Kitchen cabinets that have lost their luster can be finished again. A new coat of stain and protective coating will add sparkle to previously stained and coated cabinets. Or if the cabinets are already bare wood, they may need that initial stain and finish coat.
Either way, finishing your kitchen cabinets will be an inexpensive, relatively simple way of bringing a new look to your kitchen—without installing new cabinets.
Before You Begin
The ideal workspace for finishing your cabinets is a garage, workshed, or unused room of the house. Make sure that the space is dust-free and that it’s able to maintain an ambient temperature of between 55 and 90°F, with relative humidity below 85 percent.
Because dust is always an issue with using oil-based coatings, avoid using the space for other activities while you are finishing the cabinets or waiting for them to dry.
Coatings for Finishing Kitchen Cabinets
Instead of using separate stains and coatings, use a product that lets you combine both steps into one. This product can be used on bare wood but it’s also uniquely suited for previously finished kitchen cabinets.
The product is a one-step oil-based interior polyurethane and stain. Its color register works well with previous colors and finishes, and it produces a lustrous satin or semi-gloss sheen.
Oil-based finishes have long cure times—four hours or more in ideal conditions—and they require petroleum distillates for thinning and clean-up. But the hard-shell finish and long-lasting durability are well worth it.
All major coatings manufacturers produce one-step finishes: Varathane, Minwax, Rust-oleum, and Behr.
Work in a well-ventilated area and wear a NIOSH-approved respirator. Clean up carefully with a vacuum equipped with a HEPA filter.
Source: The Spruce