Re-Staining Builder Grade Oak {Part Two}

I’m a little behind on getting Part Two of re-staining oak cabinets posted. Life happens. 😉

I’ve made a ton of progress on the cabinets in our entire house. The master bath, hall linen, guest bath and laundry room are all complete! This project is VERY time consuming but the results are worth it. I’m currently working on the kitchen (ugh!)… but the progress is incredible!

Below are photos of completed cabinets and some pointers based on what I’ve learned through trial and error.

Before/After Photos:

Guest Bath

Bath 2 Before  Bath 2 Interiors  Bath 2 Complete

Hall Linen

Linen Cabs Before Linen Cabs After Linen After

Laundry Room

Laundry Cabs Before Laundry After

Part One included directions on how to stain your cabinets. Here are some helpful pointers and tricks I’ve learned through trial and error. In no particular order…

1. START with staining the corners of the doors. It’s really important to apply light coats to get an even and consistent look. Applying too much stain will look globby and sloppy. The trick is to start with the corners so you can spread out the stain from there. Cheese cloth is also great for smoothing out globs. (Photo shows Coat 1 on a door)

Staining Corners

2. If the Polyacrylic in Satin looks too shiny, you need to spend more time stirring the product together. Excuse my lack of technical terms, but there is “stuff” on the bottom of the can that needs to be mixed in with the rest of the clear finish. Spend a few minutes stirring the mixture together. It’ll keep the cabinets from looking too shiny. Same goes for the Java stain, stir it up!


3. If you still think the Polyacrylic in Satin is too shiny… trust me, the Flat finish does NOT look better. It looks dull and inconsistent. Save yourself some time and take my word for it… the Satin finish looks better. It’s not too late if you’ve already applied the flat finish. Just apply a coat of Satin and the dull look will go away.

4. Temperature is important! The stain is easier to work with if the space you’re working in is cooler. If the space is over 80 degrees, the stain will start to cure a lot faster and you’ll have less time to work with it. Do yourself a favor, do this project when it’s cool out. Temps in the high 60s to mid 70s are perfect for staining!

Temp Progress

5. Only invest in good brushes that can easily be cleaned, such as Purdy paint brushes used to apply paint and the water base Polyacrylic. I made the mistake of spending $12 on a brush specifically used for staining the corners of doors. The Java stain doesn’t come out without using harsh cleaners. I didn’t realize this until after the stain dried on the brush. Small foam brushes are very handy for wiping up drips and applying stain to details. They’re cheap too!

Sponge Brushes

6. It’s important to protect anything you don’t want to stain! If you’re working in an area where carpet meets the cabinets, take a little extra time to make sure the carpet is protected. I found a random stick thingy that apparently goes with my car (can you tell I have no idea what it is?!). I used this stick to press the painters tape over the carpet and under the cabinet. Taking this extra step completely protected my carpet.



7 thoughts on “Re-Staining Builder Grade Oak {Part Two}

  1. You’re a staining machine! They look absolutely amazing, Shannon!

  2. Kelly says:

    So helpful. They look great!

  3. Jamie says:

    These look amazing Shan! Great job, love the blog!

    • shannonpavey says:

      Thanks Jamie! I enjoy reading your blog, you have wonderful ideas! Btw, I took your advice on skincare regimen.. bought the Clairsonic and Philosophy products. Totally works for my skin! 🙂

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