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A little while back, we shared a cabinet that we turned 1990 honeylicious to a more modern look with Java Stain.
You can see that HERE.
It was such a bargain and a dramatic change, we bit the bullet and decided to apply it on a full cabinet makeover.
If you are a regular around here, you may have followed along on the One Room Challenge for the game room above the garage. This space was an add-on from the previous owner and has a full set of cabinets.
Be sure to check out the different things we have done to this space HERE.
NOW, doing a small cabinet and taking on the a whole set of cabinets is quite different. We love the stain but it’s just, obviously, way more work and time consuming.
We learned some things this time around……….
20 Java Stain Tips
- Some tutorials advice using java stain with an old sock and some say use the sponge paint brushes. We have tried both and more. Get the best sponge paint brushes in different sizes. We got some that were flimsy and they lasted for all of about 5 minutes….if that! The wood handled ones worked better for us.
- A nice paint brush can also be used. The Mister preferred that. However the brush may not be salvageable after the project.
- You will need to lightly sand!!! We used THIS.
- Make sure the cabinets are clean and dust free (tack cloth).
- If you have lots of cabinets, number them so you know where they go. (Sometimes the hardware doesn’t match up the same on all the doors). You can use masking or painters tape.
- Silly….BUT wear old clothing and put down a drop cloth.
- Take an old clean container to place a some gel in and close the main jar up. Because you use a little at a time, it will develop a skin on it if you have the whole container open.
- This project will take T.I.M.E. Since you have to apply the stain in light coats, you will need time, and space, to lay out all the doors and let each stage dry for the proper amount of time.
- Make sure you are open up some windows or turn on a fan.
- Wearing thin gloves, like medical gloves, can help cause if you get the stain on you, you will have it for awhile.
- A very small paint brush comes in handy for doing the cabinet lines against a wall and/or little corners.
- Do one side completely, before turning and doing the other side. One of the mistakes we made was applying one layer and flipping the cabinet doors over to start the other side. Since so many layers are required it became complicated to figure out which ones were in what stage. We did a lot of unnecessary flipping. Have them all the same side and same stage means less guessing.
- Keep all the hardware in a zip bag. Even if you think you are changing out the hardware, keep it. It’s good to take an example to the store for size comparison and such. Plus, if you can’t find new hardware to fit you can paint your old hardware.
- You will want to rush the process and apply thicker coats. It doesn’t work the same. Slow and steady wins the race.
- Do you have pets? All pet hair is attracted to gel stain. It’s a proven fact. You may need to vacuum the room and keep pets away. And even then you will have little hairs married to the stain!
- If you will have anything setting on top of your stain (eventually), keep in mind the cure time..aprox 30 days.
- BEFORE you clear coat, check, check and re-check. You will think all is okay until you start that top coat and then you will see every missed spot.
- You can lightly sand any globs, hair/fuzz, or drips; then just apply some more stain, lightly, if needed.
- When using the clear coat, it has a tendency to foam especially when warm. Again, small doses.
- Don’t be too critical. Honestly, people don’t look at it with eagle eyes like you do when you are working with it. Take a step back and look. Isn’t that pretty?
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