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Old 01-31-2011, 10:39 PM   #1
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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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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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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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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
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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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Quote:
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:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f219...ign-14737.html

Made lots of changes to the interior wood colors.
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Old 07-18-2011, 03:43 PM   #9
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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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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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Old 07-25-2011, 07:00 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suziesilver View Post
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?
Yes, one can sand with a "finish" sander. Try to find one that is a straight line and not tiny orbits. In addition one can use one of those small triangular shaped sanders to get into small places that the larger pad sanders cannot. Start with perhaps 100 grit and then in increments of perhaps 20 go up to 200 or so. There will be places that you will have to do by hand but mostly with a bit of care you can use the machines.

For most consumers the big box store Min Wax products are just fine. The original finish is lacquer so going over that with one of the polyurethane products works well. If it is just the finish that you need to work on, I have used on MANY projects their wipe on oil product. One applies it with a rag much like furniture polish; but it leaves a skin of polyurethane.

THE ONLY WAY TO LIGHTEN a color is to remove it. Yes, one can use the bleaches, even Clorox, but what it does is raise the grain which causes ALL KINDS of problems...............

God bless...........Dennis
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Old 07-25-2011, 10:56 PM   #16
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Thanks Dennis. I'm truly contemplating having my trailer rebuilt but looking around the web at the different shops. Amazing craftsmanship. I am not able to complete much on my own. Any names of airstream refinish artists in California? Sent email to Area63 Productions without any word back.
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Old 09-01-2011, 02:10 AM   #17
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Rivet oak cabinets

Hello All,
I re-ferbed our 34’ inside and out once we bought her from the PO. She was dated, and worn out with age / neglect. Here are some interior shots of the cabinets. I have 20+ years as a carpenter, however its not my profession, rather my passion that has allowed me to pursue “labors of love” The dinette table is a Spalted Maple with a free hand inlay, ebony trimmed with New Zealand Bloodwood. The inlay in the rear bureau is a Honduran mahogany I had laying around the shop, begging to be used to replace the Formica top that just rubbed me the wrong way…ugh….
The process is time consuming, however worth its weight in rewards
Take your time to do it right the first time .
PREP
1. First and foremost, remove all of the doors, then all of the brass pulls and hinges
2. Using a Black and decker Mouse you will take 2 sweeps of sanding, nice to work with a partner on this, first step, 80 grit, 2 step 120. This process is for ALL edges and surfaces, wear a dust mask and prepare for heavy dust. One of the easiest methods is to purchase a sheet of plywood, place it on two saw horses and work around it. We set up two tables, then as soon as one person finished the first grade of sanding , moved off to the next plywood table….great work surfaces for the finish work as well.
3. Final prep stage steel wool, #0000, to remove any “grime” in the corners not hit by the “mouse” don’t be too picky, as you will be amazed what the new stain and finish will do.
STAIN
1. In agreement with another thread, stain must be done by hand, use gloves, however, you must use a “chemical” glove or it will gust deteriorate. Use old men’s tee shirts for the best results 6x6 patches. Dip the corner into the stain ( BE SURE TO STIR THE PIGMENT FROM THE BOTTOM) then within minutes wipe down with a clean rag….you will need to test this out…the longer you wait…the darker the color. In HOT weather…you will need to be quick about this, as the stain will “set” quickly..it will become sticky, and you will do more harm than good to keep rubbing. If this occurs, you can use a thinner, to wipe it down to a lighter grade color if so desired.
2. Spend the money and buy the triangle “painter points” they are yellow plastic 1” tripods that you can set your cabinet door on. DO THE BACK SIDE FIRST…to avoid drips on to the front surface…wipe the edges WELL prior to allowing to dry….on a hot day you can get by with a 6 hour dry time….to be SAFE OVERNIGHT DRYING is the best course of action.
3. Flip all of cabinets over……now take care in the application of stain for the front of the door. Doing the back first will also give you experience in your process or “feel” of the process to obtain the color you want.
4. One coat of stain is usually all you will need.

These photos show the use of a product by CABOT…sold at Lowes in the “GUNSTOCK” color, it best matches the red oak, provides a realistic color, and retains its luster with well over a year after the application and still looks new.
FINISH,
In these photos, I used Minwax’s HighGloss, Quick Dry, expensive….but worth the bucks. ( they also offer a satin and semi gloss finish) DO NOT GO CHEAP on the brush or short yourself by anything less than a Purity brand, 3” you will need 2 to 3 brushes to properly go through the process, however can get away with 2 with a lacquer thinner to clean the brushes, however the cost of thinner, warrants a 3d brush…..all of the prep work…don’t kill yourself over 40.00 in brushes.
1. Once you have finished your steel wool, use a tack cloth to wipe all surfaces. An air hose or soft bristle brush to clean your work surface. Best to do this in a garage, where you can use the plywood as a table, and a clean surface, as well as control contaminates from effecting the finish- bugs, dust, your neighbor’s cut grass…..
2. Apply your first coat….to the BACK of your doors….allow to dry. FULLY, flip over, then do the front…pay attention to drips…..
3. Lightly sand with 220 BY hand front and back …..then a tack cloth again
4. Apply 2d coat to BACK than Front…you should only need 2 coats on the back. ALLOW to FULLY dry
5. 3 coat for front only…. Use 320 wet/dry ( black paper) by hand and lightly to produce a “white dust…then tack cloth again
6. Now for the finish …..front side only……best done at night….9-10 pm ( not in the winter months though due to set times) this will provide the least dust and disturbance. Use a NEW brush, and a BRIGHT LIGHT to detect any missed areas…look at the door at an angle to confirm a full application…..now go to bed…like it is Christmas eve….in the morning…. Well your hard work will be rewarded.
BRASS
I shopped Ebay, came up with solid brass pulls for 1.00 each and hinges for a 1.25 a pair, all together, it was under 100 for the brass for a 34’
Hope this helps, feel free to post any questions / PM me
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Old 09-01-2011, 02:32 AM   #18
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quick follow up:
Note, prior to installing.....follow the above process on your cabinet frame work, be sure to mask off the edges.
Pre-drill for your new hinges to assure you dont split/crack the oak.
Happy trails
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Old 09-01-2011, 11:10 PM   #19
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Here is another view of the bath cabinets. Same process as above.
The tub / shower was removed as well, fully stripped down and refinished with a two part binding epoxy in oyster pearl. The shower walls were custom painted with a marbled application of binding primer and accented to match. That is another thread though.
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