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  • Whitewash on kitchen cabinet.

    This customer just threw a curve ball at me. We decided on a design for her kitchen cabinet, bottom cabinet are stained maple and the top cabinet were to be white lacquered. She now seems to want the uppers whitewashed. Never did it before and I don't have a problem with making a few samples for her. She is very nice! I don't know if there is an advantage to using General Finishes whitewash stain versus diluted white paint. Is there? Any pitfall that I should watch for? Is maple a good candidate or will I end up with a blotchy finish? After all, I don't think I should preconditioned the maple with a weak shellac before the whitewash. What do you think?
    Chris
    I only excel at fixing my my goof ups
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  • #2

    Re: Whitewash on kitchen cabinet.

    I have done a few whitewash pieces and I find that diluted paint makes for the best "look" but lacks the durability of whitewash or pickling stains.
    The problem with diluted paint (I've only used latex paint/water) is it raises the grain so much it's hard to topcoat nicely. So before whitewashing I'll raise the grain and sand probably 4-6 times

    the whitewash stains go on like stain. So it's a very consistent white stain. You kinda want almost a blotchy affect on whitewash. Hard to explain. But you want to see where you've gone over with a paint brush twice vs once.

    I find ins maple to not whitewash well because it lacks character in colour and grain. I would probably do the aging mix (vinegar and steel wool) before white washing maple to help it.

    I am by by no means an expert or professional. Witewash is a look my wife really likes so I have done quite a few pieces.

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    • #3

      Re: Whitewash on kitchen cabinet.

      I have only done a few white washed pieces and that was years ago. Most of my kitchens are painted including the one I am building now. I use a VC maple veneer plywood. I edge band with maple edgebanding. To color match the edgebanding to the cabinets I apply latex paint. I let the paint dry for 24 hrs before I spray the boxes. Edgebanding and box gets 1 sealer coat and 2 coats of ML Campbell conversion varnish. I have a bed in the spare room that I built probably 25 years ago. I wanted it to be green and stressed. I spray painted it with green latex paint and then sealer and 2 coats of pre cat lacquer. It looks as good today as the day I built it. The paint I do on the edgebanding it applied with a foam brush and takes a couple minutes per box. I would certainly do a couple of test pieces as someone else mentioned maple has a very tight grain and would certainly look different than an oak white wash . For my kitchens I spray a pigmented post cat conversion varnish.

      Brian
      If your dreams don't scare you, you are not dreaming big enough

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      • #4

        Re: Whitewash on kitchen cabinet.

        I concur with Brian (Post #3) as far as applying the sander/sealer, followed up by the lacquer. The latex paint I've used is "normal" wall paint, diluted about 30% water by volume. You'll want to do a bit of experimenting with the percentage of water before committing to the actual cabinets. As with all waterborne finishes (latex paint, in this case) it will raise the grain, so I fine sand to P220 before spraying on the latex. I'll then lightly resand the painted surface - but no so much that I'll cut through (especially at the edges) to the bare wood, using P220. After the sander/sealer has been sprayed on and dried, I'll sand a little finer, usually P320 before applying the lacquer. There's usually no reason to sand after the first coat of lacquer, unless you get a run - which can sometimes happen if you're not careful enough doing any vertical surfaces. I usually apply a second coat of lacquer to kitchen cabinets, but will consider a third if I'm not quite getting the desired sheen.
        All the best,

        Marty

        - Instagram: @apexwoodworks
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        Secretary of Kingston Wood Artisans Inc.

        My goal is not to be better than anyone else. My goal is to be better than I used to be.

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        • #5

          Re: Whitewash on kitchen cabinet.

          goudey made a white wiping stain in the past that worked well. Simple and easy, not sure if they still do or not but it wont raise the grain. never used it on Maple as usual do samples and not too small. Used it on Oak and it worked well. Id look at your lacquer as well and try and get one that will remain clear and not yellow.

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          • #6

            Re: Whitewash on kitchen cabinet.

