Your guide to cabinet refinishing

We've helped 1,004 customers refinish their cabinets in the past year.

Planning ahead

Things to know before you get started.
7 Steps to Refinishing Cabinets
  1. 1. Be prepared

    Gather all of your cabinet refinishing supplies before you hire a professional. You want to have everything available so you don't have to waste time running to the hardware store.

  2. 2. Stay organized

    Store all of the hardware that you remove in plastic bags and place them somewhere safe. Few things are as annoying as losing important parts of a project.

  3. 3. Seal things up

    Have your professional caulk any seams or holes before sanding and again after priming. When you choose to paint your cabinets rather than stain them, any imperfections can really stand out.

  4. 4. Give the job some time

    Allow a stain to dry completely on the cabinets before your professional applies a finish for the first time. You should wait at least 24 hours for the cabinets to dry, but longer is preferable.

  5. 5. Start with a clean slate

    Your contractor should use a chemical stripper to remove the majority of paint from cabinets. However, your pro should use a chemical refinisher to remove any varnish or stain.

  6. 6. Keep your house protected

    Ask your contractor to place a drop cloth on the floor and the cabinets on top of them when working. This ensures that he or she won't stain the floor and create another project to do.

  7. 7. Take care with application

    Ask your professional to apply the stain to cabinets by rubbing it on with cloths or tools that do not leave lint behind.

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