How do I clean/restore 50s wood cabinets?

Jude G
by Jude G

I recently moved into a house with kitchen cabinets from the1950s. I would like to try to restore the wood, not paint, by cleaning and refinishing. Asking for any suggestions to help me with this. Thanks!

  9 answers
  • Mary Mary on Sep 21, 2018

    Clean with TSP .(TriSodiumPhosphate) it comes in a small box, under $5. Mix with HOT water, use latex gloves if you have sensitive hands, wipes grease and crud right off. Once they are ckean, oil them or refinish with stain and clear coat to revive them to look new!

  • Dee Dee on Sep 21, 2018

    Formbys makes a wood restorer that would probably work

    https://www.formbys.com/products/refinisher/

  • Fiddledd224 Fiddledd224 on Sep 21, 2018

    Take one of the cabinet doors to the paint department of the home improvement store and ask them to select paint/stains and other finishes and application tools that will work for your kitchen. They have the best selection, the most up-to-date materials and most important, the most informative sales staff to get you what you need for a professional job.

  • Arleen Sarsons Arleen Sarsons on Sep 22, 2018

    I restored my very old dull looking oak kitchen cabinets from the 80’s with a product from Home Depot called Rejuvinate for Hardwood floors. I Washed them really well with Murphy’s Oil Soap first & let them dry before applying Rejuvinate. I am extremely happy with the reaults. It took lots of elbow grease but worth it. Hope this helps.

  • Landsharkinnc Landsharkinnc on Sep 24, 2018

    I like Murphy's oil soap, and finish with HOWARDS FEED n' CLEAN , then buff -- especially for 'real' wood ...

  • Saul Gutierrez Saul Gutierrez on Oct 09, 2018

    Let me know how you doing I have to do my cabinets

  • Jude G Jude G on Oct 10, 2018

    So, I cleaned the cabinets well with Murphy's oil soap and then wiped them down with a wet rag and dried them. Then I used Howard's Restor-A-Finish, it comes in different stain colors. I followed the directions on the can. I let is dry overnight then applied Howard Feed-N-Wax, again according to the directions on the bottle. I am satisfied with the outcome, the cabinets look clean and polished. The stain product did not add a lot of color, but I didn't get to bare wood, so it was filling in only spots where the was some damage. It was a bit time consuming but a lot cheaper than painting or new cabinets. The products go a long way, so don't overbuy!

  • Fiddledd224 Fiddledd224 on Oct 10, 2018

    Take one of the cabinet doors to the paint department of the home improvement store and ask them to select paint/stains and other finishes and application tools that will work for your kitchen. They have the best selection, the most up-to-date materials and most important, the most informative sales staff to get you what you need for a professional job.


  • Sharon Sharon on Oct 10, 2018

    Rejuvenate is a good product also for doing cabinets.... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_6bgs2QIKo