cheryl_arouth

bleaching kitchen cabinets

Cheryl Arouth
hace 2 años

We would like to change the color of our custom kitchen cabinets. They are a light cherry. We've been told that bleaching will take away the red undertones which will allow us to then stain them to a gray (driftwood) like tone. I am not sure if the process is worth the time and money. Has anyone gone through this process?


If we keep the cabinets as is, any suggestions as to a new color palate? We'd like to move away from the Tuscan yellow walls and brown toned granite.

Comentarios (26)

  • apple_pie_order
    hace 2 años

    Don't chase a dying trend. Natural wood cabinets are trending up. If you want a new color palette, try a warm cream.

  • PRO
    Sophie Wheeler
    hace 2 años
    Última modificación: hace 2 años

    A year of nights and weekends to DIY it and ruin the cabinets. Or twice the money of buying new to have someone do it professionally. If you can find anyone with a clue, and who isn’t too busy to take on something so misguided. It’s quite labor intensive.

    Post your existing. And learn to love it’s bones. Change some of the rest.

    Cheryl Arouth agradeció a Sophie Wheeler
  • PRO
    Lori A. Sawaya
    hace 2 años

    I have not heard of it. But if your cabinets are good quality, why not try it?


    I have no idea what bleached cherry looks like, but it sounds like it could be kinda fabulous. You might be happy with the bleached color and not have to do a round of stain.


    I agree blonde, unstained, raw, organic, natural wood tones are trending up. Many have found they just can't live with white cabinets, white subway tile, and white counter tops. It's a visual ergonomic nightmare and people want out. Finding ways to incorporate the range of browns that come with natural wood tones is the fast track to making those kitchens livable again.

    Cheryl Arouth agradeció a Lori A. Sawaya
  • dan1888
    hace 2 años

    Cherry has a subtle shading of red and brown with golden tones and a topographical closed cell grain pattern. The range of these variations make it interesting. Stripping then bleaching will remove the range of color but you'll retain most of the grain pattern.

    Cheryl Arouth agradeció a dan1888
  • apple_pie_order
    hace 2 años

    Order a finished cherry door as close to your style and finish as you can get from a cabinet company. Then you can practice on it to decide.

    Cheryl Arouth agradeció a apple_pie_order
  • nosoccermom
    hace 2 años
    Última modificación: hace 2 años
    Cheryl Arouth agradeció a nosoccermom
  • PRO
    Sophie Wheeler
    hace 2 años

    You have to start with bare bones unfinished wood to even get close with no cigar. Not finished wood with the stain down deep and then a factory tough top coat.

    Cheryl Arouth agradeció a Sophie Wheeler
  • fidlfreek_justice_4_sophie
    hace 2 años

    Search the internet and you’ll find that pros agree that staining cherry will ruin it. You will end up replacing anyway. I also agree that the grey look is dying.

    Cheryl Arouth agradeció a fidlfreek_justice_4_sophie
  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    hace 2 años
    Última modificación: hace 2 años

    First off, do you have real, honest cherry cabinets or a 'cherry colored' wood cab?

    I think once you get a quote on how much it's going to cost to completely strip all of your cabinets, bleach them (I've heard of bleached walnut but not cherry. and you don't stain it after bleaching) and put on your custom gray stain, you will either forget about it, or paint them in a light gray color. Or, buy completely new cabinets,in a wood that will let you get the look you want. Because that last option will prob be less than the work you want. and if someone says, 'oh yeah, I can do it for $2500,,,it's going to look like a pile of poo".


    do you have a picture of the type of color/cabinets you want?

    Cheryl Arouth agradeció a Beth H. :
  • ghostlyvision
    hace 2 años

    Hmmm... when I drop bleach on red fabric I get pink spots, don't you run the risk of getting a pinkish hue? Will a grey stain cover that up? I'd seek a different path, this one seems fraught with difficulties and excess expense.

  • PRO
    Lori A. Sawaya
    hace 2 años

    I dunno. This guy makes it sound/look like it's not completely insane. But who knows how he does it. ???



    Cheryl Arouth agradeció a Lori A. Sawaya
  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    hace 2 años
    Última modificación: hace 2 años

    we still need to know if you have real cherry, or some other wood stained to look cherry.


    I've worked with natural, American cherry, and it looks like this when unfinished. has a slight pink hue to it. So, I don't know where this bleaching comes from. If it's this light to begin with, bleaching isn't going to do much or be worth the cost and effort.

    Amer. cherry looks like this when stained and finished.

    Brazilian cherry is different, (I would imagine. seems to have more red) and used for floors (mostly), so I don't know if it would be the same as the cherry used for cabinets.

    and like the floors, cherry wood will darken over time.

