Step-by-step instructions on how to finish new cabinet doors…Easy, Attractive, and Long-lasting.

Even if you have no experience with finishing wood products, you can stain and lacquer new Oak Cabinet Doors
with results that an expert will admire.

I’ve personally used this method on hundreds of cabinet doors and hundreds of other door customers
have followed this method with truly professional results.

This example is for finishing unfinished Oak wood products.
Here is the step-by-step process.

Start by purchasing the necessary materials. Minwax Golden Oak is available at Home Depot or Lowes and It’s my Oak Stain of choice.
Minwax Polyurethane is my choice for a protective cover coat. You can use Gloss, Semi-gloss. Whichever you prefer.
Buy a 3-inch fine paintbrush for the Polyurethane. No need to purchase the $20 brush but don’t buy the $1 brush either. A quality brush is usually around $5 to $8 dollars.
A few cheap 2-or-3 inch foam brushed are needed for the stain.
Follow the instructions on the Minwax can for brush cleaning instructions, but throw the foam brushes away after use.
To avoid having to clean the brushes when stopping for a few hours between uses is to place the brush in a plastic bag to prevent drying.
If you need to stop the process for longer periods it’s best to clean the brushes.
One last tip before you start staining…Stain the back of one of your drawer fronts first. If you are not satisfied with the color you can try another stain without having to replace the door.

Oak is very easy to stain. It takes stain evenly and is probably the easiest to stain and most forgiving wood available. It’s almost indestructible and is easy to sand and refinish after a generation of growing family use and abuse.
A very attractive as well a quick and easy method of staining and finishing oak cabinet doors is to use Minwax Golden Oak Stain, followed by two coats of Minwax Polyurethane.

Just lay the doors flat and paint on the Golden Oak Stain (I use a 2-or-3 inch foam brush for this). Get the stain on all sides and edges, as well as into the panel-frame joints. Within five minutes wipe off the excess stain and let the doors sit for a few hours.
As the stain dries you may see small shiny areas where the stain is seeping back out of the grain, Wipe these areas off as they appear. After two or three times wiping these spots off they will stop seeping.

Now, if you want the door to be a little darker, just apply the stain again. The door will take more stain and become darker but it will also seep more. Just be sure to keep removing the seeping stain as it appears.

After about a day of drying you are ready to protect the door with some polyurethane.
I prefer to use the brush-on Minwax Polyurethane instead of the spray cans.
Just brush on a thin coat of the Polyurethane and let it dry (usually about 4 hours, depending on temp and humidity).

After the first coat has dried sand VERY LIGHTLY with 220 grit. Blow off the dust and apply a second coat.
After the second coat is dry you are finished.
Don’t worry about runs in the finish ruining a door. If you see any runs just sand them away (careful not to sand through the stain) and apply another coat of Polyurethane.

These methods will allow you to finish Oak wood products that will be attractive and long-lasting without fear of the mistakes first-timers
often make.

See more tips on cabinet doors at and