Can someone identify this wood?

Page 2 of 3  
-MIKE- wrote:

Job one is to replace the missing door.
If that goes well, I do hope to address the finish on the rest of the doors. When I bought the house a couple of years ago, I had planned to replace the cabinets. But if I can make them good enough to suit myself, I could use the money saved elsewhere.
--
Tony Sivori
Due to spam, I'm filtering all Google Groups posters.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Have you established what kind of finish is on there, Tony?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Robatoy wrote:

Question: If you pick a small inconspicuous spot and saturate the finish with denatured alcohol, does it dissolve? If yes, then it's shellac you're dealing with, and that would be helpful information if you're going to attempt to match the existing finish.
--
See Nad. See Nad go. Go Nad!
To reply, eat the taco.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Steve Turner wrote:

No I haven't. I was thinking of trying a polyurethane. Is that likely to react badly with the 54 year old finish?

91% rubbing alcohol did not remove the finish or the shine. The white towel I used to apply it did turn yellowish.
--
Tony Sivori
Due to spam, I'm filtering all Google Groups posters.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Then try lacquer thinner. Let me know what happens then.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 10/31/2009 7:43 PM Robatoy spake thus:

Yes, much more likely than shellac. Believe me, nobody has used shellac to finish kitchen cabinets in the last 50 years.
The finish is one of two things: varnish (oil-based) or lacquer. The suggestion to try lacquer thinner (in an inconspicuous spot) is a good one. If that doesn't soften the finish, then it's varnish.
If it's lacquer, you will definitely *not* be able to use polyurethane over it, at least not without some kind of intermediate coat.
--
Who needs a junta or a dictatorship when you have a Congress
blowing Wall Street, using the media as a condom?
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
David Nebenzahl wrote:

I don't believe you. :-) Mainly because I've seen plenty of examples myself.

Not necessarily true. Lacquer thinner won't touch shellac either, hence my suggestion to start with denatured alcohol. And there are really at least three possibilities here, not just two (more if you count those fancy catalyzed products, but I'll leave those out because I have no experience with them). Alcohol dissolves shellac, but won't touch either lacquer, alkyd (oil) varnishes, or polyurethane. Lacquer thinner will attack plenty of other finishes, not just lacquer. If the finish *dissolves* then it's likely (but not necessarily) lacquer; but if it destroys it (not sure of the right word here; "congeals" comes to mind) it's likely something else. Most polyurethanes are resistant to lacquer thinner, but alkyd based varnishes (such as Behlen's "Rock Hard Table Top Varnish) are not. Mineral spirits (or most standard "paint thinners") aren't really useful for determining the nature of a cured finish, because won't dissolve any of those aforementioned.

Why do you say that? There are plenty of lacquer based sealers out there, and nothing in a standard polyurethane finish (at least those thinned with mineral spirits) is going to attack a finish with a lacquer base. It's not as good as shellac as a sealer or base code for polyurethane (in my opinion), but as long as it's been suitably sanded then polyurethane sticks to it just fine.
It's really the applying of lacquer over an alkyd base that you want to avoid. The solvents in the lacquer will attack and curdle cured alkyd resins.
--
Free bad advice available here.
To reply, eat the taco.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 11/1/2009 10:20 AM Steve Turner spake thus:

I say this from experience: a while back I applied a topcoat of finish to some friends' dining room table. I used oil-based (alkyd) varnish, assuming (foolishly as it turned out) that the finish was varnish.
WRONG. It was lacquer, and the result was that the varnish simple beaded up and formed ugly rivulets on the surface. I quickly sopped it all up, got a can of brushing lacquer and used that instead.
You really cannot apply varnish over lacquer. Don't believe me? try it sometime.
By the way, I challenge you to show us how there's anything resembling a significant use of shellac as a finish for things like kitchen cabinetry within the last 50 years. Sure, lots of manufacturers may use it as a sealer, but certainly not as a topcoat.
--
Who needs a junta or a dictatorship when you have a Congress
blowing Wall Street, using the media as a condom?
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Hasn't happened in a production setting, that I know of, since 1976. Sanding sealers are lacquer based. I don't know anybody who has ever used shellac in a production set-up. Topcoats have been cat-lacquers for decades.
BUT!
I have run into all kinds of shellac in site-built kitchens.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 11/1/2009 1:02 PM Robatoy spake thus:

As a topcoat? I'm surprised. But I'll take your word for it.
--
Who needs a junta or a dictatorship when you have a Congress
blowing Wall Street, using the media as a condom?
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
David Nebenzahl wrote:

I certainly don't doubt your experience, but yours differs from mine so at some level we must be talking apples and oranges. You don't describe exactly what product you were using, or what information you have that led you to believe the base coat was lacquer and not something else, so I don't know what to make of what you've told me.

