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Discussion Starter #1
Our kitchern has custom, built in place oak cabinets from early '80s. They are galley style with layout that includes 45deg angles . To save money, I am taking oak doors and drawer fronts off and making cherry shaker style (and replacing drawer boxes/slides). We are also using PSA to resurface the oak frames. I would like a durable natural look for the cherry. I have been looking at options for top coating (lacquer, acryllic, oil based poly). I'd prefer not to invest/setup a sprayer. And I know oil based can yellow while water based acrylic is harder to work with using brush. Any recommendations? Also should we get the kitchen done (PSA on frames, hang doors, install drawer boxes/fronts) and just topcoat everything in place (3-4 coats) over a few days?

Thanks!
 

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Some times, I want a water-wet looking, clear finish on all or parts of some of my wood carvings.
From what I saw in a wood working furniture shop, it's MinWax Tung Oil Protective Finish. TOPF, for short.
One coat soaks in, wood looks almost unchanged. When I can't smell it, time for the next coat.
The second coat dries satin. Then the third coat.

The fourth coat is water-wet glossy, all I had ever hoped for.
Some of those carvings, dishes, are being used for display purposes in a jewelry store showcase.

I never sand between coats, I use extremely coarse steel wool with flat fibers.
They cut off raised grain like a million chisels and barely cut into the finish.

The whole process looks tedious. It is. I think it's worth the time.
Just a quick coat and off to do some other chore.
 

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Good luck. I don't think much of peal and stick veneer.

If you are not going to get a sprayer you better not try lacquer. It dries too fast to brush. Doing cabinets already installed you not only need a sprayer you need one with a pressure pot. Harbor Freight makes a 2 qt sprayer for 50-60 bucks which comes with everything.

You are right a oil based finish will yellow. If you are going light in color it will show. Oil based finishes are really only good for medium to dark colored wood. That just leaves a waterborne finish.
 

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Today’s trend for kitchen cabinets is satin finishes. I see no new homes with a high gloss finish.
Doing it yourself you could use high gloss and rub it down to a Satin finish. This will give you a finish as smooth as an automotive finish but it’s a lot of work.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
THanks, I was able to work my way up to 4 coats sanding with finer and finer paper and it looked great in the end. I went with semigloss. I think with the Cherry we decided we are ok with the ambering of oil. It is definately easier to apply as it is thinner. We also decided to pass on the PSA - I may just build new cabinets as the bulk of the work is in creating new drawer fronts and doors anyway. We are also going to see what it would cost if go the painted route as this seems to be popular in many kitchens now. We figured we could have a painter come in and 'hide' the oak with a sprayer and paint the drawer front/doors which I want to replace to make them shaker style.
 
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