Kitchen cabinet refinishing question

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Old 04-27-14, 07:36 AM
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Kitchen cabinet refinishing question

Hi,

I recently finished the tedious task of stripping the old finish from my kitchen cabinets throughout, now that I'm done I decided that I like the natural oak and ash look of said cabinets, the only trouble is, the oak wants to turn orange in color after applying clear matte varnish.
On the backside of a cabinet door, I experimented a bit mixing in some picked oak color wood stain (the lightest color wood stain I could find) with the clear varnish I was using as a means of hopefully retaining the natural blond-flaxen color tone of the natural oak, however, the surface apparently wasn't thirsty (porous) enough to want to absorb any of the added stain even after I'd stripped away the old finish with two individual applications of supreme 15 minute stripper (meth cloride based stripper).

My next step is uncertain, not sure what my options might be.
Any ideas or suggestions would be immensely appreciated.

Thanks for reading and taking the time to respond.

Robert,

San Jose, Ca.
 
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Old 04-27-14, 10:48 AM
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Welcome to the forums Robert!

I'm not fond of apply a tinted poly/varnish over raw wood unless spraying - it's too hard to control an even coat. Just adding stain to varnish does little more than thin the varnish, to tint the varnish you'd need to dig the pigments out of the bottom of the stain can and mix that in with varnish.

I'd work with stain only to get the desired colored and then apply the varnish. Did you do any sanding after stripping?

While I prefer how oil base poly/varnish deepens the colors naturally in the wood, a water based poly will pretty much leave the wood color as is, only providing a sheen.
 
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Old 04-29-14, 09:59 PM
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Hello marksr,


Thanks very much for your input,



I'm not fond of apply a tinted poly/varnish over raw wood unless spraying - it's too hard to control an even coat. Just adding stain to varnish does little more than thin the varnish, to tint the varnish you'd need to dig the pigments out of the bottom of the stain can and mix that in with varnish.
.
I'd work with stain only to get the desired colored and then apply the varnish. Did you do any sanding after stripping?
Thanks for clarifying this. I guess the main trouble I'm having is, the oak in this particular project just simply will not stain (the ash veneer cabinet faces otoh are absorbing the color the stain when tested on the inside of a cabinet door) and I'm afraid if sand too much I'll end up sanding away or damaging details, i.e. the routed details, ogees and such.

If worse comes to worst, I'll find a painter who specializes in spray painting cabinets and go that route.

Fortunately I have no real time constraints on this job, so we'll see what develops in the mean time.

Thanks for the warm welcome and your input, please do chime in if or as things come to mind. I'm glad I found this resource, I'm a perennial do it yourselfer who sometimes think I have all the right answers... putting those answers into practice, well, that's another story sometimes... isn't it?

-out
 
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Old 04-30-14, 06:04 AM
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What grit sandpaper are you using? Fine sandpaper can close up the wood grain making it harder for the wood to accept the stain. Generally 120-150 grit is as fine as you want to sand prior to applying stain.

Different species of wood don't always stain the same. When the color differences aren't acceptable it isn't uncommon to use a different stain on each species to make the color more uniform.
 
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