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Staining Cabinet Doors: Is it Better to Do it Yourself?

Staining wood is a great way to add a color of your choosing without covering up the natural grain that makes the wood so unique.  When you stain a piece of wood, the stain soaks into the surface, rather than sitting on top like a coat of paint.  The completed product can look amazing even if it is DIY.

For people who love to be hands-on, staining cabinet doors yourself might be the best option.  But there are many others who are happy to hang their own doors, but would prefer to leave the staining up to a professional. Which kind of person are you? Find out by exploring the pros and cons of both options.

Pros of Staining Cabinet Doors

On you can buy cabinet doors that come Unfinished and stain ready. Here’s some reasons you may want to stain them yourself:

  • Variety – There are hundreds of different stain options available. You can choose light or dark stains as well as a surprising number of bold colors. Since you are staining the doors yourself, the color you choose and how you apply it is entirely up to you.
  • Satisfaction – If you are someone who loves to enjoy the fruits of all your labors, then you’ll probably prefer to apply your own stain. Many people who enjoy woodworking relish the process of carefully applying stain and watching the finish transform. This process can be a lot of fun and make you feel proud of how good the finished product looks.
  • Cost – Unfinished and Stain ready cabinet doors can cost less than doors that are prefinished, depending on the wood type. So doing the work yourself can definitely save you some money. In addition to stain you’ll need a brush and/or white cotton rags, 220, and 400 grit sandpaper and a sealer. None of these supplies are too expensive or hard to find. Just make sure to shop around to get the biggest bang for your buck!

Cons of Staining Cabinet Doors

You can buy cabinet doors that come with your choice of stain already applied and cured, or you can pay a local professional to stain them. Here are some reasons why this may be the option for you.

  • Time – Staining cabinet doors is not a quick and simple process. There’s a lot of dry time between each step, and you’ll most likely be doing your project after work, or on weekends. Always do your research, and follow the instructions and recommended applications on the back of the can, if you need any tips or advice on a specific product then talk to a paint Pro at your local paint store.
  • Clear Coating- Making sure the clear coat is compatible with the stain product you use isn’t always easy. The clear coat needs to be oil based if you use an oil stain and water based if you use a water stain. There are also a variety of sheens to consider, and if you’re using gel stains you may not even need to clear coat. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions, because if you don’t the clear coating process can be very confusing and could hurt the finish of the doors.
  • Difficulty – Applying stain isn’t rocket science, but it’s not an automatic process either. If you are new to DIY projects, this may be one you want to avoid as a first-time project. With the wrong materials or techniques, you can end up with an odd-looking finish on your new cabinet doors. Plus, staining is a messy process that can leave clothes and surfaces ruined if you’re not careful. For all these reasons, many people elect to have their doors professionally stained by the manufacturer, or a local painter.
  • Stress – Maybe you’re adding new cabinet doors as part of a bigger kitchen renovation effort. Or maybe you’re focused on updating another part of the house but want to add something new to the kitchen at the same time. Juggling multiple projects at once isn’t easy, especially if you’re handling some, most, or all of the work on your own.

Buying cabinet doors that are already stained is an easy way to avoid making a long list of projects even longer. And don’t worry, your DIY credentials are still completely intact – even if you don’t apply your own stain.

Which option is right for you? If you’re still trying to make up your mind, it might help to explore how the cabinet door installation process works. You will be hanging the doors whether they come pre-stained or not. If the installation already seems like a big undertaking, consider leaving the staining to professionals. Or, if it seems like a piece of cake, you probably won’t be overwhelmed by the staining process.

The very first step is to find replacement cabinet doors made from quality materials and custom cut to fit your current cabinets. Find exactly that by contacting