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cabinet doors


Im currently  working on refinishing about 45 cabinet drawers in my house and I'm wondering if there's a stain/ varnish remover available that will take off the top coat or baked on factory finish with out removing all of the stain / varnish so I can scuff them and repair the badly worn spots with a wiping stain and then apply a polyurethane topcoat. I have some TSP but am not sure if that will do what I need.

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Posted 2011-07-20T00:52:05+0000  by rayeagle1 rayeagle1

Hey Ray!


Glad you joined us at the Community!


The question you asked has more than one solution, but unfortunately not with the product you asked about.


Strippers (what you refer to as stain/varnish removers) are designed to remove surfaces in preparation for re-applying another coating. Most strippers remove the entire surface when used one or more times and will not meet your expectation to "take off the top coat or baked on factory finish without removing all of the stain / varnish."


If you do not want to take the entire finish off down to the wood, your solution would more likely be either PolyShades (stain and polyurethane in one) or GelStain followed by Polyurethane.


In either case, your preparation would only require buff sanding with a 220-grit sandpaper ... just enough to break the gloss on the surface of your cabinets. After wiping off the dust with a terry towel, you are ready to apply the new coat(s).


1) If you choose PolyShades, you will use a natural bristle brush to smooth on a coat, allow it to dry 6 hours, buff sand and wipe off dust again, and apply the next coat.


Resist the urge to brush this product back and forth like paint. You will create air bubbles on the surface. Smooth a coat in one direction (in-line with the grain of the wood) until the surface appears wet and then leave the product alone for six hours.


PolyShades is self-leveling and will become smoother as the six hour drying time passes.


2) If you choose GelStain, you will follow very similar application technique with a natural bristle brush, allow it to dry 4-6 hours, apply a second coat if you desire a darker color, allow it to dry 4-6 hours, and then apply several coats of polyurethane ... buff sanding with a 220-grit between each coat.


With either product, your initial preparation will not require use of harsh chemical ... only sandpaper.


3) If you choose to use stripping agents, follow the directions on the stripper to take the finish all the way down to the wood before you start back with traditional stains followed by polyurethane.


Finally, you mentioned repairing "badly worn spots."


These can be repaired with stainable wood filler. However, be prepared to pre-treat this area with color to help prevent the repair from showing through.


I love DIY projects, but I always caution my customers to try the repair on a sample piece before beginning the full project.


This will help ensure that you don't create secondary repairs.

Posted 2011-07-21T17:17:31+0000  by Pat_HD_ATL
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