How To Refinish Wooden Cabinets

13 April 2016
 Categories: , Blog


Any cabinet with a clear stain will need to be refinished once or twice over its lifetime. A new stain finish will restore the protective stain and also gives it a fresh new look. But, applying a new stain to a cabinet takes more than just adding stain to the existing finish. First, you need to prepare the wood for the new stain. This requires a little bit of sanding, and often patching with wood putty. This article explains how to refinish a wooden cabinet.

Remove the Doors and Drawers

First, you can speed up the project if you remove all of the doors and drawers. This is usually very simple since most doors are attached with just 2 screws on the hinges. Also, remove any hardware or holders that may be attached to the cabinet.

Prepping and Staining the Doors and Drawers

The job is much easier if you can remove the doors and drawers and set up a temporary workstation. You will need to use a power sander to smooth out the doors and make them stainable. There is much less cleanup if you can do this outside or in the garage.

Remove the hinges and hardware from the wood. Use sandpaper with an extra-fine grit to create a finish that is smooth enough for the stain. You will also need a sponge sander to get within the decorative miters and molding on the doors. Once the doors and drawers are fully sanded, you can wipe them down with a wet rag.

Now, when the wood is dry, you can stain it. The best technique is to use a lint free rag, instead of a paintbrush, to apply the stain. This enables you to wipe the stain into the cracks with ease. Using a rag also reduces dripping. Basically, dip the rag directly into the stain and wipe it onto the wood. Then, use a drier rag to rub away any pooled up stain.

Prepping and Staining the Cabinet Box

The rest of the cabinet is very easy to stain because the design is square and simple. You will want to use the same power sander and staining rags. Sanding the large flat surface is much quicker than sanding ornate door fronts. Sand so the wood is consistently smooth. If you use the same techniques and apply the same amount of stain that you used on the doors, the finish on the doors and cabinet will match.

All you have to do now is reattach the doors and drawers. Just like that, you will have a completely new-looking system of cabinets.


Share