Need a step by step process for refinishing kitchen cabinets

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Forum topic by brown_trousers posted 11-01-2011 01:30 AM 952 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2 posts in 2542 days

11-01-2011 01:30 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.

2 replies so far

View wisno's profile


88 posts in 3155 days

#1 posted 11-08-2011 10:21 AM

If you got smooth and even wood then you can start your finishing process.
Apply stain to your wood. use the dark color brown color stain.
Make sure you get even color and the right color. Let it dry and apply your sealer and top coat.
Usually you need to apply 2 coats of sealer and 2 coats of top coat to get smooth and even surface.

Do your finishing process in some pieces of wood, and see the result. You can start to finish your cabinet after you got the finishing color and looked at your wood pieces.

Refinishing the furniture.


Good luck


View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5069 posts in 4104 days

#2 posted 11-10-2011 11:08 PM

Even though they have been sanded, they will probably be fully “sealed”. I would color the finish with a TransTint dye to get the color you want. Do you have a spot that you can use as a test? I have had good success with the tinting, and it won’t “muddy” the natural wood grain.
Are the cabs in place or are they removed for refinishing? If removed, they can be sprayed with the desired toning coat. I would use a poly finish because of the water environment. Keep in mind that an oil-based finish will have a tendancy to “yellow”. Water based poly will retain a desired color.


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