If your kitchen cabinets or wood beams have lost their luster, you can restore the shine with patience, time and a little effort. Depending on the type of finish your woodwork has, restoring the shine may be as simple as a good, thorough cleaning. For a quick fix-up to your wood cabinets, an application of wax might do the trick. But to give your woodwork long-term shine plus durability, you can apply a water-based finish -- a tedious prospect but worth the effort in the long run.
1 Prepare a mild soap-and-water solution in a bucket.
2 Wash the beams and cabinets with the soap solution, using a sponge.
3 Rinse the wood with clear water. Wash again if your cabinets or beams are extra dirty or greasy.
4 Dry the cabinets and beams with a soft cloth. Allow the wood to dry thoroughly overnight before applying a finish.
5. Wax Finish
1 Apply wax to the cabinets or beams with a clean, dry cloth.
6. Wax Finish
2 Wait 30 minutes for the wax to penetrate the wood.
7. Wax Finish
3 Buff the cabinets and beams with a soft, lint-free cloth.
8. Water-Based Surface Finish
1 Sand the woodwork lightly with fine-grit sandpaper. Sanding evens out the wood and allows the product to bond better.
9. Water-Based Surface Finish
2 Wipe the surface with a dry, lint-free cloth to remove all dust particles.
10. Water-Based Surface Finish
3 Apply a thin coat of water-based finish with a paintbrush, brushing with the grain.
11. Water-Based Surface Finish
4 Allow the product to dry for two or more hours, or overnight before applying a second coat.
12. Water-Based Surface Finish
5 Sand the surface lightly. Wipe away dust with a dry cloth before applying additional coats. Apply three or four coats of finish, in all, for the best shine and wood protection.
Items you will need
- Mild dish soap
- Soft cloths
- Paste wax for wood
- Fine grit sandpaper (320 to 400 grit)
- Water-based cabinet finish
- Paintbrush with synthetic bristles
- Both polyurethane and water-based surface finishes are sold. Polyurethane finishes are more durable. However, water-based finishes have minimal fumes and your brushes can be cleaned with soap and water.
- Provide adequate ventilation when applying finishes to your wood. Keep your children well away from the area. If you choose a solvent-based product, wear a respirator mask to avoid breathing harmful fumes, and keep these products away from heat or flames.
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