Face Your Kitchen
Your Guide to Kitchen Cabinet Refacing

Refinishing Kitchen Cabinets: Get a Whole New Look By Staining Oak Kitchen Cabinets

by Leslie Smith
Face Your Kitchen Columnist

Refinishing kitchen cabinets is seldom easier than by staining oak kitchen cabinets.

Ready: Prep for Kitchen Renovations

The bulk of all home improvement projects is the prep work. Just get used to it and don't jump ahead. There is nothing worse than realizing in the middle of a do-it-yourself project that your shortcuts were a bad idea.


Get your oak kitchen cabinets ready by sanding off any varnish. You can only stain darker. Lightening kitchen cabinets that have already been stained dark is an uphill battle. You can sand off a great deal, but might never get the darker hue out of the grain. You can try some lacquer thinner or just resort to whitewash.

Either way, the oak kitchen cabinets need to be cleaned completely and sanded smooth. Of course, take the cabinet doors off and drawers out.

Set: Have the Right Cabinet Refacing Supplies on Hand

Oak kitchen cabinets take stain really well. Oak is a hardwood, meaning it is very durable and makes sense for kitchen cabinets. If you already have oak kitchen cabinets, there is no reason to buy replacement kitchen cabinet doors. You're all set and ready for the stain.

Choose a stain that does not include a sealant if you are not sure how deep you want to make the color. Once a sealant is applied, new stain will not saturate to add a deeper color. There are many colors and styles of stain from which to choose.

You can choose a transparent stain to see the grain or an opaque stain to lose the grain. Talk to a professional at your home center to choose either a gel, wiping, spray, water-based liquid stain or something else.

Go: Beyond Staining Oak Kitchen Cabinets

Now that you are done refinishing kitchen cabinets, rethink the hardware. Is it time to change it and finish the look? Have fun and enjoy your new look.


About the Author
Leslie A.M. Smith is a freelance writer and desperately needs a new kitchen. Until she can afford it, she has her eye on refacing her cabinets.

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