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How to restain bathroom cabinets

How Do I re-stain bathroom cabinets?

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Posted 2013-12-26T22:11:21+0000  by Sherri-Vitalo Sherri-Vitalo




To re-stain a cabinet, first the old finish must be totally removed, otherwise the new stain will not penetrate into the wood. For most cabinets the best stripping process is by use of chemical strippers.


Unfortunately, very few cabinets are constructed completely of solid wood. The sides are most often veneered wood, or even only a vinyl with photographed grain upon it. Obviously, this material is not strippable at all. Further, many framed paneled doors have only veneered plywood in the center. The import of veneered surfaces is that the paper thin veneer cannot be adequately sanded to allow new stain to penetrate.


The most effective strippers are still those which are caustic, containing methylene chloride. You must where gloves rated for stripping to protect your hands. Eye protection is advisable too. Good ventilation is also important with these type strippers. Two brands available at Home Depot which are particularly effective are: Klean Strip Premium Stripper and Jasco Premium Paint & Epoxy Remover.


The stripper is applied liberally. You can litrally pour amounts of the stripper on the horizontal doors and just push it along with a brush.  After a few minutes, the old finish will wrinkle up at which time the majority  can be scraped away. Another thin coat is then applied, but this time, medium grade steel wool is used in strokes with the grain. When the wood looks clean, it can be wiped down with paper towels wetted with lacquer thinner. This will leave the wood clean of the stripper and ready for the new stain.


Be aware that stripped wood is rarely as opened grain as the once virgin wood. It is reluctant to take stains which are significantly darker or lighter than the original finish. You can change the color, but how dramatically lighter or darker is somewhat limited.


Oil based penetrating stains, such as those by MinWax, are the easiest to use. The latex based stains just dry too fast. Oil stains are applied liberally, allowed to penetrate into the wood, and then the excess is wiped off. After several hours of drying in a warm, non-humid environment, the cabinet will be ready for a protective varnish coat.


Oil or water based urethane varnishes give a hard, durable finish. If using the water based, give the oil stained cabinet extra drying time. A minimum of two coats of varnish is neccessary for protection. However a third and fouth coat will assure many hears of good wear.


The spray cans of oil urethane varnish give an especially good, factory like finish, free of any brush marks. The choice of sheen is one of personal choice. All are equally durable.


Hope this has been of help.

Posted 2013-12-27T01:50:11+0000  by ordjen
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