Pointers in Kitchen Cabinet Restaining

Cabinet Restaining is hard work!

Re-staining old kitchen cupboards is a home improvement project that entails a lot of hard work and time. Thus, you have to do it efficiently. Start by removing the handles, doors, and hinges. Put in place your protective tarps, and cover all your furniture and seal off the kitchen as well. Mask off other things in the kitchen too. This will protect your stuff in the kitchen from the dust that cabinet restaining will produce.


Wash all surfaces with a mild soap and water solution. Dawn dishwashing liquid gets recommended. This solution will remove the grease from the surface. An alternative to the soap and water mixture is mineral spirits. Clean off all the woodwork to prevent the oil from spreading out.

Strip off the old finish

Once all surfaces are clean and de-greased, you can do the sanding next. Use a vibrating sander and lot of sand paper. You may also choose to use a liquid stripper if you prefer. However, you might still have to sand some of the surfaces to remove the old finish completely from your cabinets. This procedure will produce a lot of dust, so having a vacuum on standby will be very handy.

Repair of blemishes

After removing the entire old finishing, fill in the gaps in between cracks, chips, and scratches with wood filler that matches the color of the cabinet. Using a putty stick is not recommended as these are wax-based. Let the wood patch cure fully before sanding it to smoothen out.

Important reminder

By this point, all of the old finish should have been removed off the doors and all other cabinet parts. There should be none of the old finish remaining on the surface.

Compatibility testing for the new finish

Test the new stain, sealer, and topcoat on an area that is out of eyesight.

The refinishing directions are as follows:

Stain application

With the aid of a foam applicator, apply the stain, allowing it to soak for as long as it gets recommended on the packaging. Wipe off the excess stain with a lint-free cloth. Leave the stain for 24 hours to let it cure completely.

Sanding sealer

Spray the sanding sealer liberally and leave it to dry completely. Afterward, lightly sand off the entire surface with a 220 sand paper. Repeat this process until you have achieved a beautiful and smooth finish. Usually, around two coats are needed.

Top coats

Now, the final finishing can be applied. Spray on around two to three coats of the clear top coat. There is no need to sand the top coating.

When undertaking kitchen cabinet restaining, it is important that the job does not get rushed off. Note that when professionals do this job, they allow plenty of time for every step of the process. If you want this DIY project to have that professional look, make sure that every step of the process gets done perfectly. For example, all scratches and cracks should be smoothened out before staining. The same goes when applying the sealer and the top coat.

There are many profesional that can complete this work in 2-3 days and have the right tools and skills to give you a perfect execution to your vision.  One of those companies is Kabinet Pros based out of Denver Co.

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