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Blog entry by canadianchips posted 01-06-2016 03:38 PM 1082 reads 0 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hello all.
I have been given opportunity to redo a 1971 home.
Kitchen cabinets are mahogany. Well built. 3/8 lip door design ?
They have been oiled over the years. The peple living in the home are both in early 60’s. They want update but not spend much money. Not sure how long they will be living in home. The home is also in the country. LOW resale value !
They also want to open concept. KItchen, Dining room living room. That part will be easy. Remove wall between kitchen and living room. IT IS NOT load bearing wall. Truss rafters, single story home.
The question I have ?
Kitchen footprint is not changing (I wold like too, hard to convince them of change, after all it is their money)
Do I resand mahogany doors and use HIGH quality paint.
Do I make new MDF doors?
Hinge and handle are being changed.
I cannot remove the older valence, the way the guy buildt them prohibits this.
My suggestion was extend the bottom of valence and add LED lighting across the front of cabinets at top.

If anyone had repainted cabinets that have been oiled . CHIME IN please. My concern will old oil bleed through ?
They want WHITE finish.
I priced out new doors. CNC in MDF. They said TOOO expensive
I was quoted $150 per door.

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

12 comments so far

View Reaperwoodworks's profile


94 posts in 1538 days

#1 posted 01-06-2016 03:49 PM

Single story with truss rafters doesn’t mean it can’t be a load bearing walls. If that wall runs perpendicular to the trusses, its load bearing.

As for covering the oiled doors, I’d imagine you would have to use at least a couple coats of primer to cover them.

-- Website:, Youtube:

View Don W's profile

Don W

19424 posts in 3171 days

#2 posted 01-06-2016 04:03 PM

you can buy cabinet doors in a lot of places, like these,

If you can find the right size, its probably cheaper than painting them.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View Bluepine38's profile


3387 posts in 3689 days

#3 posted 01-06-2016 05:04 PM

Sanding oiled wood might just result in clogged sanding belts. You could use some type of stripper then
a coat of Sealcoat or Kilz shellac, then paint without bleed through in most cases. Just my opinion and I
have been wrong once or twice.

-- As ever, Gus-the 80 yr young apprentice carpenter

View Dave G's profile

Dave G

335 posts in 2652 days

#4 posted 01-06-2016 11:04 PM

I’m not the most experienced in this area but I had a thought that may be worth sharing: paint used to be made with oil. Some of that would soak into the wood. That logic says treat the oiled cabinets like old paint.

-- Dave, New England - “We are made to persist. that's how we find out who we are.” ― Tobias Wolff

View a1Jim's profile


117905 posts in 4181 days

#5 posted 01-07-2016 01:20 AM


It’s possible you’re trying to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear? Having done lots of kitchen remodels many customers are willing to trade your time for them saving money.How much time and material will you have in cleaning,sanding,shellacking,priming and painting each door? Can you charge less than $150 per door and make a decent profit ? Depending on the equipment you have and how rough the doors are,I would guess you will have 5-8 hrs a door and $20-$30 in material,if you don’t have workers to pay that’s around $15 an hour if it takes 8 hours ,but still costing the customer $150 ? or if you’re charging a lot less than you have the pleasure of making say $8.75 hour for yourself ,if you charge say $100 a door , My point is sometimes the customer has to pay more or you should just not take the job. Another avenue is to find new doors for less. I don’t know what style doors we are talking about but some of the basic style doors I order are more in the $75-$100 range including shipping. Check out some of the companies that specialize in making cabinet doors,I’m guessing you will find a better price.Stay away from the retail places like Rockler of woodworker supply that sell doors they will be up to 40% more. It’s possible there are members here that are aware of a company close to you or someone is prepared to subcontract making the doors for you,although in my experience I’ve found the companies I use charge just a little more than what I pay for the material.
Good luck on your project


View canadianchips's profile


2632 posts in 3601 days

#6 posted 01-07-2016 03:19 AM

Thanks everyone.
There is a story behind the labor I am supplying.
I have priced out 3 hardwares stores in city I have recently been FORCED to move to.(My wife of 15 years asked me to leave)
I have also priced out a product called RUSTOLEUM for cabinets. My Canadian Price is $115 per kit. 1 kit does 100 square feet. Available in several shades. My concern was I have never used it. The domo tape that comes with it says “EASY PEASY” ! Covers everything.
I have looked at a friends kitchen she did 5 years ago. Very nice still today. I am now leaning towards using this product for customer.
1: the customer is a life time friend….....(I know cheap labor)
2: he is giving me place to stay until I find a place to rent. (I am currently HOMELESS)
3: He has heated 40’ x 40’ shop that he has been letting me use !

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View a1Jim's profile


117905 posts in 4181 days

#7 posted 01-07-2016 03:31 AM

I understand Canadian ,sounds like some rough times ,the trade-off is totally one most of us would take. I wish you well I’m glad you found a place to stay and helping your friend sounds like the right thing to do. God bless.


View MadMark's profile


979 posts in 2057 days

#8 posted 01-07-2016 03:51 AM

Try cleaning the doors with mineral spirits to get the old oil & grime off.

If the doors are solid mahogany it’s a shame to paint them, but the cust is always right.

You should be able to make MDF doors for less than $150 each. I can make a hardwood cabinet door for about 1/2 of that – cost.


-- Madmark - [email protected]

View a1Jim's profile


117905 posts in 4181 days

#9 posted 01-07-2016 04:06 AM

I have had the best luck cleaning up before finishing using naphtha for items with lots of oil or items that have been stripped with paint stripper.


View canadianchips's profile


2632 posts in 3601 days

#10 posted 01-07-2016 04:47 PM

Thanks MadMark,
And A1 Jim

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View PhilBello's profile


411 posts in 2571 days

#11 posted 01-07-2016 10:43 PM

I’m sorry to hear about your troubles, and glad you have friends rallying around. I don’t think you will have any problem painting over oiled wood, I have done it myself in the past, if you google ‘paint over oiled wood’ you will get a lot of positive answers like this one Good Luck!

-- If you want the rainbow, you got to put up with the rain - Steven Wright

View canadianchips's profile


2632 posts in 3601 days

#12 posted 01-09-2016 02:23 AM

Thanks Phil
Jobs like this 10 years ago wouldn’t have even bothered me. Starting to second guess my decisions. That is why I reached out for more help than just my opinion before I started this.
So many NEW products out there as well. Hard to have personal experience using all of them.

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

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