s My New Kitchen Island: Staining Oak Cabinets! - The Kim Six Fix
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My New Kitchen Island: Staining Oak Cabinets!

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! 
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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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  1. Looks great! As far as the rest of the cabinets, don't be afraid of painting the oak;). I did in my kitchen and don't regret it a bit! Good luck and can't wait to see what you decide.

  2. I think your island makeover is absolutely beautiful! the ebony stain looks amazing!

  3. I love the color! Ebony is my fav ;)

  4. Turned out great" looks very, very rich! Thinking of a contrast color for the rest of the cabs or lowers in the same color and the uppers in a lighter color?

  5. That island is AWESOME!!! Love it!! Coming to say hi from the hop. New follower!

  6. That looks so amazing! I found you via the July blog hop and am happy to be your newest follower! I'd love a visit back at http://www.two-in-diapers.blogspot.com! :)

  7. I think the new color of the kitchen island looks awesome! Totally breaks up that sea of oak...

  8. I love how it looks! The shelves are awesome too, I may have to add them to my island.

  9. I like the dark stain on the kitchen island. Good choice!

  10. I'm visiting from the Blog Hop, & you hooked me with the name of your blog. I thought "The Money Pit," with Tom Hanks & Shelley Long, was one of the funniest movies I ever saw. And, truly, aren't all houses "money pits" if you have any sense of style at all? One small thing just leads to another or to multiple small (& often big) projects.

    We have those same oak cabinets (I mean very similar style, really) & have vacillated between painting them, staining or just leaving them. Right now, because of several other projects going on, we are choosing to leave them. We have tile floors, so at least we don't have the oak under foot as well...lol! I really like the stained island, as well as your bannister, & I love the painted laundry room cabinets. Thanks so much for sharing. I'm now a new follower!


  11. wow, just staining your island made the rest of your cabinets look better too! :) I love it!

    great job, Kim! :)


  12. Your island is gorgeous with that stain!!! I love the deep, dark, richness of the ebony... great choice! You've inspired me to get into my kitchen - I've been ignoring that project for a while, now. Excited to be following you - found you at Live. Laugh. Rowe's hop. Hope you can visit soon.

    Have a great week!

  13. Wow, that looks great! I love it. I'm your newest follower from the blog hop. :)

  14. I liked that you stained the island darker. it's a perfect touch! Please come hang out and link up to our link party "Home is Where the Heart is" Please feel free to link up any posts you might want to share! :)

  15. Beautiful new color! Love it! Great job!

  16. I love the dark stain on your kitchen island. It really looks great.


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