Refinishing Oak Cabinets

  • Advertise with us

« back to Wood & Lumber forum

Forum topic by bluangel posted 05-19-2011 08:59 PM 1538 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View bluangel's profile


3 posts in 2587 days

05-19-2011 08:59 PM

Hi, I have 20+ year old kitchen cabinets that need updating, but I cannot afford to replace them right now. I wanted to try to refinish them with Minwax PolyShades, but after visiting that thread and reading all the negative posts, I am convinced that is not the way to go. Soooo, I need some advice as to how I can give these cabinets a face lift. They are of a meadow oak (medium shade) finish, some are in good condition and I could probably just lightly sand and re-polyurethane and they would be fine, but others that have received much more use probably should be sanded and re-stained. Can I use a gel stain if I sand the surface first and then use a clear poly over? Do I need to sand down to bare wood or can I just sand enough so that it will hold the stain? Or should I just use a conventional stain and poly afterward? I also plan to swap out all the hardware with new and then add new cabinet pulls to update the look. I really need to do this so any advice you give will be greatly appreciated.

3 replies so far

View chrisstef's profile


17423 posts in 3029 days

#1 posted 05-19-2011 09:19 PM

You could veneer over them and stain it whatever color you choose.

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View Loren's profile


10476 posts in 3670 days

#2 posted 05-19-2011 10:37 PM

You need to sand off all the previous finish, especially at the end
grain, if you want to get anywhere close to even stain penetration.

The easiest thing to do is scuff sand and paint them. Far easier than
real refinishing.

You can take the doors and drawer fronts off and send them out
to a shop that strips finishes in a “bath”. Results are pretty good from
this method of stripping.

View bluangel's profile


3 posts in 2587 days

#3 posted 05-19-2011 11:07 PM

Well, I was afraid this was going to be the answer. Bath stripping and veneering is almost as expensive as replacing, I’ve checked. There are a lot of cabinet doors, almost 30. I really didn’t want to paint them but if I decide to, do you recommend oil based or will a latex gloss or semi-gloss be sufficient? You think they will need a primer first?

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics