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Old 01-31-2011, 10:39 PM   #1
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1989 29' Excella
Tyrone , Georgia
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Any refinished oak cabinet pictures out there?

Oak cabinets from the late 80's excella's are not exactly joy to my better half's eye. I have read that we can restain lighter or darker, but does anyone have photos of the results?

p.s. nothing against those who like them just the way they are

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Old 07-15-2011, 06:58 PM   #2
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1994 28' Excella
Edwardsville , Illinois
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oak cabinets

We just bought a 1994 28' Excella and have been wondering the same thing. The oak is medium color (not super-dark) but even so seems to darken the space a lot. We're thinking of painting the woodwork an off-white, but haven't even gotten the trailer home yet, so not sure what we will decide. I want it light and bright and those cabinets feel so dark.
What did you decide to do?

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Old 07-16-2011, 06:49 AM   #3
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1989 29' Excella
Tyrone , Georgia
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Hello! We were and are still thinking the same thing. The lighter and brighter everything is the better. However, I really hope we don't end up needing to refinish the cabinets. After not finding any information on here I spoke with my local sherwin williams and was very discouraged. It is certainly possible to refinish them according to the rep, but re-staining is a delicate task because the cabinets need to be sanded down fully and equally. This is to prevent them from having an uneven finish I guess. He did say that if we were to use one of the semi-transparent stains that actually has color pigment it would result in a good even coverage even if the sanding was not perfect.

What we did was take everything that we thought we might want to change (almost the entire interior of course) and tried to wrap our heads around each job. We now have a loose game plan and are in the process of stripping the vinyl from the interior walls. Already did it to the door and it was pretty easy and very rewarding.

Once that is done, we intend to replace the flooring to inspect below and will then begin to paint all interior walls a very light color. Most of our walls are faux wood so they all have to go.

I really hope that once we do all that there will be no desire to change the cabinets, but I doubt it.

Oh, one thing I forgot to mention is that I actually removed the cabinetry that used to house the fold out table so I will at least have a sample piece to test the process on before diving into the real doors.

Anyway, let us know if you make the change!
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Old 07-16-2011, 07:30 AM   #4
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Sugar Valley , Georgia
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Am totally familiar with your situation. My 88 Excella cabinets are pristine and I truly love the color and finish. I understand that your preference dictates your actions and desires though.

As a antique repair and wood refinish type person with many years of experience I offer the following advice.

The finish must someway be removed first. In my unit it seems they used lacquer which can be removed with something as simple as lacquer thinner to all out attack with acetone. BOTH are deadly for your brain cells so using them in a confined space is pretty hazardous. YES USE VENTS AND OSHA BREATHING MASKS.

After you get the finish off one must get down a few .ooo of an inch into the wood to get the old color/stain as it penetrates the wood. Sanding or using paint stripper to remove the finish and stain at one time is often employed.

NOW you apply the new stain and finish.

Yes, one can paint over the old finish and it is what most folks do rather than the trouble of removing the old finish. For me, this is a terrible practice as it totally hides the beauty of the wood...............

Oh well, to each his own............Good luck and God bless.......Dennis
Dennis & Susan
D&D Farms, Sugar Valley, Ga
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Old 07-16-2011, 08:01 AM   #5
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Hi from Ga. . . As the owner of an 05 Safari 25 with the light colored fake wood cabinets, I would love to have the REAL wood oak cabinets. Mine are peeling pieces and trim right & left. Saw same cabs painted at Springstream & loved them, but that's a pro job & probably VERY expensive. (I had the civility not to ask !) It's my understanding they went with the faux wood for a time & have now gone back to wood. T or F anyone know ? I might trade the thing to get em !
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Old 07-16-2011, 08:52 AM   #6
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I have 2 of the late 80's with the brown cabinets. The oak doors and faces would not be terribly hard to refinish. But a lot of what shows is oak printed vinyl over particleboard. I guess you could refinish the oak and put a lighter vinyl over the dark stuff. Or maybe install thin wood planking over the vinyl. I do hate the dark cabinets and finish on the oak. But for me learning to live with it has been the best plan so far. When I thought about it, the totality of a refinish including the dark laminate on the tables, counter, etc. it just did not seem worth it to replace something that is in perfect shape now except for the color. I put in a light oak colored strip flooring and it brightened the trailer enough to live with it.
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Old 07-16-2011, 09:12 AM   #7
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We have an 85 Sov. that had the brown cave look. We removed all the doors and took them to a refinishing shop. They did a beautiful job, and was not too expensive. The living room we painted white and the flooring (carpet) was changed out with a light tan vinyl. Much lighter, much brighter, and affordable.
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Old 07-16-2011, 01:25 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by mikeandnora View Post
Oak cabinets from the late 80's excella's are not exactly joy to my better half's eye. I have read that we can restain lighter or darker, but does anyone have photos of the results?
See this thread:

Made lots of changes to the interior wood colors.

"Suck it up, spend the bucks, do it right the first time."

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Old 07-18-2011, 03:43 PM   #9
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1989 29' Excella
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Thanks for that!

Any wood experts have any experience with bleaching this type of oak and then staining back up to a very light color?

I just spent some time on google and found a little info.
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Old 07-18-2011, 04:36 PM   #10
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We just finished a rehab project in an apt that had Honey oak cabinets from 1993. We wanted an updated look without cabinet replacement.
We used Minwax pickling stain. It is like a paint with very little tint that allows the grain to show through. We used the lightest color and everyone (including my painter!) has been surprised how nice they look with updated hardware.
I would use the oil base, not water base. Remove the doors and drawers so you can work on a flat surface with minimal runs. It takes a few days to dry to a hard finish, so allow time.
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Old 07-21-2011, 01:37 AM   #11
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My 55 is in need of a new coat of clear on the natural wood, mine is the original, and looking dull with some cracking and peeling, is a sander an option with a light grit or should it be hand sanded, any recommendations on finishing product?
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Old 07-21-2011, 03:55 PM   #12
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I have had great luck on oak cabinets with minwax gel stains, but unfortunately only to go darker, I have not tried lighter.
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Old 07-22-2011, 01:26 AM   #13
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Bak , California
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Thanks! It's not the color that I'm so concerned about, rather to maintain the integrity of the wood. As it us now, It's shot and screaming for attention.
With the heat here, it's not a project that can be complete this month or the next, so I still have time to decide the best option.
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Old 07-23-2011, 07:31 AM   #14
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I'm living in a cave!

Hello all,

I dislike the dark oak cabinets too. I have a '92 Excella Classic with wood everywhere! I have painted all the oak cabinets in my home and I'm fighting myself not to do it in the trailer. I was thinking about putting regular wallpaper over the walls - perhaps paint the bathroom door. I or a future buyer who wanted the original look could remove the paper and wipe off the paste. I don't know what to do - my floor is shades of brown cork - can't change that. I like a lighter and brighter look....(sigh)

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