Refinishing cabinets


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Old 03-12-07, 07:39 AM
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Refinishing cabinets

Hey guys,

I'm in a bit of a bind. I'm re-doing the kitchen cabinets and decided to re-finish the doors instead of replacing. They are your typical flat melamine with oak handles about 1" tall running the entire width of the bottom of the door.

I've spent numerous hours sanding the handles down to the point where they resemble new wood. I then applied an oil based stain from Benjamin Moore. It is a dark walnut. The problem I am running into is the stain is not taking in certain areas. When I wipe it off after about 15 minutes, it is coming completely off in some areas, more so in the groove of the handle where one's fingers would go to open the door.

I'm at a loss here, am I simply not sanding it down enough? To my untrained eye it looked pretty close to unfinished wood after sanding. Any help would be appreciated.

I should mention that the previous finish was a natural stain with a poly finish.
 
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Old 03-12-07, 08:23 AM
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One of the things I've found is that most people in an effort to make sanded wood feel really good, is that they tend to sand the surface too slick. If you've sanded the cabinets and handles with anything smoother than a 150 grip garnet sandpaper, it's probably too slick to absorb the stain evenly. where you have the light areas, resand the area (going with the grain) with 120 grit and reapply your stain. This should allow it to absorb more stain and make the color more even.

Try it and get back with us with your results!!

C D
 
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Old 03-12-07, 08:31 AM
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That's something I considered so I actually switched to an 80 grit.
 
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Old 03-12-07, 08:32 AM
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In the areas where the stain does not take, wipe with mineral spirits. If the area does not darken as the rest, then the surface is contaminated with something, likely the old finish. It will need to be removed, stripping is best, before the stain will take. Wiping with mineral spirits will show places where old glue, finish, and fingerprints are still present and need removing. Mineral spirits will evaporate without harming the finish, wood, or leaving a residue.

Hope this helps.
 
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Old 03-12-07, 08:56 AM
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So this is my next plan of attack, please correct me if I'm wrong.

I'll start from scratch, using a stripper and sanding. Am I best to strip first and sand second or the other way around? Is there a stripper that you would recommend?
 
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Old 03-12-07, 09:07 AM
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If you choose to go that way, apply the remover first, allow it to sit for 10 to 15 minutes. Scrape off the finish residue and scrub down with soap and warm water.
After this is good and dry, proceed to sand with 120 grit sandpaper. The 80 grit you have is really too coarse for what you are working with!

Let us know if you have any questions!
 
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Old 03-12-07, 09:14 AM
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I appreciate all the input. I will give this a go tonight and let you know how I make out.

Will any old remover do or is there one specific for stain as opposed to paint?
 
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Old 03-12-07, 09:20 AM
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Just about any brand will do. I'd be sure and get a semi-paste remover. The store brands are just as good as the name brand removers and are normally a little less costwise.
 
 

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