Need Advice-Refinishing kitchen cabinets w/oil


  #1  
Old 11-15-05, 08:04 PM
Sharon ES
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Need Advice-Refinishing kitchen cabinets w/oil

I'm looking for advice on how to refinish my kitchen cabinets. They are light colored oak and about 25+ years old. They look as if they've never been finished with anything more than an oil finish. The upper cabinets still look good and I like the "non-slick" appearance of their finish. The problem is the lower cabinets which get a lot more use and don't look so great anymore. They've lot their color in places and look worn.
Here's where I need advice:
1. To get started, what type of cleaning product should I use on the cabinets (since they have little or no finish on them, I don't want to damage the wood).
2. Should I sand the cabinets very much, and if so what grit should I use?
3. What comes next? Staining? Or will the oil finish bring the color back?
3. What type of oil finish would make the most sense for kitchen cabinets, tung oil, danish oil???
4. How many coats would be needed (without making them look shiney).
5. Is it a good idea to put a paste wax over them afterwards, and will they need to be re-oiled every few years to keep them looking good?
Thanks so much for any advice anyone can provide --Sharon
 
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Old 11-28-05, 07:12 PM
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Oil (boiled linseed oil) looks great but is a pain in the rumpus in the durability and cleanability department. Forget the oil if you are a messy person like me! You'll have to re-oil them more often than you'll want to.

I'd personally coat them with a polyurethane. You can get a dull sheen poly that will not look as slick---- a good "Wipe-on poly" goes on thinner and may be the look you want. Only stain them if you really want a dark color or if the sanding process below yeilds an ugly color. Wipe-on poly, BTW, will warm up and deepen the color of the wood.

I'd start on one door--- remove it from the cabinet----- and only do the back (ie, inconspicuous), and sand the door with a power sander (a random-orbit sander, a worthwhile investment in your case!!) with 100 grit. If the door comes clean reasonably quickly, hit it with 120 and then 150 to smooth out and give a nice look. I'd go no higher than 150 or 180.

Give the door a coat of wipe-on poly and let dry overnight, scuff sand with 220 sandpaper (do by hand, not with power sander, and sand in the direction of the grain, all you're doing is intentionally marring up the previous poly coat so the second coat will have some scratches to bite into, no need to sand yourself tired). Give it a second coat, dry overnight. Should look good enough for you.


If the above process works for the door back, yank them off the cabinets and do them all that way! And then sand the face frames and do two or three coats of "wipe on". You'll very quickly be glad you dumped $60 or so for the random orbit sander. Get a good brand like Bosch, Makita, Rigid, it will last you many many years. We have a 6" Makita in our cabinet shop that has been used and abused and seems to enjoy it.
 
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Old 11-29-05, 04:18 PM
Sharon ES
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Thanks for the tip

Hi, I just wanted to say thanks for your suggestions and in particular the idea about doing the backside of a cabinet door first, what a great wayto test out whatever I decide to do! Thanks again!
 
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Old 11-30-05, 04:10 PM
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Glad to help. I do it on a daily basis. If I'm not building them, I'm staining/painting them! In fact I have a pile I have to primer and topcoat tomorrow.
 
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Old 01-15-06, 01:46 AM
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Help

Hi,
I am looking to refinish my kitchen cabinets, they are a natural wood colour with a poly finish. They have simple mouldings on them. I wanted to do two things: 1. Sand the mouldings off to get a clean simple flat cabinet door, and 2. Paint the cabinets white.

My questions are as follows:
1. Can I sand the mouldings off?
2. What grit would I have to use?
3. Will I have to prime them before I paint them?
4. What kind of paint should I use?

Any help would really help

Thanks
 
 

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