My kitchen cabinets need to be refinished. Originally, they were stained in
dark oak, with what appears to be a lacquer finish.
The stain and finish has worn off in spots and the cabinets need to be
re-stained and refinished. While I am at it, can I lighten the previous
finish, somehow, maybe bleach it with Clorox? The cabinets would look better
with a lighter finish, like light oak.
The cabinets are also very dull (almost no sheen). Do most people use
semi-gloss on their kitchen cabinets. Is lacquer a good kitchen cabinet
Making a lighter finish is not easy to accomplish. I'd start
by sanding and try to remove most of the stain that way.
Clearly, some stain will have penetrated the wood but simple
sanding might give a result you're happy with.
Bleaching is tricky to do well. If you're determined to try,
I'd suggest a visit to your local library -- study at least
a couple of different books.
For finishing kitchen cabinets, my personal recipe is:
* 4 coats of full gloss, oil based poly. Apply thin even
coats with a good foam brush (Wooster's available from
Lowes highly recommended).
* Lightly sand with 400 grit between coats
* After a couple of days, remove the plasticy looking
gloss by rubbing with 0000 steel wool and some wax.
I refinished my oak kitchen cabs last year using this
process and have been delighted with the results. Aside
from the sanding (a pain in the ass) it was remarkably
easy to get a very professional finish.
I took off some medium oak stain with the sanding and
this did lighten the color but only slightly. However,
the sanding also removed that "dead looking" layer and
the wood looks very much more "alive" -- much brighter,
even though the color only changed a couple of shades.
Of course, you're other option is refacing. Refinishing
is just so labor intensive, it's not economically viable
in most cases unless you have the enthusiasm and skills
to tackle it yourself. If you really want light oak,
refacing may be worth considering.
| Malcolm Hoar "The more I practice, the luckier I get". |
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