Advice Please!! Restaining bathroom cabinets

Old 06-14-13, 07:16 PM
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Advice Please!! Restaining bathroom cabinets

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I would like to remodel my master bathroom. I have what I once thought were Maple cabinets, not even 8 years old. Please see attached pictures, after looking at my kitchen cabinets I am questioning if they are even solid wood. See how underneath it looks like plywood. Everyone thinks I should leave them alone but I would like them to be a little darker to match the tile I will be installing.

I have gone to the 3 major hardware stores around me asking them for advice but can never get any consistent recommendations.

They have said:
1. 150 grit sand and stain with PolyShade
2. Liquid sandpaper, oil based stain rubbing on not brush, then coat of sealant (brush or spray)
3. Sand, gel stain, then poly
4. One even handed me a Rust-oleum cabinet transformation kit and said, "just about anyone can do it" (insert belittling pat on the head)
Note: I have bought every product recommended except kit

I have done some projects in the past, one being restoring two beautifully carved wooden chairs. Stripping, sanding, conditioning, staining, and poly. I am not oppose to some elbow grease and getting dirty. Money is not the issue for wanting to restain, so if I have to go out and buy new items that is alright. I want a final project to be proud the current cabinets are in great condition.

Everything online says stain, but no specifications as to which type/brand (gel, all in one, oil). I bought Minwax PolyShade and have several oil stains as well. The PolyShade has horrible reviews online, but I just figured that could be user-error.

Would someone please give me some recommendations with brand names please? My boyfriend thinks I'm crazy and should pay someone to do this, but I want to prove him wrong. Just like I did when he said I should hire an electrician to replace the contractor light fixtures that came with my new home. Side note: my father is an electrician...major insult assuming I didn't learn a thing or two.

Thank you in advance for your recommendations
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Old 06-14-13, 07:55 PM
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A whole lot more work then you think to do this right.
All the old sealer and stain would have to come off to bare wood to change the stain color.
Poly shades should have been taken off the market long ago unless your going for a blotchy poopy looking job..
Old 06-15-13, 04:43 AM
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Tinted polys like Minwax's PolyShades can be a real time saver and work well if applied correctly! Because it's tinted and not clear, careful attention must be used so that it is applied evenly with no lap marks, drips, runs, missed areas, etc. It isn't a coating that can be touched up. It's always best to apply a coat of clear poly when finished to product the color from wearing off. Tinted polys work best for minor color changes - 1-2 shades from the existing finish.There are folks that have trouble applying tinted polys correctly. I've used a 100 or more gallons of it with good results ...... but I did paint for a living

The only other way to change the wood color is to completely strip off the existing finish. This is best accomplished with a chemical stripper and then some sanding. Your cabinet fronts are real wood. The problem with maple is it doesn't lend it self to darker stains - that's why maple is usually clear coated or light colored stain and poly.

btw - welcome to the forums!
Old 07-10-13, 02:14 AM
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Restaining bathroom cabinets

Mark your reply is very useful to me…Hey..Thanks.

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