying with the idea of painting the cabinets but it seems like a lot of work. At first I thought staining them would be easier but if I have to clean and sand them either way now I'm not sure which way to go. I really want creamy white cabinets but havent totally convinced DH. Our cabinets are solid wood and other than the color we like them. DH wants a darker richer color stain. I will be the lucky one painting or staining while he is deployed. I just don't want him to come home to ruined cabinets!

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 3:17PM
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Linelle

marinesgirl, I understand your dilemma about changing your cabinets. My golden oak cabinets were builder's grade, so I opted for new paint-grade maple doors (not a great expense) and had everything professionally painted. I felt there was just no way I could have taken on the task of prepping and painting them by myself. I personally don't think the oak grain looks bad when well painted, but it does take more work. Looking back, I wouldn't have minded so much staining the oak a darker color on the lower cabinets. But I didn't want dark on top.

I have the same golden oak vanities in my bathrooms and I might try staining them darker myself, once I get this blasted kitchen done and I feel ready to take on a new project. Good luck making your decision, and let us know what you decide.

And thanks to your DH for his service to our country.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 3:27PM
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robin_DC

marinesgirl--if you search this forum for 'gel stain' you should pull up some threads about what people did to darken their oak cabinets.

linelle--where did you buy your doors? I'm considering doing the same (replacing the doors & having them painted).

    Bookmark   February 21, 2012 at 9:49PM
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boxerpups

I prefer the idea of gel staining oak rather than going
with white paint. Oak is a beautiful wood that gets beaten
down because of the golden 80s-90s look. Gel staining
shows the wood to it's finest glory.

There are a handful of GWebbers who have gone down this
beautiful gel stain path. It is not easy! However, There
are also companies that can do this too.

I am in the process of tryng to decide if I want to hire
someone to tackle a small bathroom project or DIY. I am in
the very early stages of removing wallpaper so I will let
you know in weeks how this project unfolds.

Meanwhile here are some pictures that might inspire.
~boxer

GW post Have you gel stained your oak cabinets?
http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/kitchbath/msg0609355831889.html

Gel Stain on Stock Kitchen Cabinets
http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/kitchbath/msg0111341112309.html%3F9

gel stain on oak?
http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/wood/msg1114224818712.html?13

Gel stain vs. Polyshades
http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/kitchbath/msg0113571013162.html

Here is a link that might be useful: scroll down to find link to Celtic Moon's beautiful space

    Bookmark   February 22, 2012 at 8:26AM
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