Staining the wood is a realistic option, remember your Kitchen cabinets are the most expensive part of your project, you need to be careful how to select the wood species, colors and extra gadgets that will make your Kitchen wonderful.
Never stain new cabinets before tested or make samples on selected wood species.
Before anybody touch your cabinets, ask for samples, If you're not satisfied with a wood’s hue, you can either stain or wood bleach it. Stain adds color to wood, while bleach lightens it.
Consider the end result desired, and then decide on the product for the project. Always follow the directions.
Oil-based stains - These are traditional stains, good for touching up or restraining kitchen cabinets, and they’re permanent. They don’t fade or raise the grain, and additional coats will darken the color. However, they’re difficult to clean up, have an unpleasant odor, and are flammable. There are also concerns about the environmental and health effects of petroleum vapors.
Water-based stains – This type of stain in replacing oil based stains because it’s easy to use and safe for the environment, as well as easy to clean up and safe to use. Additional coats will darken the color.
Penetrating oil stains - Also called Danish oils and rubbing oils, these protect the wood, as well as stain it. They work well with woods that have an attractive grain and don’t require a finish coat. They wipes on with a rag and don’t hide the grain. However, they come in a limited choice of colors and are flammable.
Gel stains – These are the simplest for the amateur to use since gel adheres to vertical surfaces and doesn’t run. They works well with complicated surfaces, is simple to apply, and doesn’t raise the grain. However, it’s expensive, difficult to clean up, and comes in a limited choice of colors. Additional coats will not darken the color.
There is so many finishes in the market, lacquer, polyurethane, acrylics or catalyzed finishes.
Lacquer needs to be applied with a painter rig as well of catalyzed finishes, polyurethane and acrylics coatings could be applied with brush.
Catalyzed finishes are furniture finishes, they don’t yellow down with time /wear and more important the final product is wonderful.
Just remember the essential rules:
1.- These projects could be bigger that your skills, considerate hire a professional painter.
2.- Samples before anything else, “there is not step back” in staining cabinets.
3.- Always ask for references to your painting contractors.