Bleaching oak cabinets is a popular method of lightening the natural wood grain of oak to create a fresh and bright look for your kitchen or bathroom. Bleaching is a simple process that can be done with household ingredients and a few basic tools.

Materials you will need:

White vinegar

Hydrogen peroxide


Large bucket

Stirring stick


Soft cloth

Sandpaper (220 grit)

Tack cloth

Polyurethane finish

Steps to bleach oak cabinets:

Clean the cabinets: Start by thoroughly cleaning the oak cabinets with mild detergent and water. Rinse with a clean, damp cloth and let the cabinets dry completely.

Sand the cabinets: Lightly sand the oak cabinets with 220-grit sandpaper to remove any rough spots or rough edges. This will also help to create a smoother surface for the bleach to adhere to.

Prepare the bleach solution:

Mix together equal parts of white vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, and water in a large bucket. Stir the solution together with a stirring stick.

Apply the bleach solution: Dip a paintbrush into the bleach solution and apply it to the oak cabinets. Make sure to apply the solution evenly and completely, avoiding any drips or pools. Let the bleach solution sit for 30 minutes to an hour, depending on the desired lightness of the wood.

Rinse the cabinets: After the desired amount of time, rinse the oak cabinets with water and let them dry completely.

Sand the cabinets: Sand the oak cabinets again with 220-grit sandpaper to remove any rough spots or rough edges. Wipe the cabinets down with a tack cloth to remove any dust.

Apply a finish

: To protect the newly bleached oak cabinets, it is recommended to apply a clear polyurethane finish. This will help to seal the wood and prevent any further damage.

Let the finish dry: Let the polyurethane finish dry completely according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Note: Always wear gloves and protective eyewear when working with chemicals, such as bleach or hydrogen peroxide. Avoid prolonged exposure to bleach and hydrogen peroxide, as they can be harsh on the skin and eyes.

Bleaching oak cabinets can be a great way to update the look of your kitchen or bathroom without having to replace them. The process is simple, but it does take some time and patience to achieve the desired result. But once the process is complete, you will have beautiful, light and bright oak cabinets that will bring a new and fresh look to your space.