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Refinishing rough veneer on kitchen cabinets

Posted by ranch57 (My Page) on
Tue, Dec 16, 08 at 14:53

I'd like to do some work on our kitchen cabinets to protect them. We just bought this older house a year ago, and this is my first experience with unpainted wood cabinets. The doors (particleboard), drawer fronts and face-frames (plywood) - are covered with a wild-grained oak veneer which was stained a orangeish colour. Some surfaces are still smooth, but most of the doors have a slightly rough texture (when I brush my fingers across the grain) which I think indicates the finish has worn off at least partly. Also, most of the doors had lots of fingerprint stains which I've mostly been able to clean off. I think its been years since they've had any attention.

I'm wondering if there are steps I can take to further protect the surface? Could I just put some polyurethane or some other finish on the doors, or do they need to be lightly sanded first? Should I wax them or something like that? I'm not sure what the current finish is. We'll eventually replace the doors or even all the cabinetry, but other parts of the house need more attention. So, I'm looking for suggestions on how to protect the surfaces over the next 5-10 years. Happy to do the work, so long as costs are relatively minimal.


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RE: Refinishing rough veneer on kitchen cabinets

Depending on the roughness, it may be possible to smooth out the surfaces with fine steel wool. Depending on the depth of the color, any abrasive action may change the color. You can further clean the surfaces and remove any old wax by cleaning the surfaces with mineral spirits. Once this has been accomplished you could seal the surfaces with polyurethane. It will probably require a couple of coats with steel wooling with 2/0 between coats.


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