As the last step in my kitchen remodel, I'm planning to rework my
In my case, the cabinets are of very good quality with veneered
laminiated material where it should be and solid birch where it should
be. Doors are all RP, drawers solid. Hinge hardware excellent.
Cabinets came from the best shop in the area. Every thing is
However, they are showing the wear and tear of twenty years of use.
Some nicks, bumps, water stains and touch wear from skin oils, etc.
Not that bad, but standing out a little now that rest of the kitchen
has new solid surface countertop, new ceramic tile floor and back
splash, new paint, etc.
Finish, according to the shop that made them, is walnut stain with NC
Rather than taking them all the way down, I'm thinking about doing a
light sanding to break the top coat, then using a walnut glaze or
toner, and maybe a burnishing material, to cover spots and blend, then
go back with a sprayed pre-cat lacquer, or possibly a water based
comments or relevant experiences?
And I apologize for the absence of political content.
Frank, I am smack dab in the middle of a kitchen re-do. The kitchen is 27
years old and looking tired also. This customer is actually a good friend
and neighbor. As with yours the cabinets are in decent condition other than
being old and dated looking. These cabinets have a medium to dark stain on
what I would guess as being Poplar face frames. The drawer fronts and doors
are the same color but made from Oak.
I am totally replacing the doors with Maple doors with Euro hinges, the
drawers are being replaced with Baltic Birch ones and I am veneering the
cabinet face frames with 3/32" thick Maple veneer, made by me with my Laguna
BS and Performax drum sander. I basically turned 2, 1x6x8' S4S Maple
boards in to 20, 36" and 10" 24" pieces of veneer. I am covering the
cabinet end panels with 1/4" Maple plywood. duple stick carpet tape and
brads hold the panels in place.
I spent Sunday afternoon making the veneer. Monday I removed the old
cabinet doors, moldings and applied the veneer to the face frames on the
lower cabinets. Tuesday I applied the veneer to the upper cabinet face
frames. Each piece is cut to the exact size of the face frame piece, no
router work to trim off the excess. Wednesday I puttied the pinner holes,
about 1,000 of them, and sanded the veneer smooth at all the joints and for
the varnish. Today I applied the first 2 coats of General finished
Arm-R-Seal Satin varnish.
I am very happy so far with the results. I will say the veneer process
started out looking like a disaster. I am using TiteBond Trim glue for
quick adhesion but applied the glue directly and completely to the back side
of the veneer. That was a mistake. The veneer curled as I thought it
might. I ended up clamping a 1x4 over the top to flatten it out while the
glue dried. That was going to be way too slow. Anyway I also used probably
20 pins to hold that piece in place and that did not work out so good.
The solution that worked well was to apply the glue on the outer edge of the
face frame piece that was to receive the next piece of veneer along with 20
or so pins. That worked out great, the veneer was not saturated and only
has glue on the outer 1/2" or so edge. The neutral putty is a perfect match
in color and the pin holes are all but undetectable. The Festool Rotex
sander made quick work of making everything flat and even.
Just some food for thought. It is a big job compared to only refinishing
but much less work than a total rebuild.
Leon's idea will no doubt make a better looking job, but it isn't for
the casual participant.
You can sand off the finish to the desired look, and make sure you
clean out the dents and dings. If you sand enough off of everything
nicely, you will probably get away with a toner.
If you sand the old finish off but leave color in the in the profiles
and curves, you can color the worn places and and then apply your
I don't believe glazing is what you are looking for as it is usually
used to highlight features or to provide a certain "look". (Use
Google images to find glazed cabinets and doors).
If I am reading you right, you just want to freshen them up and update
the look a bit.
You can make your own toners, and really control the color if you
apply them correctly. After you prep and color the way you want to
conceal the blemishes and wear with the proper stains, coat the
cabinets with sanding sealer/shellac.
Sand it just barely smooth, making sure you don't cut through your
coat of sealer. Cut Behlen's Solar Lux about 75% with anhydrous
alcohol, spray it out of a from the dollar store as a fine mist and
wipe to the desired color. Don't put too much on; you can add as much
as you want to deepen the color.
Apply your favorite top coat.
Yes, I have done this for clients. They were tickled to pieces as the
just wanted a "spruce up", not an overhaul.
Absolutely correct. AND I only threw the suggestion out there because IIRC
Frank has a Laguna BS capable of cutting the veneers like I did. Because it
was "Frank" asking for suggestions I threw out my idea. Had it been some
one else I might have not have made the suggestion.
