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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-14-2012, 11:39 PM Thread Starter
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Default finishing lowe's cabinets

Hello. I'm new to the forum but have been woodworking for years. My latest project is finishing a bunch of german beech cabinets Lowe's now has as they unfinished in stock cabinets. They are ok for the price since I have very little room to work with and cannot bring any tools into this house until I get more work done on it. I wonder if anyone has used varathane stains on this sort of wood and what it does over time. I have mainly used water based stains and finishes to preserve my own health. This time I have found an oil based stain, light cherry from Varathane, that I like. I was wondering how well Minwax polycrylic does in a kitchen environment. Hope to hear from someone on this subject. Thank you.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-15-2012, 04:49 AM
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Hi Karen. Welcome to the forum.

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-15-2012, 07:55 AM
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Karen I can't speak to the Minwax polycrylic since I have never used it but the oil stain should work fine. The stain will only be adding color to the wood so it doesn't really matter what brand you use. If you have a concern with the MInwax you might want to give them a call and ask them for their opinion. I'm guessing that it will be fine.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-15-2012, 07:58 AM
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Hi, Karen, welcome aboard!

If these cabinets are unfinished, the question becomes how much sanding they can take before you break through the typically thin veneer. Can you buy a filler strip to test out the color, coating thickness and gloss level if you use the finish you are thinking of? I would expect polycrylic to be fine in the kitchen -- but many types of clear coat would be fine, if they're fully dry.

In kitchens, the main issue is probably moisture. How will the final urethane coats be applied? I'd probably spray two thin gloss coats and make SURE everything is dry between coats. Then the final two coats would be semi-gloss. I like the coverage from gloss but don't always want gloss as a final finish. How much and what top coats to use can depend on how much UV exposure the cabinet will get as well as what equipment you use. The last kitchen cabinets I refinished, I actually used a rag and wiped on the final clear coats.

Check out Bob Flexner's book, Understanding Wood Finishing. He speaks to the science of finishes. It's quite a departure from the "secret family recipe" approach that many woodworkers grew up with.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-15-2012, 08:26 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the welcome! It is nice to see people actually read and respond.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-15-2012, 08:27 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the info! It will help.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-15-2012, 08:49 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roloff View Post
Hi, Karen, welcome aboard!

If these cabinets are unfinished, the question becomes how much sanding they can take before you break through the typically thin veneer. Can you buy a filler strip to test out the color, coating thickness and gloss level if you use the finish you are thinking of? I would expect polycrylic to be fine in the kitchen -- but many types of clear coat would be fine, if they're fully dry.

In kitchens, the main issue is probably moisture. How will the final urethane coats be applied? I'd probably spray two thin gloss coats and make SURE everything is dry between coats. Then the final two coats would be semi-gloss. I like the coverage from gloss but don't always want gloss as a final finish. How much and what top coats to use can depend on how much UV exposure the cabinet will get as well as what equipment you use. The last kitchen cabinets I refinished, I actually used a rag and wiped on the final clear coats.

Check out Bob Flexner's book, Understanding Wood Finishing. He speaks to the science of finishes. It's quite a departure from the "secret family recipe" approach that many woodworkers grew up with.
Hello! Thanks for the info. Actually, the veneer is fairly generous and I usually do not oversand since I have three young boys and I still have to be Mom. The cabinets are euro boxes so they do not have face frames. Also, they are full overlay on the cabinet doors (no space to show in between the doors) so even if the veneer on the edges of the boxes is a bit thin they will not be seeing the light of day much. I also found at a Habitat for Humanity Restore some thin cabinet sides that I will be using for the outside skin to cover the vinyl (a good deal, $2 a piece!) Love those stores!

They will be getting UV exposure on one side of the kitchen so I should up the coverage on that side. On the wall cabinets I am painting an off white with a brown glaze in the grooves. I am also going to put a few top coats with polycrylic to help protect the wood from my extreme use of my kitchen (canning, baking, dehyrating, and all sorts of other messy habits). I know that polycrylic does not yellow so the color of the paint could only fade in UV, not yellow. Or so I think. I guess time will tell. Again, thanks for the info and it is nice to actually talk to people who have experience.
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