Our Cabinet Makeover



This weekend was beautiful, wasn’t it? Exactly what mothers deserve; a reprieve from the cold, harsh Winter/Spring. A moment to watch the kids run around on the green, plush grass after bubbles and listen to them scream with delight when the water hits them from their squirt guns. I loved looking at the wide smiles on their slightly reddened faces when they would run up to me to tell me how much fun they are having. It was a GREAT Mother’s Day.

Since it was such a warm, mostly dry weekend, we headed over to Dave’s grandparents house on Saturday to begin the  staining process of our almost new kitchen cabinets with the help of Dave’s aunt and uncle.

We began by first taking off all of the cabinet doors and removing the hardware (hinges and handles).


Look closely and you will see Dave’s grandpa supervising:)

Then, with a bucket full of soapy water, we scrubbed the grease off of them (inside and out) before we roughed them up with 220 grit sandpaper. Since they were already used cabinets, they had a previous finish on them that needed to get sanded off in order for the stain to soak into the wood. While we were washing and sanding them, we would point out any issues, such as loose drawers, exposed nails, etc., to Dave’s grandpa and uncle to fix before we would start staining them



Dave working hard sanding down the doors.

The stain we picked out was Minwax Polyshades in Bombay Mahogany. However, after trying it out on a few cabinets, we noticed that they were drying streaky, regardless of how we applied the stain. Back to Menards we went to get a separate stain and polyurethane. I wanted to get a rich, dark red color, so we decided to try the Minwax Red Mahogany and a water based Minwax semi-gloss polyurethane. I had a hard time picking out the stain because the samples at the store are on unfinished wood and it doesn’t tell me what our cabinets would look like since there is still a stain on them. It worked out well and I loved the way the cabinets turned out.


I had no idea how easy it is to stain wood! Way easier than applying the stain and polyurethane in one. Here is what we did: two of us grabbed rags and dipped them into the stain (while wearing gloves to prevent our hands from staining) and applied a thin coat of stain to the wood going with the grain. After allowing the stain to saturate into the wood for about 5 min, two other people wiped off the stain with a clean rag, while we already moved on to the next set of cabinets. We had an assembly line going:) It worked out great and before we knew it, we had them all stained.



Here’s a picture showing the contrast of the original cabinet (on the bottom) to a drawer that we stained (on the top). We ended up only putting on one coat of stain since we really liked how it turned out.


We still had to flip the doors over and stain the inside of them, but we lost daylight before the fronts were dry. We decided to move everything back into the garage and call it a night. This afternoon, we headed back to continue working on the cabinets and since the stain dried without a big change in color, we decided to not add another coat of stain. Instead, we got another assembly line going to put on the water based polyurethane.

Once again, I was surprised how easily this went on. I’ve read about how careful you have to be with polyurethane so that it goes on evenly without bubbles and streaks, etc. But, we had no issues whatsoever. I’m not sure if it’s because it was the water based version or what it was exactly, but I’m thrilled that there were no problems.

There was rain on the way this evening, so we were on a time crunch and therefore, unable to stain the inside of the cabinet doors. Instead, Dave’s aunt and uncle polyurethaned the cabinets while Dave and I would move each piece into the garage when it was done. Afterward, we loaded up the cabinet doors into various vehicles and got them over to Dave’s aunt and uncles house, since they plan on finishing the  staining of the inside of the doors as well as putting on another coat of the polyurethane. We got done in the knick of time as the rain poured down on us!

The tentative plan is to start the demolishing of our kitchen on the Friday evening or Saturday morning of Memorial Day weekend since we’ll have 3 days to get as much done as we can. I’m so excited!!!!! I can’t wait to see how these cabinets will end up looking in our kitchen.

Although it wasn’t this big, relaxing weekend, it was great to have these cabinets mostly done. Also, we got to spend time with family 🙂 Overall, it was a wonderful weekend.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Mother’s Day weekend, as well. A special Happy Mother’s Day to my mom, Teresa and my mother-in-law, Therese, as well as my sisters, family and friends. Love you all!