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can you stain laminate cabinets

Can You Stain Laminate Cabinets?

When you have a strict budget for revamping your kitchen or bathroom, you probably shop for durable, attractive materials with a low price tag. Many homeowners choose laminate cabinets to update these common spaces without breaking the bank. Can you stain laminate cabinets to make them look better?

Kitchen Concepts’ kitchen remodeling experts in Danville, CA, explore your laminate cabinet staining options. You’ll benefit from our expertise since laminate reacts to stains differently than wood. 

Can You Stain Laminate Cabinets?

Like other California homeowners, you might think you can’t personalize or improve laminate materials. Traditional stains work well for wooden furniture and fixtures because wood absorbs the liquid stain. A nonporous laminate surface consists of a plastic or pressed fiberboard and doesn’t readily absorb liquids.

Therefore, a traditional stain won’t stick to it the same way. However, you can still stain your laminate cabinets with the right formula. Most kitchen remodeling experts recommend gel stains for refinishing laminate cabinets. 

Why Choose Professionals Over a DIY Job?

Before you head to the nearest home improvement store to begin your DIY laminate cabinet makeover, call a professional to handle the job. You must brush this type of stain onto the surface, much like paint, allowing more potential for imperfections and noticeable mistakes. Plus, some gel stains are toxic and require personal protective equipment and care when handling. 

Let professional remodelers choose the product and use their equipment to create a seamless finish for your laminate cabinets. Allowing contractors to tackle this and other remodeling tasks is part of having a safe kitchen

The Professional Staining Process

Staining laminate furniture requires utmost care and precision through each step of the process. Otherwise, you could end up with uneven streaks, splotchy areas, or dirt trapped inside the gel. A professional remodeler with expert painting skills will know how to update laminate cabinets with stain to your satisfaction. 

Tools Needed

First, your chosen remodeler will gather the tools and products to craft a seamless finish. They’ll bring:

  • Gel stain of your choosing
  • Clearcoat finish to seal the stain
  • Microfiber cloth for removing dirt
  • Gritty sandpaper
  • Wooden stick for mixing the products
  • Sanding block
  • Clean rag
  • Foam or bristle paintbrushes 

Applying the Stain

Your remodeler can make any laminate surface look high-end and elegant with the simple six-step process outlined below:

  • Step 1: Staining laminate furniture or cabinets begins with thoroughly wiping down the surface with a rag. The remodeler uses a gentle soap mixed with warm water to degrease and cleanse the cabinets before beginning the stain work. 
  • Step 2: Can you stain laminate cabinets? Not before sanding! Your remodeler will gently rub each surface with an appropriate sandpaper to encourage adhesion. 
  • Step 3: Using long, even strokes, the remodeler will slowly apply the gel stain to the laminate surfaces. Thick applications lead to drip marks and stick areas that take longer to dry. 
  • Step 4: The remodeler uses the microfiber cloth to remove excess product from the surface while the gel is still damp. This step prevents tackiness and an arduous drying process since you’ll want to use your kitchen again soon. 
  • Step 5: A rich finish requires numerous coats of gel stain. The remodeler will continue applying coats, waiting 24 hours between each to ensure the previous one dries completely. 
  • Step 6: Finally, your remodeler will seal the deal with the clearcoat. This final application will protect the stain, ensuring a rich, fresh finish lasting years. 

Most gel stains last between three and five years. Like similar paint products, they’ll need a reapplication to retain their appeal. 

Request a Quote From Kitchen Concepts

Can you stain laminate cabinets to make them look better? Yes, you absolutely can. However, every remodeling task requires experience and the appropriate products and equipment to complete. Kitchen Concepts can help you choose the product from the different types of kitchen finishes and apply each coat evenly and artfully. 

Request a quote at 925-915-3307 to update your cabinets. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Will stains adhere to laminate surfaces? 

Yes, stains will adhere to laminate surfaces. However, wood stains will not stick to your cabinets. The best stain for laminate surfaces is a quality gel stain. 

What can I do to make my laminate cabinets look expensive?

You can make your cabinets look more expensive by switching the hardware, installing a backsplash, and staining the surfaces. 

Are Formica and laminate the same material?

Formica is a brand of laminate. Therefore, all Formica products consist of laminate material. 

Does laminate stain easily?

Laminate’s nonporous surface makes it resist stains. This quality prevents food debris from discoloring your cabinets. However, it can also make re-staining a chore.

Tyler Fraser

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