New kitchen cabinet lighter than others - how do I darken the finish?

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Old 03-17-10, 06:50 AM
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New kitchen cabinet lighter than others - how do I darken the finish?

I was in the annoying position of wanting to remove a 30x30 cabinet above the range and replace it with a 30x18 cabinet and an OTR microwave beneath (because we have terrible counter space). Problem: cabinet finish on existing cabinets is discontinued. The rest of the kitchen is Kraftmaid "Muslin" finish. Shopped around a lot and finally found a custom shop which had a REALLY convincing style and finish match, so I bit the bullet and ordered it ($250). It was either that or trash the whole kitchen and pay $7K to get all new cabinets - that was not going to happen.

Problem is, I just got the new cabinet home and it is really noticably much lighter than the existing cabinets (more than the color swatch in the shop indicated). If the new and old were across the room from one another you'd never notice the difference, but the difference is quite noticable installed direclty adjacent to the old one. The thing would be perfect if I could do something to darken it just by one shade.

So the Question is: does anyone know of a product (stain, polish, etc.) and/or technique to just slightly darken the finish on a pro-finished cabinet? Would be amazingly grateful for a solution to this!
 
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Old 03-17-10, 11:58 AM
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Cabinet

Can you tell us what type of stain and final finish coat are on the new cabinet?
 
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Old 03-17-10, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Wirepuller38 View Post
Can you tell us what type of stain and final finish coat are on the new cabinet?
Oh boy, no, I am no expert on that sort of thing. I actually tracked down the cabinet maker and the specific name of the finish, if that helps you at all - the cabinet maker is Brighton Cabinetry, the wood is oak and the finish is called Frost. Here is the link, if it will work:

Brighton Cabinetry

Beyond that, unfortunately I'm just no expert on this. The finish coat is not really glossy at all, if that's what you're getting at. Running my fingers over it I can actually feel the wood grain, not just polyurithane, so it leads me to believe maybe it could be very very lightly sanded and amended... but I don't know. I also know the cabinet fronts are solid wood, not veneer, which probably helps my case, I'm guessing?
 
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Old 03-17-10, 01:53 PM
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Have you had much of a discussion with the cabinet man about the finish not matching? Assuming he's not willing to make it match, ask him what type of finish he used, specifically if a tinted poly like minwax's polyshades could be used over his finish [with a light sanding first]

Tinted poly works well for altering the color of sealed wood. It can be tricky to apply because any runs,drips,etc will have more color. Thin or missed spots will be lighter and aren't easily touched up Tinted polys can't be overbrushed
Whenever using a tinted poly it's best to apply a clear poly over it to protect the color from wearing off.

btw - welcome to the forums!
 
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Old 03-18-10, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by marksr View Post
Have you had much of a discussion with the cabinet man about the finish not matching? Assuming he's not willing to make it match, ask him what type of finish he used, specifically if a tinted poly like minwax's polyshades could be used over his finish [with a light sanding first]

Tinted poly works well for altering the color of sealed wood. It can be tricky to apply because any runs,drips,etc will have more color. Thin or missed spots will be lighter and aren't easily touched up Tinted polys can't be overbrushed
Whenever using a tinted poly it's best to apply a clear poly over it to protect the color from wearing off.

btw - welcome to the forums!
The cabinet dealer was very careful to make notes all over my contract noting that the finish was not a perfect match, just to CYA. I mean, I knew it wasn't perfect and I was willing to live with a small difference, but I just thought it was a closer match than it actually turned out. I asked the salesperson if there was anything I could do to slightly darken the finish and she was quick to say that nothing like that is recommended. Not surprised -they don't want to be in a position where they recommend something, have it turn out bad and have me come back and blame them. CYA is the name of the game, unfortunately, which is unhelpful for me.

Anyway, one thing that weighs in my favor is that the cabinet came with a piece of fill stock and I only need a small bit. With the scrap, I can test a product before committing to doing the entire cabinet. I will definitley try the polyshades you're talking about - thanks for the tip. Anyone else know of a product that might fit this bill? I can try to test multiple products on the fill stock. I also took a couple snapshots of the cabinets in question so you can see what I'm working with. I'll need to find a stain or poly that slightly darkens and also brings a darkish yellow tint in order to get closer to the original:

http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/e...inet/photo.jpg

http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/e...net/photo2.jpg
 
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Old 03-18-10, 10:38 AM
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That's going to be a tough one. Some of that yellowing will come with age. Oil base poly and varnish naturally amber as they age.

You might take a sample of your new cabinet stock and maybe a drawer or door from the original cabinets to your local paint store and see what they suggest to get the coloring right. By paint store I mean a store that specializes in paint like SWP or Ben. Moore. Your typical paint dept wouldn't have help knowledgeable enough to help you.
 
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Old 03-18-10, 02:07 PM
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I am not from the IL area but if it the shop was my customer, I could help him by using a tinted lacquer and shading the set. Perhaps if you talk to the cabinet maker you could get his to do this. Basically we tint a lacquer then thin it and spray it. Then do one more clear coat over the top. Kinda like Polyshads but a more even application and a superior finish.
 
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Old 03-23-10, 12:37 PM
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Cabinet

Thanks for the good info. Alas, the cabinetmaker is in Illinois and I'm in Maryland, so I can't really go ask them to do that. And as I mentioned, I was basically stonewalled by the retailer. I think my next step will definitely be heading over to the sherwin williams shop right around the corner and seeing what they recommend in the way of a tinted stain or lacquer. Appreciate the advice!
 
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Old 06-06-10, 11:29 AM
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so. what happened ? .....................
 
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