kitchen cabinet refinishing

Im am trying to refinish some kitchen cabinet doors. The old poly on them is best described and rotten goo. What is the best way too remove this gunk. The rest of the cabinets are in pretty good shape and my wife did them with Formby's re finisher.
Jimmie
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Background is that the house was built in 1969. Appears that the kitchen cabinets are Birch, Honey colored. In a few places the finish has worn off. I need to sell the house and would like to make the cabinets look better with minimal work and cost. Looking for suggestions, hopefully based on experience.
TIA
LB
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Spruced up my kitchen a few years ago.
Cabinets tend to get a little greasy over the years. Clean them well and put on a coat of polyurethane. Chances are, the birch is birch plywood so sanding too much can removed the top layer. You may want to consider replacing the knobs and pulls with brighter ones..
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I have restored my cabinets and even the entry door with "Howard Restore-A-Finish". It comes in neutral and several finishes, like Walnut, Oak, etc.. Most hardware stores and HD carry it.
It restores original color and luster. You just wipe it on. Works great.
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Walter
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LB,
I'd recommend doing some serious research and questioning before attempting to touch up areas where the finish has worn off. Many homes in our neighborhood have 1966 vintage cabinets, mostly light maple stained. I've seen many homeowners attempt to touch up or re-stain the cabinets and it invariably looks horrible.
There is some sort of grain sealing process used by the cabinet builders prior to actually applying the stain. Without this step, the grain will be emphasized in the touch up areas and stand out terribly. I used to have some info on the correct technique, but I can't locate it right now. If I can locate it soon, I'll post it.
Good luck, Gideon
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Background is that the house was built in 1969. Appears that the kitchen cabinets are Birch, Honey colored. In a few places the finish has worn off. I need to sell the house and would like to make the cabinets look better with minimal work and cost. Looking for suggestions, hopefully based on experience.
TIA
LB
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Thanks LB
Gideon wrote:

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Look around at www.refinishwizard.com forum, good info.

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On 12/21/2010 2:49 PM JIMMIE spake thus:

You say the old finish is "rotten goo", but it sounds like this might be gunk sitting on top of the old finish, like oil and grease, not the finish itself. I doubt if the old finish itself is gooey; it's probably an accumulation of grease, not unlikely at all in a kitchen.
What a guy would want to do is to try to clean the gunk off first. For grease, I'd use a rag wetted with some naphtha, paint *thinner* (not paint *remover*) first, to see if you can wipe off the gunk. If this works, then just use the solvent to get the worst of the gooey stuff off, then clean thoroughly with [insert name of cleaner of choice here]. (I like Simple Green; you can also use TSP, so long as you're careful to wash all traces of it off before refinishing.)
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Comment on quaint Usenet customs, from Usenet:

To me, the *plonk...* reminds me of the old man at the public hearing
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David Nebenzahl wrote:

BUT remember you are in a kitchen so be careful of anything that might go BOOM
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Strip it with paint remover, a marine strip is strongest. Years of oils and grease ruin any finish and make it soft , take it all off or you will have a bigger mess trying to half do it.
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Gave up on working in a cold garage, sent them out to have them professionally done. Figure $400 for 24 doors and drawer fronts wasnt a bad deal. BTW found that scraping was the best way to remove the gooey stuff.
Jimmie
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