Quick and Dirty Refinish of Old Cabinetry
From the original questioner:
I agree wholeheartedly. My problem is the whole cabinet (actually two separate vanities) should head to the glue factory! They were cheap solid slab oak factory cabinets when installed 25 years ago, so I'm just trying to make a customer happy, and she was a very good customer on her kitchen. I suspect I will refinish these and get a call in a year or two to do these bath cabinets.
I guess I will try the wire brush deal and after 5 minutes make a decision.
From contributor B:
I use a cleaner, or reviver, made of equal parts of raw linseed oil, methylated spirits (denatured alcohol), vinegar and turps substitute (I don't know what this is called in America). Rub on and wipe off - it shifts a lot of dirt without affecting the finish.
From contributor W:
You can try steel wool with mineral spirits to clean up your dirt. Wet the surface with mineral spirits and rub lightly with steel wool until your dirt is cleaned off. After that you can apply your finish.
From contributor S:
Murphy's Oil Soap and a toothbrush will take care of all the gunk. Rinse very well with distilled water (don't cheat here). Let dry and with a small cloth pad, swipe on a coat of General Finishes Armour Satin (or something like that) urethane. If you need to, do some touch up work with stain and markers before you coat it. This is fast, easy, cheap and will look good enough to make the client happy until they are ready for you to build new cabinets. Complete refinishing of cheap cabinets can open a whole can of worms you weren't expecting, so tread carefully.
From contributor J:
DL blue label hand cleaner and 0000 steel wool will take most of the grime and dirt off without damaging the finish. Due to the age of the cabinets and finish, I would definitely test in an inconspicuous area and go gently.
Would you like to add information to this article?
Interested in writing or submitting an article?
Have a question about this article?
Have you reviewed the related Knowledge Base areas below?