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Revive an Old Cabinet for $30

When we built our house over 20 years ago, the builder was incredible. And we had no idea at the time. It was built so solidly; not a missed step anywhere. Okay, maybe there were a couple. But they were very minor OR they were MY fault - one of which is shown below. But our cabinets were awesome! Twenty years later and there is no cracked wood, not a loose hinge, not even a dent. And it isn't because we were careful. But 20 years later with perfect condition cabinets, what's a girl to do when she doesn't want to live in the 90's anymore.

I revived! And it's awesome! And it was easy! Unbelievably easy.

I found this General Finishes Gel Stain on Amazon and it warrants every single high praising review that it has on Amazon. I barely did any prep work. I wiped them with a damp rag and went to town. I read MANY of the reviews to find out all the tips and tricks so you might want to glance through them too. But mainly I would say these 3 tips are the most important.

1) Use a sponge brush - it left no brush strokes

2) Do light coats - (Mine only took 2 coats to cover the oak color and 3 would have been too much)

3) Let it dry 24 hours between coats. I promise it is worth it! If it's tacky at all you'll regret it.

Now, here's where I tell you what made my experience SOO EASY but you'll have to use your own common sense on your own project. I didn't remove the doors! I didn't even empty the drawers. HAH! I laugh in the face of all those professionals that will say I did it wrong. Who cares how it got done as long as looks pro. And it does look pro. I've had people, including the tile layer, ask me who refinished my cabinets. It's quite rewarding to say "me" and have their jaws drop.

I did, however, remove the drawer pulls. I wanted them gone and replaced anyway. and I was careful not to get any stain where it didn't belong and and I was super careful around the hinges. You won't be getting it out of clothes or carpet or anything else, so use painters tape and go slow. But good luck and have fun! It really is quite fun.

Here is a photo of my original oak cabinets from the 90's... And as I referred to earlier, you can see one of my big mistakes was putting carpet, yes carpet, in my bathroom. I was young and dumb. Lesson learned.

One coat of gel stain...

After 2 coats... (I told you I didn't empty the cabinets)

Here is a photo of my beautiful cabinets impressing the tile guy... :)

You'll also notice the marble counter tops. That will be in another post that I think you'll find fascinating. I'll add photos of the whole bathroom remodel once it's completed.

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