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How to Refinish Kitchen Cabinets Without Stripping

Updated: Dec 19, 2023

Why Refinish Kitchen Cabinets?


Refinishing your kitchen cabinets, doors and drawers doesn’t need to be an expensive or complicated process. You might be under the impression of having to strip your kitchen cabinet doors and drawer to stain them or add color, but there’s no reason to go through such a complex process. You don't have to ask yourself, is it worth it to refinish kitchen cabinets? Use these tips to refinish your kitchen cabinet doors without all the trouble of stripping them to the bone.


A handyman refinishing a kitchen cabinet door
Refinishing Kitchen Cabinets

If you plan on refinishing your kitchen cabinets doors and drawers, you may be trying to avoid the hassle of a full kitchen remodel. Refinishing kitchen cabinets can increase the value of the home, and with a little extra care, you might even see a return on your investment.

Other people are simply tired of their old kitchen cabinets, doors and drawer fronts. You loved them when you moved in, but you’re ready for a change. Refacing cabinets and replacing drawer fronts is an affordable way to change the tenor of your kitchen and impress anyone who enters the house.


Cost Savings vs. Installing New Custom Cabinets


Installing custom cabinets can make your kitchen beautiful, but the price can be exorbitant. You’ll be sure to save a lot of money by simply taking the cabinet doors off their hinges, replacing the hardware, and changing the color scheme.


There’s no need to change your hardware if you don’t want to. You can use an affordable paint or stain, and you can avoid using expensive tools to prepare the cabinets doors for refinishing. In short, refacing kitchen cabinets or even adding a coat of paint, might be the simplest home improvement project you ever complete.

Things You Need to Prepare

When it’s time to refinish kitchen cabinets, you’ll need to prepare a few things in advance. These include:

  • Sandpaper

  • A screwdriver

  • A rag

  • A tack cloth or soft cloth

  • A brush or sponge

  • Your chosen stain or water based paint

  • One bucket of Water

  • Wood filler (for inadvertent chips)


Gather all the materials you need before you begin refacing the cabinets. You can work on a few doors at a time, or you might spend an entire weekend completing the project. If you’re a bit nervous about starting, begin with the backside of a cabinet door in an inconspicuous place to ensure the process will result in the color and style you want.


Refinish the Cabinets


When you refinish kitchen cabinets, start by removing the doors from the hinges, removing all the hardware, and laying the wood doors on a flat surface. When you have the doors laid flat, sand them with a medium-fine sandpaper to ensure that you have a smooth surface. Use a rag to wipe down the doors and remove all excess dust. Clean the doors with a tack cloth to dry them, then stain them with long, even strokes. Replace the hardware, and your kitchen cabinets will look as though they are brand new, just as if did a full kitchen remodeling project.


Check out Ideal Home Improvement today when you need assistance with kitchen remodeling, refacing cabinets, and increasing the value of your home. You will enjoy your kitchen that much more, and your guests will wonder who did such beautiful work.

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