How To Refinish Pickled Wood Cabinets

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Remodeling is exciting, but it can also be stressful. This blog aims to take you through the process. I hope to include posts on generating designs ideas for your project, saving up money for your project, and scheduling the project into your busy life. I also plan to talk about DIY remodeling, living around contractors in your home, dealing with kitchens that are out of commission, and every other aspect of remodeling that I think of. Hey, my name is Tristan, and I guess you could say that after flipping five homes I've become almost an expert in remodeling. I also love working on my own home. Thanks for reading my blog.


How To Refinish Pickled Wood Cabinets

20 March 2018
 Categories: , Blog

If you have pickled wood cabinets, you may decide you no longer like them, or it doesn't match your current decor. The pickling technique started as a lime coating to protect wood, then changed to the modern, less dramatic finishes to bring out the wood grain. The modern finishes bring out the wood without heavy paint. It is possible to darken your cabinets by following these steps.

Prepare to Refinish the Cabinets

To refinish pickled cabinets, gather:

  • work gloves
  • safety glasses
  • drop cloths or plastic
  • sponge
  • microfiber cloth
  • screwdriver 
  • 220-grit sandpaper
  • orbital sander (optional)
  • metal scraper or furniture scraper 
  • nylon or poly paint brushes
  • paint stripper
  • stain 
  • wood filler
  • wood conditioner 

Use the screwdriver to remove the door hinges, and lay doors on a flat surface or on drop cloths. Lay drop cloths over counters and the floor around the work area. If possible, work in a open area outside on concrete or on a deck. Otherwise, keep a window raised to ventilate, or wear a respirator.

Strip the Finish 

Inspect the cabinets and doors for dings or holes, and cover them with wood filler. If the cabinet has stains, clean the surface with a sponge and all-purpose cleaner, rinse using cool water and clean sponge or rag, and let it dry.  

It is usually unnecessary to stain the inside of the cabinet and drawers. Dip the paint brush into the paint stripper, and work it into the surface of the doors and cabinet base.

Rinse stripper that gets on your skin immediately with warm water. Let the stripper remain several minutes or until the surface appears wrinkled, then scrape it with the scraper or putty knife, following the wood grain.  

Reverse the doors, and apply and remove the stripper to the back in the same manner. Rinse residue by wiping the surface with a damp sponge, then allow it to dry.

Sand and Stain

Sand the surface work in the direction of the wood grain, folding sandpaper in half to get into tight spaces, cleaning dust with a cloth. Use an orbital sander to make the job go faster. 

Brush a layer of conditioner on all surfaces with a paint brush, and give it fifteen minutes to dry. Work on three or four cabinet faces and drawers at a time.  

Apply the stain following the grain, using a clean brush. Let it stand ten minutes, then wipe it from the surface. Reapply the stain in layers until you get the desired color. Protect the finish with a coat of polyurethane. Reinstall the parts after twenty-four hours.

For more information on cabinets, contact a company like DL Cabinetry - Orlando.