One of the things I disliked the most about this kitchen was that it is a sea of orange-brown oak. The cabinets, the island, the shelf, the floor. ALL OAK:
The white appliances and bad lighting wasn't helping much, but even replacing those and adding cabinet hardware wasn't enough to save the kitchen from its "over-oakiness"
At first I considering painting the island (like I did in the laundry room, bathroom and fireplace built-ins.) Then I thought about how much i ADORED how the oak stair rails came out after staining them and decided that was the route I was going to take. I'm glad I did:
All the real wood lovers balk at the idea of painting hardwood, and because the island was made (mostly) of real oak, I thought this was a good place to use stain. I love how it came out:
I used the exact same technique I used on the stair rail. (Basically sand, sand, sand.. a couple coats of Minwax Ebony Wood Stain.. and a couple coats of Poly. The full tutorial is here.)
It was actually easier than painting since you don't have the headache of worrying about brushstrokes. I went really really dark, but you can still see the grain in the wood:
I am really really pleased with the transformation. Now I have to figure out what to do with the rest of the cabinets!
Now help me decide how to deal with the rest of the cabinets! I have a few of my ideas in THIS post. Please drop by and tell me which ones you like the most!
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