            Originally posted by eilliac View Post
            She now seems to want the uppers whitewashed. Never did it before and I don't have a problem with making a few samples for her. She is very nice! I don't know if there is an advantage to using General Finishes whitewash stain versus diluted white paint. Is there? Any pitfall that I should watch for? Is maple a good candidate or will I end up with a blotchy finish? After all, I don't think I should preconditioned the maple with a weak shellac before the whitewash. What do you think?
            Originally posted by Sawdust View Post
            goudey made a white wiping stain in the past that worked well. Simple and easy, not sure if they still do or not but it wont raise the grain.
            Chris, can you get ML Campbell products? Warren's point about Goudey's stain is very valid, but they might be difficult to get where you are.
            I don"t think I've had more than five requests in 17 yrs for this finishing style, but I have tried diluted paint, white pigment mixed with mineral spirits, white stain that I tried to rub off to get desired effect and finally settled on diluting MLC's white Woodsong II stain with their stain base (at the suggestion of my MLC distributor). Exact mix ratio depends on the desired effect, but I did find that wiping with a clean rag soaked in the stain base gave a really good result. I sealed it with MLC's vinyl sealer, diluted about 50% with thinners, scuffed back when dry and applied Target EM9300.Can't find a picture, and of course, after getting a system that worked, I have never been asked to do it again. That small kitchen bookcase was made of pine IIRC.
            Hope that helps
            Paul

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            • #7

              Re: Whitewash on kitchen cabinet.

              Originally posted by Paul O in Paris View Post



              Chris, can you get ML Campbell products? Warren's point about Goudey's stain is very valid, but they might be difficult to get where you are.
              I don"t think I've had more than five requests in 17 yrs for this finishing style, but I have tried diluted paint, white pigment mixed with mineral spirits, white stain that I tried to rub off to get desired effect and finally settled on diluting MLC's white Woodsong II stain with their stain base (at the suggestion of my MLC distributor). Exact mix ratio depends on the desired effect, but I did find that wiping with a clean rag soaked in the stain base gave a really good result. I sealed it with MLC's vinyl sealer, diluted about 50% with thinners, scuffed back when dry and applied Target EM9300.Can't find a picture, and of course, after getting a system that worked, I have never been asked to do it again. That small kitchen bookcase was made of pine IIRC.
              Hope that helps
              Paul
              Isn't it the way it always seems to go? Thanks Warren. But Paul is right. In my neck of the woods, it is not available. I will call ML Campbell customer service on Monday AM and see if they can help with a supplier that can ship here. I always heeded Paul's and Julian's advices in the past and they always paid off in a big way. If ML Campbell turns out to be a dead end for me, I can explore the advices of Brian, Marty and I Hide In The Garage. I have lots of time before the finish is ready to go on. I hope all of you realize how valuable your input always is. Anyway, I'll take it from there and post pictures of the solution that was available to me for future reference to someone who might be in the same conundrum I am.
              Chris
              I only excel at fixing my my goof ups

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              • #8

                Re: Whitewash on kitchen cabinet.

                Chris, I think any of the main finish manufacturers' stains would work. I would also get the stain base as I am convinced this made a difference. I always keep a can of it on hand (I happen to use MLC products because I have a first class supplier) for diluting any stain if needed.
                Good luck
                Paul

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                • #9

                  Re: Whitewash on kitchen cabinet.

                  I have dealt with these guys at their outlet on Lake City in Burnaby. They also have an outlet in Nanaimo. They have a listing for Nanaimo also and they are an ML Campbell dealer. The local dealer I use ships all over Ontario.

                  E ROKO

                  Brian
                  If your dreams don't scare you, you are not dreaming big enough

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                  • #10

                    Re: Whitewash on kitchen cabinet.

                    I deal with Eroko here in Calgary and they ARE a MLC dealer. I get super service from them and they are great for hardware and sheet goods too. They have 2 outlets on the island.

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                    • #11

                      Re: Whitewash on kitchen cabinet.

                      Thanks guys. I called E ROKO this AM. I will be in Nanaimo on Thursday and will see them. Good tip.
                      Chris
                      I only excel at fixing my my goof ups

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                      • #12

                        Re: Whitewash on kitchen cabinet.

                        You have got some good advice on the pro products, I have had to do small jobs with white wash and while I will typically run as far from Minwax products as possible their WB white wash is actually not bad. Keep on your present path but if all else fails this may help.

                        John

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