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How to Make Cabinets a Lighter Color

  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Now we’re going to talk to Kathy in Ohio who’s looking to update her kitchen.

    Kathy, what’s going on?

    KATHY: Well, I have some I guess it’s walnut-finish cabinets and I was interested in maybe getting them a lighter shade. So I guess the only way to do that is to paint them?

    LESLIE: Well, are they actual walnut or is it a walnut veneer, is it solid wood? Do you know a little bit more about them?

    KATHY: It’s solid wood and I think it’s a walnut stain.

    LESLIE: OK. And you want to sort of pickle them; make them like a whitewash so you can still see the grain?

    KATHY: Uh-huh.

    LESLIE: Well, it’s actually not that hard. We did that in our kitchen with an oak cabinet which worked out great because the grain really showed through so nicely in the pickling. And a good stain or paint remover is one called Rock Miracle and you can get it at any sort of paint supplier or home center and it goes on really thick. It’s more of a like a gel than it is a liquid. And when you put it on, it sort of changes color to let you know that it’s working and you can use a wire brush or a paint scraper. And you’ll see it. You want to let it sit there for a while. And once it does change that color, scrape it off and then you may need to do it a couple of times and you can sand in between. But once you get it back down to that raw wood, it’ll be really, really pretty.

    KATHY: OK. And is that just one coat you need to put on, you think, or …?

    LESLIE: It depends on how white you want the wash to be …

    KATHY: Uh-huh.

    LESLIE: … and how much you want that grain to sort of pop out. And the nice thing is that the grain will appear really dark in contrast to the white. So try one and try a second coat in an area just to see if you like it.

    KATHY: And then would you have to top that?

    LESLIE: Absolutely. Make sure you get a non-yellowing poly topcoat. Because in kitchens, with the moisture, any sort of topcoat you put on tends to yellow unless you get one that has a specific, non-yellowing effect built into it. And that’ll really help it. And you can get it in a glossy or a semi-gloss or even a satin finish. So just look for a non-yellowing and get the finish that you like.

    KATHY: OK, that sounds great. Well, I appreciate all your information.

    TOM: Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.

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