We have oak kitchen cabinets that are stained to a medium dark color.
I would like to keep those but change the color to a bright birch-like
What I have tried is applying a refinishing solution (Minwax
refinisher) which removed the varnish and some grease. Next I added
two coats of AB bleach resulting in a pale whitish appearance- texture
looks bland but brightness is okay. Then to finish it I put on some
Minwax Rub-on-poly. This,however, seems to undo 80% of the bleach so I
end up with wood that's just a tiny bit lighter than what I started
out with. Before that I tried some other rub on finish which
completely undid the bleaching. How then can I get lighter wood that
looks nice and has a finish ?
I am assuming your rub-on-poly is oil based. Waterbased will generally look
pretty much the same after as it did before; while oilbased will, depending
on the wood, darken it considerably.
How do you use Minwas refinisher? I have a post a few down from you about
stripping a black coating from bamboo...
ANY varnish, oil based or water based is going to darken the wood. Plain
WATER will darken wood. Sprinkle some water on and see. Typically oil
based varnishes will add an amber tint to the surface that you are covering.
Water based varnishes tend to not add the amber color but as you have
witnessed will darken the wood.
Better refined oil based varnishes will look clearer in the can and have
less of the amber tinting effect.
If you want the wood to stay light colored I suggest no stain and or perhaps
a pickled/milk paint finish and then be prepared for it to darken some what
with what ever finish you use, oil, water, or alcohol based.
Look for a better product than Miniwax. I recently used an oil based gel
varnish made by Lawrence McFadden. For an oil based varnish it does not
tint the wood as much as the lesser quality oil based varnishes.
On Mon, 13 Aug 2007 20:15:55 -0000, " email@example.com"
Have you tried the Minwax Polycrylic?
On my can of Minwax Poly, in very fine print, it reads "Slight
ambering may be experienced when polyurethane is applied over
light-colored wood surfaces." Then is says "For light-colored wood
surfaces we recommend protecting with Minwax Polycrylic Protective
I haven't tried it but it sounds like the Polycrylic may solve (or at
least lessen) the ambering that's normal with the poly. Of course
ambering might not be the problem if there is still some color
remaining in the cabinets.
At any rate, the Polycrylic might be worth a try.
1. Take some light colored oil paint and thin it 50/50 with thinner.
2. Wipe the paint mixture onto the wood then immediately wipe off all
3. Top coat with whatever. Water based poly has no inherent color,
nor does lacquer.
Be sure to get the paint mix onto all of the wood...if you miss a spot
that area will be colored (darkened) by the top coat. The paint mix
keeps the wood light not by being a light color but by sealing the
wood and preventing it being wetted out by the top coat; not to worry,
the top coat will stick just fine.
The final wood color will be very similar to that of the raw wood;
however, the wood will darken some with time just as would the raw
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