I wouldn't have been making my original claims without already having done that (plenty of times), but I went ahead and did it again just to make sure I'm not yet getting senile.
I took a nice smooth piece of scrap walnut (bare, no existing finish) and sprayed it with about 8 or 10 coats of standard (Deft) nitrocellulose lacquer (three heavy coats, wait until dry, repeated two more times), let it cure for a week, then sanded it smooth with 320 grit until there was no gloss (you did do that on your friend's table, right?). I then applied a single nice wet coat of Behlen's Rockhard Table Top Varnish and let it dry. Perfection.
How the Behlen's product compares in composition to what you were using I have no idea. They don't list the ingredients on the can, but they claim it's a 'quality phenolic resin "short" oil varnish'. I've also seen it described as being alkyd based, and its behavior is consistent (in my experience) with other varnishes that I know to be alkyd based.

My experience here is the same as what Robatoy already described in his response.
--
"Even if your wife is happy but you're unhappy, you're still happier
than you'd be if you were happy and your wife was unhappy." - Red Green
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Tony Sivori wrote:

Getting an exact match without refinishing everything is something that is going to take some trial and error on a sample. The quick and dirty way to deal with the problem is to make the replacement door out of poplar, which takes paint well, and then paint everything.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
J. Clarke wrote:

I'm thinking that my best chance of it being less noticeable is if I also replace the missing door's mate. It is the cabinet above the stove, so except for the cabinet above the refrigerator, it is the least noticeable doors.

I've considered that, and I am a fairly skilled house and trim painter. Unfortunately I don't like painted kitchen cabinets.
--
Tony Sivori
Due to spam, I'm filtering all Google Groups posters.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

You might think about replacing those doors with contrasting doors; something just different enough to look like it's supposed to be that way.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"Tony Sivori" wrote:

You are about to go down a slippery slope many before you, including me, have faced.
You have a kitchen whose cabinets have collected 50+ years of crap and whose finish doesn't owe you anything.
Consider your options.
1) You can try to apply a finish without cleaning the old finish first.
It will look like crap, but it will be cheap.
2) You can strip the old finish back to bare wood and refinish.
Only problem is it will be time consuming, and as others have pointed out, dealing with chemical strippers will be a very nasty, and not inexpensive process.
3) You can do a "refacing" job.
Remove all doors and use the wood to make shop jigs, replacing with MDF core, laminated.doors.
Scrape the face frames down to bare wood and reface with laminate.
The hardware may or may not need replacement.
Fastest way to get the job done.
Lower cost than new cabinets, but you have to be happy with a laminate kitchen.
4) You could replace cabinets with new.
It will be the most expensive, but maybe it is worth it.
I chose 3 more than 30 years ago and didn't regret it.
YMMV
Depends on how long you plan to remain.
Lew
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

My dad took each of his cabinet doors down, glued on some ornamental trim (so it looked sort of like it had a "panel"--using door terminology) and used a 2-part antique finish (brush on one, and apply the other on with a wad of newspaper or something). The first coat was a dark olive. It looked pretty good during the 1970s. Probably out of style now, but it didn't look like crap--it looked more like he saved several thousand dollars. Maybe there is a variation which would be acceptable today, maybe not?
Bill

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

# 4 is the most disruptive as you also start messing with countertops and plumbing. A much more ambitious, and as you pointed out, expensive route to take.
# 3 is probably the most rewarding. Not too disruptive to daily life. You have all the dimensions of all the doors, so ordering from a variety of sources would be no problem. Cutting up a couple of 4x8 sheets of quality ply and taping the edges of the doors with veneer/ thermal tape is almost fun. Taping won't be needed if you use Baltic Birch multi-ply as those edges are quite decorative as they are. The cabinet frames... Lew suggested laminate.. that's a lot of work and you got to know what you're doing. Not a simple job. I would sand and paint the frames, after I plugged the hinge holes. (unless you're sure you can get fresh hinges with the same hole- spacing.) If the frames sand nicely and clean, maybe just a couple of coats of Polyshades.
Now let's see...what are the potential tool-buying plusses??? A Fein Multimaster? One of those super cool mini Porter Cable belt sanders? You really should spray the doors...... but a deft hand...(get it..DEFT) at brushing might work for you. Lightly sand between coats with a sponge....Outdoors...the stuff is stinky.
One job I saw done, the face of the door was natural maple veneer. The door edges painted in a medium brown polyshade and the frames of the cabinets a shade darker than the door edges. A nice 3-dimensional look to the job.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 10/31/2009 3:22 PM -MIKE- spake thus:

He also said "Especially refinishing *all* the doors". Just trying to forewarn him is all.
--
Who needs a junta or a dictatorship when you have a Congress
blowing Wall Street, using the media as a condom?
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
David Nebenzahl wrote:

In their current state, they are an eyesore. In the most worn areas (just under and around the handles), the finish is gone.
None of the cleaners I've tried has made them look decent.

I picked a spot to photograph where they are in good shape. I thought that might make identifying the wood easier.

I don't like the color, but I can live with it.

That pretty well describes it.
Instead of a full strip, I have hopes that a very light sanding (I've read how easy it is to sand through thin veneer) and application of a new finish will make them look a lot better.

Yes, I could end up needing new kitchen cabinets. Since that also happens to be my current situation, I don't think I have much to lose but my time and the relatively low (compared to paying for new cabinets) cost of materials.
--
Tony Sivori
Due to spam, I'm filtering all Google Groups posters.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    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.