How To Stain Kitchen Cabinets

Staining kitchen cabinets, and how you prepare to stain depends on what you are starting with.

  • Are you building your own cabinets?
  • Are your cabinets unfinished in your garage waiting to be installed?
  • Are your cabinets new and already installed, but in need of staining?
  • Are you stripping your cabinets and then re-staining and refinishing them?
  • Or are you going to try your hand at re-facing?

You will prepare and stain a bit differently for each of the above situations; however, there are some basic steps and supplies that are universal when you are staining kitchen cabinets.

List of Basic Supplies You Will Need:

  • a good stain (I like a good oil-based stain, like a Sherwin-Williams oil based wiping stain)
  • stirring stick
  • sand paper (150 to 320 grit)
  • saw horses or work bench to stain on
  • drop clothes/cardboard
  • cotton rags
  • carpet pieces or other tool to apply stain (the right carpet really works well to get into those nooks and crannies)
  • clothes/shoes you don’t mind getting dirty (the stain won’t come out – it’s a good idea to invest in a body apron that you don’t mind getting ruined)
  • dust mask/respirator face mask
  • latex or rubber gloves
  • lacquer thinner or acetone (to remove stain off of where you don’t want it – like hinges or the floor; if you don’t have these, you can use finger nail polish remover, most contain acetone)
  • well ventilated area to work in
  • area to set wood to dry

Step #1 – Remove Doors, Drawers, Hardware and Lay Flat

If you are building your own cabinets, staining them is simply a step in the building process. You can stain everything, and put finish on it too, before you ever put anything together.

If your cabinets are pre-built, try to remove as much hardware as possible (handles and hinges). It is much easier to put the hardware back on than to try and clean it later. If you can take the hardware off, number each piece, then also put that same number on the wood where the hardware sits – making sure it is inconspicuous.

You should also remove the doors and drawer fronts before you begin staining kitchen cabinets, if you can, so you can lay them flat. Again, if you remove hinges, etc., do so and number so it won’t show on your finished product.

The advantage of having an item lying flat while you are staining kitchen cabinets is that the stain and finish won’t run all over and create a look you don’t want – sloppy. Who wants to put a lot of work, time, and effort into staining kitchen cabinets, just to see the finished product look sloppy and completely unprofessional? Learning how to stain kitchen cabinets means ending up with a stain job that looks beautiful and professional and says to the world that you know what you’re doing. You want your cabinets to look like you paid a fortune, even if you didn’t.

Step #2 – Look Your Pieces Over and Sand If Necessary

When first staining kitchen cabinets, look over the pieces you want to stain. Do they need to be sanded first? Most likely they are already sanded well, and you’ll just have to sand out small scuff marks which resulted from handling them or installing the cabinets.

Use a fine grit sandpaper, 150, 220, or even higher. Once you begin staining kitchen cabinets, any marks you’ve missed in sanding will jump out at you. You can always sand out marks and scuffs after you’ve stained your kitchen cabinets, but that takes more time and energy, so try to do a good job of sanding initially.

Step #3 – Setting Up The Area Where You Will Be Staining Kitchen Cabinets – Remember Safety First!

It is a good idea to stain items on saw horses if you have them, or on any sturdy table or bench that is about waist high. As you learn how to stain kitchen cabinets, you will be glad you used a drop cloth or cardboard on your floor or on any area that you don’t want stain on. You can use lacquer thinner or acetone to wipe up stain, but it doesn’t always work (like you can almost never get stain out of clothes). Also, lacquer thinner or acetone might melt or ruin what the stain is sitting on. If you don’t have lacquer thinner or acetone, use finger nail polish remover. It has acetone in it. Don’t inhale the fumes of such products, or get them on your hands.

You’ll also need to mask off any parts of the cabinets you don’t want stained, such as the interiors.

Wear clothes and shoes you don’t mind getting dirty, and/or a full body apron.

You should also wear latex or rubber gloves and safety glasses when you are staining kitchen cabinets. These precautions are not only for when you are learning how to stain your kitchen cabinets, but are necessary even if you become an expert. Safely is of the utmost importance.

ALERT: BEWARE OF DANGEROUS FUMES. Wearing a dust mask won’t do any good against fumes. Only wear a dust mask if you are in the sanding process. You will either have to invest in a respirator face mask for your safety, or ensure that you are in an extremely well ventilated area, such as your garage with doors wide open, or both. Fumes from the chemicals used while you are staining your kitchen cabinets are extremely dangerous, not only to breathe in, but, if concentrated enough, they can cause an explosion. And, don’t be fooled by water-based products. They can give off fumes and hazardous odors as well. Each product’s danger level is different, but error on the side of caution. Knowing how to stain kitchen cabinets means knowing how to do it safely.

