A Guide to Restaining Bathroom Cabinets A Guide to Restaining Bathroom Cabinets

What You'll Need
Safety glasses
Latex gloves
Face mask or respirator
Masking tape
Drop cloths
Varnish remover
Plastic scraper
Wood stain
Varnish brush

A guide to re-staining bathroom cabinets should begin with a careful assessment of existing cabinets. Are the cabinets merely in need of refinishing or should they be replaced. If the cabinetry is solid, with wood that merely needs a new coat, then re-staining bathroom cabinets will take care of the problem. This procedure is relatively easy and quick, and within two weekends homeowners can have their cabinets looking like new.

Step 1: Cabinet Assessment

Begin by carefully inspecting the bathroom cabinets to make sure the wood is solid, without any structural damage caused by water. Make sure doors fit properly, are not swollen or ill-fitting and that they are still in relatively good condition. There is no sense in restaining bathroom cabinets if they are in need of replacement. Be sure hinges, door knobs and catches are all functional as well.

Step 2: Considering A Stain

In deciding which stain to use, consider the actual wood. If the cabinets are made of good quality wood, Oak or Cherry, it would be sensible to stain them according to their natural finish. Additionally, many woods can take a desired stain, even if they are not of that species. Re-staining bathroom cabinets that are made of pine will easily take other stains like a Golden Oak or a red Cherry.

Step 3: Safety First

Before beginning any work on re-staining bathroom cabinets, be sure to think about safety first. Put latex gloves and safety glasses on. Use an approved face mask or respirator to avoid dust and inhaling toxic fumes. Using masking tape, attach drop cloths where necessary so as not to damage nearby fixtures, flooring or carpeting. Remove the old cabinet finish by applying a liquid stripping compound. Read the manufacturer's directions carefully before applying. Remove the old finish with a combination of steel wool, plastic scraper and sand paper. Work carefully on the old finish as many bathroom cabinets are made of wood with a very thin veneer which is easily damaged or stripped if sanded too vigorously.

Step 4: Apply A New Stain

Carefully read manufacturer’s instructions before applying new stain. A good technique to follow when re-staining bathroom cabinets is to apply a coat of the stain in an inconspicuous place to see what it will look like before applying it to all the cabinets. When satisfied with the desired stain, let it dry thoroughly before applying several coats of varnish.

Step 5: Apply Finish

There are many products that are suitable for applying a final finish after re-staining bathroom cabinets. The key to the final finish is to be patient and wait for the recommended time before applying the next coat. Apply the first coat of varnish in a 50-50 ratio of varnish and mineral spirits. When this coat is thoroughly dry, apply a second coat of 75 to 25 percent varnish and mineral spirits. The final finish would be two coats of 100 percent varnish sanded with 0000 steel wool between each coat. A final coat of hard paste wax can be applied to insure waterproofing of cabinets.

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