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Thoughts on Refinishing Cabinets in Not Original Finish.

Thoughts on Refinishing Cabinets in Not Original Finish.

Old 10-04-2013, 05:38 AM
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Default Thoughts on Refinishing Cabinets in Not Original Finish.

In an earlier post I mentioned a blonde cabinet and indicated my low opinion. What's the consensus of refinishing, let's say in cherry or mahogany? The cabinet is good, other than the finish. I also have the matching stool.
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Old 10-04-2013, 05:40 AM
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Show us a photo, Vridar! Is it the one on your avatar?
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Old 10-04-2013, 05:45 AM
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Ditto Cecilia! I was wondering the same thing.
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Old 10-04-2013, 05:49 AM
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Yes you can refinish the blonde cabinet but you will have to use a chemical stripper to remove any varnish and grain sealer on the wood. May take two strippings to rid the cabinet of wood sealer. Use your favorite stain and see if the wood takes it if not the sealer has not been removed completely. If all goes well stain and varnish the cabinet as desired. Feel free to ask question any time. Be glad to help.
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Old 10-04-2013, 05:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Cecilia S. View Post
Show us a photo, Vridar! Is it the one on your avatar?
Yes! Thank you. I hadn't thought of that. I'll post a better one today.

Edit: Ooops! Can't take a picture. We're at the lake for a few days.

Last edited by Vridar; 10-04-2013 at 05:57 AM.
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Old 10-04-2013, 05:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Glenn View Post
Feel free to ask question any time. Be glad to help.
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Skip, thanks. That's what I like about this forum - helpful, nonjudgmental colleagues.
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Old 10-04-2013, 06:04 AM
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Vridar, this is only my opinion/taste, and I don't expect it to change yours. In my opinion, that natural wood looks marvelous. Is it maple? Solid maple is special!

I am allergic to veneer, and to stains which look un-natural. So if yours is a solid maple table, OOH!!!! I LOVE IT!

In staining, cherry is a -very- hard one to mimick without looking cheap-cheap. Stain often ends up looking cheap and tacky, unless it is done -really- well, with just the right prep/undercoat, just the right shade of stain... Once it is done, there is no un-doing it. (They call it stain for a reason... ;-) )

As someone who adores natural wood, I get sad when someone has painted or stained something, because then I cannot un-do it.

It will take you -many- hours of prep to prepare the surface for a stain, and unless you get Every. Last. Bit. From Every. Little. Nook. And. Cranny... then the stain will not take evenly, and you run the risk of a really cruddy-looking table.

I honestly think it would be less effort to find a different table, one already of a colour which pleases you aesthetically, and leave the blonde one au-natural, for someone who will love it. If I were near you, I'd take it! But I am sure someone else would -love- it.

Just my uncut opinion. :-)
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Old 10-04-2013, 06:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Cecilia S. View Post
Vridar, this is only my opinion/taste, and I don't expect it to change yours. In my opinion, that natural wood looks marvelous. Is it maple? Solid maple is special!

I am allergic to veneer, and to stains which look un-natural. So if yours is a solid maple table, OOH!!!! I LOVE IT! :-)
Cecilia, thanks, you've given me some ideas. I have a dark wood cabinet here at the lake and the blonde cabinet at home. Both have 15-91s in them. The lake interior is knotty pine which the blonde will match. I will switch the cabinets and leave them as original. It's amazing how these threads take different twists.
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Old 10-04-2013, 06:13 AM
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I have no problem at all changing the stain of a cabinet. I'm not a real fan of painting if the original was stained, but some need so much patching that they'd look horrid stained. And some are crappy wood to begin with, so you aren't losing much if you paint them.

I'm not a fan of putting a contemporary polyurethane finish on an old cabinet - but that is OLD and the one in your picture may not qualify. I have several 50-60 era cabinets and they are veneer over hardboard (not veneer over a solid wood frame) and they have a poly type finish to begin with.

I personally do not think that any hardboard core furniture ever counts as something you need to worry about making changes to. Even when it's 100 years old, it will still be a mass produced, cheaply machine made piece of furniture that really wasn't made to last in the first place. So it will never be the same as some of the older, individually crafted cabinets.

I refresh the stain on all cabinets I refinish. Most often I'm staying close to the original, which often looks very different once the discolored finish has been removed (many turned orange/red as they aged).

BTW - it will be eaiser to darken the blond, but experiment as the old stain color will affect the new - way easier than bleaching the wood to remove the old stain so you can make a dark cabinet blond.

I really like the newer chemicals, way nicer than what I used 30 years ago, some of them were rather nasty and more difficult to work with.
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Old 10-04-2013, 07:07 AM
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Here's one I did and I changed the finish color. I love it. The original photo (before) somehow got moved to the center of the photo group. But, it was more of a darker natural finish and I made it much darker. Yes, it took a ton of prep work to be able to stain it properly. http://www.quiltingboard.com/picture...t-t145486.html
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