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Woodworking/Staining bathroom cabinets


Hi Greg,
I'm staining my bathroom cabinets using Varathane wood stain.  These are not the best wood cabinets, as my house was a spec house built 15 years ago.  My problem is on the back side of the cabinet doors the inset does not want to take the stain well.  I apply the stain and when I wipe off it seems to almost all come off, this is only happening in the areas around the edges.  I don't think these insets are very good wood (the cabinets were natural oak).  We have stripped the varnish off the surfaces and sanded to bare wood.  Any advise on what to do with these insets on the doors?

It's possible that the material is likely different than the rest of the construction, and therefore takes the stain differently. Many oil stains will not penetrate the same on differing surfaces, so you'll have to try a different stain on those areas, like a dye stain or something with more penetrating power. I like the General waterborne dye stains, available at Woodcraft or online...but even they may not stain these areas well....the good news is this is the back of the door...right? back- regards- Greg


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Greg Scholl


Questions on Woodworking, wood finishing and refinishing of all kinds, repairing furniture and wooden objects,Architectural details, Woodturning, carving, tool usage, product usage, some chemistry as it applies to woodworking and related interests,cabinet making and furniture construction/design, etc. I have experience with all manners of colorants, finishes, paints, stains, dyes, glazes, and coatings,wood species recognition,usage,etc.


Fine furniture restorer and cabinet maker for over 30 years,serving high end Antique dealers, Interior designers, Collectors in the CT area. Sold, built, serviced, setup Home,Industrial and Commercial stationary woodworking tools for a major tool retailer in CT. for three years, sold hand and power tools, and offered instruction on use and care as well.I even have some Trade show Demo experience.

none at this time.

Published in Fine Woodworking Magazine (12/97), included on Fine Woodworkings first "Best of Fine Woodworking" CD-ROM (2002)-("27 year compilation of expert know-how"),Multiple times in Family Handyman Magazine, local newspapers as well.

Art School at Silvermine Guild in Norwalk, CT., 9 year apprenticeship in a European run Cabinet and Restoration shop in CT., various classes on subjects having to do with the field. Seminars by Major tool manufacturers, Delta, Powermatic, Performax, Porter Cable, Skil/Bosch to name a few.

Past/Present Clients
Many varied clients including work on Martha Stewarts' Westport, CT. show house, many fine Antique dealers and private collectors in and around Fairfield County and in Woodbury, CT.(the Antiques capital of CT.)
Consulting for area Painting/Decorating and Building contractors on non painting issues..(staining, wood prep.,clear finishing, floor restoration and architectural detail restoration and repair, etc.), local Museums and Historical Societies.For the last two years I have been employed with Schwenke Auctioneers Inc.- Woodbury Auction LLC., as a staff photographer,IT tech,and doing restoration and repair work as well.

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