Refinishing cabinets can be a tough, time-consuming job — much more so than many people realize.

A big reason for this is the amount of prep work that goes into cabinet refinishing. Between planning your project, disassembling your cabinets, and getting the wood ready for a new finish layer, the bulk of any refinishing project happens before you actually apply the new layer of finish.

That’s part of why so many homeowners prefer cabinet refinishing services like N-Hance®!

As we’ll see below, there’s a lot that DIYers need to do before refinishing cabinets. But with a professional refinishing service, the workload shrinks substantially. 

Steps to Take Before Refinishing Cabinets Yourself

If you’re planning on a DIY approach to cabinet refinishing, here are all of the steps that you’ll need to take before you apply your first layer of finish.

  1. Plan Your Project. Before refinishing cabinets, it’s important that you plan your project. That means learning about the refinishing process, choosing your new finish, purchasing the necessary materials, and developing a realistic timeline for the project.
  2. Remove Cabinet Doors. Cabinet refinishing requires full access to cabinet surfaces, which means you’ll need to remove cabinet doors and drawer fronts. You’ll also need to remove hardware, like hinges and handles (make sure to keep these labeled and sorted!).
  3. Clean Cabinet Surfaces. Over time, cabinets tend to acquire a thin layer of grime. This grime can cause serious issues during refinishing, so cabinets need to be thoroughly cleaned to remove any lingering dust, dirt, grease, and oils.
  4. Protect Surrounding Areas. Refinishing cabinets can be messy work, and some of the products used can permanently stain or damage surfaces. So before you go ahead with your refinishing project, you’ll need to make sure that you’ve protected the surrounding areas.
  5. Remove the Old Finish. Before you can apply a new layer of finish, you’ll need the old one removed. Most DIYers do this by sanding away the old finish. However, some prefer to opt for sandless removal techniques, like a liquid abrasion treatment.
  6. Prep Cabinet Surfaces. When you apply a finishing product to wood, the finish needs something to bond with. This is usually accomplished by roughening the wood — either via sanding or liquid abrasion — which gives the finish a surface with more grip.
  7. Clean Away Debris. If you sand your cabinets, this will leave a bunch of wood dust behind. And if you use a liquid abrasion, you’ll have trace liquid remaining on cabinet surfaces. You’ll need to thoroughly clean your cabinets to remove these elements. Otherwise, they could get between the wood and the new finish, causing the new layer of finish to degrade prematurely.

Steps to Take Before Refinishing Cabinets with N-Hance

N-Hance customers sometimes ask us what they need to do before we refinish their cabinets. The answer? Surprisingly little…

  1. Plan Your Project with N-Hance. We make it easy to plan your refinishing project. Our experts can help you choose the right style and finish for your cabinets. We also provide detailed cost and timeline estimates. What’s more, you don’t need to run back and forth to the local home improvement store for your project.
  2. Prepare Your Home for Our Technicians. Prepping your home for cabinet refinishing is a lot easier with N-Hance. Typically, this means emptying cabinets and tidying the surrounding space. In certain homes, our technicians may request additional steps. But the amount of prep will be much less than if you were refinishing cabinets yourself.
  3. Sit Back and Relax! Once our technicians have arrived at your home, you can leave the rest of the prep work to us. We’ll remove your cabinet doors and drawer fronts, protect surrounding surfaces, and get your cabinets ready for refinishing, including cleaning, finish removal, and surface prep. After that, we’ll apply the new layer of finish and cure it using our Lightspeed® system. The result? A crystal-clear, rock-solid, wear-resistant finish that will last for years and years.

Refinishing cabinets is easier with N-Hance! Call (855) 642-6230 today to request a FREE estimate.