Staining Kitchen Cabinets Made Easy
A BASIC UNDERSTANDING OF WHAT TO EXPECT.
Staining kitchen cabinets is one of the most thankless jobs that there is,
but don't fret - we're here to help you find the best and easiest way to stain.
My husband and I owned our own retail cabinet shop for 15 years. Having over 30
years of combined experience staining, we can tell you first and foremost, if
you can find help, take advantage of it, especially for the beginner.
A QUICK LINK TO AN ACTUAL STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE TO
STAINING KITCHEN CABINETS
You can quickly link from this Staining Kitchen Cabinets page to How-to Stain Kitchen Cabinet page, which will give you step-by-step instructions on
how-to stain kitchen cabinets.
TIME FRAME FOR STAINING KITCHEN CABINETS
Staining kitchen cabinets, or staining anything for that matter, will take
some time. For example, let's say you are building your home and have an entire
house full of trim work, doors, cabinetry, and windows to stain; or maybe you
are replacing every stick of wood in the house with new. It could potentially
take you weeks just to stain it, not to mention putting finish on the wood.
THE KEY TO SUCCESS
Once you are lucky enough to find the help you need to stain kitchen
cabinets, please remember everyone stains just a bit differently. Your end
results may look slightly different than your helpers, but that's okay. The key
to ensuring your finished product looks great is for everyone staining kitchen
cabinets to use the same material and techniques.
Here is one of the most important points we can make -- YOU ARE WORKING WITH
WOOD!!! If you are consistent in your staining technique and use a good stain,
you will get wood that looks similar to each and every other piece, and similar
results are good. Don't expect perfection, it cannot be achieved with real wood.
VARIANCE OF COLOR IN THE WOODS
Even if you stain every piece yourself, it will not look the same. Some
pieces of wood before being stained, will start out looking almost white, while
other pieces of wood in the same species will look almost black. This contrast
is not an over exaggeration, especially if you are staining the soft woods such
as pine or fir. Even maple, if stained, looks blotchy.
The photo above is of some knotty pine kitchen cabinets we built and
installed. The customer wanted the wood stained. Even using wood
conditioner, notice the variation in color throughout the kitchen. It all
blends well, but there are color differences when you are staining kitchen
Don't worry, there are techniques that we will discuss and trade secrets that
we will share to minimize this look of blotchiness, unless of course, you are
the rebel and want that blotchiness to show through, expressing your unique and
you can quickly link from this page about staining kitchen
cabinets to a simple how-to page that will give you step-by-step instructions on
how to stain kitchen cabinets.
Real World Experience:
In our cabinet shop, we once stained an entire house-full of trim, doors,
stair railing, windows, etc., including staining kitchen cabinets for a couple
who did not have any experience with wood. The entire house was oak, except for
the windows which were pine and which were the only items we stained on the job
The homeowner called us up, very upset.
The contractor had brought up a load of the oak we had stained, and they were
deliriously mad that 1) it was not the exact color of the pine windows and were
certain that we had used two different stain colors on their wood and 2) each
oak piece contained light and dark variations of the stain they liked.
We calmed them down, assuring them that we had indeed used the correct stain
on everything. After meeting with them again, talking some more, having the
contractor talk to them, they still were not very happy, until . . . the
contractor put the trim on the windows and throughout the house. The very same
day, we received a call of apology. They just loved it and couldn't believe how
spectacular it looked (and it did).
Separately, each piece looked slightly different. Together, it looked
beautiful. Why? Because we used good stain and the same techniques to stain.
THE LAMINATING OPTION
What if you desire each door, each drawer front, and each frame piece to look
like the others? Is it completely a lost cause? No, but you need to look at some
other options. You will need to purchase laminate cabinets, or, if you are
talented and have the tools, you can laminate your own cabinets. Laminating
isn't just for countertops, and comes in a wide variety of colors, textures,
styles, and several wood grains too. Throughout Europe laminate cabinets are
used in homes, a trend that has made much headway in the U.S.
So, whether you are a novice at staining kitchen cabinets, or have some
experience, the following pages will be beneficial. If you are an expert in your
field and feel comfortable with your technique, stay with it. You might not find
too much help in the following pages, then again, you may find some things you
haven't considered and may deem useful in staining your kitchen cabinets.
OTHER RELATED SITES:
How to Stain Kitchen Cabinets
A how-to guide, simple enough for the beginner, with some info
helpful for the pro.