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Old 03-29-2010, 05:41 PM
 
20,797 posts, read 32,208,948 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by art_teacher_mom View Post
I have darkened 1990's golden oak cabinets and furniture successfully. It involves gel stain applied with a brush. There is no stripping involved, just some good cleaning and scuff sanding. I prefer General Finishes gel stain or Old Masters over the minwax crud they sell at HD. (The minwax dried WAY too fast and wasn't consistent). Gel staining is different than other staining, it's not so much about wiping off. It's more like glazing and building up the product.
You can get these products at woodworking stores or some old-school hardware stores still carry them. You may have to dilute them with mineral spirits a bit to get a consistency and color depth you like. Allow proper drying time, top with a wipe-on poly and call it done! ( General Finishes Arm-R-Seal is a great one. No water rings or cloudiness.)
If you have a Habitat for Humanity Re-store in your city, they sell old cabinet doors for a couple of bucks. I used these to practice first and it was great for getting the hang of it.
As for the fake-y panels on the side, a clear primer called PrimeEtch can be applied first and ANYTHING will stick to it. I have used that product to paint tile and it stuck! It's from a company called Faux Effects. I don't remember the website, but I'm sure you could find it online. They don't sell it in stores to my knowledge.

It's really not that hard. You can do it!
Thank you!! This might be a good option. We used a gel stain on our dining room table so I know what you are talking about. This might be an option. I might add some real wood to the ends of the cabinets to make them look a little better too-or maybe some small shelves or something. They face our family room so it would be nice to dress them up some.
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Old 03-30-2010, 10:32 AM
 
Location: Western Washington
7,990 posts, read 5,335,452 times
Reputation: 19158
Quote:
Originally Posted by art_teacher_mom View Post
I have darkened 1990's golden oak cabinets and furniture successfully. It involves gel stain applied with a brush. There is no stripping involved, just some good cleaning and scuff sanding. I prefer General Finishes gel stain or Old Masters over the minwax crud they sell at HD. (The minwax dried WAY too fast and wasn't consistent). Gel staining is different than other staining, it's not so much about wiping off. It's more like glazing and building up the product.
You can get these products at woodworking stores or some old-school hardware stores still carry them. You may have to dilute them with mineral spirits a bit to get a consistency and color depth you like. Allow proper drying time, top with a wipe-on poly and call it done! ( General Finishes Arm-R-Seal is a great one. No water rings or cloudiness.)
If you have a Habitat for Humanity Re-store in your city, they sell old cabinet doors for a couple of bucks. I used these to practice first and it was great for getting the hang of it.
As for the fake-y panels on the side, a clear primer called PrimeEtch can be applied first and ANYTHING will stick to it. I have used that product to paint tile and it stuck! It's from a company called Faux Effects. I don't remember the website, but I'm sure you could find it online. They don't sell it in stores to my knowledge.

It's really not that hard. You can do it!
Gosh, great tips here! You are making me want to try gel staining! LOL Your description of the minwax is exactly what I have seen on gel staining projects. It's why I've steered away from using it. What a great idea, adding mineral spirits to dilute it down so as to not get a heavy gloppy effect. Do the mineral spirits loosen the underlying existing finish at all? Also, I love your idea of picking up savaged cupboard doors at HFH to practice on. Thanks so much for your great information....filing it away for later use. LOL
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Old 03-30-2010, 08:31 PM
 
Location: Dallas area
171 posts, read 514,609 times
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Beachmel - glad you liked my tips!
You asked if the using mineral spirits to dilute the gel stain would grab on the finish underneath. Well, I guess, potentially it could. I personally haven't had that problem though.
If that did happen, here is what you should do. Wipe off whatever gel stain you've added using mineral spirits. Then put on a coat of Zinnser Sanding Sealer (it's like a clear, wax-free shellac). It would act as a bonding coat and a barrier, so you can put pretty much put any top coat on it.

You really should try this gel stain technique! The first piece of furniture I tried this on was an old maple coffee table I bought on Craigslist for almost nothing. It turned out great and sits proudly in my living room.
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Old 03-30-2010, 09:12 PM
 
Location: Western Washington
7,990 posts, read 5,335,452 times
Reputation: 19158
Quote:
Originally Posted by art_teacher_mom View Post
Beachmel - glad you liked my tips!
You asked if the using mineral spirits to dilute the gel stain would grab on the finish underneath. Well, I guess, potentially it could. I personally haven't had that problem though.
If that did happen, here is what you should do. Wipe off whatever gel stain you've added using mineral spirits. Then put on a coat of Zinnser Sanding Sealer (it's like a clear, wax-free shellac). It would act as a bonding coat and a barrier, so you can put pretty much put any top coat on it.

