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Finished traditional cabinets turned out shiny! Help me "matte"

Posted by sanjuangirl (My Page) on
Tue, Jun 25, 13 at 0:14

My Cabinets were just hung in my kitchen remodel and they are shiny. Shiny was not at all what I was expecting or wanting. I had them lacquered as a last step to increase durability. I've read that we should do the lacquer to preserve the new finish. It was a large up charge in both money and a lot of additional time. I guess they used the wrong type of lacquer. The cabinets are antiqued and glazed in an old world style; that is , they were before the glaze application.
Does anyone know what might be done, if anything? I am heart sick.
Could an additional coat of matte lacquer be added to tone down the shine? I don't even know if there is such a thing as matte lacquer.

Please help if you can.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Finished traditional cabinets turned out shiny! Help me "matt

ask whomever did it


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RE: Finished traditional cabinets turned out shiny! Help me "matt

They're the ones that made the mistake, I thought I might be able to get advise here from paint experts.

I do hope someone here has a suggestion. Otherwise I guess I'll have to get used to it.


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RE: Finished traditional cabinets turned out shiny! Help me "matt

You can put the glossier top coats on first for durability and then use a lower sheen for the final finish. It's done with paints and poly. Marine varnish also has lower sheens. I don't know what finishes are available in "lacquer" though. Maybe it's also possible to do a hand rub on lacquer to dull and soften it, although it might become a bit cloudy.

You could check in Woodworking and on a fine furniture woodbuilding forum (there are some around on the net).

No testing or samples to view before they did this?


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RE: Finished traditional cabinets turned out shiny! Help me "matt

No we did not sample with the lacquer, only with the paint and glaze. I didn't see the lacquered cabinets finished until they were putting them up as in "finished".

Someone else posted that I should use super fine grade steel wool and that would dull them.

I'm going to try that on a spare door. Maybe I'll try the matte lacquer too.


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RE: Finished traditional cabinets turned out shiny! Help me "matt

DO NOT use steel wool, it will become imbedded in the finish and rust.. I doubt that is the look you are going for.


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RE: Finished traditional cabinets turned out shiny! Help me "matt

Get many opinions and, above all, talk to some fine woodworkers who make cabinetry and furniture. Look for technical articles/books. Not just conversations.

Don't do the whole door as a test. You will likely need to experiment a bit.

Have you talked with them yet?


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RE: Finished traditional cabinets turned out shiny! Help me "matt

I tried the steel wool on door I'm not going to use. It left tiny scratch marks. I also tried a magic eraser and it seemed to takr a bit of the sheen off.


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RE: Finished traditional cabinets turned out shiny! Help me "matt

You might try to french polish them. It's been years since I've done this but someone on the woodworking forum could walk you through it. It's done with fine pumice and I believe I used a mixture of mineral spirits and linseed oil. It takes time but it products a beautiful soft finish. I'm looking at a table I did 2O years ago and it's still beautiful.


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RE: Finished traditional cabinets turned out shiny! Help me "matt

"I tried the steel wool on door I'm not going to use. It left tiny scratch marks. "

They use very fine steel wool for finishes. 0000 or maybe even above.

Please let us know how you solve this!


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RE: Finished traditional cabinets turned out shiny! Help me "matt

rub out using 0000 steel wool or a very fine scotchbrite pad (white or light gray) if you have steel wool rust paranoia (I've never seen it happen in 40 years of finishing and refinishing using steel wool). I'd use some linseed oil with the steel wool. Polish with the grain, not across it. You can also dull a finish using an auto polishing compound (the kind that has some abrasive in it).

Pumice and rottenstone and a lot of work can produce whatever sheen you want and a beautiful finish. My kitchen cabinets don't get that level of care!


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RE: Finished traditional cabinets turned out shiny! Help me "matt

Try KRUD-CUTTER, it cuts the sheen on oil based enamels.

And yes there are low sheen lacquers, even in the DIY spray can, by VARATHANE.


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RE: Finished traditional cabinets turned out shiny! Help me "matt

Be careful applying other things on a laquered finish.

I think my first step would be to talk to the cabinet people.
If they are unable to help, I'd use an old decoupage method.

Take 300 grit sand paper. It's almost smooth. That and water, baby or mineral oil and in small circles, polish the finish. It will take the sheen off and not leave any scratches nor metalic pieces like steel wool.

Believe it or not, don't press too hard!


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