The hassle of a major renovation job may be avoided by learning how to refinish kitchen cabinets. It is advantageous to set yourself up for success before you begin painting. If at all feasible, bring a cabinet door to a nearby paint store so you may consult a professional about the type of material you’re dealing with and the finest supplies to use. If they are more familiar with your job, the professionals can offer recommendations for kitchen cabinets. The cabinets and the doors’ hardware should be taken off. The cabinets’ interiors usually won’t need refinishing if you decide to keep the doors on, but if you do, start doing it from the inside out. 

Kitchen Cabinet Refinishing

By using sanding, paint, lacquer, and other decorative materials, refinishing involves removing an existing object and changing its colour and appearance. A popular undertaking for home remodelling is refinishing kitchen cabinets. The price of installing new cabinetry can run into thousands of dollars, but it is far more cost-effective to refinish or paint existing cabinets to give them a fresh look.

Can I Take on Cabinet Painting Myself

Steps To Prepare For Kitchen
Cabinets Refinishing


Ensure the kitchen is adequately protected before you begin. This entails covering the entire area with plastic sheeting, or canvas cloths on the floor as well as over any other furniture, appliances, counters, tables, and chairs that may be present. As you are refinishing your cabinet, this will shield them from dust and sanding. After that, you should take out your cabinets’ doors and drawers. Do not forget to name or number them so that when you are finished, you will know which drawer or door belongs where. The insides of the cabinets must now be covered with plastic and tape to prevent dust from getting inside, and backsplashes must also be covered.

Remove The Hardware From Cabinets and Wall

You could believe that the shelves and hardware on your walls can be avoided by the painters, but this is far more difficult and impractical than you might imagine. Should you ever decide to remove your shelves in the future, the old paint colour will be visible if they aren’t taken down before you paint the room. Clocks, shelves, plug covers, hanging artwork and portraits, curtains, cable and phone outlet covers, nails, and light fixtures—if your ceiling will also be painted—can all be used as wall hardware. 

Access to cabinet surfaces is necessary for cabinet refinishing. Cabinet hinges, handles, knobs, and drawer fronts must all be taken off. Wrap the objects in bubble wrap, and put them in a plastic container. To be able to put them all back together in the end, you must keep them categorized and labelled.  

Repair And Fill Holes

Look over your cabinets to see if there are any holes, dents, or scratches. When repairing these flaws, make sure the surfaces are level and smooth by using wood filler and a putty knife. Sand the filler until it is perfectly smooth and matches the surrounding wood, after which let it completely dry.

Use Liquid Sandpaper

A surface needed to be prepared for paint in the past by cleaning, stripping, sanding, and breaking your back. But more than just soap, scrub brushes, and even sandpaper are no longer necessary in the home remodelling sector. It is possible to clean and degloss the surface using a solution called paint gloss remover, or you may use liquid sandpaper.  Gloss remover should be applied to the cabinet doors in all areas, including the sides, top, and back, and left to dry for 20 minutes.

Our most horrific DIY horror stories frequently include cleaning products. A condition known as fisheye might appear on your cabinets if you use TSP (trisodium phosphate) or a silicone-based cleaning solution. It sounds as embarrassing as it does and looks almost as bad. It’s a hassle since you have to wait for the paint to dry before sanding it down, and if you’re lucky, you won’t need to take it to a professional at that point. This bubbly paint look occurs when the paint won’t stick.

Mask Off The Cabinets

Using painter’s tape, plastic wrap, or masking paper, you may block off the internal spaces of the cabinets as well as the surrounding surfaces. Any remaining surfaces that could get painted over will be protected by paper, plastic film, and tape. If there are parts you don’t want to paint, masking is helpful. Given that they lack the professional painter’s level of painting skill, it may also be the most important phase for the do-it-yourselfer.

Strip And Refinish

Your cabinets need now be stripped, which may be a tough job. The first thing to do is to make sure your desk is well-ventilated, ideally outside. You must establish the sort of finish that is already on the wood to choose the finest stripping agent for your cabinets. You will need to apply a few drops of turpentine to the wood if you believe, for example, that the cabinetry has a wax finish. Your hypothesis is true if the solution dissolves. Other options include penetrating oil, shellac, paint, vinyl, polyurethane, varnish, shellac, lacquer, or a water-based finish; each has special requirements for removal or maintenance. Apply the appropriate wood stripping agent after deciding the best course of action for your cabinets. As you work, put on the appropriate safety gear and start in a discrete corner to ensure that it functions.

Take Off The Doors

Despite the temptation, pulling off the cabinet doors is necessary for the best results before applying a fresh coat of paint. You may paint the cabinet’s inside and exterior surfaces while avoiding drips by doing this. Furthermore, if you put the cabinet doors away from the way, such as in a basement or separate workstation, you’ll be less likely to run into them while the paint is curing.


We’ll now move on to cleaning. After cleaning the cabinets using synthetic steel wool, soap, and water, scrape off any remaining food from the cabinets. Trisodium phosphate (TSP) and water are good for removing difficult grease because the TSP really emulsifies the grease and does so considerably more effectively than soap by itself. Before continuing, allow it to thoroughly dry.


Apply Primer

The next stage in refinishing the cabinets is to apply a primer after sanding them. When used as a bind between the cabinet surface and paint or stain, primer ensures correct adherence and increases the finish’s endurance. Pick a premium primer that works well with the kind of cabinetry you have. A primer with an oil or shellac base is advised if you want to paint over stained wood cabinets. If you’re staining the cabinets, pick a wood primer or one made for staining.

To begin, use a brush or roller to apply the primer to the cabinet frames. Follow the direction of the wood grain and apply your paint with even, sweeping strokes. Don’t forget to cover the edges and corners as well as any other surfaces that are exposed. Prime the frames first, and then prime the drawer fronts and cabinet doors. Before continuing, let the primer dry entirely. If any parts of the cabinets require further touch-ups or a second coat once the primer has dried, check them out. We may proceed to the following phase, painting the cabinets, now that they have been primed and dried.

Do Kitchen Cabinets Work Better Stained Or Painted?

Both coatings, when properly applied, offer a long-lasting finish and are suitable choices. Various factors, like the design and colour scheme used throughout your home, will affect the type of coating. In choosing a coating for the kitchen cabinets, these factors will often be important. The colour scheme of your home will have a significant impact on the coating type you select. If properly applied, both coatings are excellent choices and very long-lasting. While having certain restrictions, stain finishes are a wonderful choice for freshly stained or existing cabinets. Your options are restricted to applying a deeper stain or stripping the cabinets if the cabinetry is already stained. Cabinets may be stained or painted in any hue, and you can typically do this while making any necessary repairs.

Can Any Type Of Kitchen Cabinet Doors Be Painted?

The most typical cabinet door materials are probably wood and MDF. Although the method of application may differ, most wood cabinets may be refinished. Before painting, it may be necessary to strip cabinets that have been painted with oil, alkyd, or latex paint. The cabinet frames will match the cabinet doors despite not being made of genuine wood.

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