A smooth finish for my refinished cabinet doors
July 31, 2008 10:31 PM Subscribe
Refinishing/refurbishing my kitchen cabinet doors. How can I apply the polyurethane to get a smooth, even shine?
posted by Sublimity to home & garden (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
My kitchen cabinets are beautiful, old-school, solid cherry. The finish is scuffed/dulled in some places where it looks like someone scrubbed a bit too hard--not down to the bare wood, for the most part, just patches of dullness. So I want to give them a new topcoat and pretty 'em up, as we're fixing up our kitchen.
I've done a trial run on the least conspicuous door. Looks like cleaning with TSP and applying oil-based polyurethane is going to work out. The trouble is that I can't seem to apply it totally uniformly across the door, and I end up with just enough variation in the gloss that it's almost as if I went through all the trouble for nothing. How can I get a totally even coat?
I don't think that the problem has to do with the polyurethane being insufficiently mixed. I keep the doors horizontal as I apply the poly. I'm using semi-gloss, which is about in keeping with the degree of gloss on the current finish.
I initially tried spraying with polyurethane in an aerosol can, hoping to get an even application--didn't work. I also tried applying liquid with a foam brush and going with the grain--better but not perfect.
Some things I haven't tried yet but am thinking about:
--first applying the poly perpendicular to the grain, then making my final brushwork with the grain, to spread it more evenly.
--getting a *really* wide applicator, like those 12" dealies for finishing hardwood floors, to minimize brushstrokes.
On that last point, I actually have refinished a couple of floors in my time (w/water based poly) and haven't had this problem, so it's frustrating to be having it now!
Any tips and tricks will be very welcome! The scrubbed-out dullness really bugs me and I want my beautiful cherrywood cabinets to live up to their potential.