Oak cabinet restain-before and after pics!

bahaccaJune 3, 2012

Got the doors put on a couple hours ago.


View from front entry

View from sunken dining room

View from if I'm standing by the garbage can in the first picture


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wow bahacca... so rich and EVEN! Great job!

    Bookmark   June 3, 2012 at 5:18PM
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Yes what a difference. They look great!

    Bookmark   June 3, 2012 at 5:20PM
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Wow! What did you use as stain? I would love to hear that it was some easy process (as opposed to sanding to bare wood and starting over). We also have oak cabs from the PO and while I love the layout, I don't love the look of them.

Please spill your secrets to such a great job!

    Bookmark   June 3, 2012 at 5:32PM
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Really great job. I like how it looks with the black appliances (don't know if your keeping them). I can see why you are looking at BA granite. It would look really nice but YOU have to decide what you really like.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2012 at 5:39PM
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FANTASTIC!! It looks new and so much more sophisticated. Great job!

    Bookmark   June 3, 2012 at 5:49PM
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Looks great! Amazing difference!

    Bookmark   June 3, 2012 at 5:55PM
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Engineerchic-the process is time consuming, but not overly difficult if that makes sense. A LOT of literal "waiting for paint to dry" time involved. Here is a detailed rundown:
1. Put on GOOD chemical resistant, but DISPOSABLE gloves, eye protection and a mask rated to prevent inhalation of nasty crap. I forget the number on mine I got. The stripper burns if it gets on your skin. Ask me how I know.
1. Apply Stripper-x with a paintbrush to surfaces. Do NOT get the "done in 15 minute" one. You must use the 1/2 hour one. Home Depot it is about $15/gallon. I think it took me a gallon and a half for the entire kitchen. Let it sit for 1/2 hour, maybe a bit longer.
2. Take a plastic putty knife and scrape the gunk into a cardboard box. It is basically striper mixed with stain from your old cabinets.
3.At this point, depending on what color you want, you may need to use the stripper again to pull ALL of the stain. When I did my first set of cabinets, I did them 2x and they revealed this wonderful light wood. I did this to my frame and one cabinet door in my kitchen and the result was near identical from 1 strip to the other, so I skipped the second dose of stripping the wood on my kitchen. Just depends on the wood they used I guess.
4. There will be leftover residue from the stripper. It is sticky! Use steel wool pads and mineral spirits and rags to remove all of the residue.
5. Mineral spirits wet the wood pretty well, so allow to dry before doing the next step. Also, after all of the scraping, odds are you won't want to sand right away regardless.
6. Sand down all surfaces. I used 220 grit for the cabinets and used a slightly more rough grit in areas I could tell the stripper had left a bit of old stain or finish behind.
7. Run over all surfaces to remove sawdust. I use a shopvac and then tack cloth.
8. Apply stain. I used Varathane Dark Walnut. I did NOT use gel stain which i know a lot of people here like. I THINK if I recall correctly I skipped it because it required sanding in between coats. The regular doesn't require this. I used sponge applicators-basically sponges that are wrapped in cloth sold in a 3 pack at home depot. You dip it in the stain and wipe. Easier than painting. Just go with the grain, start on the BACK of doors! Again, ask how I know this. Let dry 2 hours, apply another coat until desired color is reached. Do NOT try to cut corners on dry time. When you go to wipe on the second coat, it will pull the first off and make a MESS if not totally dry. I did 3 coats on mine. Did 2, it looked fine, did 3, it looked FABULOUS.
9. After the stain has dried 8 hours, you can apply polyurethane. I used varathane clear in Satin finish. I applied with a brush, just following the grain, making sure to cover all surfaces evenly. This stuff drips, so try not to slather it on. You need at least 2 coats. Allow 4 hours to dry between coats, but no more than 12 or you have to sand between coats. I always did one in the morning, one in the afternoon. The less sanding I have to do the better!
Allow to dry for about 24 hours then you can hang them.

