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Kitchen cabinets

Posted by Henry in MI on August 22nd, 2000 04:22 PM
In reply to How to strip wood kitchen cabinets? by Lisa on August 22nd, 2000 02:40 PM [Go to top of thread]

5 of 5 people found this post helpful

Sorry, Lisa, there is no easy way to do this. Begin by taking EVERYTHING out of your cabinets and then remove the doors, drawers and hardware. These will be much easier to work on this way and you will not have to work around the hardware. Then strip the cabinets and face frames and finally, strip the doors and drawers. Be sure that you do not have laminate (like Formica) on any of the surfaces you plan to strip. I prefer a non-toxic stripper and will not use a methyl chloride stripper. You can get more info on stripping at Be sure that you protect other surfaces that you do not plan to strip as most strippers will attack finished wood, painted surfaces, fiberglass and many other surfaces. Some cabinets are finished with conversion finishes. These have to be applied in a well equipped, industrial-type shop. They are very difficult to strip. You might want to do a test on the inside of a cabinet door or some other less visible surface before you attempt the major elements.

Once you have stripped, you will have to try to bleach the stain color out. There are 2 different types of stains and different stains react to different bleaches. The first step is a trial of a small less visible area with household bleach. If this seems to work, you can continue with this. When you have finished an area or are sure that the bleach will not work, neutralize the bleach with 1 part white vinegar to 5 parts water and then rinse with clean water. This will raise the grain on the wood.

If the bleach did not work, get some Wood Bleach from the home center and mix it per package directions. Be sure to wear a dusk mask during the mixing. Apply the Wood Bleach to a small area and see if it works. It should but when you are done, neutralize the work area of the wood with 1 part household bleach to 5 parts water and then rinse with plain water. After you have completed the bleaching, you can lightly sand and refinish.

Be sure to follow all of the manufacturers directions and safety instructions. Wear rubber gloves and eye protection when using any of the chemicals.

This was really just a brief overview of the process and you might find many variables as you go along. We will try to help with specifics as the questions arise.

Good luck
Henry in MI

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