Sanding and Staining Kitchen Cabinets
LESLIE: Bina (sp) needs some help refreshing the look of her kitchen. What can we do for you?BINA (sp): Well, my kitchen cabinets are 30 years old but the wood is good and it’s a dark stain. I really would like a light stain and I’m wondering if that’s possible.LESLIE: Well, anything is possible and you definitely want the look of stain, you don’t want to paint, correct?BINA (sp): Well, you know, I’m not sure. I don’t know which one – if painting would hold up as well.TOM: Well, painting done well can hold up pretty darn good but I will say that when it comes to stain, it’s a lot easier to go from a light to a dark than it is to go from dark to light.LESLIE: Mm-hmm.TOM: A lot of the old wood cabinets were laminated cabinets, so there’s a thin veneer of wood on the outside of it and you have to sand off quite a bit to get to the darkest part of the stain and be able to kind of sand that away so that you can sort of lighten things up. So, you could try to lighten this up by sanding. Maybe take one door off …BINA (sp): And try it.TOM: … and see how it works. Right. You can always go to paint as a next step but if you want to give it a shot …LESLIE: As a second option.TOM: … let’s do experimenting and figure out how hard it is to remove the stain that’s there. If you get most of it off, you know, then we’re good to go; we can proceed with the rest of the project.BINA (sp): Right, now OK; let’s say I want – after that, decide to paint. It has to be sanded down very thoroughly? Same thing?TOM: Not as much. No, you have to – you still have to sand the surface. You can use a liquid sandpaper, which works very well, and then you can prime it and paint it. And you can get a good, I’d say, eight to twelve years out of that.BINA (sp): Oh. Uh-huh.LESLIE: But Bina, you want to make sure that you take the doors off of the cabinet boxes themselves and you leave either the hinges on the door or on the box itself and then label every piece of things that you remove so you know exactly where they go to. As you take a cabinet door off, say that – label that one A and then put a piece of tape on the inside of that cabinet box A so you know exactly where things go so that hinges line back up, so that doors are flush. This way you don’t have to adjust anything.BINA (sp): I see. That’s a good idea.LESLIE: Oh, I’ve done it both ways and let me tell you, that’s the easier way.BINA (sp): (overlapping voices) Have you?TOM: Absolutely.BINA (sp): Oh, OK. OK. Well, gee, I appreciate everything. Thank you so much.TOM: You’re very welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.