The easiest and least labour intensive method for lightening kitchen cupboards and cabinets is to apply a whitewash. This is a watered down paint mixture that is brushed over the surface of the wood and then wiped away while still wet until you are satisfied with the level of whiteness.
Paint or Stain the Cabinets a Lighter Color
One of the easiest ways to lighten a kitchen is to use lighter colors in the space. This means painting or staining the kitchen cabinets, since they make up the bulk of the kitchen. If you plan to get new cabinets, look for lighter colors.
Make your dark kitchen cabinets pop with a contrasting white countertop. White varieties of marble, quartz, or laminate look stunning surrounded by dark wooden or painted brown cabinetry. White countertops are luxurious and tasteful, making them the perfect refresher for a kitchen fitted with brown cabinets.
The only effective way to lighten the color of wood after it has been stripped of all surface coatings is to use a wood bleach. Sanding does help to lighten wood in many cases, but this only applies to surface soil or grime, and even then only if the discoloration has not penetrated very deeply.
One of the most effective ways to lighten your furniture surfaces with a dark wood stain is by bleaching with a chemical stripper. Since chemicals will be used in this process, make sure to work in a well-ventilated area so you will not breathe in harmful fumes and prevent stains and accidents.
For my project, I only had regular bleach on hand. I applied the bleach with my favorite scrub brush and then let it dry in the sun. It lightened my pine cupboard significantly. If using this method, you can apply multiple layers of bleach over time until you achieve the desired color of wood.
You can also lighten dark hardwood floors using a stripping compound designed for this purpose. Apply an even coat using a paintbrush, then allow it to remain on the wood for the recommended period of time.
Steel wool and mineral spirits can lighten your wood stain by a small amount if you don't need to adjust the color much. Otherwise, if you have stain in the can that's too dark, you can dilute it to change the color before applying it.
I've found a mixture of 50:50 vinegar to water does the job. When neutralizing oxalic acid, you can use household baking soda mixed with water. Lightly sand after bleaching and neutralizing the wood.
Dark-stained wood is trending, a departure from the lighter tones of previous years. Unique hardware can help you refresh your space, even if you aren't ready for a full remodel… yet. 2023 is the year to go bold, whether with two-toned cabinetry or bright colors.
If you have dark wood cabinets, try a color palette that brings out the warmth in the wood. We recommend that you choose lighter neutrals with warm undertones, such as creamy white, beige, taupe, warm-toned grays, linen, or a very soft blush pink.
Paint the cabinet boxes
If you're using roughly the same shade as the existing color, two coats ought to do the job. You might even get away with one. Painting over a dark finish with a light color is tougher and could require three coats.
PolyShades stain and polyurethane also allows you to easily change the color of your currently stained or varnished wood without stripping. Over old varnish you can change the color without removing the old finish or hiding the grain.
If you try to use a lighter shade over a previous stain that is darker, it wont make a difference. Or, it may even appear darker after it's dried.
As you already know, bleach isn't just for cleaning, it can also work as a lightening agent, which is often used for hair. But it can also be used to lighten the color of the wood in floors, furniture, and siding. Bleached wood is often used because it has a light, vintage, beachy, shabby chic, farmhouse look.
Lighten Stained Wood : Household Bleach
You will not believe the impact a little bit of household bleach will have on wood. I've never tried this before (probably because I've not found a piece so stubborn) but I'm in awe. I was blown away at how effective this EASY technique was at getting a natural wood finish.
Bleaching kitchen cabinets can be done using a household chlorine-based bleach or a 2-part store-bought bleach. One removes dye and the other removes the wood's natural color.
Yes, it is possible to make stains lighter. Use a wood furniture refinishing kit to remove the dark wood stain and apply a lighter stain. You might want to stain wood with a different color if you notice any visible nicks or scratches. You can also opt to hire professional refinishers to ensure an easy finish.
Dark hardwood floors have come back into fashion in recent years. There are many beautiful types and varieties of hardwood floors. If you are considering installing a hardwood floor, you'll have to carefully weigh your options.
However, if you have all wood pieces, all you really need are a few tools and a vision and you can refinish any dark wood table or any other furniture piece to look the way you want! Our living room tables were all solid wood but were stained sort of rich mahogany color.