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How to Get Your Cabinets’ Natural Wood Shade Back

How to Get Your Cabinets’ Natural Wood Shade Back

Wood cabinets are durable, and their grain gives them a unique character. If you want that uniqueness to shine through, natural wood staining will restore their original beauty while keeping them protected against wear and tear, moisture damage, dirt, and spills. Here are some things to keep in mind if natural wood restoration is a goal for your cabinet painting project.

Remove Paint, Stains, and Finishes

If your current paint or stain is damaged or doesn't have the natural effect you want, removing it will help prepare the surface for cabinet staining. This can be done using a chemical stripper, painted on with a brush. Wear gloves and eye protection, and aerate the room well.

There are also gel stripping products that you can apply to break down the coats of paint, finish, and glaze on your cabinets. Each of these options is a time-consuming process of reapplying the stripper and scraping layers off until the cabinet surface is smooth.

Sanding Cabinets You Plan to Paint

Stain can also be removed by sanding cabinets with an electric sander, but doing that isn't recommended unless you're familiar with that tool and how it works on your cabinet surface. Using incorrect settings and/or applying too much pressure could damage the wood, and you don't want the added cost of cabinet replacement or reconstruction when repainting or re-staining will do.

But since sanding may be necessary to correct minor bumps and dings on the surface, you may want to consider hand-sanding as much as possible to remove old paint and stain from the surface with a lower-risk technique.

Whichever method you choose, test the grain of sandpaper, the machine setting, or the pressure you're applying to the machine on a small area of the cabinet surface that won't be visible to visitors and guests. This way, you can be more confident that you're not damaging the underlying structure of your cabinets to remove paint.

Cleaning and Vacuuming Dirt and Dust

Wiping down cabinets and letting them dry completely is an important part of preparing to restore them to a natural wood finish. You want the true beauty of the wood to shine through, so it's good to make sure no grit or grime is degrading the appearance and texture of primers and wood stains. Since sanding creates a lot of dust, you'll want to vacuum the area frequently throughout that phase of the project.

Choosing Primers and Stains

Now that your cabinets are ready, it's time to prime. Coat everywhere you plan to re-stain with an interior primer suitable for wood cabinets. Let the primer dry completely before putting on your stain.

When it comes to staining cabinets, you have a range of natural wood colors and finishes to choose from. To make the most of your project:

  • Choose the stain that matches the wood type color of your cabinet surface.

  • Add one coat to any surface you want to re-stain. Let dry completely.

  • If you want more grain to show through, apply the minimum number of stain coats necessary to achieve a pleasing look and cover up imperfections.

  • If it's more about the color of the wood than the grain, you can add another coat of stain. This will also give the benefit of adding another layer of protection against moisture, wear, and tear.

  • You can wipe cabinets as you stain if you want to create a more rustic, multidimensional finish.

Get Help Before You Get Stuck

Cabinet refinishing is an investment in time and resources. But it's worth it to have a kitchen, bathroom, or storage area you love. But if you don't want to risk having to re-stain, re-strip, and repair, Trico Painting is here to help. We offer cabinet painting services as a crucial part of our interior painting expertise.

We can safely and efficiently prep cabinet surfaces, apply the perfect finish for the look you want, and reinstall your like-new cabinets in a fraction of the time it would take to DIY the same project. Don't risk a mishap that would damage or degrade your beautiful, natural wood cabinets. Contact Trico Painting for your cabinet painting or staining estimate today. We're excited to get to work!