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How To Stain Kitchen Cabinets

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How To Stain Kitchen Cabinets

I know, I know…where have I been?!?!  Well, finishing up house projects.  Lots and lots of them.  We have put off finishing the last bits of the house for long enough.  And now they are DONE.  And wow, it feels good!!!  Thanks to a new year and a goal to have them all completely finished. Remember how I shared our Stained/Painted Banister last week?  Well, I mentioned to some in the comment section that we were working on staining our bathroom cabinets (which were the last thing in the house that still had that gorgeous orange oak color……ha, I kid) — and now they’re done too!  Both upstairs bathrooms are stained, top coat applied, dried, and beautiful! Which is funny that all it took was a little stain (that can be purchased online HERE) to make these bathrooms look so much better.  Because when we moved into the house almost 2 years ago, our plan was to tear out the cabinets and install new ones.  We also wanted to install a different shower and possibly change out the tile too.  But, the budget never allowed it (and we always found other things to spend any extra cash on).  We finally decided that even though the tile wasn’t our first choice, it really wasn’t all that bad……and that staining the cabinets would be good enough for now.  And now that it’s done, we’re so MAD we didn’t do it earlier.  We actually love the clean dark look of this Java stain….and it gives a great pop to the bathroom!  And the best part — it was CHEAP and super FAST to do! When I dug through all of the “before” pictures that I took before moving into our house…..I realized I didn’t have any that captured the old color and look of the cabinets very well.  Ooops.  But the picture below gives you a pretty good idea. Because it’s stain, you still get to see the wood grain.  Even with this really dark brown Java stain.  And let me tell you, applying this gel stain is SO much easier than painting.  You don’t have to worry about paint lines and/or your paint getting too thick and clumpy, etc.  It really is SO much easier to apply.  And nope, not a single need to sand any of that wood before applying the stain.  Can I get a HALLELUJAH?!! All we stained were the doors and the front facing section of the cabinets.  Just like cabinets that you’d buy at the store (or have installed by a cabinetry company), the inside box of the cabinet were left alone. Oh, and let’s talk about hardware.  If you want to take your plain cabinetry up 327 notches, add hardware.  Please, oh please add hardware!!  The pops of metal add SO MUCH to the look of your cabinetry…..and yeah, they also help open your drawers and doors too! 😉  So for $2-3 for very basic knobs, please don’t skip the hardware! We also changed out the light fixtures above both sets of cabinetry, which made a huge difference. Oh, and one of my very favorite transformations that we’ve done throughout the whole house, is trimming the windows and doors (<—yes, that’s a link, go check out that tutorial too!).  So, you better believe we trimmed out the 2 windows here in our bathroom too.  And oh yes, I’m in love! Such a beautiful transformation, for such little time and very few dollars.  Perfect. I know some of you must have some oak cabinets that you’ve been wanting to change.  Well, now you know, it totally works!!! And because I already shared all of the info for staining oak over on my Staining/Painting an OAK Banister post, take a peek over there first to see how to best stain your oak cabinets. (Here’s a peek in case you missed that post ———v) The only additional info you may need (than the banister post linked above) is that you must take each of your doors and drawer fronts off and remove all hinges, knobs, etc.  Sand down any bumps or nicks in the wood.  Then apply your stain with a sponge brush.  (Yep, we used the same Java Gel Stain as the banister…worked awesome!)  If you keep it light and really even, you may not even need to wipe any excess off (which is what I was aiming for, to save time and mess).  But if you have any clumps of stain, you can wipe that away with a soft lint-free cloth.  Let your first coat dry completely and then add another coat or two if needed.  (I only needed 2 coats for these cabinets because the color soaked in really well.) Here’s a cell phone picture of the stain I applied to the cabinet fronts.  This is after one coat.  Just be sure to not get too sloppy and let any of the stain get onto the inside of the cabinet.  However, you can see that my stain got a little messy along the side where it touches the wall.  And that’s okay because I knew I could go back later and paint over that when I painted the walls. To paint the doors, we put them out in the garage on top of these little plastic Pyramid Stands (we found them here on Amazon).  They made a huge difference to keep the doors off the ground, so that we could stain both sides even if one side was still a bit tacky. Buuuuuuut, we ran out of the little pyramids.  So, we used the nail gun and shot a whole bunch of nails through an old piece of wood so that the doors could balance on something similar to the pyramids.  Worked GREAT! And that’s about it.  The rest of the process was identical to the Staining an Oak Banister tutorial.  Including applying the polyurethane Top Coat, which really helps seal in the stain and protect from normal wear and tear. Now go on, don’t worry about staining your cabinets any longer……it will turn out beautifully!! Good luck! -Ashley . . . . . Looking for more home DIY projects?? DIY Board and Batten Installing a door (the EASY way) and Trimming It Out Turn A Coat Closet into a Mudroom Share11K Pin50K TweetShares 61K
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How To Stain Kitchen Cabinets

