02-01-2012 10:16 AM
Hi! I recently purchased laminate wood floors for my kitchen, but when I brought them home, I realized they are the exact same color as my cabinets. I've been wanting to change the color of my cabinets to a darker color anyways, and figured this would motivate me to get it done. However, I'm just now realizing that while my cabinets, cabinet doors, and drawers are all real wood, the sides of the cabinets where the cabinets end) are laminate. It appears that the home builders glued a laminate wood piece to the ends to save some money on the project. I would love to stain the cabinets a dark cherry color or paint them a dark brown, but I'm not sure what my options are. My first choice is to stain, and I've heard that there is a "wood stamp" that I could use after staining the laminate, but I've also heard that you can not stain laminate. I'm so confused as to what my options are, can anyone help? Thanks!
02-01-2012 11:17 AM - edited 02-01-2012 11:18 AM
Welcome to our community SpongeBobsMom!
My name is Christine and I’m a paint associate at The Home Depot in Atlanta.
When I read your question, the first product that popped into my head was the Cabinet Transformations Kit by Rust-Oleum. It will work so well on your wood and laminate that you won’t be able to tell where your wood ends and your laminate begins. This kit has everything you need including, but not limited to, deglosser, DVD tutorial and stir sticks.
There is also a pretty extensive thread on this community that discusses this product at great length. There are a wide range of colors for you to choose from, as well. With this product you will be able to see the wood grain you desire. The darker the color that you choose, however, the less you will be able to see the wood grain. Stop by your local store to check out the colors available.
I hope that this helps you out!
Let us know if we can help with anything else,
I am a Home Depot Store Associate, trained and authorized to help people on the Internet.
02-04-2012 02:43 AM
You will not be able to truly stain your cabinets without stripping them. A true stain must penetrate into the wood, but the present finish prevents that. Stripping cabinets is a very labor intensive chore. Further, it is very difficult to get wood that has had a finish to go to a darker stain, as it is difficult to open the grain as it once was as virgin wood. I state this because you indicate that you would like to go to a dark cherry color. Also, if your cabinets are of oak, the prior pigments get deep into the grain and are nearly impossible to remove. Unlike refinishing a wooden floor, you cannot remove a 1/16th inch of wood or more, certainly not from the panels which will undoubtedly be merely thin oak veneer.
The vinyl end panels on your cabinets are the least of the potential work. Such panels can be covered with genuine oak veneer or with "door skins". Door skins are very thin plywood with a veneer of oak or other premium woods attached to the surface. The face frame of cabinets such as yours commonly overlap the sides of the cabinet by about 1/8th inch. this allows a door skin to be applied to the side and be flush to the edge of the face frame.
All this being said, you can re-stain your cabinets if you are willing to do the work.
There is another alternative: Minwax has a product called Poly-Shades. Poly-Shades is a urethane varnish which has stain pigments suspended in it. You can varnish right over the existing finish to produce a color change. Obviously, the cabinets must first be cleaned and lightly scuff sanded. Since the color is in the varnish, each additional coat will somewhat darken the color. One caveate: Poly-Shades is not compatible with certain lanquers and other finishes. I would first make a test on the back of one of the doors to check for compatibility. If after 24 hours, the finish cannot be lightly scratched off, you are probably safe to proceed. If you have problems with adhesion, you can first put a coat of de-waxed shellac on the cabinets and then procede with the Poly-
Shades. The spray cans of shellac sold at Home Depot are de-waxed, the regular shellac is not. If you want a brushing version of de-waxed shellac, you will have to located Zinssers' "Seal Coat". Unfortunately, HD does not sell this.
Finally, as the previous post stated, there is Cabinet Transformation. this is a system which contains all you need to clean your cabinets and apply a color coat of solid acrylic paint. You then have the option of applying a glaze coat over it to give a grained and antiqued appearance. A clear final coat is then put over it. Oak cabinets look particularly good with the glaze because the glaze gets caught in the deep graining of the wood.
Of course, there is the option of merely painting the cabinets with a solid colored quality paint such as Behr's Ultra. This would give you almost unlimited color choices. Ultra is self-priming. After cleaning and scuff sanding, you go straight to the cabinets with the Ultra without a dedicated primer.
I hope this has shed some light on your options. I have glossed over the actual processes involved, such as stripping, but would be happy to elucidate further if you wish.
02-07-2012 09:43 AM
Christine and Ordjen - Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge on this matter! Since you both suggested the Rustoleum Cabinet Transformations, I think I will try that. I've gone to their website and looked at everything they have to say (and then read it again!), and I think I am up for this challenge. I've never in my life done something like this, and even though I know its not going to be as easy as they make it look, I'm hoping I can do this without screwing it up! I like the fact that it comes with a DVD, which I can follow and refer back to in case I get stuck.... If I were to do this on my own, I'm pretty sure I would get lost. The Rustoleum Transformation website has even inspired me to want to change my countertops, so if this project goes over well, I will redo my countertops next and have a completely "new" kitchen. Thank you both for the quick responses and wish me luck!