Changing the look of a kitchen is as easy as learning how to stain kitchen cabinets. Changing the color of the cabinets will let you cheaply and elegantly change the entire look of your kitchen with minimum cost and effort. Read on for advice on how to stain your kitchen cabinets.
If cabinets are new and unfinished, it is easy to get stain the wood to the color you desire. However, if the cabinets have paint on them, you'll first have to remove all of the paint before applying stain. Also, remember to remove all of the doors, drawers, hardware and hinges first before you begin the project; it is much easier to work with a table so you can keep everything organized.
Brand new, unfinished cabinets are easy to work with. Visit a local home improvement store to find out what color of stain you need, as different types of wood will stain differently; for example, oak is a very lightly colored wood and cherry is a darker wood. To change the color, compare the blocks of wood on display to the same wood you have. The color may be a little different from what you see at the store, but it will be close. If possible, bring a photograph of your kitchen cabinets to get idea how the stain will appear on them.
Preparation is the key for having the cabinets turn out looking good. Prior to applying any stain, use 120 grit sandpaper to sand the cabinets the first time, then go back over them with a 220 grit sandpaper. Wipe them clean with a damp rag and allow them time to dry completely before adding the stain. A cheap pair of latex gloves will protect your hands.
A great stain applier is an old cotton t-shirt. Dip a corner of the shirt into the stain and ring it out just enough so it does not drip on the wood. Drips on the wood may be hard to blend later. In small circular motions, add the stain. When you get an area done, go back over it without adding more stain to the cloth, rubbing with the grain in long, edge-to-edge strokes. This will help to ensure the stain is the same color throughout that area. It is better to add a minimal amount of stain, but in several layers. By adding one thin layer of stain, if the color is not dark enough, it is easy to add a second layer and make it darker. If you add the stain heavy and get a dark look immediately, there is no way to get it lighter without re-sanding the entire area again.
Use a vinyl tablecloth as a place to put the cabinet doors on while applying the stain and to let them dry. Getting stain on the vinyl cloth is better than on a good table or your floor tile.
Once the stain is dry, which usually takes about a day, you then can add a couple coats of protective polyurethane, which will also make it easier to clean.