New cabinet doors


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Old 09-09-05, 03:37 PM
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New cabinet doors

I will be buying unfinished cabinet doors and fronts (also will cover face frames). Probably maple or birch and possibly cherry. Stain will be lighter.

Any suggestions on pitfalls or tricks? I have heard some woods have different proprties regarding how they take stain and the amount of color change with age.

I had assumed sealer/stain and then brush on polyurethane. Spraying is a possiblity if I impose.

Thanx in advance.

Dick
 
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Old 09-09-05, 05:42 PM
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If you go with birch, maple or pine, you should use a "wood conditioner" first, such as Minwax Wood Conditioner. It helps soft or porous woods take stain evenly. Cherry is a hardwood, and a conditioner isn't needed, but wouldn't hurt anything. Cherry would obviously be the darker of the three before any stain is even applied.

I spray all my trim, and prefer Minwax stain because of its viscocity and deep penetration. It soaks in well and doesn't need a lot of wiping.

As for the finish coats, I prefer to spray a coat of sanding sealer or two first, then sand with 220 grit on flat surfaces or medium to fine steel wool for trim with lots of ridges. Waiting to sand after the 2nd coat of sealer is a good idea, since it's less likely that you'll sand through to bare wood. Sanding sealer is easier to sand and will give you a super smooth surface once you top coat it.

Once I've got the surface stained, sealed and sanded, I'll wipe everything down and blow it off with an air hose before spraying a final coat or two of polyurethane.

I've found that Valspar Polyurethane Sanding Sealer and Valspar Polyurethane work well together. I like the satin finish myself- not too glossy, not too dull. Minwax Polyurethane sucks. It's thin as water, takes forever to dry (despite saying that it's fast drying) and I haven't had good results with it. I'm sure there's other brands that folks here will recommend as well.

I've also used Diamond Vogel Catylized Lacquer on occasion when I need to coat something with several coats the same day. Lacquer dries quickly but it isn't as durable as polyurethane.

Spraying is great because its way faster, and you get a better finish, IMO.
 
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Old 09-13-05, 02:10 PM
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Originally Posted by XSleeper
If you go with birch, maple or pine, you should use a "wood conditioner" first, such as Minwax Wood Conditioner. It helps soft or porous woods take stain evenly. Cherry is a hardwood, and a conditioner isn't needed, but wouldn't hurt anything. Cherry would obviously be the darker of the three before any stain is even applied.
I'm not sure what "hardwood" means in your statement, but maple and birch are considered just as much a "hardwood" as cherry. But you're certainly right in that cherry doesn't need a conditioner. We use alkyd-based (fast drying) stains and we always wipe the wood (regardless of type) with natural/neutral stain base, allow to dry completely, and then stain with the desired color. Blotching is greatly reduced on most any wood.

BTW, I personally appreciated your (X-sleeper) advice on the polyurethane. I've used mostly Minwax, and, well, don't like polyurethane. So possibly I'm barking up the wrong tree in selection. I'll look for Valspar when needing poly.
 
 

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