Saturday, June 21, 2014

DIY Cabinet Staining

Phase 1: My husband and I have been wanting to update our kitchen for a few years now, and since he's in town this summer - we are doing it! It took six days for us to remove all our cabinets and sand paper them with two kinds of sand paper (120 grit and 220 grit), use a wood conditioner, stain the cabinets (we stained ours twice), and seal the stain with Polyurethane. Don't forget allowing the wood to dry at least 4 hours in between stains and the Polyurethane. I'm sure we could have done this process quicker if we didn't have to worry about little hands touching the base of the cabinetry throughout the day. So much of our work was spent at night during bedtime. But we got it done and are so pleased with the results!

Phase 2: We have already ordered, paid for, and had our kitchen professionally measured for new granite counter tops! They should be ready for installation within two weeks! We also picked out a new sink and faucet for our new kitchen - the Delta Ashton faucet.

Phase 3: We have purchased 200 white subway tiles (it shouldn't take that many) to put up our own backsplash once the granite countertops are installed. We will be doing this ourselves and will most likely rent a tile cutting tool from Lowe's. I will include a step-by-step process for that once we do it. We also want to add hardware handles to the cabinets with a stainless steel or brushed nickel finish.

Phase 1: Staining Cabinets


- sand paper, 120 medium grit and 220 fine grit
- stain sponge
- gloves
- paint brushes
- paint thinner (to remove Polyurethane from your paint brush)
- Wood Conditioner (pre-stain)
- Stain, we used MinWax brand in color Provincial #211
- paper towels
- cover to protect your work area
- painter's tape

1. Wash all cabinets with soap and water.
2. Remove cabinet you are working on and place in a spot to sandpaper (we placed a protection cover in our garage to work on). Sandpaper cabinet with 120 sandpaper, and then go over with 220 sandpaper. Wipe away dust with damp paper towel.
3. Apply your Wood Conditioner with a paint brush and allow to soak into the wood for at least 5 minutes and wipe away with a damp paper towel.
4. Apply your stain thinly with stain sponge or clean rag. Be sure to wear gloves, as the stain will dye your hands. (Follow instruction for stain, as ours required us to go over the stain with a damp paper towel 5-15 minutes after application).
5. Allow stain to dry according to stain instructions.
6. Apply more coats of stain as needed to get desired shade.
7. When you are done staining and cabinet is dry, seal your stain with Polyurethane using a paintbrush.
8. Allow to dry according to Polyurethane instructions.
9. * Repeat on the other side of your cabinet. (We did not stain the insides of our cabinets because the stain difference was not very significant. But if we had stained them darker or white, they would look pretty funny not staining the insides as well.)
10. **When staining your stand still cabinetry that you can't remove, be sure to protect your walls and appliances with painter's tape.
11. Reattach your cabinetry!

 Sand paper cabinet with 120 grit and 220 grit sand paper

 Apply Wood Conditioner (pre-stain) with paintbrush, wipe away with damp paper towel after 5 min

 MinWax Stain: Provincial

 Applying stain with gloves and stain sponge (Make sure to mix your stain before each application!)

Left: 1 coat stain, Right: 2 coats of stain

Apply Polyurethane with a paintbrush to seal your stain. (Use paint thinner to clean your brush because it will dry sticky/goopy onto your paintbrush and ruin it.)

 Our kitchen was a disaster...

 Protect your wall/appliances with painters tape!

Visible change in stain from the old wood on the left, and new stain on the right!

Kitchen complete (minus island)

 LOVE it!

 Kyle sandpapering the island

Island complete!

Top: Before stain, Bottom: After stain


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