DIY - Refinishing Kitchen Cabinets

DIY - Refinishing Kitchen Cabinets

Are you tired of the outdated or worn-out look of your kitchen cabinets? Refinishing them can be a cost-effective and rewarding way to give your kitchen a fresh new look. In this guide, we'll walk you through the steps to refinish your kitchen cabinets and transform your space.

Materials Needed

  • Sandpaper (120-grit, 220-grit, and 320-grit)
  • Screwdriver
  • Paintbrush
  • Paint roller
  • Painter's tape
  • Drop cloth
  • Wood putty
  • Putty knife
  • Tack cloth
  • Wood conditioner
  • Stain or paint
  • Polyurethane
  • Gloves
  • Safety glasses
  • Respirator mask

Step 1: Remove Cabinet Doors and Hardware

Use a screwdriver to remove the cabinet doors and hardware, including hinges, knobs, and pulls. Place them in a safe location for later use.

Step 2: Clean and Sand the Cabinets

Clean the cabinets thoroughly with a degreaser to remove any grease or dirt buildup. Once dry, use 120-grit sandpaper to sand the cabinets, including the frames and doors. Wipe the surfaces with a tack cloth to remove any dust.

Step 3: Fill Any Holes or Gaps

Use wood putty and a putty knife to fill any holes or gaps in the cabinets. Allow the putty to dry completely before sanding with 220-grit sandpaper.

Step 4: Apply Wood Conditioner

Apply wood conditioner to the cabinets using a paintbrush, and allow it to penetrate for about 15 minutes. This will help the stain or paint go on more smoothly and evenly.

Step 5: Apply Stain or Paint

Apply the stain or paint to the cabinets with a paintbrush or roller, following the manufacturer's instructions. Apply thin coats and allow each coat to dry completely before adding additional coats. For a natural wood look, use a stain. For a more modern or colorful look, use paint.

Step 6: Apply Polyurethane

Once the stain or paint has dried, apply a coat of polyurethane with a clean paintbrush or roller. This will protect the finish and make it more durable. Apply a second coat of polyurethane after the first coat has dried completely.

Step 7: Reinstall Cabinet Doors and Hardware

After the polyurethane has dried completely, reattach the cabinet doors and hardware using a screwdriver. Use painter's tape to protect any surfaces that may come in contact with the hardware during installation.


Refinishing kitchen cabinets can be a time-consuming project, but it is well worth the effort. With the right materials and some patience, you can achieve a professional-looking finish and breathe new life into your kitchen. Just remember to follow safety precautions, work in a well-ventilated area, and take your time to ensure a beautiful and long-lasting result. Happy DIY-ing!


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