Thursday, September 1, 2016

Teak Oil on Bathroom and Kitchen Cupboards and Cabinets - Easy Makeover

My home is over 35 years old. The cabinets in the kitchen and the medicine cabinets in the bathrooms are all of the golden oak solid wood variety that was popular then. 

I know the trend is to paint kitchen cabinets white, grey, or black presently for the sleek look but I LOVE natural wood. I have it on the banister for the stairs and much of my own furniture is from the old era of oak so I don't want to paint over wood. 

I hate how dirty my friends cabinets get where there is lots of use when they have painted them white. They also get dinged and you have to touch them up etc. 

I just wash the fronts from time to time when they get dirty and I haven't had any maintenance for years.

There were a few scratches on the sides which aren't really oak but the oak laminate siding. However, under the sink where I wash regularly due to cutting lots of fruits over the sink and it gets sticky etc, my frequent washing has taken some of the varnish off and they were looking quite worn. 

Also, in my bathroom where I wash the mirrors several times weekly, the varnish had also worn off. I wondered what I could do to update my cupboards without having to sand and refinish them and remembered that I used to use tung oil back years ago before moving into this house on the cupboards in my apartments. 

I sent Princess Four to the store to purchase me some Tung Oil as I was moving a bunk bed and it had tons of scratches on it. I remembered the Tung oil and figured it would work to get the scratches polished up better than the "Old English" light furniture polish would. 

Princess Four called from the store and told me that the Tung Oil was more than twice the Teak Oil and so I figured I would try the Teak Oil on the bed as I had such wonderful results on the garage door (click here for that post) and on my trailer a few years back. (click here for that post)

I used it on the bed and it worked wonders covering the scratches of many children's abuse. It was wonderful. However, it does get sticky if left on over where the varnish was still intact. So, using a soft cotton cloth, pour some teak oil on the cloth and wipe on the entire surface. Let it dry for about ten minutes and then take a dry cotton cloth and wipe it off so that it dries more quickly. 
Where I left it on over the old varnish took two days drying time and in areas that I put lots of it, it took even longer so don't forget to wipe away the excess after ten minutes. I would do a section, go back to the first area, then go to a new area, then go back to the second area and wipe the excess away etc.

MAKE SURE YOU ONLY DO IT IN A WELL VENTILATED AREA. I had my swamp cooler on vent and all my bathroom and kitchen vents going full for two days and at times, I can still smell it. I would suggest doing it before you leave on vacation so that it has plenty of time to dry before you come back and the smell will be dissipated. 

Hopefully you can clearly see in the many before and after pictures in this post how well it covered up the scratches and dings. I also made a video you can see the final product. I think they look like new and after thirty plus years and a household of 9 when we bought it and our 7 for years, they have turned out quite nice I think! 

Oh, in the one beneath the sink, I had started the tops but stopped so you could see how well the top looked verses the fronts and center between them look. Then, the picture below is the entire thing finished. 

I did the same thing with the last picture. It is one of the bathroom medicine chests where the varnish had worn off. You can see how it shines it up immediately in that picture.

There are two last warnings. In my bathroom when the kids were little, they wouldn't use the fan / vent because it made them cold so they would steam up the bathroom and it wore away the varnish on the grain on the upper cabinets. Then in the basement, near the whirlpool spa tub, the wood just above it also wore through the varnish on the grain so when I used the Teak Oil, it created a darker grain there due to mildew in the crevices so if you have a spot like that in your bathroom, I would do a light sand there before using the Teak Oil. 

The last of the two warnings is the make SURE that you do not store the container opened or with a cloth. DO NOT STORE THE CLOTH!!!! Once you are finished with it. I put it in an old sour cream container in water and take it to the outside garbage can. I personally know someone who burned down their business by leaving rags soaked in stain and varnish on the work tables over night and it started the building on fire destroying their business and another! 
ALWAYS soak the used towel in water and dispose of it outside not near the house!!!! CLOSE the container tightly so the fumes don't ignite!!!! It isn't worth a few pennies for someone's life or your home to be destroyed!

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