I did these in my garage. They are not perfect. I have 2 dogs and I'm sure I can pull plenty of DNA from them to clone my dogs from their piece of fur that I couldn't avoid. One day I left them to dry my beagle figured she'd leave a permanent mark and WALKED on the doors! So, one of my doors has a faint paw print that I couldn't wipe out completely. I figured 10 years from now I'll look longingly at the door and remember my fur baby.
I did these all alone. Only help from my husband was helping rehang them and watching my girls when I was working. When doing the interior frames, make sure you do it on a nice, preferably breezy day as the stuff is nasty and needs to air out a LOT. If I had had help, one person doing the interior while the other was doing doors, drawers, it could have been done in a week. I figure day 1-strip and mineral spirits(all surfaces, front and back), day 2-sand(all surfaces) and stain(all surfaces/ BACK side of doors), day 3 polyurethane(all surfaces/BACK side of doors), day 4 dry, day 5 front of doors-stain, day 6 Front of doors-poly day 7 dry.
I had no help. I think my inner peninsula area took me about 3 days for the frame. Then we got a slab leak and had to use my kitchen budget to repipe the house(which you can see the scars of the 64 holes in my house on the ceilings and the wall in the pics)SO I let the doors sit for a while--like a long while-girls started school, winter hit, so weather wasn't ideal, I was Cookie mom for my daughter's troop. . . We lived without doors for months. Then I did the frames of the wall with the fridge 2 weeks ago and the doors this week.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2012 at 6:15PM
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debrak-we are keeping the appliances. No budget to replace them, they all work and we aren't on the stainless wagon, so... I got a black cook top, black hood and a Blanco Anthracite sink. I bought them over Memorial Day weekend, so I saved about $150 from my budget by buying then. I need to get lighting for over the peninsula, stools for when we build out the counter height bar and backsplash, but I'll wait to buy those until I know what counters I'll have.
And funny thing is, if I just looked at a picture online of my kitchen, I'd say BA would look really nice in the space. I just need something a bit more funky for ME. Again, if anyone has any ideas, toss them my way.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2012 at 6:28PM
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Very nicely done! The stain is so very warm and inviting!!! Once you decide on countertops, lighting, stools and backsplash it will be brand new and look forward to seeing the final vision!!! Good luck with continued progress!

    Bookmark   June 3, 2012 at 6:32PM
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They look great....lot's of hard work. I'm impressed!

    Bookmark   June 3, 2012 at 6:33PM
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Yikes. I'm thinking my oak cabs aren't so bad (after reading how much work it is to refinish them).

    Bookmark   June 3, 2012 at 6:54PM
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It is no easy task, that is for sure. My husband has lived in this house since he was 6 and I've been here 12 years, so for me, the time spent was worth it to make the space OURS(really MINE, since I'm the cook, but you know what I mean;-) )
Keep in mind I've been doing bits and pieces of the house since 2010-3 bathrooms, a bar, kitchen and large bay of cabinets in our hallway and stair rails. Only wood I didn't do (and will kill my husband if he brings it up) are the rails that you can see in some of the pictures. Those will come out when we do new flooring(slated for when our dogs die-they are 12 and 13, so I figure a few years), so there was no way in heck I was going to do all of that just to have them ripped out!

    Bookmark   June 3, 2012 at 7:01PM
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It's incredible how different and new a kitchen can look!

I'm pleased to see how nice your cathedral doors look. I think too many people are ripping out these cabinets too quickly. A nice door is beautiful!

You're certainly steadfast. :)
And it shows in such a beautiful space.
I hear this all the time and I pretty much want to slap the speaker silly, but I'm going to say it to you because you deserve this:

You can look at your beautiful kitchen and Proudly say, "Yes, I did it myself."


    Bookmark   June 3, 2012 at 10:51PM
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It looks great and you gave a great description of how to do it. I'm doing the same thing except using Citristrip because of the fumes inside. I can't wait to be finished and seeing yours is a real encouragement.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2012 at 11:01PM
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They look great. Beautiful job!

    Bookmark   June 3, 2012 at 11:11PM
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Those cabinets look WONDERFUL!! You are very industrious to take that on with the children and fur kids!

Have you seen any Galaxy White granite out there? I found a small piece for my bathroom. I t looks really good with the brown toile, and black cabinets. The piece I got is a little more "artistic" . Wish I had a picture.....

Good luck on the granite search!


    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 9:05AM
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You did a great job! I have to give you so much credit for patience and gumption in tackling this task. They look beautiful!

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 9:13AM
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The cabinets look GREAT ! You are going to be soooo happy when you find the granite.
I'm cracking up over the description of your dogs :) since my miss puss claims ownership of all regardless of whether it's freshly painted ! That's why I banish her to the bedroom...

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 9:26AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Wow! Looks like a brand new kitchen. I know it's a lot of work, but worth every minute of it...Well done!

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 9:54AM
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Great job! Sweat equity is a beautiful thing....

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 10:13AM
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What a fantastic job you did! Your kitchen looks transformed. My hat's off to you. I wish I'd had the confidence to refinish my oak cabinets, but I ended paying to have them painted and it certainly isn't cheap. You saved a bundle. Good job!!!

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 10:28AM
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WOW! You're a super hero! That's such a difficult undertaking! Oak is HARD to work with and yours turned out beautifully! After all that hard labor you deserve whatever granite makes you happy. Congrats on your gorgeous cabinets! They look brand new! I love the cathedral arch and that you have a bit of a doggy print. It makes it so yours!

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 10:57AM
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I would really love to see the pictures, but it says they've been removed or deleted. Is this a photobucket issue?

    Bookmark   June 9, 2012 at 11:36AM
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Let me fix the links for ya

    Bookmark   June 9, 2012 at 11:44AM
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FOrgot you couldn't edit posts here:


    Bookmark   June 9, 2012 at 11:49AM
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The color is most accurate on my screen in the second after picture, but in different light the tone does change.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2012 at 11:51AM
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