Refinishing cabinets: Take advice from old timer wood worker, or

heidibellsMay 20, 2008

the Home Depot????? We're Restaining 1980's oak cabinets to match the rest of the fir woodwork in our 1920 Bungalow. (yes, there really is a special place in hell for people who rip out original cabinetry and woodwork from old homes) I'm getting conflicting advice as how to get the right color.

The home Depot suggested Ployshades. I tried a test spot with Polyshades (2 colors) and got it to took 3 coats of Olde maple and 2 coats of Walnut....5 coats! At this rate, I should be done by 2012. Here is what an Old-timer (88 yrs old)woodworker suggested:

Sand, stain(real stain, not polyshades),polyurethane, and stain again and then Poly. He said it will look better and will take less time because satin is easier to control than Sticky Polyshades and less dry time. Then he followed up with "Ya know, back in my day..." and repeated the same advice.

Who do I listen to?

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Stain does not stick to any finish of which I am aware.

You might experiment with dark shades of shellac---which will stick to most surfaces.

See the link below or the following:

Here is a link that might be useful: shellac

    Bookmark   May 20, 2008 at 10:50AM
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I have friends that work at Home Depot and friends that work at Lowe's (they were friends before they started there). But in general, the people that work behind the paint counter at either are not knowledgeable in anything other than putting formula into the machine and a can of paint into the shaker. They are the last people I would take wood finishing advice from. As soon as the word, "Polyshades" came out of their mouth in a recommendation, I'd be out the door. Five coats of polyshades!!!! You can get the same result with two coats of paint.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2008 at 9:43PM
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WOW! The old-timer was right! I did a test spot with his method and it looks great!
I sanded, stained, poly'd, light sand, stained and poly'd again and it worked!
That Polyshades crap can go to the same place the people who ripped out original wood work go!

    Bookmark   May 21, 2008 at 10:27AM
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Another friend, who runs his own store, is fond of saying, "Polyshades is the worst thing that ever happened to a can."

I was working trying to fix up my FIL's estate, four states away, and thought Polyshades might do something. I got the lid off the can, stirred it up, took one stroke, wiped it off, cleaned it up, put the lid back on the can and returned it. Since then, I have seen other people's attempts at using it and wish they had done the same. One looked like vomit, except that would be insulting to vomit.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2008 at 9:29PM
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polyshades is the one coat wonder for people who want a quick finish. It also has to be put on just right else it looks like crap. Better off with a gel stain.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2008 at 11:26PM
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