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Oak Cabinets Painted White

Oak Cabinets Painted White

I am a bit confused. SOLID oak is outdated, but MDF is not? Translucent or stained oak is outdated, but painted wood or MDF is not? I guess Formica and vinyl veneered counters are preferred over granite too. I may be just another guy who prefers natural wood to chip board or MDF, but considering real wood costs a fortune today, I would think ANY real wood is a preference over composites, and to paint over it seems destructive. I drove by an MDF processing factory a couple of years ago and was appauled to see whole truck loads of trees being driven into the factory just to be put in a chipper and made into MDF. I thought MDF was originally supposed to be the “green” way to recycle sawdust and wood byproducts. It was supposed to be a cheaper alternative to the cost of real, solid wood. Now they are using whole trees to make MDF and chip board. As with all trends and fads, the stuff we are covering up oak with will eventually become outdated too. I read some info on websites promoting cabinet resurfacing, and they actually said they would apply a veneer of either MDF or PLASTIC film to the honey oak to update it. To imagine that some people would rather see a plastic veneer over oak appears ridiculous and petty to me, but what do I know. To me, cabinet refinishing is along the same lines as the people who insisted on ripping out solid oak flooring a few years ago, and replacing it with fake woodgrained vinyl Pergo. People run away from that junk now. In the end you have to use common sense and take a look at the big picture. Is refinishing “your” idea, or are you just getting sucked in by the fad and jumping on the refinishing bandwagon? So many refinishing projects ruin your cabinets, because they rarely turn out exactly like the picture on the paint can (that was done professionally), and the time and money you spend correcting your mistakes aren’t worth the project in the first place. If it were up to me, I would rather see real wood, over painted MDF, granite counters over Formica, and I wouldn’t concern myself over what some fad or product pushing company has to say about my personal preference for kitchen cabinets. Just my two cents worth.
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Oak Cabinets Painted White

Hey Melle! Good question that I forgot to mention in my post. I just personally don’t like the look of painted oak cabinets, that LOOK like painted oak. That first sample that I had made where the grain showed a lot, I did not like it at all. When Adel made his sample it was NOTHING like my first sample. And if I’m being honest, I’d rather have the look of high end MDF (even though it doesn’t look like that) than painted oak that’s noticeable. I just don’t have a special bond with oak or anything like some do. 🙂
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Oak Cabinets Painted White

Here’s my $0.02. Oak is the official wood of the middle class. I may be middle class, but that doesn’t mean I need to shout it from the mountain tops by living with an oak kitchen or driving a Taurus. Not that there’s anything wrong with Tauruses or Oak; both are rock solid. I just prefer something fresh and upscale looking. You won’t find oak in a multi-million dollar mansion. You may not find MDF either, but you will find white woods that look like MDF. Oak is unmistakably oak, and inhabits many a trailer park kitchen.
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Oak Cabinets Painted White

Okay, before I get into all the how-to stuff, let me take a moment to talk about oak cabinets and the wood grain debate.  Oak cabinets have the special distinction of having a very prominent wood grain.  Most pine, maple, cherry etc. wood cabinets don’t have this extra issue.  I am not just talking about the fact the cabinets look like wood, this grain is etched into the face of the cabinets.  When you paint oak cabinets white, the grain texture remains very apparent.
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Oak Cabinets Painted White

My most popular post, by far, has been “How to Paint Your Cabinets Like a Professional.” As a result, I have gotten a lot of questions, specifically, about how to paint oak cabinets. I have tackled a great deal of oak cabinet client projects, so I thought I would share some tips and tricks for painting oak cabinets that I have learned along the way, if you’re looking to give yours a refresh.
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Oak Cabinets Painted White

Painting oak cabinets …….been there done that like 50 times . ……sure you can use oil base to help Level it out and try to make it disappear, if you are painting white or off white I don’t care what kind of oil you use or hybrid like Ben moores advance it will yellow. . Most home owners will not pay the labor cost to make it disappear . At some point you have to think , is it worth paying 150 dollars of labor to get the grain out or go buy a new paint grade maple door for 50 dollars . I always clean sand and prime the oak doors , I spray everything , but when it comes to oak I roll on the primer and paint ( sand able waterborne ) and push into grain ( multiple costs and sand between )The trick is a end , I always use a dull precat varnish to hide the grain , the last thing you want to do is shine them up ….. The grain will show like crazy ! . When it comes to clear coats there is no durability difference in w high gloss or a dull flat finish …… Ok that was my 2 cents

Oak Cabinets Painted White

WOW!!! Your kitchen looks amazing! It is so beautiful! I love a white kitchen and you have done a wonderful job. I actually painted kitchen cabinets in 1997 with a SW oil based paint and they STILL look good! And its been a rental for the past 11 years! I really love their products. You did the right thing using oil. By the way, just because you painted your cabinets doesn’t change the fact that they’re oak and high quality. If you ever wanted to sell your house, anyone looking at your kitchen would immediately recognize that. You have wonderful taste and a flair for all things beautiful. Please continue.
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Oak Cabinets Painted White

Very very helpful! Question, while the cabinets and doors themselves are solid oak, the exposed panel sides of oak builder grade cabinets is not wood. It’s like a stick on slick that’s flat and matches the cabinets but is not wood. What do you do with that???your help is very appreciated.
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This doesn’t bother some people one bit.  But as I said, I’m a total perfectionist and it bothers me.  Instead of fresh, classic white cabinets, to me, they look like dated oak cabinets that are trying to hide behind white paint.  So there was no question I had to take care of the wood grain before I could really start painting.  This was by far the most time-intensive part of the whole project, but the final finish on my cabinets is flawless so it was totally worth it.
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As with all trends and fads, the stuff we are covering up oak with will eventually become outdated too. I read some info on websites promoting cabinet resurfacing, and they actually said they would apply a veneer of either MDF or PLASTIC film to the honey oak to update it. To imagine that some people would rather see a plastic veneer over oak appears ridiculous and petty to me, but what do I know.
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The only thing worse than honey oak is tacky “pickled” oak. Whoever came up with that should be forced to quit the design business and sell timeshares forever. To my deep shame, three of the last four houses I’ve bought came with pickled oak which had to be eradicated. Each time I swore Never Again!, but it repeats on me like a cheap burrito. ????
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The biggest issue with painting oak cabinets is how to minimize the grain that comes with that type of wood. If you have maple or cherry cabinets, they paint up beautifully. Oak can have a similar result, it just takes a little more effort to get there. The wood grain can manifest itself in two ways: through the texture of the wood and also the grain bleeding through the paint.
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With the next set of oak cabinets, I used the sanding sealer. It definitely helped with the grain – especially with the issue of the grain bleeding through, and eliminating the need for several coats of primer. I applied the sanding sealer after I had cleaned/sanded/deglossed the oak cabinets, and before I applied my primer and paint.
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If you want bright white cabinets…yes, you will see some yellowing with oil based paint, but in my experience, it takes a few years to notice..and I only notice if I put something bright white up against the white cabinets to compare. If you use an off white paint, you’ll probably never notice. Black paint can also yellow..but once again…you probably wouldn’t notice unless you put something black up against the cabinets a few years after painting them.

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