Staining painted cabinets

missrandeeJuly 14, 2008


This is my 1st post and I'm excited to have joined the board. A little background, I bought this house 2 years ago and I'm ready to re-do the house. The kitchen cabinets are a lovely "smoker's yellow" color and I HATE it. So the cabinets are wood but I'm looking to stain them. Here's a link

So I've started priming them with Zinser primer. and I'm looking to stain them to look like the pictures in the links. Suggestions? What color do I need to paint them as a base coat over the primer? Should I used oil based or latex? I'm going to use the gelstain by Miniwax but I can't figure out what colors...? If I use the gel stain do I even need to paint a base coat?

Thanks, this is my 1st staining project so I'm lost!

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Stain should be applied over raw wood, not wood that has already been painted. Once they are painted you are sort of stuck unless you want to be creative and do a faux or some kind or woodgraining or strip the cabinets and start fresh. Woodgraining is a pretty advanced technique and even those that do it perfectly still can't get it to look like real wood. Stripping is very labor intensive and should only be done if the wood is worth saving. Some cabinets are built with a paint grade type of wood that is not worthy of staining or they may be constructed with melamine or some other type of veneer.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2008 at 7:31PM
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In another post on this forum :

a lady "stained" her cabinets with gel stain. On the canister that I saw at home depot it says "Use on wood, plywood, fiberglass, metal and other surfaces!"

so if my cabinets are primered...why can't i stain them?

    Bookmark   July 14, 2008 at 11:34PM
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I was looking at the doors you posted in your pics. You can't really achieve that particular look staining over a painted surface but you can do something creative. Go for it.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2008 at 12:10AM
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Brushworks Spectacular Finishes


You can stain over primer, however the wood grain will be masked. It will have the appearance of a base coat (whatever color base you choose) and a glaze (stain) which you can brush on and wipe away. The surface will need a clear coat to protect the finish.

As paintguy suggests, you'll need to be creative to achieve good results.


    Bookmark   July 15, 2008 at 9:39AM
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