touchup paint kitch cabinets, or must reface?

What about small areas of wear on wooden oak kitchen cabinets - is it possible to repaint only about 10% of worn areas without looking too patchy? There is a lot of 3d on the surface, so I hate to resand it all, and am not too fussy about looking new.
Or is another shortcut sort of a limewash which might not need sanding to bare wood? I would like to still see some grain... tks
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

You say paint, you say you want to see grain and mention limewash so I dont know what you have.Kitchens often have to be stripped since cooking covers everything in oils and hands contaminate cabinets, thats probably where things are worn off. Touchups wont look the same but you can try it.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Right, I meant varnish as a first choice, which is what I assume is on there. But what kind of varnish normally goes on oak cabinets? It has that typical honey color of all oak... does that come from something clear or maybe an amber shellac?
The varieties are so confusing... do I have to decide between alcohol vs petroleum base, or even water based acrylic (too clear)? I assume not polyurethane or lacquer. What works easiest and looks most compatible? Or is something like a translucent limewash a possible alternate way to avoid sanding down to bare wood?
thanks
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Right, I meant varnish as a first choice, which is what I assume is on there. But what kind of varnish normally goes on oak cabinets? It has that typical honey color of all oak... does that come from something clear or maybe an amber shellac?
The varieties are so confusing... do I have to decide between alcohol vs petroleum base, or even water based acrylic (too clear)? I assume not polyurethane or lacquer. What works easiest and looks most compatible? Or is something like a translucent limewash a possible alternate way to avoid sanding down to bare wood?
thanks
--
in most kitchens, some sort of pre-catalyzed lacquer is sprayed on over a
stain of some sort. a normal DIYer won\'t be able to duplicate this without a
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I used to do alot of wood refinishing with varnishes etc but once tried Tung oil on my cabinets to just help a bit years ago freshen it up, I had only bare spots where fingers dug in around knobs, I covered the worn finish with the plates made for knobs. On color, oil finishes yellow with age and cooking and light helps the process, the Tung oil has held up realy well, but cant say without a real good photo, to many variables. To recoat over any imbedded grease will be a bad thing, often only stripping removes it.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Wed, 12 Nov 2008 13:33:26 -0800 (PST), ransley

Many kitchens are laquered. Many are oiled, and a few are varnished up here in Ontario.
My kitchen is laquered ash and has darkened considerably from exposure to ultraviolet light. We has a plaque hanging by the window and when we removed it the wood was virtually white behind it. About 6 months of sun darkened it right up to match.
Neighbour's kitchen was done about the same time, by the same cabinetmaker, in oak. They fry a lot , and some parts of the kitchen were pretty greasy when I had to do some repairs for them. I washed the area around down with simple green, skuffed the area with white scotchbright, and sprayed a light coat of laquer on, and you can't see whaere the repair is. That's the beauty of laquer. (and, to a certain extent, oil.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
dumbstruck wrote:

almost any finish. If the "wear" that you refer to is only scratches on the surface and not worn through the finish, you might get away with just a coat of clear finish. "Lime wash" is always an option, but probably won't hide badly worn or missing color areas. I've used it by just mixing semi'gloss alkyd paint to cover the yellow color and dark grain on some oak in our dining room that didn't go with the new paint scheme. I used the same paint used on the doors and trim, a light taupe. The paint dried pretty quickly, so didn't leave it on long - wiped lightly and then did a clear coat to protect it. It really cut down the yellow color, which many woods acquire with age.
If your cabinets have a spray lacquer with color in it, you may lose some of the old finish in cleaning it, especially if it is gummy or sticky from grease.
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.