I am having unfinished white pine cabinets made for my kitchen. What are some green stain and finish options?

Asked by Wendy Smith
Camp Hill, PA

The cabinets will have solid-wood (white pine) raised panel doors with birch-faced plywood interiors. The cabinet makers will be spraying polyurethane on the inside of the cabinets, but I will do the exterior finish to save money. I have access to conventional brands at Lowe's, etc., and also to AFM and Osmo products at a local green building products store. Pine is a soft wood; is there a product that would provide more protection than others? My contractor tells me that it will be easiest to do the staining before the cabinets are installed but the sealer is best put on after installation. Is this true? Thanks for any advice you can give me.


Bill Bradbury

Answered by Bill Bradbury

Smithfield, UT

Envirocon Home Restoration

April 25, 2010

Osmo Polyx Oil is easy to apply, low-VOC, and looks fantastic. It is the best DIY finish available. 

Plastic (polyurethane), even water-based, can't compare to the satiny feel of a wax finish. I would not let anyone shoot poly on my wood. It doesn't breathe and tends to flake later in its life. This means plastic flakes on your tableware and cookware. 

Polyx Oil is a one-step process best applied in two coats outside of the home after a good sanding with 220-grit sandpaper. Pine and birch are both soft woods, but I have birch ply floors in my house finished with Polyx Oil and they look great after six years of heavy use by my family and our four large, active dogs.

Tagged In: natural wood finish, cabinets

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