Need a step by step process for refinishing kitchen cabinets

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Forum topic by brown_trousers posted 11-01-2011 05:22 AM 814 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2 posts in 2367 days

11-01-2011 05:22 AM

A disclaimer, I’ve never been much of a woodworker. But I have a lot of auto painting experiencing and am very familiar with prep work, stages, flash times, basecoats/clear coats, etc…

I’ve started with my small bathroom, which have the same cabinets as the kitchen, to use as a guinea pig before I tackle the kitchen. I believe the cabinets are oak, and I have them stripped and sanded smooth to 220 grit with an orbital sander.

I’d like to get a dark/deep mahogany look out of the cabinets if that’s possible. Where would be a good place to start? I have an air compressor setup and an HVLP gun ready to go. start with non-wax shellac? some kind of stain to make it darker? then clear coat with poly? I dont want to mix incompatibles systems of wood stuff here, so I’m just looking for a good process to get me started.

3 replies so far

View Howie's profile


2656 posts in 2891 days

#1 posted 11-01-2011 01:01 PM

I would use a wipe on gel stain. Then spray your poly. As always test first.

-- Life is good.

View Pdub's profile


923 posts in 3148 days

#2 posted 11-01-2011 02:05 PM

I’m not an expert on re-finishing cabinets but I have done it to mine. Since you have them stripped and sanded you should look for a stain color that you like and experiment a little. Try it to see if you like the color. Once you find a color you like your in business. Like Howie said, I would spray your Poly since your have that capability. There are alot of LJ’s on here that are better qualified to help you. Hopefully they will see this and give you some advice.

-- Paul, North Dakota, USAF Ret.

View azart's profile


3 posts in 2365 days

#3 posted 11-04-2011 04:31 PM

Good prepping is the key, Mohawk makes a product called wax off which removes and preps any hard to get to areas of your previous finish. A light coat of shellac is a good idea for a bridging material to head off any adhesion, incompatibility issues with the previous finish. A wipe on stain would be easy to apply and the oak should take it well. A waterborne lacquer would be an option for interior spraying with your hvlp setup.

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