Painting oak cabinets and not filling the grain

painting oak cabinets with the grain

You are here, I believe, because you are considering painting your oak cabinets. Like most of our customers, you have questions before beginning this project. We will do our best to answer the questions you have about painting your oak cabinets. But for today, it is all about painting oak cabinets and not filling the grain.

What is the difference between oak cabinets with the grain filled and without grain filled?

What a great question. It is all about appearance. Smooth vs. more grain. So let start with a few images..

here is a oak cabinet with the oak grain filled

oak cabinet painted white
here is a oak cabient with the oak grain filled

As you can see by the photos there is a huge difference. Which one you choose is completely up to you, it really is a matter of opinion and personal style. The difference we see is appearance. Preparation and materials are both the same, it is the steps we take to achieve each style that is difference.

Here is a video we did on oak doors painted with grain filled:

Here is the next video on cabinets we painted where there was no grain was filled

How to fill in the grain of oak cabients

We will skip the steps we use for cleaning as it really doesn’t matter for the purpose of this post. Let’s assume you have used the right cleaners to clean and scuff sand all of the doors and they are dry and ready for paint.

There are several ways you can fill in oak grain, some including grain fillers. This is the method we have decided works the best:

  • We use foam wooster mini roller to apply a heavy bodied primer such as Stix to apply the first coat of primer.
  • By using the mini foam roller, you can really work the primer into the nooks, grains etc. of the wood.
  • Adding a little water 10-15% seems to work best for us, as it helps the primer settle.
  • Once the primer is dry, we power sand smooth.
  • We then spray a second coat of primer, then again sand smooth by hand.
  • This process is priced for two coats, sometimes a customer will want even a smoother finish so we will poer sand the second coat or primer then spray a third coat of primer. The extra layer really flattens out the grain.
  • After cleaning off all the dust, then we are ready to apply a top coat.
stix bonding primer - painting oak cabinets
bonding primer

Painting cabinets to show the oak grain

Just like the previous section, we will skip the cleaning section here as well.

The process of painting with out filling in the grain is a bit simpler and quicker.

  • After the scuff and cleaning, the doors get their first coat of primer sprayed on.
  • Once the primer is dry, we do a quick hand sand to make sure the surface is smooth.
  • Then we apply the first coat of top coat.

Pretty easy and pretty quick too!

How can we help you with painting of your oak cabients?

I hope this helps with your decision. Painting oak cabinets and not filling the grain is actually a big decision. It is hard to change your mind once we start the paint process.

Here are some other oak cabinet painting articles we have done:

Will oak cabinets show grain when they are painted?

Can Oak Cabinets be Painted?

Painting Oak Cabinets White

Let us know if you have other questions about not just oak but other cabinet painting. We are here to help you love the space you’re in!


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