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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Greetings all.

A relative still has these cabinets, and they are now a ripe 60+ years old, and have
never been refinished. I am going to take on the project because some of them look awful.
The ones less used, don't look a day over 40 ;) !

Anyway, the ones under the sink have taken the worst beating, with a good portion of the
finish just being gone, and grey looking wood remaining.

I am not a professional. My goal is to sand and refinish them, but I am concerned I may not
be able to match the finish color to the other ones that are still in ok shape. Should I just accept
my fate and do them all, or could someone advise me on how to match the refinish to less aged
look of the ones in better condition.

I searched around some, and really only found one thread elsewhere with a guy raving about
"tung oil" and knotty pine. Then again the youtube gurus advised that tung oil may be a lot more
hassle than it's worth, at least for prepping the wood for finish. Again, I am still in the process
of studying how to proceed on this.

Please see the attached pics, and thanks for your consideration and experienced answers on this.


Brown Cabinetry Wood Rectangle Drawer
Brown Wood Fixture Amber Wood stain
 

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Cabinetmaker
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First-off, Welcome to the forum!

Due to longtime exposure to UV rays much color fading has occurred. Combined with water damage, I doubt that you would be able to match the hanging cabinet colors that are in better shape -- at least to your satisfaction. You could try mixing several color varieties of stains, but that can be very costly and time-consuming. Spot-patching by mixing colors can sometimes be done with good results. But from your photos, the base cabinet appear to be in bad shape. If you decide to spot- patch only, experiment on scraps of sanded knotty pine.

In my opinion, you're going to have strip the clear finish on all of the cabinets anyways, so why not resort to refinishing them all? Then you could use the same color stain and clear coat on all of the cabinets. I really think you and your relative will be much more pleased with the results -- along with eliminating the time and frustration with color-matching.

Also, any single oil finish like tung oil has to be periodically re-applied for refurbishing -- more often in a kitchen environment, as cooking heat will dry it out quicker. Why not consider a few coats of good wipe-on "oil-based" polyurethane for the clearcoat? It's very durable, easy to apply and almost maintenance-free for several years. It also highlights the woodgrain beauty, comparable to a tung oil finish.

Good luck and keep us posted with photos of your progress!
 

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Welcome to the forum.
My parents built their home in 1960 with a LOT of knotty pine. It was beautiful the first 20 years or so then started to deteriorate. When they passed in 2010, I did a major gut on the kitchen and just got rid of it as I was selling the house. I know replacement is probably not in your plans, but, that would be my suggestion.

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Kitchen sink Sink Tap Cabinetry Window
 

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Greetings all.

A relative still has these cabinets, and they are now a ripe 60+ years old, and have
never been refinished. I am going to take on the project because some of them look awful.
The ones less used, don't look a day over 40 ;) !

Anyway, the ones under the sink have taken the worst beating, with a good portion of the
finish just being gone, and grey looking wood remaining.

I am not a professional. My goal is to sand and refinish them, but I am concerned I may not
be able to match the finish color to the other ones that are still in ok shape. Should I just accept
my fate and do them all, or could someone advise me on how to match the refinish to less aged
look of the ones in better condition.

I searched around some, and really only found one thread elsewhere with a guy raving about
"tung oil" and knotty pine. Then again the youtube gurus advised that tung oil may be a lot more
hassle than it's worth, at least for prepping the wood for finish. Again, I am still in the process
of studying how to proceed on this.

Please see the attached pics, and thanks for your consideration and experienced answers on this.


View attachment 447156 View attachment 447157
What you are proposing may not be possible for you. You can't sand off a finish off wood. The finish soaks into the wood and seals the wood. You might be able to get away with sanding the flat areas but the v groove joints on the doors and any detail spots it would take months of hand sanding to get the finish off. Any refinishing project on wood should begin with chemically stripping the old finish off. The government has banned to the public the chemical which makes paint strippers effective. What is available in the retail stores is so bad it would take months of work to get the finish off. If you are intent on doing the job I would try to con a chemical company into thinking you are beginning a furniture refinishing business and need a semi-paste remover containing methylene chloride. I can usually strip the finish off kitchen cabinets off in a days work.

