Help! gel stained cabinets too glossy.

10yearprojectJanuary 20, 2013

Hi, I am new but have been lurking these forums for years. I appreciate all of the great advice and ideas I have gotten. I tried searching and can't find the answer to this dilemma.

I just did a section of our kitchen cabinets using Celticmoon's gel stain process over honey oak cabinets. When it came time to seal them, I used Minwax's polycrylic in satin sheen. It is as glossy as if I had used a high gloss finish! Every single fingerprint shows and I am stumped at how to fix this or why this happened. I only applied 2 coats. (Maybe I didn't stir it enough before applying?) Preferably the answer is not to sand and start over. I have learned my lesson, when I do the next phase of the kitchen I will use the General Finishes sealer. Can these cabinets be saved?

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Don't worry, they can be saved. What you need to do is an old woodworkers trick. You may have to search a little to find this, but get some 0000 steel wool. Do NOT use regular steel wool - it must be the 0000. This is an extremely fine wool that you can use to 'scuff' the finish. Don't do this in a circular motion; use straight lines and it would be best if you used a product like 'Elbow Grease' with it. You run less chance at having visible marks left if you use some sort of lubricant. At this point a lot of woodworkers would say to recoat it with a lower sheen, but since you used satin I hesitate to recommend anything else. If you use a different product over the top of the Minwax you will need more and different prep.
Go lightly with the steel wool; it doesn't take a lot of pressure and again, you will have less chance at visible marks if you do.
Best of luck,

    Bookmark   January 21, 2013 at 10:55AM
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You didn't stir it enough ... the satin sheen particles are hard to get off the bottom of the can.

The 0000 steelwool, or an ultra-fine sanding sponge (400 grit) will dull the finish a bit for you.

If you can get pool filter diatomaceous earth, it makes a great gloss killer. Make a paste of it in some lemon oil and rub in straight lines, with the grain, then remove the lemon oil residue with mineral sprits.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2013 at 12:39PM
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"diatomaceous earth"

Wear a mask when mixing this! It's very fine airborne particles, like fiberglass.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2013 at 1:01PM
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"diatomaceous earth"

Yes, I believe it is touted as helpful in bed bug control too (not implying anything just read you sprinkle it where they hide out).

    Bookmark   January 22, 2013 at 7:11PM
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