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Kitchen Cabinets: Stripping and Staining

April 18, 2011

There I am, all suited up and ready to strip the paint off of the bottom cabinets!
When ever I do furniture refinishing I use a liquid stripper. Liquid stripper works well for antiques with heavy carving, rounded surfaces etc… I have recently been doing some research on heat-gun paint removal. It looks less messy and faster. Once you own the heat gun you don’t ever need to buy any more supplies, unlike paint stripper that leaves a toxic sludge behind when you are done, smells awful, requires nitrile gloves so you don’t melt your skin, and can take multiple applications. All in all, the heat gun sounded like a wiser choice.
I picked up a Ryobi heat gun at Home Depot today. The reviews were good compared to other models and the price was really good. It has a variable heat setting which is key – the lead in paint vaporizes between 800-1100 degrees Fahrenheit. So, if your house was built before 1978 it is important to keep the heat gun below 800 degrees.

The heat gun works really well on the flat surfaces of the base cabinets and all I needed for clean up was a broom.

Geoff and I worked as a team, he wielded the heat gun and I used the scrapper, this was really helpful because as soon as the paint bubbled up on the surface of the wood, I was able to scrap it off without having the adjust the gun.

 As you can see in the pictures the heat gun took off all of the layers of paint at once, right down to the original cabinet stain…..funny enough, we will be staining it almost the same color – too bad it was painted in the first place.

I sanded off the remaining stain to reveal the bare wood, 100 grit then 180 grit. I plan to prep the wood with a combination of turpentine, boiled linseed oil and water tomorrow. I will steel wool it with a superfine wool before staining.
The cabinet doors are almost stripped and sanded as well.
More tomorrow…

8 Comments leave one →
  1. Cdnmaid permalink
    October 13, 2015 10:43 AM

    Would love to read about the end of this project. For some reason, the part you were going to add “tomorrow” does not appear on your blog, but you do such a great job of detailing the steps for the diy projects you do, that it would be great to see how you arrived at the completed work and get inspiration from the photos!

  2. June 29, 2012 12:43 PM

    I enjoy seeing other people also slave over stripping paint. Thanks for sharing.

  3. 1house1couple permalink
    April 14, 2012 8:16 PM

    That is way too much work! ahh! I don’t think I could do it!


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