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Removing Dye Stains from Kitchen Cabinets

  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Terri in Utah, you’ve got The Money Pit. What can we do for you?

    TERRI: Hi, yes. My daughters were over at (INAUDIBLE) home and they were dyeing each other’s hair …

    TOM: (chuckling) OK.

    TERRI: … and they got (chuckling) – they got a little bit of the dye onto her kitchen cabinet and it’s, you know, a darker brown onto some oak. And I’m wondering if there’s any way to get that out of her cabinets.

    TOM: Well, there’s a reason they call it dye. (chuckling)

    LESLIE: Yeah.

    TOM: It probably has absorbed into that oak, which is a fairly porous material and so I don’t have a lot of hope for this.

    LESLIE: Even if there’s coats and coats of stain or urethane on them? It’s not just sort of sitting in the …

    TOM: (overlapping voices) Well, I don’t have a lot of – I don’t have a lot of hope for it. Is it on the outside box or is it on the door frame itself?

    TERRI: It’s on her kitchen cabinets so it’s like on the drawer and kind of on, you know, the …

    TOM: Well, if it’s on the drawer or …

    LESLIE: Oh, so …

    TOM: If it’s on the drawer or the door that’s going to be solid wood and it’s possible you could sand it out. If it’s on the cabinets probably a laminate or a veneer and you may not have as much to sand out. I would …

    LESLIE: And Terri, I see where this exactly is going. The girls put the hair dye on, realized they had to wait 30 minutes and all of a sudden wanted snacks. (Tom chuckles) I see exactly what happened here.

    TOM: You know, what I would do is I would get some very fine grit sandpaper; probably about 200 grit.

    LESLIE: (overlapping voices) Like 150? Even higher? Wow, 200.

    TOM: No, I mean 200, 220. And I would very carefully try to sand some of these spots out and see if you can get them to lighten up enough where you’re pulling them out of the drawer or the door front without cutting too much into the raw wood. That would be the first place to start.

    If that does it, great. Stop. If not, you may have to sand deeper but then you’re going to have to touch up those areas and when you touch them up I would recommend probably some water-based polyurethane to seal it and the easiest way for you to get a finish on there that may match what you had there before.

    TERRI: OK, thank you.

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