November 29, 2011 in Design Dilemma
I have honey oak cabinets in kitchen. My husband does not want to change or paint them. He says they are solid wood! We want to add hardwood floors. I need help deciding what type of hardwood to put in next to our old tired cupboards, remembering that in the future, I may be able to persuade him to change the cupboards. We now have stainless appliances.
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I had the same honey oak cabinets. Different husband but same "but they are solid wood"! We had a service called NHance come in and for a very reasonable price recoated them so they are now a dark expresso brown. Still see the wood grain etc and they look like brand new cabinets. Amazing difference! Very pleased.
November 29, 2011 at 10:04pm     
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Shawn Lagemann
I too had honey oak cabinets. I darkened them as well to a rich walnut color using a gel stain. Modern Masters and Minwax make gel stains in a variety of colors. My suggestion on the floors would be to stay with a medium tone wood. Not too dark. Keeping dark hardwoods clean is as difficult as keeping a black car clean. I will see if I can post pictures later.
November 30, 2011 at 4:48am     
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Follow-up question for Shawnlagemann. When using a gel stain to darken/refurbish existing oak cabinets, what kind of prep work is needed, if any? Or can you apply the gel stain directly to clean cabinets without sanding?
November 30, 2011 at 5:55am   
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Shawn Lagemann
Prep is simple. Clean the cabinets well using either a dilluted citrus degreaser or cleaning white vinegar. You want to make sure that mo grease residue or oils from your skin remain. Inspect them closely for any dried drips and scrape them off. If you use a fine scrub pad there should be no other need to sand. Brush on the gel stain liberally and wait about a minute, using a lint free cloth "polish" the stain into the cabinet, turning over the cloth to remove excess stain. Do not attempt to clean these cabinets with soap and water until they have had at least a week to fully cure. You can test out the process by doing the inside of the door first. If you'd like them darker, just repeat the process.
November 30, 2011 at 6:58am     
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Thanks, Shawnlagemann. I'm going to do that.
November 30, 2011 at 9:00am   
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Honey oak makes me cringe. I had it, too. We probably all did. I wouldn't recommend updating your flooring by trying to choose a finish that goes with your outdated cabinets. It just doesn't make sense. Hardwood cabinets are great and part of that greatness is that you can stain them a different color whenever you want. Go for broke. Pick a new cabinet stain and coordinate your new flooring with THAT. Do both at the same time and you'll have a brand new kitchen that you'll love NOW. If you update only one thing at a time, by the time you get around to updating your cabinets your floor will be outdated and then you'll be in the same boat again.
November 30, 2011 at 10:24am     
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just want to say i'm impressed with the canning!!! it's wonderful to have your own stuff waiting for you :) what's in the white jars? and the purple?
November 30, 2011 at 10:50am     
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Rococo & Taupe, Inc.
Apparently another husband who hasn't heard of " No one's happy unless Momma is happy" rule. Please tell him that golden oak went out in the 80's and I agree if its possible to restain them darker I would.. or paint and glaze them for a fresh look. As far as the oak floor with oak cabinets.. falls into the "too much of a good thing" catagory. If you were to keep the golden oak as is.. I would do a stone tile floor instead of more wood. A nice update also would be to put knobs/pulls on the cabinets.. its kinda the jewelery for the outfit. Posting a pic of a recent kitchen remodel that shows both a paint glaze and a dark finish on the island.
November 30, 2011 at 4:34pm     
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I always chuckle when I hear "don't paint the wood" or don't stain the wood another color. My reply to that is "do you think the wood came off the tree in that color?" Wood can be stained or painted any color you desire ... especially honey oak! Find a picture of a kitchen you really like for inspiration. I personally would not match the floor with the cabinets. Best of luck!
November 30, 2011 at 5:18pm   
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Hi shawnlegman,
Is it possible to stain a honey oak dining set (table and chairs) with this gel stain or would I need to do a lot more prep (stripping, major sanding)?
November 30, 2011 at 5:20pm   
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Shawn Lagemann
Any wood surface can be recolored with gel stain. If you are worried about the top of the table you can apply 1-2 coats of gel-poly on top.
November 30, 2011 at 6:26pm   
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Mona Ives
I likme the idea of staining the cabinets, but if you can't, make sure your floor doesn't match your cabinets! Consider doing tile. If you want wood, go darker (dark floors show dust but look lovely) or lighter. If you want lighter, think about a natural maple that looks almost white.
December 1, 2011 at 7:08am   
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PAINT them, needs it, i just painted my solid oak buffet and hutch black then distressed a bit for a country look, it is much more appealing now than the old oak..:O)
December 1, 2011 at 5:41pm   
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I'm wondering how the finished product turned out....what did you end up doing?
August 12, 2012 at 7:50pm   
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Hi nicfoggin, I tried using gel stain to change the color of my cabinets. Didn't work for me at all. Decided instead to just change out the backsplash and hardware on the cabinets. Went with travertine mosaic backsplash. Very earthy. Was surprised to see how much impact that made. Am happy with the result. Will be repainting the kitchen walls next.
August 13, 2012 at 1:35pm     
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Edgewood could you share pictures of your painted cabinets?
August 31, 2012 at 2:00pm   
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IF you want a country decor in your kitchen, honey oak cabinets are fine. I noticed the rooster, therefore, I am thinking that you have a leaning towards country. There is a book entitled COUNTRY MODERN that you might enjoy. Ever thought of wainscoting? The backsplash sounds like a nice idea. You can ALWAYS make somthing work by changing surrounding colors and furniture. For me, the most important thing about a kitchen is that it feels cozy. I'm sure that your guests feel the same:)
November 17, 2012 at 11:38pm     
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