How to Keep Wood Kitchen Cabinets Looking Brand Spanking New
Imagine this scenario.
You’ve remodeled your kitchen, adding beautiful oak wood kitchen cabinets. The surfaces are clean and new, free from grease or grime. Their natural patterns are beautiful and work well with the rest of your décor.
After cooking a big meal, you gently wipe your cabinets down as you clean up. Nothing too serious or rough.
But time has passed, and you’ve now cooked dozens of big meals. The grease stains no longer go away with a simple spray of cleaner and a move of a rag. So you get a scrub brush and start grinding away at the tough spot.
Only to realize that you’ve scratched at the natural wood underneath!
If you want to avoid this situation, don’t worry. You can clean your cabinets in an adequate way without ruining their finish.
Equipment You Need
Cleaning your wood cabinets is a pretty easy task. It takes the same care as most surfaces in your home – with a little less of the elbow grease. And keep the bleach products out of it.
What’s the best equipment for the job? We recommend the following:
- A bowl of warm water
- An all-purpose cleaner with drying oils, such as orange, linseed, walnut (or better yet, a cleaner designated for wood)
- A sponge
- A soft rag
Warm water is important for breaking down tough stains. But too much warm water could have the opposite effect. An excess of water could soak your wood and warp its finish.
A sponge or soft scrub brush is good for getting at the tough stuff. But try to avoid objects with steel wool, such as brillo pads. These could scratch the wood’s surface.
If you prefer a natural cleaner, vinegar is a great option.
It’s versatile, inexpensive, and effective. It tends to leave a film, though, so use it in small increments. Or, begin with vinegar and end with a soft soap, like diluted dish soap.
Things to Avoid
Without a doubt, avoid excess water. This will cause your wooden cabinets to crumble over time.
On a similar note, don’t use too much vinegar or cleaning product. Make sure it gets diluted with water before use. The best recommendation is 1 cup of cleaner to 2 cups of water.
Steer clear of abrasive pads. These will scratch your surfaces and remove the outer layer of your wood. If your wood cabinet is already painted or stained, it could ruin that as well.
Wood Kitchen Cabinets: To Refinish or to Repaint?
Wooden cabinets are on the top of the list when it comes to popular options. From deep cherry wood to the more grain-heavy red oak, you’re not limited when it comes to patterns and hues.
But when they get a little older, should you refinish them or re-paint them? The short answer is yes!
When to Refinish
If you want to keep the original texture, grain, and color, then refinishing them with a stain is your best bet. It’s less expensive than painting and shows off the wood’s natural beauty.
When to Repaint
If you want a super fresh look and you don’t mind sacrificing the wood aesthetic, then you can always repaint it. Natural wood holds the paint well, whereas fake wood made out of laminate does not.
Brand-Spankin’ New. . . No Matter How Old!
If you’ve got wood kitchen cabinets, there’s no need to let them age. You can keep them fresh with a few simple cleaning techniques.
Need more tips for painting kitchen cabinets? Check out that section of our blog for great information!