How To Lighten Cherry Wood Kitchen Cabinets

Cherry wood kitchen cabinets are beautiful. However, cherry wood, when exposed to light over a period of years, can darken. If you are no longer happy with the color of your cherry wood kitchen cabinets, there are a few things you can do to lighten them. Some solutions may surprise you.

Before attempting the suggestions further along in this article, it is recommended that you try less invasive lightening techniques. You may find that the earlier methods of lightening cherry wood will suit your purposes nicely and involve less work on your part.

The first method of lightening cherry wood cabinets is to change the lighting in the room. This does not necessarily mean installing new lighting, but rather changing the colors of your decor to create a lighter effect. Try changing kitchen counter-tops and curtains to a brighter, more reflective color than you currently have. Add a bit of light with a touch of brightly colored flowers as a centerpiece to your table. Change the paint color on your walls to offset the dark cherry wood of the cabinets. Perhaps even use a cream or lightly patterned rug on the floor. These touches of light may be enough to change the appearance of your aged cherry wood cabinets.

While cherry wood is seldom varnished or stained, it may have had an oil finish applied to it. These can sometimes darken the look of your kitchen cabinets over time. To ensure that an oil finish isn't the culprit of your darkened cabinets, you can strip the cherry wood. Stripping compounds can be purchased at hardware and paint stores.

After stripping your cherry wood cabinets, you will need to apply a clear finish in order to seal and protect the cherry wood. Make sure the finish is clear and that it does not cause the darkening of some finishes over time.

Purchase an A/B bleach to assist in lightening darkened cherry wood cabinets from your local hardware or paint store.  If you choose to use this product, please try it out on a small section of cherry wood first. You should also choose an area that will not be seen to perform the testing of A/B bleach.

To use A/B bleach, you will need to perform two tasks. A/B bleaches use a combination of sodium hydroxide and hydrogen peroxide. Make sure to check directions for your A/B bleach before you begin and to have all supplies readily available.

If all else fails, you can paint the cabinets. While this is generally frowned upon by all lovers of cherry wood, it is a viable solution to darkened kitchen cabinets. However you choose to lighten the cherry wood cabinets in your kitchen, remember to always test small areas in unseen places before tackling the viewable parts of your cabinets. It is much better to discover a method won't work well for you on a small patch of cherry wood than to damage one of the most beautiful woods for cabinetry.


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