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What Are Pickled Kitchen Cabinets?

Are you searching for ideas to transform your cabinets from dull to wow? Hopefully, you’ve had a chance to read some of our blogs or have checked out other sources for inspiration. Today, we’re going to talk about a refinishing idea that’s classic and trendy. It’s called “pickling” and it can do wonders to your cabinetry.





What are Pickled Cabinets?

Pickled wood has been around since the 16th century. In those days, craftsman applied a caustic lime paste to wood to protect it from insects like ants and termites.


But the practice didn’t gain traction in U.S. kitchens until the 1980’s when people began pickling their cabinetry to give it a whitewash finish.

Because a cabinet refinisher pickles the wood, it appears lighter and you can see its beautiful grains. For this reason, it has remained popular since the 80’s.


What Kind of Cabinets Can Be Pickled?

Not all wood can be pickled. It is used only with light colored woods, like oak and maple. Once your cabinet refinisher applies the color to your cabinetry, the wood will not be hidden by the paint. Every pour and crevice will show, leaving you with a kitchen full of character, rather than one that’s lifeless and bland.


Additionally, the practice will serve as a wood protectant. If you have cabinets that are already pickled but need touching up, repeating the process will help spruce up your kitchen and also provide a new layer of protection for your cabinetry.


How Do Kitchen Cabinet Refinishers Pickle Wood?

When you decide you want your cabinets refinished with a pickled stain, your cabinet refinisher will follow some steps so your kitchen will be the envy of your friends. What are the steps?

1. Cover your floors, backsplash, island with a plastic tarp.

2. Remove screws, handles, knobs and hinges.

3. Clean cabinetry with turpentine, water and linseed oil mix.

4. Strip the existing finish.

5. Sand the kitchen cabinets

6. Treat wood using caustic soda, or wood bleach and ammonia. Apply In grain’s direction and let sit for a specific matter of time. Apply hydrogen peroxide and let sit for about 30-60 minutes. Wash with water and dry using lintless rags.




Kitchen cabinet refinishers will then apply your stain using a special process. If you want the right look, don’t go it alone! If you’re in upstate South Carolina, call the pros at Greenville Refinishing. Happy revovating!





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