Ready to demolish your old cabinets and start fresh? They might seem hopeless at the moment; however, you can get a transformed look, at a low cost, by simply refurbishing them. If you don’t know how to refinish your kitchen cabinets, below are some tips to begin with.

Step 1: Schedule the Project 

If you’re wondering how to refinish your kitchen cabinets, your first step should be to schedule the project into your calendar. It’s not a quick project that will simply take a weekend to complete. You’ll need to devote several weeks to this project..

If now’s not a good time to tackle it, then look at your schedule and find a window that’s better. This way, you won’t feel rushed or stressed to complete the project, which can impact the end result.

Step 2: Prepare Yourself & Your Space

Make sure you have the right supplies on hand, from sandpaper and a drill to a shop vacuum and your stain color. You may also want to pick out and order new hinges and hardware if you plan to replace the existing ones.

In addition, protect the space by laying down a drop cloth on the floor. This will stop splatters and dust from getting onto your floor. Also cover your appliances, counters, and backsplash with builder’s paper and tape in place. It’s affordable and easy to recycle.

Step 3: Remove & Label Everything

Remove the doors and drawers from their cabinet boxes. Make sure you label and number them carefully so you know where they go once you’re ready to reinstall them. 

You’ll also want to make a drawing of your kitchen that shows where each corresponding numbered drawer and door goes. This may seem like a lot of extra work but it will make installing your newly refinished kitchen cabinets much easier. Remember, your kitchen is likely to be torn apart for several weeks. By the time you get to the point of reinstalling everything, you’re likely to have forgotten where each door and drawer goes.

Step 4: Clean Your Cabinets

If cabinets are left greasy or grimy, the new stain won’t properly adhere to the surface. Cleaning your cabinets, both inside and out, is therefore critical to getting beautiful results. 

If you’re wondering how to clean kitchen cabinets before you refinish them, simply use a rag dampened with mineral spirits to remove the contaminants on the surface of your cabinets. Then apply a grease cleaner and remover. Rinse your cabinets with water and allow them to thoroughly dry before moving on to the next step. 

Step 5: Strip Your Cabinets

The hardest part of stripping your cabinets is picking the right product. It depends on what type of finish is on your cabinets. For instance, if your cabinets have polyurethane or varnish on them, then use varnish remover. If the cabinetry has a wax finish, then turpentine works best. 

Your cabinets could also have shellac, lacquer, vinyl, or water-based finish. It’s important to know which one it is before tackling the job. Once you’re ready to strip your cabinets, make sure you’re working in an area that is well-ventilated. 

Step 6: Sand & Repair

Once the old finish is off, use sandpaper that’s anywhere from 80 to 100 grit to roughen up the surface. This also helps to remove scratches, uneven areas, and other imperfections. Just be careful when you sand. It’s easy to go overboard and you don’t want to take the wood down too far.

If there are areas with more severe damage, you can use a wood filler to repair deeper scratches and scuff marks. Also, if you have new hardware that is a different size than the existing pulls and knobs, you’ll need to fill the old holes as well. Once you’re done making the repairs, sand the wood lightly. 

Step 7: Clean Up Dust

To ensure a flawless finish with your kitchen cabinet refinishing project, how you clean up dust is key. The surface of your cabinets must be as smooth as possible before you apply the new stain. 

Use a tack cloth to wipe down surfaces and a shop vacuum with an upholstery attachment to clean up all the dust caused by the repair and sanding process. 

Step 8: Stain & Seal Your Cabinets

Start with the inside back corners first and work your way out toward the box frame. When you’re refinishing your cabinets, use long, light strokes and work quickly so an area doesn’t dry before you’re done. If you make a mistake or notice something – like dust or a hair – in the finish, take a rag that’s been dampened with mineral spirits, wipe the area, and start over. 

Step 9: Install Everything 

Once your cabinets are completely dry, you can remove the tape you used to label them. Install each door and drawer, one by one. 

Drills can sometimes strip delicate screws, so use a hand screw during the installation process. Install new knobs and pulls – and voilà! – you have kitchen cabinets that are refreshed and renewed. Be sure to handle your cabinets carefully for an extended period of time while your finish cures. 

Step 10: Call N-Hance & Stop Worrying How to Refinish Your Kitchen Cabinets

If you’d like to avoid steps 1-9 and the many tasks and details that fall within them, call N-Hance® instead. Rather than taking weeks, we can refinish your kitchen cabinets in a matter of days. 

You also won’t have to research and wonder how to refinish your kitchen cabinets. We’ll handle the whole process, start to finish, minimizing mess and downtime. 

All you have to do is clean out your cabinets and we’ll handle the rest. Best of all? We’ll restore your cabinets, maintain their integrity, and do this all at a cost you can afford. It’s the N-Hance way.

If you don’t know how to refinish kitchen cabinets and want an expert to handle the job, call your local N-Hance at (855) 642-6230 today to schedule a FREE consultation.