Removing really old cabinet stain?


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Old 07-08-16, 12:34 PM
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Removing really old cabinet stain?

Hi,

I'm a renter in a pretty old, poorly cared for building, and I want to sand off the old ugly wood stain on my kitchen cabinets. I would guess the stain is maybe 20-25 years old, but could be much older.

Is it ok to sand it off with an orbital sander? I'm mostly worried about scattering old stain dust throughout my small apartment. Should I consider renting a HEPA air filter box? Is the dust dangerous or harmless? I have a 1 year old and the risk of dusting my whole kitchen with unknown stain dust is concerning. Or am I being too cautious?

Thanks for any knowledge you can impart my way.
 
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Old 07-08-16, 12:41 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

Step 1, as a renter, is to get the landlord to sign off. While you're talking to them, see if they know anything about the finish. Generally speaking, I prefer to strip the finish anyway, as sanding is too much work and often does not open up the wood enough to allow new stain to absorb well.
 
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Old 07-08-16, 01:23 PM
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What are your finishing plans for the cabinets?

Sanding alone rarely gets finished wood ready for new stain as that requires completely bare wood. Stripping is the best way to accomplish that. Often cleaning , a light sanding and fresh coat of poly will bring new life to old cabinets.
 
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Old 07-11-16, 10:11 AM
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Thanks for the replies.

The ownership of the building has changed hands several times and the current property management company is very hands off, so I can pretty much do whatever I like.

My plans are to remove the old stain either through sanding or stripping, prime the cabinets, and paint them with some Rustoleum "slate" paint with the hopes of turning them into something like a large chalkboard that my 1 yr old can then scribble on.

I had not considered stripping for fear of VOC's and making a large mess of the the stripper, especially because the cabinets can't be removed from the walls.
 
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Old 07-11-16, 02:46 PM
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If you are going to paint, you really don't need to strip anything. A light scuff sanding followed by a coat of oil based primer will leave the cabinets ready for paint. You might want to have the primer tinted to more closely match the final paint color.

But why the heck would you let your kid write on the cabinets and walls? I would have got kicked in the ass if I would have done that as a kid.
 
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Old 07-11-16, 04:57 PM
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I agree, clean and scuff sand the cabinets then apply either an oil base or pigmented shellac primer. The primer can be top coated with oil base, latex or waterborne enamel.

http://www.doityourself.com/forum/pa...t-repaint.html

I also wouldn't encourage any kid to write/draw on the wall/cabinet!
 
 

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