fire damage


I have had some fire damage in my kitchen. The cabinets over the stove have heavy smoke damage. They are stained oak cabines. I am interested in doing a white pickle on all the cabinets in the kitchen. If I sand good enough will this cover the smoke damaged cabinets? I just want to see the wood grain in the white paint or stain. Any suggestions?
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Hard to say here as I suspect that your cabinets are actually Oak veneer plywood. Sanding too much could go all the way through the Oak veneer. Proceed with caution with the knowledge that the veneer could only about 1/16" thick at best.
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firedamage wrote:

It might take a good bit of sanding, but that should work. Most likely the stain will have penetrated deeper than the smoke. Be prepared to work hard. If you don't have one already, get a random orbit sander.
If your cabinets are made out of plywood, the outside oak veneer can be quite thin. Your biggest challenge may be sanding deep enough to remove the stain, but not so deep that you break through the veneer. Hopefully the doors and faceframes are real wood.
One other potentially easier possibility that may save you a lot of hassle and mess: Consider buying a couple of rolls of iron-on or PSA oak veneer (e.g. http://woodworker.com/cgi-bin/FULLPRES.exe?PARTNUM 2-058 - that's a 24"x96" roll, but you can also get it in 2.75" x 25' rolls). It's real wood (but real thin) that you can cut with scissors and glue onto the face frames. You can just cut out pieces to match the existing rails and stiles of the face frame, as well as any large expanses of oak plywood on the sides of the cabinets. Then you can use oak edge-banding veneer around edges of the wood (http://woodworker.com/cgi-bin/FULLPRES.exe?PARTNUM 4-946). When you're done, the existing cabinets will look like brand new virgin oak, and you can finish them any way you want. It takes stain just like solid wood. You'll still have to do the doors and drawers by sanding and refinishing, but those are likely to be solid wood, and you can remove them and do the dirty work in your garage, basement, etc.
Josh
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Something else you need to consider is that during a fire, depending on what was burning, there can be large amounts of acid in the smoke that may have a really nasty reaction to any new stain/finish you might apply. Check with the local fire department and see if someone can point you to someone that specializes in repairing fire damage. They might be able to give you some better info.

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On Tue, 28 Feb 2006 07:24:05 -0800, firedamage wrote:

Have a friend who left a candle burning. It was on a glass table with a small plastic boom box. The BB caught and burned. The smoke from the burning plastic coated itself into the walls and cabinets in the kitchen. While it was only smoke damage, they couldn't get the smoke smell out and had to replace the wallboard and some of the cabinets closest to the fire. As another poster mentioned smoke can be very acidic which can cause problems with refinishing. Your situation may not be as bad, but if you have any doubts I'd suggest consulting with a professional smoke and fire restoration service. Good luck and let us know how it turns out.
D.G. Adams
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