unfinished kitchen cabinet
THE KITCHENWORKS REFACING PROCESS.
Unfinished Furniture Surface Preparation
A very handy tool for surface preparation of unfinished furniture
is a pair of cotton gloves, the kind you can get for 79 cents
or so that you use for gardening. They'll save you some slivers
and show you where you need more preparation.
There are a couple of electric sanders that are good for
unfinished furniture, but whatever you do, don't use a belt
sander. The good ones are, finishing sander, and random orbit
sander . The finishing sander is almost as safe as hand sanding,
but if you get off of flat surfaces with the random orbit,
the sandpaper can go into random orbit. See my experience
with sanding edges with a random orbit on the Sanding page.
Some unfinished furniture is finish sanded with very little
final sanding, but those pieces are not too common. Most will
have quite a bit of finish sanding. Here is where the gloves
come in. Put the gloves on and run your hand very gently over
all surfaces. Where ever the surface will need sanding, the
gloves will drag. Remember though that all areas of a surface
will need equal sanding, not just the rough areas. Sand the
rough areas first then resand the whole surface.
If there are a lot of areas that need sanding, put a little
corn starch on your glove and it will stay heavier on the
areas to sand so you can keep track of them. The corn starch
will come off when you give the surface a final cleaning with
a tack cloth
Sand With the Grain
Be sure to always sand with the grain. If you sand across
the grain it will show when you stain, no matter how fine
the sandpaper is.
Clean the sanding dust from the surface very carefully. Any
sanding dust left on the surface seems to grow in size after
a clear finish is applied. The best thing to clean dust off
is a tack cloth. The tack cloth is treated with a very sticky
substance that cleans the dust out of nooks, crannies and
Sanding for Staining
The success of your staining job is directly related to your
sanding job. If the sanding is uneven, then the stain will
be uneven too. Stain is absorbed more in less smooth areas.
If you plan a clear finish, only, you can get away with a
little less stringent sanding. More about clear finish only
in a minute.
Stain Density of Color
Stain density of color can be determined by the amount of
sanding and the grit of sandpaper. If you cut a board into
three pieces and sand one with 240 grit sandpaper, one with
320 grit sandpaper and one with 400 grit sandpaper, then stain
them with stain out of the same can they will be different
density of color, the one sanded with 400 grit sandpaper will
be much lighter than the one sanded with 240 grit sandpaper.
As you use progressively finer grit sandpaper there are fewer
wood fibers available for stain to be absorbed into. The stain
also soaks into the wood, depending on the hardness or softness
of the wood.
Some where along the way someone has come up with the notion
that you should seal the wood before you stain. If you want
to save yourself some disappointment, don't seal before you
stain. If you seal the wood before you stain, then there is
nothing for the stain to soak into and you end up with a smeary
Sealing after staining is a very good idea, some stains will
bleed through a finish giving an undesirable appearance and
it is a good idea to seal them in. Besides, using a sanding
sealer, you can sand it with a very fine sandpaper to give
a very good, very smooth surface to apply the final finish
Be sure that you use a sanding sealer compatible with your
stain and with the final finish product.
See Staining Wood for information on staining. Return to this
page by using your browsers back button or use the Unfinished
Furniture link in the Navigation Bar.
See Final Finish for information on the final finish. Return
to this page by using your browsers back button or use the
Unfinished Furniture link in the Navigation Bar.
Clear Finish Only
Skip the staining step, but do use the sanding sealer step
in order to get the smoothest final finish possible. See Final
Finish for more information.
Painting Unfinished Furniture
If you plan to paint unfinished furniture it's a good idea
to go through all the steps as though you were going to put
a clear finish on it, up to and including the sanding sealer.
You can get a lot smoother paint job if you seal and sand
the sealer before you paint.
For the final paint finish either use spray cans of paint
or brush on.
Paint will soak into wood and can take several coats more
of primer and a lot more work to get a satisfactory painted
finish without sealing the wood before painting.
Some day you may decide to sell your painted piece of furniture,
or pass it on to someone else who might want a stained finish
and they will definitely bless you when they start stripping
and discover that you sealed the wood before you painted.
This is the best instruction set on how unfinished kitchen
cabinets are... well, refinished!
here to find out more!