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Cabinets, Furniture, Woodworks/kitchen cabinet stain peeling


Jack wrote at 2007-08-27 06:39:02
Maple is a terribly hard wood to stain dark.  It's takes patience and skill to get a uniform color since the sugar pockets in the maple wood absorbs stain unevenly leaving a very splotchy look if done incorrectly.  That's why you see more lighter stained maple pieces.  Not to say it's impossibly, it's just harder.  A sanding sealer is used first to get the wood to absorb the stain more uniformly and to raise the grain of the maple.  Now, I gather the cabinet door makers understood that maple gets blotchy with the traditional oil penetrating stains.  So the way to get a easier uniform dark finish on maple is to use a gel stain, or a wipe stain.  This is a pigmented based product much like latex paint.  It sits on top of the wood instead of penetrating into the wood.  Gel stains acts like translucent paint, sitting on top of the wood, it is not affect by the various sugar pockets of the maple.  There are two problems  with with gel stain.  One, it does not provide that deep rich color oil stain gives.  Two- it take 48 hours to cure enough to accept a top coat.  I suspect the gel stain was not given enough time to dry and cure before the final top coat was applied. Now, it takes one month for the entire finish coats to fully cure, so I would give the manufacture the benefit of the doubt by waiting one month for the finish coats to fully cure.  If it continues to peel, they will have to get you new doors.

-good luck


larisa wrote at 2013-01-12 16:48:56
I have the same issue with my wood cabinet doors. Can we put something on top of the finish to keep it from peeling? I already tried putting finish that boats use and it still

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Stephen Major (Owner--Major Design Group)


I can answer questions regarding woodworking, cabinetmaking, architectural woodwork (interior and exterior), and the design of same. PLEASE provide photos whenever possible.


I have 25 years experience as a professional woodworker and cabinetmaker. I have a lot of experience in the design and fabrication of casework (built-ins, bookcases, entertainment centers) as well as free-standing furnishings including beds, tables, etc.

Author: "Architectural Woodwork - Details for Construction" published by Van Nostrand Reinhold (now Wiley).

BS Cornell University.

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