January 2018: Hi there! Welcome to the FAQ’s from my most popular post ever. I’ve since sold and moved from this home, but I wanted to update this post and state that the cabinets were in fabulous shape even four years after this post when we sold our home. Also, I’m still blogging and sharing DIY ideas, so head to the main page to see my latest posts.
We now live in a new home, and I hope you come check out my foyer, living room, dining space, office and our white kitchen (yup, after all this, I chose a white kitchen when we built our home!)
I get many e-mails about my honey oak to espresso staining tutorial, and most of the questions are recurring ones, so I’ve started an FAQ (see below). I update it as needed, so feel free to bookmark this page.
1.) Have you done your kitchen cabinets yet? I’d love to see them!
-Nope! We’ve been focusing all of our effort on finishing up the office/dining room and getting the darn bathroom renovation done. We sold and moved from this home in 2016.
2.) What kind of sock? Really? Why? Are you sure? The white kind?
-Bottom line: men’s cotton athletic socks, Hanes or store brand doesn’t matter, and it’s because it simply works. If you want to use something else, that’s cool.
3.) Why General Finishes? Why can’t I use <insert other stain brand here>? Does it really matter?
-Well, this stain works well, is easy to work with, has excellent coverage and I love it. I haven’t had luck with other stains. If you have and want to use something else, that’s great. I only will recommend General Finishes for this specific project. Because it works. So yeah. 🙂
4.) Does the stain have bad odor or fumes?
-Not that I can recall. As always, ventilation is important, so open a window, run a fan/vent, or work in a garage if possible.
5.) What kind of poly did you use? How long did you wait between poly coats?
–This satin top coat is what I used.. I wanted a non-high gloss finish. If you can’t find this poly, I would recommend any water based poly and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for drying time. I also applied it with a sock.
6.) Has the stain held up?
-Granted I don’t have kids, but the stain has held up to me scrubbing with a Lysol wipe and no issues for nearly 4 years now.
7.) Should I stain my cabinets?
-Up to you! It’s easy. 🙂
8.) Does this work on bare wood? Why not? Wouldn’t it? Do you know how to make it work on bare wood?
-It’ll likely take some extra coats, but it should all even out in the end since it’s so dark.
9.) Will this work on my white cabinets (or any other color)?
I think it’ll work on white paint as long as you’re ok with 2 things:
1- you likely won’t see a ton of wood grain
2- it may take more coats
Other than that, the process is exactly the same. Again, I’ve never tried it, it’s just what I think. I make NO guarantees.
10.) Do you have any photos showing your vanity completely finished?
11.) Amazon is sold out. Where else can I buy it? What if I live in Canada or the moon and can’t find it?
–Amazon usually has it in stock in various sizes, so you should be able to find it.
12.) How long did you wait to put on the hardware?
-1 full day after my final topcoat.
13.) Will this work on <insert other random piece of furniture here>?
-Definitely! Stair rails, dressers, beds. Stain away.
14.) What if it’s particle board/laminate?
-Treat it the same way. You’ll be fine.
15.) OMG I think I screwed up my cabinets.
-You likely put too much stain. The solution isn’t to put more, it’s to let it dry completely, put less next time, and move on. 🙂
16.) Are you SURE I don’t have to chemically strip my <insert piece of oak furniture here>?
-I’m positive. People, I am not lying. Make sure to clean with TSP or use a deglosser for greasy kitchen cabinets, but no need to strip your cabinets to bare wood.
If you’d like to see the full tutorial
on how to get these results, go here.
If you’d like to see my inspiration for
doing this in the first place, go here.