Stripping kitchen cabinets, paint in grain

We have a 1929 house, and we're trying to save money wherever we can. I personally like our cabinets, because they have that "panel" on the inside that actually creates a seal when the door is closed. When you close one cabinet real fast, the other one opens because there's such a good seal. Haven't been able to find cabinets like that on the market lately.
Anyway, I stripped and sanded and sanded and sanded one door to see what we had to work with, and the paint seems to be just completely seeped down into the grain itself (it's white)/
Does anyone have some kind of tips on how to address this? Anything that might "draw" the paint out, or some ways to re-finish that would mask this? Or should I just slap another (tenth or eleventh) coat on the top, and give up the idea that we could make them look like wood again?
Thanks for any input.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
CompleteNewb wrote:

Oak? Slap on paint remover, let it set for about 30 min., scrub with old toothbrush. I've never found wood that I couldn't get the paint out of. If you still have traces of white, you could wipe on thinned dark brown or black paint to fill the grain and wipe off when it begins to get tacky.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Ditto Norminn's comments. Also, some strippers for a film and are peeled off in a sheet, pulling paint from the grain. Some of these products are even 'green' which gets around the toxicity factor. Sorry that I can't help with the product names but I haven't done this in a while. Standing at the hardware store and scanning the shelves made it obvious which were which. An easy find. Best of luck for a great outcome!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
clipped

Strypeeze was my favorite for wood - semi-paste, NOT water washable. Last time I used paint remover, it seemed the formulations had changed some.. I haven't tried the citrus stuff. Removing paint from wood is a really messy project, but worth it. I did an entire kitchen, so it can be done. It takes 2 or 3 appl. Put it on thick and then let it work without brushing it out. Scrape (gently). Repeat appl., then scrub after it's worked a while. Toothpicks, toothbrushes, steel wool to get into stubborn spots. After the last appl. and all paint is gone, clean up with steel wool and mineral spirits scrub to get last of the p.r. off. Semi-paste has a little wax in it to thicken, and you don't want any traces of that remaining on the wood. After m.s. scrub, wipe with paper towels and let it dry.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
CompleteNewb wrote:

Are you really going for a bare wood look or simply a smooth surface to repaint? I'm suspecting from your question that you are trying to go to bare wood to varnish - I don't know that that is possible. But before you give up, try steel wool, it's more conformable than sandpaper. If that doesn't work, it's entirely possible that the primer coat was thin enough to actually penetrate the wood slightly, and you're screwed. But if you paint them, they'll look a hell of a lot better than if you didn't strip them, so it's not a wasted effort.
I understand your desire to keep the old cabinets... they really don't make 'em like they used to in some ways, and I find flat doors much more appealing than ones with lots of surface detail to catch dust and make them harder to clean.
nate
--
replace "roosters" with "cox" to reply.
http://members.cox.net/njnagel
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
CompleteNewb wrote:

Nobody else said it, so I will- if these are the original 1929 cabinets, they probably did NOT have a clear finish in the first place. Quick check- are these prefab cabinet sections (vertical walls between each cabinet), or one continuous run behind the doors? Most cabinets were built on site back then, <maybe> using premade doors and fronts from a catalog. Almost always painted white, often with bare wood interiors. And being painted, wood was usually not cabinet-grade like the built-ins in the dining room. Bottom line is- even if you get them stripped completely, you probably won't like the look of the wood.
If it was my kitchen, I'd do one round of stripping, to get off all the cruddy layers, and then use filler to even out any visible gouges and stuff, spot-repair any bad wood or loose joints, and then carefully sand, prime, and paint with the best paint I could stand to pay for. (I'm no paint expert, but a Google on 'restoring painted furniture' should give good instructions.) That and fresh period-appropriate hardware should make them good for another 79 years or so.
aem sends...
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

First of all, thank you for saving the old cabinets rather than ripping them out and throwing them away only to be replaced by particle board crap from HD. I'm sure you will be much happier in the long run by refinishing the existing original cabinets. (I only wish the original cabinets were still in my 1925 house...)
Second, aemeijers has it absolutely correct. Those cabinets were most likely painted right from the start, so you will never get all the paint out of the grain no mater what kind of paint stripper you use. The best thing you can do is strip the paint off using some chemical stripper, sand lightly to get the surface smooth, and then prime and repaint in whatever color suits you. If the hardware is thoroughly painted over too, you can strip that off with chemical stripper too - I do it all the time, comes out just fine for my taste once you polish it up a bit after stripping. Its certainly a lot cheaper than replacing a whole kitchen's worth of hardware. Its deceptively expensive to replace every handle, knob, and hinge in a kitchen.
Ken
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Paint Remover, gloves, safety glasses and steel wool.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

If you want to gamble, take one door to a commercial furniture stripping shop. We have a local one that does some awesome work, even on Victorian woodwork restorations. Doesn't seem to have that much of an effect on old stained pine so far as the stain removal is concerned, just lightens it u a good bit. I f the results are what you want and the price is OK do the remainder and refinish all at once. Post a follow up when you are done. HTH
Joe
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.