Step #4 – Applying The Stain

Once you know where you are going to be staining kitchen cabinets, and have yourself and your area prepared, open your stain can and stir well. This cannot be overstated enough. When the can sits for any length of time, the stain will separate and sediment (color) will sit at the bottom of the can. If you do not stir well, the stain you use from the top of the can will be much lighter than the stain you end up using at the bottom of the can (and at the end of your project). These results will not look good. The things you stain first will be much lighter than the last pieces you stain.

To apply the stain, one of the easiest tools to use are old carpet remnants. Cut them into approximately 4 x 3 inch rectangles. Dip one end of the carpet into your stain, then rub the carpet onto your wood. It doesn’t matter if you go with the grain or against the grain at this point, you just want to make sure that you cover all surfaces. If you are doing intricate work, such as doors with groves or raised panels, be sure to get stain into corners. Over staining at this point is a good idea, because the excess will be wiped off. This is where the drop clothes and wearing an apron come in handy, because it can get pretty messy!!

After you apply stain to your piece, look it over to make sure you didn’t miss any spots. Areas that are commonly missed in learning how to stain your kitchen cabinets include: grooves, door edges, drawer edges, or any corners – like where the raised panel corners meet the door frame.

Step #5 – Wiping The Stain Off – A Very Important Multi-Step In Ensuring Your Piece Looks Great

As you are first learning about staining kitchen cabinets, I suggest you wipe the stain off immediately. Most cans of stain suggest leaving the stain sit for 10 minutes, then wiping off the excess. I’ve found that this does not usually change the color, so why wait? Also, if you are staining kitchen cabinets that are already installed, or already built, and you can’t lay pieces flat, your stain will run all over if you let it sit for any length of time. You will want to wipe it up as soon as possible.

If you want a darker piece of wood, purchase a darker stain color. The only time that waiting to wipe excess stain off will actually darken your piece significantly is if you can let it sit for over 30 minutes. This is really a false darkening, and the problem with it is that your stain is usually so dry by then that it’s difficult to remove smudges and wipe off the piece properly. The stain ends up sitting on top of the wood, not soaking in. Use your own judgment. If you decide to wait the 10 minutes, do it on every piece to ensure consistency.

Actually wiping the excess stain off in itself is a two step process.

First, have several cotton rags at your disposal. Put a rag in each hand. Never touch your wood with bare or gloved hands alone after it’s been stained, as it will leave a smudge mark. Wipe off the bulk of the excess stain. At this point it doesn’t matter if you are going with the grain or not, you just want to get the big spots of stain wiped up.

The second step is a finishing type step in staining kitchen cabinets. Take another clean rag. Go back over your piece of wood, this time with the grain. The second rag takes more stain off, preventing smudge marks. The biggest enemy in staining is leaving smudge marks.

Following these two steps and not being afraid to use rags as needed will ensure that you don’t leave any smudges. Look your piece over. If you have left any smudges, wipe off gently and blend color in with your cotton rag.

Step #6 – The Final Step In Staining – Set Your Pieces Aside To Dry

Now that you’ve learned how to stain kitchen cabinets, set your pieces aside to dry (or just let them hang there if they are already installed). You can lay your piece on a flat surface if only one side is stained. If your piece has multiple sides that are stained, you can lay it flat on something that allows for air circulation to the back, such as saw horses, or if you do enough staining, purchase a professional staining rack. One caveat: where the saw horses or rack touch the stained piece, smudge marks may be left. Before you finish a piece that has dried on such equipment, you may need to touch up that side.

You can also lean your piece against a wall to dry. When your stain is drying, it is best to let air get to as many sides that you have stained as possible. It’s also okay to let fans run in the area where you are drying your piece. This helps it to dry faster and doesn’t hurt the end result; however, never let fans run on a a piece that you’ve put finish on.

How long your piece has to dry depends on what type of stain you are using. Read the label and act accordingly.

ONE FINAL AND IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT SAFETY AS YOU LEARN HOW TO STAIN KITCHEN CABINETS

Remember to hang your rags to dry, ensuring air movement around them as well. Too many times, bunched together wet staining rags have caused a tragic explosion resulting in fire and even death. Please be careful!!

You Are Now Ready For The Next Step – Finishing

Congratulations!!! You have learned how to stain kitchen cabinets and have completed your staining project!

After your pieces are completely dry, you are ready for the next step – putting a beautiful, clear finish on your beautifully stained kitchen cabinets!

And remember – HAVE A HAPPY KITCHEN!!!

Custom Built Kitchen Cabinets

Have you been shopping for kitchen cabinetry and been dissatisfied with the selection of the big box stores and import cabinet dealers? Well perhaps you should really take a close look at considering custom built kitchen cabinets as an option for your kitchen remodel project. Here I will discuss some of the advantages and disadvantages of both stock and custom cabinetry.