And I appreciate the suggestion, however, these cabinets are too far
on the good side to veneer. Not actually dated, just have a little
wear showing. actually have to look fairly close to find it, but you
can bet SWMBO knows where every flaw is.
Robert's suggestion deserves a sample. I have a piece of the same
material with the same finish that came out of the den renovation that
I can practice various finish schedules on.
And that Laguna, still in storage along with two shapers and various
other nice stuff. Have to finish the kitchen, so I can sell the
house, so I can build a new smaller house, so I can build a new larger
Well you get the picture. House is designed, shop is designed, hoping
for a slightly improved market in the spring for selling current
Ditto across the board, Frank ... AAMOF, in preparation for our anticipated
retirement and move to the lake house in AR in 2009, current plan is to put
our home on the market early 2009 (unless soup lines form).
In anticipation of that, we just leased one of the houses our company bought
but decided not to build on until the economy settles down.
Ostensible rationale is that is that our youngest daughter, with a lease
purchase in place, can move in with use when she comes down to Houston to
make her life after college and then take over when we move out. I also need
to be in the Houston/Austin for another year or so for business reasons, but
can spread my time between here, there, and AR.
But ...The REAL reason: The leased house has a nice size garage.., errr
shop, and is only four blocks from our current location! :)
Although we don't plan on moving into the leased house until next year after
we put our home up for sale, I've got a kitchen cabinet job in the design
stage scheduled in the next few months, and currently being without a shop,
I'm actively moving "shop stuff" into the garage.., errr shop as we speak:
As you can see, started stacking my hardwood stash that made it through high
water, as well as my SCSM for the myriad of modifications needed to make it
into a working shop.
The "big iron", still in storage, will probably be moved next week, but I
still need to get 220 and a service panel in before I can fire up the TS.
Lots of cabinet space, though.
After a couple of months without, it will be nice to have a shop again, no
matter how temporary.
Good luck on all your endeavors ... a sure way to keep the spirit up during
times of turmoil and uncertainty is to "keep on keepin' on"!
On that note, I'm going back to make another load.
Four blocks?? Sounds almost too good to be true. I trust it is above the
high water mark.
Looks good for a temporary shop.
Famous last words. I think most of my life has been in "temporary"
And if you decide to spend some extra time there that garage, err.... shop,
looks like it can be easily expanded.
Since that last post, I (with some 'balancing' help from SWMBO) actually
loaded my big shop bench onto the truck, took it to the new "shop",
installed it, and I'm back for another cup of coffee, and another load ...
that's how close it is. ;)
Since I was going to build there (AAMOF, just finished, and sold in July, a
house on the same street a block away), I'm familiar with the area and do
know that it didn't flood in Allison in 01. Our old house, that did flood,
is only 6 blocks North, but on lower ground.
So far, so good ... but you never know with the subsidence along the Gulf
Coast, witness my present shop, that is between these two locations,
basically flooding in August.
Hopefully I'll be long gone before then.
Well, another plus is that I'll be able to move the "big iron" immediately
out of storage ($200 +/- a month) and they can hopefully stay in this
"temporary shop" until I get the REAL shop built in AR ... otherwise I was
being faced with moving them twice more, instead of once
In any event, that's the plan .. and we all know what plans do. ( but
there's plenty of room for a big crawfish boil and gumbo party, right out
the door, if times get tough!)
I hope like hell not ... but that scenario could turn out to be better than
countless others I can think of. :)
Sorry, Frank ... didn't mean to hijack your thread!
's OK, I'm interested in others going through somewhat the same
Nice temp shop. In good weather and with tolerant neighbors and a
mobile base or two, it becomes the size of the drive at least
My plan is to build the shop first, with an efficiency over, move into
it while I'm in the process of contracting the house, doing myself
those things that I consider fun (that list gets shorter as I get
older), then when the house is complete the efficiency will be a
couple of bedrooms and a bath that will only be H & C when the troops
come home for a visit.
Overflow big iron stored in safe place, unlike the place I had some of
it stored during Katrina. May have to clean out a few mouse
domiciles, fight off a giant tree roach or two, but it's high and
Good luck to you too, as they say the best laid plans......this is my
second shot, set back by Katrina, site selection committee has revised
the search now looking for that demarcation line where the insurance
rates increase at an exponential rate to stay just north of it.
Unfortunately, I'm a sailor and I need to be within striking distance
of salt water. Lew probably understands.
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