How To Refinish Kitchen Cabinets

You will be surprised how refinishing your kitchen cabinets can change the feel of the entire room. Just by changing the stain tint, you can make your cabinets look newer and match better. If you restain while also repainting the walls or updating the flooring, your room will look brand new. The job is actually fairly simple if you want to do it yourself to save some money. This article explains how to restain kitchen cabinets.

Remove the Doors and Drawers

First, you want to remove all of the doors and drawers. The drawers slide right out when you hit the release latch on the slider. It should not be hard to find. Some modern door hinges also have a simple release latch. However, you want to take the hinge off of the faceframe of the cabinet. So, keep the hinges attached to the door and just remove the screws that secure the hinge to the cabinet faceframe.


You will want to sand the doors and drawers in a remote location. You can set up a work station on a table or large drop cloth. This way you can control the mess and streamline the sanding and staining. This part of the job is time consuming because you need to remove all of the existing stain. A vibrating power sander will make this much easier. However, you will also need a sponge sander that allows you to reach the nooks and crevices of the mitered door panels. You will also need to mask off the kitchen around the cabinets.

Sand as much of the door as you can with the power sander. Then, use the sponge sander to hit the spots you couldn't reach. Use a fine grit sandpaper because you don't want to scratch the hardwood. Once all of the stain is removed from the wood, you should use an extra fine grit sandpaper to further smooth out the wood and create a surface that is ready to be stained.


Applying the actual stain will seem easy after all the time you spent masking off and sanding. For the best results, you should use a lint free rag to dip directly into the stain can, and then rub it onto the wood. Rub it on with a damp rag, and the wipe it down with a dry rag. This will create a consistent and smooth finish.

When the stain is dry, you can reattach the hinges and put your doors and drawers back in your cabinets. Your kitchen will suddenly look much nicer.