You really should try this gel stain technique! The first piece of furniture I tried this on was an old maple coffee table I bought on Craigslist for almost nothing. It turned out great and sits proudly in my living room.
Oh gosh, good idea, about the Sanding Sealer. Hmmmm lots of ideas just churning away in my mind now. LOL You can bet I'm not going to be able to wait too long to try this out. Hey, I have a question. I wonder how the gel stain would work on something that had been painted and stripped. There have been a few projects I've done in the past where I've wanted to reclaim the natural wood finish on painted projects. The trouble here is that sometimes there is enough gouges or soft areas of the wood where you just can not get the darn paint out without doing serious damage to the piece. Have you ever tried gel stain on something like that?

I have resorted to either priming and repainting the piece (broken heartedly) LOL, or simply dealing with the fact that there will always be a "reclaimed" look to it, due to bits of paint embedded into the finish. One of those reclaimed pieces is a beautiful Art Deco dresser with the diagonal veneer on the drawers. You just can't sand the darn things down too far without going through the veneer and destroying the piece. Any suggestions would be most appreciated.

Oh, by the way....how wonderful about that table off of Craigslist. Really, is there anything better than getting something for practically nothing OR nothing and turning it into something you are so very proud of? LOL It really does something for me.
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Old 03-31-2010, 05:36 PM
 
Location: Dallas area
171 posts, read 514,609 times
Reputation: 148
Beachmel, I know what you mean about wanting to get the stained wood look on an old piece that's been previously painted. Sometimes you just can't get down to the bare wood, right?
I don't know of a way around the paint bits that won't budge, other than to "faux" on top of it. In the case of a diagonal veneer, not sure this method would work because it's a "cover up" method.

I've used gel stain on abused wood (and even sheetrock/drywall) to get a stained look to an un-stainable piece. The trick is to look for the undertone of the wood you want to copy (oak is yellow, cherry is a salmon color, etc,) Paint a coat of the undertone and then gel stain on top, creating "faux wood" with your brush strokes. This is an age-old technique used by artists in restoration projects. It's called faux bois.
If done well, it will definitely fool ya! Here is a ceiling I did in my foyer. There is no real wood in this AFTER picture. It's all drywall and foam moulding.
BEFORE: White popcorn ceiling and outdated fixture


AFTER: Scraped the ceiling, then this was all done with latex paint and gel stain. This was my first attempt at faux wood. The part in the middle is a mix of mustard yellow and maroon paint (turns orange) applied with a sheep's wool applicator (sold at Lowe's in the floor stain section)

I used a waterbase gel stain on this called "Stain and Seal" Walnut by Faux effects. Great stuff!
I don't think I'd use waterbase on cabinets, though. Too much wear and I'm not sure about durability.
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Old 03-31-2010, 06:58 PM
 
Location: Western Washington
7,990 posts, read 5,335,452 times
Reputation: 19158
GET OUT!! Oh my gosh, that's GORGEOUS!! Seriously, you're awesome! LOL Excellent work and amazing creativity!

Hey, you know, I really do have to do the gel stain. Seriously, in some of those restoration jobs, I don't see doing the faux "cover-ups" withOUT the gel stain! You can't feasibly stain (with penetrating stain) over the paint touch up. You have really inspired me my friend. Look out gel-stain family, I'm about to become a member!! LOL Keep 'em coming teacher....cuz I'm learnin' and loving it!
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Old 04-25-2010, 07:17 AM
 
1 posts, read 8,321 times
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I'm buying a home that HAS to have new cabinets in the kitchen. Half of them were removed by the former owner (RIP) and the ones that were left aren't worth putting in the garage. Since we have to buy flooring as well (ugh) and a ton of other things for the home, we're looking into the unfinished cabinets from either of the box stores or the builders wholesale supply store located here in Huntsville, AL.

My question, I guess, is - aren't those cabinets from the box stores faced with RED OAK? I'd ask someone at the store, but the only people I've found to ask are from plumbing or carpet, not from cabs. I guess I'm trying to avoid buying a scrap of oak (filler panel piece) and 10 different stain colors and figuring out how the stain takes to that color of oak. I know it won't look like the swatch on the front of the can... it never does.

I've put these cabs in 2 homes I remodeled and sold (mobile homes) but that was 4 years ago and the whole 'color of stain' aspect wasn't a concern then. Now I'm buying a real house and wanting to focus a little more attention to detail.

How will the color of the oak (raw) effect the color of the stain versus what it shows on the can? I know I'll have to buy a few and try them, but I'd rather try a few than try 15.

