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Re: Changing the color of factory kitchen cabinets

David Yoho
You're probably not going to like this answer but it can work. Many years ago I built an oak bed frame (headboard, footboard, rails) for my son. I went with a clear polyurethane over the red oak. Looked good. Years later he asked if it could be done darker to go with furniture he bought. Because of the poly I scratched my head a little but then came up with an answer that didn't involve stripping.

I started by lightly sanding the finish to give the poly some "tooth" for what followed. Next, I mixed a dark liquid Transtint dye with some Seal Coat shellac and sprayed it on with my turbine HVLP sprayer. The final topcoat was some Waterlox semi gloss I applied by hand. The finish has held up well since this was done and looks great.

I know you don't want to or can't spray but it seems like a good option to achieve what you're after. Luckily I have a turbine sprayer which is very portable and makes less overspray. I wouldn't hesitate to take on something like kitchen cabinets with it.

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