How do I finish my oak kitchen cabinets ?

My cabinets are impossible to keep clean as they may have had some stain on them at one time, but no finish to prevent dirt and grime from setting in. What do I need to do?

  3 answers
  • Martha Earles Martha Earles on Apr 22, 2017
    I would lightly sand them down ,then make sure all the sand dust have been cleaned off really good (you can not feel any grit on them ) then I would stain them, I prefer light so the grain of the wood shows but you can stain as dark as you like

  • Janet Collins Janet Collins on May 10, 2017
    Before sanding, remove knobs and clean them really well with TSP (hardware store) per box instructions.

  • Susie Lee Susie Lee on May 10, 2017
    Simple solution: if you're OK with the color of the stain as it is, wash them well to remove any grease. TSP is harsh and not recommended because of the chemical dangerous. I use things like Murphy's oil soap or Dr. Bronner's. Rince well, using a microfiber cloth, and let dry a couple hours, then you can put on no less than three coats of polyurethane. You can get a wipe on poly urethane from Minwax. To avoid odors get the water based wipe on. You can do oil base and a well then deleted area. Follow the directions on the polyurethane bottle, I believe they say wait 4 hours depending on humidity in your area. You can LIGHTLY sand in between coats with first a 250 grit sand paper working your way up to a 400 grit sand paper For the final coat, always going in the direction of the grain. Never across the grain. It will look like your project is ruined but make sure you wipe all the dust off before you put on your next coat. It will miraculously come back to life. Continue adding coats of polyurethane until you feel you have the finish you would like.

    More detailed solution: if you want to change the color of the stain, you will have to strip off what is on there. I recommend CitriStrip. It is low odo and it's super easy. Slap it on and walk away For about 5-6 hours. Even overnight. Just make sure you cover any areas you don't want to get ruined with the citri strip . Scrape off old stain with a wide plastic putty knife And wipe down with low odor mineral spirits. Your cupboards will be clean as a whistle. I like the water base stains because if low odor. I'd recommend watching some YouTube videos on staining techniques prior to applying. Apply according to directions. Then continue with the polyurethane technique.

    Good luck! Remember to be patient and know it will be worth it in the end.