If you’d like to give your kitchen cabinets a new look, staining the wood is a realistic option. If you’re not satisfied with a wood’s hue, you can either stain or bleach it. Stain adds color to wood, while bleach lightens it. Except for certain varnish or sealer types, stains and bleaches do not protect the surface. For that, you’ll need a coat of polyurethane, lacquer, shellac, or varnish. When you select a stain for your kitchen or bathroom cabinets, make sure that it’s compatible with the finish you’ll be applying. Lacquer and some polyurethanes react adversely to the pigments in some stains. Don’t let showroom samples determine your final color choice. They give only a general idea of the end result. Most dealers offer small samplers so you can make tests. To find a dealer in your area, visit NKBA.org/ProSearch. Note if the manufacturer recommends sealing the grain before or after you stain it. Also keep in mind that most stains dry a shade or two darker than the color you see. You control the color by the length of time you let the stain penetrate the wood on the kitchen cabinets. If it gets too dark, moisten a cloth with the recommended thinner and wipe again to dilute and wash away some of the pigment. A few stains contain white pigment for a blond or “pickled” look, but a better way to lighten wood on kitchen cabinets is to bleach them. Wood that has been bleached will render the stain a more vivid color. Bleaching wood is typically a two-step process that involves an overnight wait for the chemicals to work their magic. Laundry bleach or oxalic acid also can be used, but must be neutralized after application with white vinegar or ammonia. Mix 1 part vinegar or ammonia with 10 parts water. Provide plenty of ventilation. Bleach and ammonia give off toxic fumes that can irritate your sinuses and eyes, so wear a mask and goggles while staining kitchen cabinets. Choosing a Stain for your Kitchen Cabinets There are many stains from which to choose for your bathroom or kitchen cabinets. Some are designed for ease of use, but in turn, you give up control over the result. Others are for the perfectionist who doesn’t mind the numerous steps required for achieving the deepest, clearest finish. Consider the end result desired, and then decide on the product for the job. Always follow the directions. Oil-based stains – These are traditional stains, good for touching up or restraining kitchen cabinets, and they’re permanent. They don’t fade or raise the grain, and additional coats will darken the color. However, they’re difficult to clean up, have an unpleasant odor, and are flammable. There are also concerns about the environmental and health effects of petroleum vapors. Water-based stains – This type of stain in replacing oil based stains because it’s easy to use and safe for the environment, as well as easy to clean up and safe to use. Additional coats will darken the color. Penetrating oil stains – Also called Danish oils and rubbing oils, these protect the wood, as well as stain it. They work well with woods that have an attractive grain and don’t require a finish coat. They wipes on with a rag and don’t hide the grain. However, they come in a limited choice of colors and are flammable. Gel stains – These are the simplest for the amateur to use since gel adheres to vertical surfaces and doesn’t run. They works well with complicated surfaces, is simple to apply, and doesn’t raise the grain. However, it’s expensive, difficult to clean up, and comes in a limited choice of colors. Additional coats will not darken the color. One-step stain and finish – This is the quickest way to finish wood on kitchen cabinets if you’re not picky about achieving an exact color. It obtains uniform results, doesn’t raise the grain, and is quick to use. Additional coats will not darken the color.

How To Stain Kitchen Cabinets

How To Stain Kitchen Cabinets
How To Stain Kitchen Cabinets
How To Stain Kitchen Cabinets
How To Stain Kitchen Cabinets
How To Stain Kitchen Cabinets

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