    Cheryl Arouth agradeció a Beth H. :
  • lisadlu16
    hace 2 años

    Post some photos of your kitchen and let others tell you what they would do to change up the Tuscan feel. I would not bleach your cabinets but maybe they might look good painted. Post photos for better and more accurate input.

    Cheryl Arouth agradeció a lisadlu16
  • redsilver
    hace 2 años

    They did a deep steam clean of some very old wood in a public building about 4 decades ago. It lightened the wood considerably from the dark that it had been. It was not dark like you speak of cherry being, it was just dark from age and accumulation of dust(no A/C for more than 5 decades) and time. 3 decades later, they again stripped the wood, said it had more of a paint on it, than a stain originally and has many signs of aging showing up close to it.. Than they went over it and painted it with about the same light hue it likely had, and highlighted the carved designs with 24k gold, lightly. It is very pretty from a distance. I think the steam cleaning might have affected the wood? I know, if you put a bleach in a correct ratio, to water and use it on your white clothes in the laundry, you are going to weaken the fibers at a more rapid rate than normal. Whatever you want done, with the expense of cabinetry today, you are treading where only an experienced wood finisher should go. Read all you can,till you can't read anymore to educate yourself, talk to people in the industry where you can find them, and probably do hire someone that has very excellent references, alot of them, to work on your cabinets.

    Cheryl Arouth agradeció a redsilver
  • Cheryl Arouth
    Autor original
    hace 2 años

    These are the cabinets. Cherry—not stained; polyurethaned. Appreciate all the feedback. Agreed that such drastic change would ruin them. We can refresh them and change other elements instead.



  • fidlfreek_justice_4_sophie
    hace 2 años

    Ok those are already BEAUTIFUL and the lightest of light cherry. (Love the inset style!) New paint on the walls, and popping off the 4 inch backsplash and putting on a simple tile backsplash with proper undercabinet lighting would go really far in refreshing things. I wouldnt have them painted or replace the counters without working on the layout - it would drive me crazy to have the dishwasher next to the stove and not to the right of the sink....

    Cheryl Arouth agradeció a fidlfreek_justice_4_sophie
  • redsilver
    hace 2 años

    When you 45 a corner to gain an extra upper door, you sacrifice the flush mount dw in many kitchens, to the sink.... However, when the door is OPEN whomever is at the sink can just as readily load the dishwasher from the rinse sink and it is MUCH better than having a built in oven, or a range right next to the refrigerator...and you have SUCH a nice range! My goodness. It will be lovely when you finish refreshing, your beautiful kitchen area!

    Cheryl Arouth agradeció a redsilver
  • goluscombe
    hace 2 años

    You'd have to remove all the old poly. Your cabs are beautiful. I won't touch them.

    Cheryl Arouth agradeció a goluscombe
  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    hace 2 años

    i agree. beautiful wood tone. put some nice handles on them, paint the wall a new color (that yellow really doesn't enhance them) and new counters and or flooring, and they'd it would be a brand new space. (you would have spent the same amount getting the cabinets done)

    Cheryl Arouth agradeció a Beth H. :
  • PRO
    Signature Home Services
    hace 2 años

    And he was doing it on wood floors...and if you notice, he said he did bleached it many times. If you did that to cabinet doors/drawers, you're going to damage the structural integrity.


    Add some updated hardware to the cabinets. go with a greige paint color, get rid of the 4" bs and put in a real backsplash and you'll have a new kitchen!


    I'm not sure why your lowers have the line around them and appear to be flat panel and the uppers look like shakers with the diamond squares...if I did anything, it would be to make them all look alike. But otherwise, I wouldn't touch them. AND...since you do have cherry cabinets, the natural light will affect their color as well...

    Cheryl Arouth agradeció a Signature Home Services
  • rantontoo
    hace 2 años

    Bleaching is done to raw wood....poly coating will prevent bleaching solutions from working uniformly; older poly finishes also yellow/amber over time.

    Cheryl Arouth agradeció a rantontoo
  • PRO
    Lori A. Sawaya
    hace 2 años

    That's a really pretty color for cherry! I was imagining the darker, orangier kind of cherry.


    Would def leave the wood alone and take other measures to update. You have good stuff to work with!

    Cheryl Arouth agradeció a Lori A. Sawaya
  • Boxerpal
    hace 2 años

    I like your cherry cabinets. What about using the money for staining to change the paint color on the walls to bring out the soft warm wood colors. I just love the light coming in from the skylight. It makes the kitchen so bright and happy.

    Cheryl Arouth agradeció a Boxerpal
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