Tung oil is a good finish however it's one that dries really slow. In winter the finish could easily take a week for a coat to dry before it's ready for another coat. The best way to tell if a coat of tung oil is dry enough for another coat is to briskly rub the finish with a clean dry cloth and see if the tung oil smell rubs off onto the rag. When there is no smell it's dry. It would be a lot easier to use a quick dry polyurethane.
 

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I can see why the dude was raving about them, beautiful. The laquer wore off is all. No problem. Take the doors off that need attention. Laquer is easy to work with. It absorbs In to itself. Use some worn 220 paper n buff out the edges just a bit to take the edges off n smoothed into the rest of the finish around it. Try to not sand in to the patina. Use a green scotchbrite n go over everything let the scotchbrite do the work don't push n go through that great patina only the Good Lord can produce. Use a tack rag to clean things up. Just before finishing re tach. I use Deft brand laquers. Clear gloss all the way. It will melt in to the laquer there and then you are simply adding more laquer. I generally use 3 coats, used scotchbrite between finish. If it seems too shiney it won't last long. The sun, washing with warm soap n water will wear the shine soon and it will blend in better because there isn't flatners in it.
Basically clean, buff will scotchbrite, tach n repeat. Stop at the last topcoat you think you can handle n have a shot of whiskey n beers ⅕
 

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I can see why the dude was raving about them, beautiful. The laquer wore off is all. No problem. Take the doors off that need attention. Laquer is easy to work with. It absorbs In to itself. Use some worn 220 paper n buff out the edges just a bit to take the edges off n smoothed into the rest of the finish around it. Try to not sand in to the patina. Use a green scotchbrite n go over everything let the scotchbrite do the work don't push n go through that great patina only the Good Lord can produce. Use a tack rag to clean things up. Just before finishing re tach. I use Deft brand laquers. Clear gloss all the way. It will melt in to the laquer there and then you are simply adding more laquer. I generally use 3 coats, used scotchbrite between finish. If it seems too shiney it won't last long. The sun, washing with warm soap n water will wear the shine soon and it will blend in better because there isn't flatners in it.
Basically clean, buff will scotchbrite, tach n repeat. Stop at the last topcoat you think you can handle n have a shot of whiskey n beers
Had to erase the 1/5 that somehow showed up at the end. A shot or 2 works fine for me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
First-off, Welcome to the forum!



In my opinion, you're going to have strip the clear finish on all of the cabinets anyways, so why not resort to refinishing them all? Then you could use the same color stain and clear coat on all of the cabinets. I really think you and your relative will be much more pleased with the results -- along with eliminating the time and frustration with color-matching.
Thanks, just joined recently and have found the woodworkers to be kind and helpful folks.
If I really understood everything involved in making it a complete project maybe I would go all the way. But having little experience, I'd prefer to start small. I don't exactly have the time it would take to do it all. If no other choice I would go that route.

I know replacement is probably not in your plans, but, that would be my suggestion.
Replacement would be my plans, but no one has the $15,000 (?) for new cabinets, and the kitchen needs some appliance upgrades as well. A kitchen guy told me full kitchen redos start cheap at $30,000 !

I would try to con a chemical company into thinking you are beginning a furniture refinishing business and need a semi-paste remover containing methylene chloride.
Might be worth a try ? Then I'm probably not a good con man either... :cool:

Use some worn 220 paper n buff out the edges just a bit to take the edges off n smoothed into the rest of the finish around it. Try to not sand in to the patina. Use a green scotchbrite n go over everything let the scotchbrite do the work don't push n go through that great patina only the Good Lord can produce.
This sounds like my preferred route. I suppose you mean by "patina" the aged look of the rest of the finish ? Just working on the affected areas would be much more time and resource effective for me. Afraid I probably can't do "excellent" , my abilities and means are more likely "good", or just "good enough" !
A couple shots would probably be in order after finishing this finish !
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Pine can easily be stripped via sanding w/out chemical strippers.
I sanded a portion of mine and everything seemed to come off quite well too.
The previous finish doesn't penetrate very deeply ? Did you use tung oil on this one?
I saw some other woodworkers who said it was tricky to work with.

Only other concern in matching finish is that some of mine appear to have
some gloss to them.

Did you do a youtube vdo on this? It looks really familiar. Good results too !
 
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