Brown cabinet country dark updating
If your cabinets are in good condition (no chipping finish, bubbles, drips, etc.) a light sanding with medium grit sandpaper (just to give the existing finish some tooth for the new stain/primer to hold on to) should do the trick just fine.
On my cabinets (we had standard builder grade oak cabinets when we first moved in that I wanted to “jazz up”) I simply went over them lightly with sandpaper and then antiqued and stained them with a stain 1 shade darker than the original finish.
They were in a pickle so they called me up to get my opinion on the matter.
I went over and took a look at the cabinets and got a handle on what had been done.
Heres the issue we had with staining the now bare oak cabinets: Wood grain. Oak (especially oak that has been stripped and sanded bare) has tons of gorgeous, open, porous wood grain that soaks up stain like crazy.
For my friend’s cabinets, we discussed staining the oak a darker medium brown color.
They liked the look of natural wood antiqued cabinets.
It is BEAUTIFUL no doubt, but in this situation would have made the cabinets far too rustic and busy looking alongside their beautiful speckled granite countertops.
Now, I have heard of ways you can lessen the graininess of oak cabinets so that they take stain more uniformly.