Many homeowners choose to strip and repaint their wood cabinets as a cost-effective way to give their kitchen or bathroom a new look. While it is possible to sand and refinish cabinets, stripping and repainting them is often the easier option. This blog post will show you how to strip and repaint wood cabinets, including what products to use and how to prep the wood so that the paint will adhere properly.
Stripping Wood Cabinets
The first step in stripping wood cabinets is to remove all of the hardware, including hinges, knobs, and pulls. Next, use a putty knife to scrape off any old paint or sealant. If the paint is peeling in large sheets, you may be able to remove it with a heat gun set on low. Once the majority of the old paint has been removed, sand the cabinets with medium-grit sandpaper until they’re smooth.
Next, apply a commercial paint stripper with a brush, making sure to work in small sections. Leave the stripper on for the time specified by the manufacturer—usually about 15-20 minutes—then use a putty knife or scraper to remove any remaining paint. Wipe off the stripper with a clean rag dipped in mineral spirits. If any stubborn areas of paint remain, you can sand them off with fine-grit sandpaper.
Preparing Wood Cabinets for Paint
Once your cabinets have been stripped, seal any bare wood with a primer designed for cabinets or trim. If you’re painting your cabinets, choose a high-quality latex paint specifically designed for kitchen cabinetry—this will ensure that the paint won’t peel or chip easily. To avoid brush marks, use a mini roller designed for trim work.
After the primer has dried completely, apply a top coat of paint or sealant. Again, choose a product specifically designed for kitchen cabinets to get the best results. Once the topcoat has dried, you can reattach all of the hardware.
Preparing Wood Cabinets for Stain
If you’re going to stain your cabinets rather than paint them, you’ll need to use a different stripping method. First, sand the cabinets with medium-grit sandpaper until they’re smooth. Next, apply a stripping gel with a brush, making sure to work in small sections. Leave the stripping gel on for the time specified by the manufacturer—usually about 15-20 minutes—then use a putty knife or scraper to remove any remaining paint. Wipe off the stripping gel with a clean rag dipped in mineral spirits. If any stubborn areas of paint remain, you can lightly sand them off with fine-grit sandpaper.
Once the cabinets have been stripped, sand them again with a fine-grit sandpaper. Then, wipe off any dust with a tack cloth. To apply the stain, use a clean rag or brush designed for staining. Work in small sections and wipe any excess stain with a clean rag. Allow the stain to dry completely before applying a topcoat of sealant.
What should you use to clean wood cabinets?
After spending time repainting or staining your cabinets, you’re probably wondering how you should clean them to avoid damaging the new paint job. In most cases, you can clean them with a mild soap and water solution. If your cabinets are filthy, you may need to use a degreaser before repainting or staining them.
With some careful prep work and attention to detail, it’s easy to give your kitchen or bathroom cabinets a fresh new look by stripping and repainting them yourself. Use quality products designed specifically for cabinets, and take your time applying stain or paint evenly for best results. With patience and elbow grease, you can achieve professional-looking results without spending a fortune!