How do I change my maple cabinets to a dark color/stain?

by Dee
  5 answers
  • Kelli L. Milligan Kelli L. Milligan on Mar 29, 2019

    Big job. For best results you'll have to strip them using a stripper like Citrastrip or Kleen strip. Restain and finish. Don't go too dark. Dark cabinets,are going out of style again and they don't hold up as well as natural and mid color stains.


      You make an excellent point about not going to dark. Consider lightening the walls, appliances, or counters before darkening the cabinets.

  • Mogie Mogie on Mar 29, 2019

    Very good site. Even has a chart with different of shades of stain and how the look.

  • DesertRose DesertRose on Mar 30, 2019

    To stain them you will need to remove the doors and hardware and sand everything, then stain, then apply a urethane to seal it. Hope this helps, Dee.

  • Dawn Conner Dawn Conner on Mar 30, 2019

    wash w/ TSP, prime then paint. you MUST WASH AND PRIME. kitchen cabinets are usually too greasy to just paint over.

  • Peggy Riggles Peggy Riggles on Mar 30, 2019

    Definitely clean with tsp, then check out General finishes java gel stain. It's used more like paint for this type of project. You will need to put a topcoat (3) of clear polyurethane but it holds up amazingly well, and looks terrific! You also do not have to take down the cupboard doors! I stained over the hinges, and the old brass hinges just disappeared allowing me to change out just the handles to brushed nickel and they look beautiful! As for dark cabinets going out of style, it's of course all personal preference. " they " said the same of white cabinets and I also just did white painted cupboards for a friend and they are beautiful as well. Do what you like! You tube has lots of good tutorials and I've done the java gel stain using a sock or rag, and also applying with a brush and the brush method is so much easier, doesn't waste as much stain and looks so much better, that that's the only way I would use it now! Good luck and enjoy!

    • Dee Dee on Mar 30, 2019

      Thank you -- never worked with Java Gel Stain but will check it out. I don't plan to go real dark.