Welcome to Just Answer !
I see you have been waiting. I am currently traveling in central america and have extensive experience refinishing furniture and wood work, including large projects for some 4 and 5 star hotels. I can work with you if you can be patient with my responses because my broadband connections here are spotty.;
Let me know if that is OK with you or not.
I will impart several rules that I have developed for my own work that you may take or leave of course.
Rule number one:
- Less is better. It is better to leave damage or flaws in place, unattended many times than to attempt a repair. Each situation varies of course. 'Over workng' a piece looks worse than not working it enough.
- On very old wood work, an 'antique look' is not a bad option. Some manufactures of new furniture will take chains and hammers to their new product in order to give it an antique look.
- An un-professional patch job is fatal to any project. Patch jobs need to be perfect in all aspects or not done at all.
Regarding patch jobs. If the good parts of the stained and finished cabinets are light colored, then the patch material needs to cure one tone lighter than the finished wood, and then a dry fan shaped artists pig bristle brush used to apply some matching streaks of grain to the patch. (but under-done, and after some practice for an hour or so)
You can buy patch materials in a wide range of wood tones.
Then several clear coats applied.
The practice of leaving some flaws unrepaired, and blending the patched areas in with the rest of the wood work is the best approach.
There are other techniques. Antiquing with fine paint mists and micro specks in black, done with a can of black spray paint of the same composition as the primary finish (enamel, or lacquer etc) can be applied very faintly around the repaired areas... blending them with the rest of the cabinet.... that takes practice.. it is worth the time spent.
Only slight coverage is needed, Less than a few specs of paint per square inch. The specs tend to distract from the difference between the patched and non patched areas.
Let me know if you think I am on the right track or not, we can go from there.
Tell me more about the damage in the cabinets, how deep and how much area,, square inches of heavy damage or just pea sized spots.
One of my favorite techniques is a rub on, rub off gel coat stain, then an over spray with laquer to seal it, that dries very had and gives a natural finish look, compared to many brush on type stains that come in a can.
To hide repaired areas you can use the spray can fog technique, very lightly, then apply 3 or 4 coats of hand rubbed clear coats in between gentle blending and rub outs, using 600 grit wet and dry sand paper,
We can go from there.