How to Re-stain Bathroom Cabinets With Water-Based Wood Stain

Jenni Ingram
by Jenni Ingram
5 Materials
2 Hours
In my quest to abolish all the oak and brass in my new home, I needed to tackle my orange bathroom vanity cabinet. I decided to re-stain it so it would fit my rustic wood theme/on-going makeover in this room.

If you aren't into the painted cabinet look for your kitchen or bathrooms, try restaining them. .This is one of those projects that seems a lot harder than it actually is! Let me show you how...
This our vanity cabinet before. To restain it a dark warm wood color, first clean the cabinets and remove the hardware. I opted to NOT take off the door, but for a bigger cabinet job you should so you don't miss spots.

Then tape off the floor and sides of the cabinet .... this can get a little messy.

Then grab your stain and brush it on. This is only one coat of stain - and what a difference!! If you want a darker color, you can let the stain dry (about 2 hours) and reapply another coat.   My full blog post has a video of me painting this project and showing you how to "wipe back" some of the stain and I also link to the gorgeous walnut stain I used. Go look at it because I HIGHLY recommend this one!

I did this one evening, so I let it dry overnight (or 2-4 hours), and top coated it the next day.  I used a high-performance topcoat, which you can find in my full blog post. Apply the topcoat using a high-quality brush.
You'll just apply it along with the grain, let it dry and then apply another coat (2-3 coats total will do). 
Once it's all dry, re-install your hardware (I spray painted mine black to match the barn door hardware, which we added to the bathroom). 

And you have a new (old) cabinet!! 

You can get all the specific brands of products I use, love and recommend, plus watch the video by clicking on my blog link below..

Thanks for stopping by!
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Jenni Ingram
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
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  • William William on Nov 18, 2017
    Looks great in the darker color. One thing you didn't mention here as you did on your blog that you used a gel stain. A lot of Hometalkers may assume you just used a regular stain which wouldn't necessarily work.