On Sunday, I decided to tackle the bathroom cabinet “recoloring”.   This is our test run to see if we can darken our kitchen cabinets ourselves (EASILY) or if it’s going to require a lot more elbow grease than we are willing to exert (or have the time for).

Step one (used for any cabinet door that I was test staining):  spray the door with “Liftoff”, let set for 60 seconds, scrub with a Scotch-Brite pad, rinse with clean wet rag, wipe dry.  Then lightly sand the surface with 150-grit sandpaper.

Take One: The stain I bought for this project was Minwax Polyshades in Antique Walnut Satin. It’s a stain and polyurethane in one, and only needs one coat (according to the can).  Well, there was hardly any difference in color, not enough to make it worthwhile, so I stopped at the halfway mark.  Plus, I noticed it was ‘bubbling’ and looking weird, so I quickly wiped it all off.



Take Two (Same Door):  I looked at our stain selection and saw a dark RED MAHOGANY regular Minwax stain, so I gave it a go….let it sit for about 5 minutes then wiped it off.  I could only do the left side of the door because the right side had the Polyshades stuff on it- the stain wouldn’t penetrate it.  (And that’s why you do the backside of one of the lesser seen doors first!)

Here’s the original front (notice how it’s dull- no sheen at all) and the colored back side-by-side:


So the next question is….will that color change be enough to satisfy our needs in the kitchen?  I put the door in the kitchen to see….



Take Three (new door):  Searching for dark dark stains, I grabbed the Cabot Australian Timber Oil that I used on the arbor, and it’s definitely darker, but I’m not confident that it suits our needs.  I’m concerned about long-term tackiness, too.  (No picture, sorry).

Take Four (new door again): I decided to go back to the regular Minwax Red Mahogany color that I tried in Take Two.  This time I brushed it on and let it set for 15 minutes before wiping it.  The color turned out much better.  The darkest I’d seen yet.


(original door on left, 1 coat of Minwax Mahogany  on right)

Take Five (new door again): What happens if I do TWO coats of the Red Mahogany color?  Here’s both doors (Take Four & Take Five) side by side in our kitchen, for color comparison.  I put the two coats on the narrower taller door (less surface area, plus it already had a coat on it!)


Um, no real difference between one coat or two.  I supposed the two coat is a tad darker.

Here they are with a flash this time:


Of course the color isn’t the only factor here….we need to make sure the new color actually sets and cures and doesn’t remain tacky!  Cuz that would be a fail. Which would put us back to having someone ELSE doing all the work for us, because there’s no way I’ll be sanding and stripping all our cabinets BARE.

Oh, the color we were both originally liking was this one….and there’s no way I’m going to be able to stain our cabinets THAT color (this option would be replacing all the doors and drawer fronts):


Stay tuned to see what we decide!