Stock Kitchen Cabinetry

What are stock kitchen cabinetry? Stock kitchen cabinets are cabinetry that are pre-built to a specific size and then resold by a cabinetry dealer. Stock cabinets are typically produced in 2 inch increments. In some basic kitchen layouts such as an L shaped kitchen you can lay cabinets out without much problem. But what do you do when you are fitting cabinets between two walls? Well in this case the cabinet dealer can supply you with filler pieces to take up any large gaps that will eventually occur by using cabinets that are built within 2 inch increments. These cabinet filler pieces can be cut to fit the remaining gap relatively well. The main disadvantage with stock kitchen cabinets is the aforementioned incremental sizing but also the quality. Although as with anything the lower to mid range priced stock cabinets are typically made from thinner materials and have economy hardware such as cabinet door hinges and drawer slides. There are a few advantages with using stock cabinetry the very first one that comes to mind is cost. Since stock cabinets are mass produced they can be quite affordable. Another advantage is speed, in most cases dealers have access to larger warehouses where the cabinets are stored, and you can have your stock cabinet order within a few short weeks or in some cases days.

Custom Kitchen Cabinets

Custom kitchen cabinets are cabinets that are built just for your kitchen layout, design taste and needs. Custom kitchen cabinetry can easily be built to fit between two walls or to match odd angles, something not possible with stock kitchen cabinets. There are many advantages with custom cabinets that can not be had with stock cabinetry. The advantages that are at the top of the list are selection. Since a custom cabinet maker will be producing your new kitchen cabinets you can have them make just about any style that is imaginable. You can also have them produce cabinets that are in rare or exotic woods. You can also have a much larger selection of cabinet doors and drawer fronts. Some custom cabinet makers do opt to outsource their doors and drawer fronts, in this case they will usually have a very large catalog of doors for you to make your selection. With custom built cabinets you can select the type of hardware such as cabinet door hinges as well as drawer slides. Most are currently opting for hinges and drawer slides with the soft close feature. This is not only very popular but I wouldn’t be surprise if this becomes the standard in the next few years.

Custom Cabinet Cost

Most people want to know how much more custom cabinetry will cost as compared to stock cabinets. This is almost impossible to answer with any degree of accuracy. The real truth of the matter is that custom cabinets are going to cost more that the lower lines of comparable stock cabinetry. But we have seen custom cabinets be very competitive with the mid to higher range stock cabinets. Despite the higher prices of custom kitchen cabinets it is almost always worth the extra cost. The cabinets are built in a much more solid fashion as well as most custom cabinetmakers will use a ¾ inch thick cabinet case material, it doesn’t get much more solid than that. All cabinet shops will have varying prices, so we do recommend you always compare the same exact kitchen design from shop to shop for the most accurate estimations.

Enhance Comfort and Appearance of the Washroom With Designer Bathroom Accessories

When you are looking forward to constructing a house of your own, you can have a lot of plans. Apart from making proper plans for the different rooms, including the bedroom, the drawing room and others, you should also give proper attention to planning the decoration of the bathroom of your house. A bathroom is the place where you can relax by standing under the shower after coming back home from a tiring day’s work. You can make the bathroom look beautiful and soothing with the addition of several bathing accessories. There are several designer bathroom accessories available in the market. You can make use of these designer bathroom accessories to ensure that your bathroom has a pleasant look. It is to help you enhance the soothing ambiance of the washroom and have better effect in rejuvenating your energies after you return in an exhausted condition after the whole day’s work.

There are different types of designer accessories that can be used in your bathroom. These include several furniture like closets, vanities, shower racks, mirrors etc. You should see to the fact that the designer products are excellent in appearance. They are expected to add to the beauty of the washroom. Moreover, in many cases these products also enhance the ambiance of the bathroom and help to increase the comfort quotient for the users.

The designer accessories are available at a wide range of prices. While there are various products that come at a low price, you can also find excellent products on bathroom accessories that have extremely high prices. However, you can set a budget for purchasing these accessories. You can then select the best products that come within that budget. You should also perform a proper research before deciding the product that you want to purchase. This can be done by browsing the catalogues of the products of different companies. You can also make use of the internet and search for the products. By doing this, you will get to know a lot of options and hence, choosing from them will be easier for you.

When you are planning to decorate the bathroom of your house with designer bathroom accessories, you will get a lot of options. There are different types of objects that you can easily use to decorate the walls of the bathroom. Moreover, while the construction of the bathroom is going on, you can choose the tiles that you like. There are various tiles available that come in different colours and they also have different types of designs in it. You will be able to decorate the bathroom in the perfect manner with these. Moreover, you can also install a shower side panel inside the bathroom with decorated and designed glasses. You can install sliding shower doors to this panel. These sliding shower doors will help to keep the water to a specific part and ensure that the whole bathroom does not get wet while you are bathing. They can also add to the beauty of the bathroom.