I've been painting for 20 years and the 100 or so times I've stained built-ins and other woodwork, I never really focused on the how the grade of oak changed the color of the stain versus the example on the can.

I certainly won't get my stain from either HD or Lowes. I'll check ACE, Glidden Professional, Sherwin W. and Benj. Moore for something a little more custom.

Addition : what's the best glue to use to glue those side panel veneers to the cabinets? I used liquid nails last time and that gave me problems here and there. I ended up using a brad nailer and filling in the holes with putty and touching up the stain/poly. Ugh!
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Old 04-25-2010, 07:05 PM
 
Location: Houston, Texas
10,427 posts, read 29,611,491 times
Reputation: 9633
Quote:
Originally Posted by KicktoTheJunk View Post
I'm buying a home that HAS to have new cabinets in the kitchen. Half of them were removed by the former owner (RIP) and the ones that were left aren't worth putting in the garage. Since we have to buy flooring as well (ugh) and a ton of other things for the home, we're looking into the unfinished cabinets from either of the box stores or the builders wholesale supply store located here in Huntsville, AL.

My question, I guess, is - aren't those cabinets from the box stores faced with RED OAK? I'd ask someone at the store, but the only people I've found to ask are from plumbing or carpet, not from cabs. I guess I'm trying to avoid buying a scrap of oak (filler panel piece) and 10 different stain colors and figuring out how the stain takes to that color of oak. I know it won't look like the swatch on the front of the can... it never does.

I've put these cabs in 2 homes I remodeled and sold (mobile homes) but that was 4 years ago and the whole 'color of stain' aspect wasn't a concern then. Now I'm buying a real house and wanting to focus a little more attention to detail.

How will the color of the oak (raw) effect the color of the stain versus what it shows on the can? I know I'll have to buy a few and try them, but I'd rather try a few than try 15.

I've been painting for 20 years and the 100 or so times I've stained built-ins and other woodwork, I never really focused on the how the grade of oak changed the color of the stain versus the example on the can.

I certainly won't get my stain from either HD or Lowes. I'll check ACE, Glidden Professional, Sherwin W. and Benj. Moore for something a little more custom.

Addition : what's the best glue to use to glue those side panel veneers to the cabinets? I used liquid nails last time and that gave me problems here and there. I ended up using a brad nailer and filling in the holes with putty and touching up the stain/poly. Ugh!
Here we go again. Some one willing to spend unlimited funds on everything but the cabinets. In a room that families spend 80% of their time which means it is the most important room in the house....frankly your kitchen deserves nothing short of the best.......or at least something close to it.

Those unfinished oak boxes you are talking about are pure and total junk. Why do people walk into kitchen showrooms and curse particle board cabinets and then walk into the big orange who only wants your little green and buy them without any problem.

The grade of oak? You have number 1, 2 and 3 grade. 3 has knots and imperfections and number 1 is fine furniture grade. Then you have white oak and red oak. Stain only makes a small difference between oak species, not oak grades. Why are you being s fussy on a shade of a color and putting those cheap useless junky boxes in your kitchen. Those boxes are solid 15 PSI very soft PB with a veneer of oak on the face only, NOT the edges. So you will have 2 shades anyway, one on the face and one on the edges. The edges are raw PB. You tell me if you can stain that!

The drawer guides in those boxes are stamped white metal which are rated for about 7 pounds. Any standard drawer guide will be rated at 75 pounds which is the minimum standard KCMA rating.


Finally, that brand of box does not offer a side skin. You would have to buy 4 x 8 sheets of quarter inch oak ply and cut it up yourself.

Don't do it. If you ever try to sell the house with those things everyone would point and laugh.
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Old 04-25-2010, 08:02 PM
 
1,876 posts, read 2,452,581 times
Reputation: 1420
If you're buying unfinished cabinets can't you just take them to a refinishing shop & have them spray on catalyzed varnish or catalyzed lacquer rather than creating a whole mess & finishing them on-site?
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Old 04-25-2010, 08:24 PM
 
Location: Houston, Texas
10,427 posts, read 29,611,491 times
Reputation: 9633
Quote:
Originally Posted by smokingGun View Post
If you're buying unfinished cabinets can't you just take them to a refinishing shop & have them spray on catalyzed varnish or catalyzed lacquer rather than creating a whole mess & finishing them on-site?
Before you blow all that money, hassle and time, why not just buy the cabinets already finished? No home made finish process or even custom shop finishing process can match up to the major manufacturers and the furniture finish they offer which will always be consistent. No small shop can offer that.
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