Finishing advice for kitchen cabinets

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Forum topic by magicmark posted 01-08-2013 07:50 AM 1180 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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22 posts in 2281 days

01-08-2013 07:50 AM

Topic tags/keywords: tip question cherry walnut spray gun finishing shaker

I’ll be waiting until I get the entire bank of cabinets ready for stain before I start finishing them. In the mean time I’m building the rest. I would really appreciate some good advice on what stain and lacquer to use for these cabinets. I want to accentuate the contrast between the cherry and walnut but only tan the wood a bit.
And as for the lacquer…I’ve never used any. I probably need a “how to” and “what to” on that.

-- Mark ~ Dixon, Kentucky "We're gonna get through this!"

4 replies so far

View TCCcabinetmaker's profile


932 posts in 2589 days

#1 posted 01-09-2013 01:57 AM

Well with lacquer your woods will change color a little bit, you cherry should yellow a bit more and walnut darken a shave, so I”m not sure you really need to stain this.

-- The mark of a good carpenter is not how few mistakes he makes, but rather how well he fixes them.

View Cosmicsniper's profile


2202 posts in 3393 days

#2 posted 01-09-2013 03:03 AM

To accentuate contrast, an oil is your best route, IMO. I’d use Danish oil or an oil-based finish like Waterlox. I would follow that with something like General Finishes Endurovar (a water-borne poly finish that looks like oil-based poly) for a good film protection. I would use a thin coat of dewaxed shellac (Zinsser Sealcoat) to bridge between the oil and the film finish.

Nobody says you have to use lacquer, though if you are able to spray your finish it’s not that big of a deal. As TCC mentioned, lacquer alone will give a nice look too. But the aforementioned GF Endurovar has many of the same qualities as a lacquer anyway and it can be applied anyway you like.

This is a real trouble free way of finishing, especially on the cherry. You are asking for trouble staining cherry…and it appears to me that you don’t need it. The oils will likely give it the “tan” that you need anyway. The GF Endurovar also will give more of an amber look than typical water-borne finishes.

As always, use a test strip (put scrap walnut and cherry boards side-by-side) and give these a try. I bet you’ll like the look.

-- jay,

View runswithscissors's profile


2916 posts in 2259 days

#3 posted 01-09-2013 04:34 AM

Why stain woods that are beautiful as they are? Any clear finish will darken a bit, and will bring out the colors of the wood. After my recent post on another thread, looks like I’m on a (mostly) lonely crusade against staining everything whether it needs it or not (Or a jihad, if you’re Muslim.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View magicmark's profile


22 posts in 2281 days

#4 posted 01-09-2013 07:24 AM

Funny, I never thought of myself as an infidel wood stainer! lol I’ll do some test strips from cutting excess off of the drawer faces before I stain. If it cleans up the look and brings out the contrast then I’m with you guys…why stain at all? We’ll see how it looks. Thanks for sharing.

-- Mark ~ Dixon, Kentucky "We're gonna get through this!"

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