Cabinets, Furniture, Woodworks/new kitchen cabinets


kitchen cabinet
kitchen cabinet  
QUESTION: I just had new kitchen cabinets installed by a professional  (kitchen remodel with custom cabinet sub contractor).   They are maple with a dark oak color stain.  (see image).  It has been less than a week and I am finding multiple areas where the stain is coming off.  It is like flaking and peeling off in different areas. the contractors are still working on my home and have had the stain expert back once already for a touch up.  However, the problem persists and every day I am finding a new area where the stain has come off.  What could have caused this and what is the best solution for repair?

ANSWER: Linda,

Thanks for your e-mail and especially the picture of one of your cabinets.

It looks as tough your cabinets were sprayed with the color and the finish together.
The reason I think this is because the void area doesn't show any sign of any stain entering the raw wood.

When we refinish a cabinet; or any type of furniture, we first apply the stain.
If it is an oil stain like Minwax, we always give the stain a day to oxidize (dry and adhere to the fibers of the wood) This way the color that you want is in the fibers of the wood where it belongs. Then we spray a clear finish (lacquer, acrylic etc.) over the stained wood.
This was if the finished wood is chipped etc. it usually just removes the finish and not necessarily the stain.

Your void area has the stain and the finish removed; without any trace of the stain in the raw wood.
This is why it looks as though the finish was tinted with the desired color and the two were then sprayed to your cabinets.
This method is done quite often in the industry; but, the tinted product doesn't penetrate the into the fibers of the wood; therefore flakes.

Your cabinets look nice; but, do you see the lighter color to the right and above the handle?
It shows that there isn't any stain in the fibers.

Is this a factory finish; or, done in your local area?

Trace the origin of the refinishing job and ask your questions.

The restaining of the flaked area won't solve the problem of the flaking.

The best in your endeavor!

Joe Eldredge
Conscientious Wood Care

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: This was a custom stain done in my home.  I do not know the method used but I will ask and find out.

Should I ask for re-staining?  Is this the best way to be sure the problem will not continue?

It looks as though you will have to start over again. The product that is now on your cabinets will have to be removed.  They will need to strip the cabinets; in order to get all of the existing finish out of the fibers of the wood. If they sand; you never get down to the original
fibers of the wood.
Did they stain and finish in your house with a spray gun; or, did they do this in the shop before bringing them to your house?
What ever they apply over your existing finish without removing the existing finish; will present the fact that there will always be the possibility that it will continue to peel under the over coat.

Make sure that they know that you understand what has to be done before you sign off on the job.

That finish should not be peeling in the fashion that is occurring on your cabinets.

Stan your ground!

Joe Eldredge
Conscientious Wood Care

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Joseph A. Eldredge


We have been in the wood care business for almost 30 years (we are still learning) We do refurbishing and touch-up of furniture, paneling, antiques etc. The number one question that we receive; is what do I use on my furniture, to keep it looking moisturized, clean and get the depth perception back into the finish. I believe we can help on products to use and answer questions on why we don't use certain products that are available to us. I am sure that there are many questions on wood care that we can't answer; but, give us a try anyway. We find that many people use products for maintaining the wooden furniture, etc., and can't understand the reason it looks worse as they continue to use certain products. Most people use the products that their mothers and grandmothers used. Finishes on furniture have come a long way; from shellacs, waxes, varnishes etc. Give us an email and see if we can help with some of your questions and concerns.


Have worked in Omni, Brown Palace etc. hotels. Have refurbish items in the Colorado Govenors mansion and the Colorado Capital building etc. We have been caring for millions of dollars worth of furniture and antiques for large corporations for years.

Have received certificates from numerous companies who teach wood care clases through-out the country.

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