Whether you’d like your cabinets to show some grain or conceal it completely, there are a few steps you can take to get the look you want. First, sand down the oak before priming. This will allow the primer to bond well with the wood. Then, use a tack cloth or vacuum to remove dust. Since oak has an open grain, cracks and dents will show through the paint, so it’s important to fill in these areas before painting.
Filling the grain
If you’d like to avoid having to sand your painted oak cabinets, you may want to consider filling the grain first. The grain of oak is open, so if you don’t fill in the grain before applying the paint, it will become visible. While some people enjoy seeing the wood grain through the paint, others prefer to have a smooth painted surface. Luckily, filling the grain is simple and does not require a professional’s skills.
First, you must understand how paint works. It’s like a thin film that matches the shape and texture of the object it covers. Because the grain of oak cabinets is open, the paint won’t fill in the grain. This means that it will appear more porous and darker than the surrounding wood. As a result, the grain will show through, making it difficult to create a smooth-looking cabinet door finish.
Choosing a paint color
One of the biggest challenges when painting oak cabinets is minimizing the wood grain. Maple and cherry cabinets usually paint up beautifully and don’t have this issue, but painted oak cabinets tend to have a grain that shows through the paint. Thankfully, there are ways to avoid this problem.
If you want to avoid a woody look, you can choose a neutral color. For instance, a warm neutral like taupe or cream will work well. However, warm neutral colors are prone to looking drab and boring. For more subtle, beautiful results, you can choose a lighter or cooler neutral. Alternatively, choose a cream that has a similar undertone to the wood. Some creams even pick up a little green.
Choosing a semi-gloss or satin finish
You may wonder what is the best paint to use for painted oak cabinets with grain showing. It all depends on how light hits them. Some paints will completely eliminate the grain, while others will use fillers to cover it. Regardless of your choice, a semi-gloss or satin finish will help to minimize the texture.
The semi-gloss finish is the most popular. If you want a smooth, even appearance, this finish is the best option. While it will show the grain more, it is also more durable and will stand up to scratches and denting. A high-gloss finish may not hide scratches or imperfections, and you may want to choose a satin finish if you have children or pets who tend to scratch the finished wood.
Scuff sanding the doors
Scuff sanding the doors of a painted oak cabinet is a process used to remove paint. To do this, you must first wet the door with cleaning solution. Then, you can start sanding with sandpaper using five to six short passes. For the groves and other areas, you can use a sanding sponge. After finishing the scuff sanding, you can use an orbital sander to sand the front and sides of the doors.
The next step in scuff sanding the doors of painted wood cabinets with grain showing involves applying a grain filler. This filler will cover most of the open grain cracks in the wood. You may also consider applying a second coat of filler.
Choosing a stain
When choosing a stain, it’s important to understand what type of wood your cabinets are made of. Different types of wood absorb different types of stain. Some are great at bringing out the natural grain of the wood, while others are less forgiving. Wood stains are thin paints that contain a binder, pigment, and solvent. They can either be water-based or oil-based.
Paintable cabinets are best for mild climates, or homes with temperatures around 65 degrees year-round. However, painted cabinets will show imperfections more easily than unpainted ones. This is because cabinet doors have joints, such as mitered or mortise and tenon joints.