How to Restain Oak Cabinets

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Oak kitchen cabinets set the tone for the overall look of your kitchen. Over time, your cabinets will exhibit wear and tear and give your kitchen a dull appearance. Restaining your cabinets is a great way to refresh the decor without costing a lot of money or requiring a great deal of effort.

Things You'll Need

  • Dropcloth
  • Screwdriver
  • Soft brushes
  • Chemical paint stripper
  • Plastic putty knife
  • 400-grit sandpaper
  • Wood conditioner
  • Soft cloth
  • Stain

How to Restain Oak Cabinets

  • Remove any drawers or doors on your cabinets. Use the screwdriver to remove any non-wood materials such as hinges and handles.

  • Place a dropcloth underneath your work area. Chemicals such as stain and paint stripper will damage floors and carpets.

  • Apply a thin coat of paint stripper to the cabinets with a clean brush. Allow the stripper to sit for approximately 20 minutes.

  • Remove the original stain finish with a plastic putty knife. Scrape the surface of the cabinets until all the old stain has been removed. Don't use a metal scraper, as it will damage the surface.

  • Wipe the surface of the oak cabinets with a soft, damp cloth to remove any excess chemicals. Wait until it is completely dry.

  • Sand the entire surface of the cabinets with 400-grit sandpaper. Make sure you sand with the grain until the surface is smooth and clean of the original stain finish.

  • Apply a coat of wood conditioner to the entire surface with a clean brush. This will ensure the new stain absorbs evenly into the wood. Allow the cabinets to completely dry.

  • Apply a thin, even coat of stain to the entire surface of the cabinets with a clean brush. Wait until the first coat is dry before applying further coats. Continue to apply coats until the new finish achieves your desired depth and darkness.

Tips & Warnings

  • Water-based stains work well with oak because it is a very dense wood.
  • Work in a well-ventilated area when using chemicals such as polyurethane and stains. Wear gloves when working with caustic chemicals.

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References

  • Photo Credit morguefile.com
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