How to Pickle an Oak Cabinet


Sometimes you want to give your kitchen a makeover, but cannot afford to buy all new cabinets. Why not give your oak cabinets a whole new look? Not only will you save a lot of money, you will have the satisfaction of doing the job yourself. It doesn’t take a lot of time to do and can be done in a weekend. By pickling your oak wood it will highlight the natural grain of your wood. This procedure is done to open-pored woods such as oak and ash.

Things You'll Need

  • Linseed oil
  • Turpentine
  • TSP
  • Rubber gloves
  • #150 and 220-grit sandpaper
  • Shop vac
  • Tack cloth
  • White paint
  • Water
  • Mixing can
  • Brushes
  • Soft cloths
  • Varnish
  • Dark dye gel or stain
  • Wash the oak cabinets with a mixture of 3 tbsp. turpentine, 3 tbsp. linseed oil and one qt. boiling water. This will give your wood a good cleaning. This mixture is only to be used while warm, and you should wear rubber gloves to protect your hands. If the wood is finished, wash the surface well with TSP (trisodiumphosphate) and warm water. Rinse this off well and then dry the surface.

  • Check the wood for any blemishes, because a finish seems to magnify blemishes. Sand the surface with 150-grit sandpaper. Vacuum the dust away with a shop vac and then use a tack cloth to finish cleaning.

  • Apply a thick coat of pickling stain with a brush. Apply it in the direction of the grain. Or you can make your own by mixing 1 qt. of white latex-based paint and 2 cups water. Mix the two together in a container. You want the consistency thinner than the paint, but not as thin as water. Mix as much as you will need to do the entire project, otherwise you will need to make more and the two mixes may not match in color. This is applied in the same manner.

  • Allow to dry for 10 minutes. This will penetrate into the wood.

  • With a soft dry cloth, remove the excess stain. Use long strokes until you have achieved the look you want. You do not have too press hard as a light hand will do. The more stain you remove, the lighter it will be.

  • Repeat the process of steps 3 through 5 if you want a whiter, less transparent look.

  • Apply non-yellowing varnish to the wood with a brush, going in the direction of the wood grain. This will keep the pickling finish from being washed away. Leave this to dry for the time indicated on your varnish can.

  • Mix the dark gel stain with water. This will be runny because you will need to wipe off as much of it as possible. Wipe it on in the direction of the wood grain with a cloth and then immediately wipe it off with a clean dry cloth. This will dry quickly, so only do small areas at a time. Allow to dry before proceeding to the next step.

  • Apply a final coat of varnish. After the varnish is dry, you can replace the hardware of the cabinet.

Related Searches


  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/ Images
Promoted By Zergnet


You May Also Like

  • How to Pickle Wood

    Pickling wood is a process that makes new wood look old. This faux finish is easy to accomplish even if you have...

  • How to Pickle Wood Floors

    Pickling your hardwood floors can give them character and a more rustic appearance. Bleaching, antiquing, pickling and other specialty finishing techniques are...

  • How to Update and Refinish Pickled Cabinets

    Pickling is a painting or staining process that adds color to wood without heavy use of paint. Once pickled, your cabinets will...

  • How to Pickle a Kitchen Cabinet

    Exercise caution whenever a home improvement article begins “to do this, simply…” Finishes like pickling take patience to execute. There are three...

  • How to Stain Pickled Cabinets

    The process of pickling wood cabinets involves applying a white stain or whitewash, which gives it a white surface while still retaining...

  • How to Paint Pickled Cabinets

    Pickling, sometimes called "liming," is the process of bleaching and rubbing a topcoat of white pickling stain on and off wood cabinets....

  • What Paint Goes With Pickled Oak Cabinets

    Although in high demand in the late 1980s, pickled oak cabinets have lost their allure for homeowners and are a sure since...

  • Pickled Painting Techniques

    Pickled wood is the look of wood from which paint has been unsuccessfully stripped, leaving remnants behind. While this was once considered...

Related Searches

Check It Out

22 DIY Ways to Update Your Home on a Small Budget

Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!