If you want to update your light oak cabinets to match your remodeled kitchen without replacing them, stain them darker. Oak is a strong wood that comes in medium to light hues, and it has a golden tone. A beginning DIY person should be able to stain the cabinets darker. Here are tips to stain light oak cabinets darker.
Prepare to Work
For this project, you need:
- chemical-resistant work gloves
- safety goggles
- tarp or drop cloths
- medium and fine grit sandpaper
- tack cloth
- dish cloth
- flat and round scrapers
- chemical paint stripper (optional)
- paint brushes or stain applicator pad
- wood filler
- wood stain
Ventilate the area by running a fan or opening a window. Lay down a tarp or drop cloth over the floor.
Take the drawers out of the cabinet, and use the screwdriver to remove the door hardware. Store the hardware in a small container. Lay the drawers and door on a flat work surface.
Strip the Old Stain
Sand the cabinet body, doors, and drawers to remove the old stain with a medium-grit sandpaper, such as 120-grit. Clean dust with a tack cloth. Sand the surfaces again using a finer grade of sandpaper, such as 240-grit.
Moisten a dishcloth and wipe down the surface of the cabinets. Wiping the surface helps the stain go deeper in the wood.
If you prefer, apply a chemical stripper. Cover one door and drawer at a time. Leave it on the area for about twenty minutes, then scrape the finish off.
Apply the New Stain
Water-based stains work best on oak. Oils and shellacs only deepen the wood color, but they won't make a dark finish.
Fill nail holes with wood filler to match the new stain, then lightly sand the area after the filler dries. Brush the stain on one three-foot section of the cabinet body, using long strokes.
Open the stain can, and rotate the paint brush inside to even the color. Apply enough stain, so it pools. Leave the stain on the wood for one minute, then wipe excess off, following the direction of the wood grain.
Stain the drawers and doors. Let the stain dry. If it isn't the desired color, apply more stain, allowing it to dry. Brush on a polyurathane sealer to protect the surface, let it dry, then apply additional coats if needed..
Darkening your light oak cabinets will increase the value of your home as well as improve its looks. If you are ready for a complete kitchen makeover, contact a remodeling service such as Home Zone Inc.