Can You Stain Particle Board Cabinets? (Find Out Now!)

Ossiana Tepfenhart
by Ossiana Tepfenhart

Cabinets are always fun to customize…except for particle board, anyway. When most people buy particle board cabinets, they’re often quitely under the impression that they are not going to be able to modify their cabinets. Even staining seems out of bounds, but is staining particle board cabinetry really that impossible?

Generally speaking, particle board is capable of having a stain applied to it regardless of whether it’s laminated or otherwise. However, most people who have laminate particle board don’t find the results to be good. It takes a lot of prep work, skill, and finish to make it complete.

Honestly, most people are right to rethink the use of particle board if they want to have a customized touch. There’s a lot that you need to be aware of if you want to change the color of your cabinetry. Let’s talk about it.

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Is It Possible To Stain Particle Board Cabinets?

If you have laminated top cabinets, then there’s no 100 percent safe way to stain your cabinets. The stain will not stick to the laminate, and can actually cause your laminate to get swollen, warped, and damaged. While it is possible, there are a

On the other hand, if your particle board is unfinished, it might be possible to get a stain. With that said, having either type of particle board stained is going to be hard to do. We suggest getting professionals to do this if you want to give it a shot.

How To Prep And Stain Particle Board Cabinetry

If you want to give this a shot, we strongly suggest getting a pro. I know I said that before, but there’s something to be said about the quality of professional work. Even so, this guide will give you a quick understanding of what it takes.

  • Remove any hardware from the cabinetry then give your cabinet a thorough cleaning. Make sure dust is removed and that you’ve treated the area with a degreaser, too. Let it dry.
  • If you have laminate, lightly sand the laminated surface with medium-grit paper. I know that sounds weird, but you need to rough it up. Don’t totally peel it off! Just make it rough so primer can cling to it. Vacuum up the sawdust.
  • Use wood filler to fill in holes. Once the filler has been dried and cured, use the sandpaper to rough it up and smooth it out.
  • Apply a strong primer to the cabinetry. You may need more than one coat for the primer. If you do, make sure it’s totally dry before you continue to work on them. Check your primer of choice for instructions.
  • Then, grab your stain. Open the stain can after shaking it. Dip a paintbrush in the stain and apply the stain to your wood in lengthwise strokes. Let the stain sink for a moment, then wipe up the excess with a rag. Your stain’s packaging should tell you how to avoid blotches and spots.
  • Spray a thin coat of polyurethane sealer once you’re done. Let the cabinetry dry in a cool, dry place for at least two days before you install it.

How Long Does Staining Particle Board Cabinets Take?

With all the waiting periods for particle board to dry, it can take quite some time. Most of the time, you should wait at least two days for it to dry after washing, staining, or sealing your cabinets. With primer, you might have to wait only eight hours per coat.

When you plug n’ chug all the numbers together, you should expect to spend at least a week working on this stain. That’s why a lot of people don’t want to deal with it. After all, you would literally have to make your kitchen unusable for a long time!

What Happens If You Make A Mistake With Wood Stain On Particle Board?

Eeps. Well, this is not a good look is it? In some cases, you might be able to remove the wood stain on a particular part of your cabinetry with some stain remover and/or paint thinner. However, this is an entire process that we would feel better about doing on another article.

This is one of the bigger reasons why we don’t advise you to do this project on your own. Having worked with stains, I can tell you that it’s not a fun thing to have to clean up. If you have any kind of doubt about your skill with staining wood, it’s best to avoid doing this altogether. It’s really a hassle.

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Related Questions

How many coats of wood stain should you put on MDF cabinetry?

It all depends on the color you want you want to have. Most of the time, you will be able to get a noticeable change in your cabinetry from a single stain. However, people who want to have particularly bold or bright colors may need two, three, or even four stain layers. It’s worth noting that stains may not be able to be absorbed after a certain point. So don’t apply more than your wood can handle.

How long does it take for particle board to fully dry after being washed?

Obviously, it depends on how long you’ve been washing and scrubbing away. Particle board, in general, is going to be far more absorbent than most other types of materials. If you want to play it safe, expect to wait up to five days if you really soaked it through. Otherwise, it’s safe to say that you have two days of waiting before you can use your particle board.

Is paint or stain better for particle boards?

This is a hard question to answer, because particle boards are extremely varied. Some do well with stains, others need to have a layer of paint slapped on them instead. The truth is that your best bet for a good answer is to look up the traits of the specific type of particle board you have. The specifics will tell you what it does best with.

Ossiana Tepfenhart
Ossiana Tepfenhart

Ossiana Tepfenhart is an expert writer, focusing on interior design and general home tips. Writing is her life, and it's what she does best. Her interests include art and real estate investments.

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