I haven’t been keeping a precise record of how much time I’ve invested so far in the kitchen cabinet staining project, but I do know that since my last update I’ve found myself bathing in mineral spirits daily. Math time: If I’ve spent approximately two hours per day (with the exception of Sunday when I worked for 9 hours to remove the remaining cabinet doors, clean, and sand them while Pete installed our flagstone patio) it’s fair to guesstimate that I’ve invested about 25 hours on this bad boy of a project since it’s inception. And I’m not done, but there’s no turning back from here.
Spiffy. I really love how it plays up the tile floor.
A few things I’ve noticed along the way:
1. Hence the title of this post, my appliances have vanished.
Hands down, the biggest surprise of this project so far was the realization that the stained cabinets force the white/stainless/black appliances right into their place, making them blend right in and unite with the dark brown wood. It’s a magical sight, and a huge relief too, because until now I’ve had “nicer appliances” high on my “things I need to save for” list. Maybe these ones will do awhile longer and I can spend the money on new countertops instead.
2. Just when I didn’t think it was possible, I found more room in my heart for the shiplap walls.
Could the sight of my in-progress cabinets vibe any better with the rich shiplap walls in the dining room? Even without the cabinet doors, the stain subtly helps the rooms to flow together magnificently.
3. I refueled.
Well, I bought more stain. Girl couldn’t expect her test-sized half-pint to get her very far when there are 23 cabinet doors and their respective framework to coat. In my second purchase from amazon.com, I ordered the quart sized volume of Java Gel Stain, and had another delightful experience receiving product ahead of schedule from Woodcraft. With shipping, the quart cost $29.69 which I realize isn’t pennies, but this stain is the way to go, no arguments, and a quart is proving to be plenty to finish the job right. Truth be told, I think this whole project is going to cost less than it would to prime and spray cabinet doors with paint, but I’ll add up all those costs in the final reveal.
4. We need to reorg.
Holy too much stuff, man. Sorry that you have to see all of this. I have to say, exposing this mess makes me feel like I’m wearing underoos in front of a full theater. Between sanding and staining, there’s been a lot of packing and unpacking of food and cookware to keep things clean. But seriously, I’m so happy this light oak has left us.
I’m really ready to dig in and get the rest of the cabinets complete. Three coats of stain on each side of each door really makes this a long process, especially when I’m carefully allowing 24-36 hours to pass between each coat.
Back soon with a final reveal!
Editor’s Update: See the finished cabinets right here.
Looking for the Gel Stain that I used to stain the kitchen cabinets? I could not find it in stores, and my best resource was General Finishes via Amazon. Learn more about the product and purchase it for yourself right here.