Decide on a stain finish. Before starting, you need to have an idea of what you want your finished cabinets to look like. The color or shade of stain you use affects how a room feels, especially the kitchen. To open up a room and make it feel larger, opt for a light stain. To add warmth to a larger kitchen or room and make it seem cozier, choose a darker stain. Also, keep in mind the type of wood from which your cabinets are made. You want the stain color you are going for to complement the wood. Some stains work better with a particular wood more so than others. You must take into consideration the natural color of the wood and the size of the wood’s pores. For example, woods such as rosewood, cherry and mahogany are types that are rarely stained because of their natural appearance. They are usually just protected with a clear coat. Woods such as maple are less porous than others and so are harder to stain. For help deciding, get advice from a Hardwarian at your local True Value hardware store.
There are several types of stains to choose from. There are oil-based and water-based stains, gel stains and stain/sealer in-one formulas. Oil-based stains penetrate into the wood without raising the grain but carry a strong odor. Instead, you may choose a water-based stain. They’re eco-friendlier and offer easy soap-and-water cleanup. They do often require a light sanding to minimize raising the grain.
Never use deck stain on cabinetry.