8. Cabinets Show Every Smudge

"Our contractor sold us on a durable, European-style, lacquerlike finish for our slab cabinet doors to bring out the grain of the oak. But along with the grain, it shows every smudge and fingerprint."

How to cope: Buff the cabinets regularly with a microfiber cloth—while you're talking on the phone, perhaps.

Next time: Top a tough, high-gloss finish with a clear coat that has a lower sheen.
Ask TOH users about Befores and Afters

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