Stripping and re-staining cabinets

Old 12-10-06, 07:31 AM
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Stripping and re-staining cabinets

In relationship to my other "door" thread:
(I want to replace my existing doors and "re-stain" the cabinet box front.

I was wondering what the proper way is to remove the existing coat of my cabinet fronts. My cabinets look like a standard natural/goldish oak.
I don't even know what they used to put on top of it. What is common? Some lacquer? How could I find out what it is and what the proper removal technique would be?

I would like to make my cabinets white (with showing wood grain). How are the manufactures do that? White stain and then protect it with lacquer?
Old 12-10-06, 09:36 AM
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Stripping down the cabinets could best be done with Formby's system, but it requires a good deal of elbow grease. The results will be very satisfactory, however. I am sure there are other stripping media out there, just be careful, as some are quite caustic. You need to protect any and all surfaces with any stripping action.
As for the stain you are looking for, I believe it will be a "pickling" stain, which will give a whitish look, but the grain will show through.
Old 12-10-06, 12:39 PM
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Most of the pickling stains I've used have had a slight pink cast. Most any paint store can mix up most any stain color you desire. Since oil base poly/varnish tends to yellow, you may wish to use a waterbase poly for the finish coats.
Old 12-28-06, 11:01 AM
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Are there any other methods other than using pickling stain?
I assume any paint (even a thinned one) will cover my wood grain?

Has anyone used a white stain like this:
I assume other manufactures have similar products.
Old 12-28-06, 06:29 PM
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Another option would be to get matching veneer, instead of refinishing. Not recommending this - this is an example.
Old 12-29-06, 09:16 AM
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You may just need to sand to remove the top coat--but work on a door that you are not going to use or the inside of an existing door to see if this will work.

Assuming you can sand the top coat off without damaging too much of the stain, and assuming the golden yellow or red of the stain (I'm guessing on the colors) doesn't interfere with the "pickling" or white wash, you may be able to apply a wash then top coat. While you can use stain, another method and the older method, is to use paint. I did some pine cabinets years ago. Thin white paint (I used oil, but it did yellow) using the appropriate solvent, you want it thinned to light cream consistency, but it will still be opaque. Paint this on your cabinets (it drips so use lots of dropcloths) let it soak in for a few seconds and while still wet rub off following the grain. How much you remove is up to you. If the paint has started to "tack" or set, you can use some plain solvent on the rag to help remove it. Let dry, then top coat with a water based poly.

If you have to remove the stain, it's a whole new ballgame. I prefer to use "Peel Away" strippers, and they are less caustic and work better than Formby's products--however, none of the strippers are particularly great for removing stains without a lot of work.

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