How To Refinish Painted Kitchen Cabinets

If you're tired of the look of your painted kitchen cabinets, refinishing them could be the solution you need. Refinishing your cabinets will not only give your kitchen a fresh new look, but it can also save you money compared to purchasing new cabinets.

In this article, we will guide you through the process of refinishing your painted kitchen cabinets, from preparation to finishing touches.

Before you begin the refinishing process, you must prepare your cabinets. This involves removing all hardware and cleaning the surfaces thoroughly. You will also need to sand the cabinets to remove any existing paint or finish.

Once your cabinets are prepped and ready, you will need to choose the right paint and supplies for the job. With the right tools and materials, you can easily achieve a professional-looking finish. In the next section, we will discuss how to choose the right paint and supplies for your kitchen cabinets.

Key Takeaways

  • Refinishing painted kitchen cabinets can save money and allow for customization of color and style.
  • Choosing the right paint and supplies, such as acrylic enamel paint and quality materials, is important for achieving a professional-looking finish.
  • Adding new hardware or accents can enhance the updated look of kitchen cabinets, but it's important to consider style and functionality when choosing them.
  • Proper maintenance, including regular cleaning and repairing any damage, can keep refinished cabinets looking great for years to come.

Preparing Your Cabinets for Refinishing

Prior to beginning the refinishing process, it's imperative to properly prepare your painted kitchen cabinets. This includes sanding techniques that will remove all of the old paint and prepare the surface for the new coat. You can use a sanding block or an orbital sander, but make sure to wear protective gear such as gloves and a mask.

Start with a coarse grit sandpaper and gradually work your way up to a finer grit until the surface is smooth. Once you're done sanding, wipe the surface down with a damp cloth to remove any dust and debris.

In addition to sanding, it's important to properly clean your cabinets before refinishing them. Use a cleaning solution that is strong enough to remove any grease, dirt, or grime, but gentle enough not to damage the wood. You can use a mixture of warm water and dish soap or a commercial cleaner specifically designed for cabinets.

Make sure to follow the instructions on the label and rinse the surface thoroughly with water. Once your cabinets are clean and dry, you can move on to choosing the right paint and supplies.

Choosing the Right Paint and Supplies

When choosing the right paint and supplies for refinishing your kitchen cabinets, there are a few key points to keep in mind.

First, you'll need to decide on a color that complements your kitchen's decor and style.

Next, you'll want to select the right paint type, taking into consideration factors like durability and ease of application.

Finally, it's important to gather all the necessary supplies, including brushes, sandpaper, and painter's tape, to ensure a smooth and successful refinishing project.

Decide on a Color

Now it's time for you to choose a color that speaks to your personal style and complements the rest of your kitchen decor. Color psychology plays a crucial role in determining the right color for your kitchen cabinets.

For instance, if you want to create a calming and relaxing environment, cool colors like blue and green are perfect. On the other hand, if you want to create a warm and inviting atmosphere, you can opt for warm colors like red, orange, or yellow.

Trending colors can also be a great starting point for selecting the right color for your kitchen cabinets. From classic neutrals like white, gray, and beige to bold and vibrant hues like navy blue, emerald green, and deep plum, there are plenty of options to choose from.

Just make sure you select a color that complements your kitchen's existing color scheme and reflects your personal taste. With the right color, your kitchen cabinets will look brand new and add a fresh look to your home.

Now that you have a color in mind, it's time to select the right paint type.

Select the Right Paint Type

To achieve a smooth and flawless finish on your cabinets, you'll want to choose a paint type that's specifically designed for furniture and cabinetry. An acrylic enamel paint will provide durability and resistance to wear and tear, which is essential for the longevity of your cabinets and to prevent chipping or fading over time.

Not all paint types are created equal, so it's important to do your research and select a paint that will meet your needs. Paint durability is important, but so is color options. Consider the range of colors available when selecting a paint type to ensure that you find the perfect shade for your kitchen.

Some paint brands offer a limited selection of colors, while others have a wide range of options to choose from. Take your time to browse different color swatches and find a paint that will complement your kitchen décor.

Once you've selected the right paint type and color, it's time to gather necessary supplies to begin the refinishing process.

Gather Necessary Supplies

Get ready to transform your tired old cabinets into stunning showpieces with just a few simple supplies! Before you get started, make a list of necessary supplies for the project.

Here are some shopping tips to help you gather all the supplies you need:

  • Budget-friendly options: Refinishing your kitchen cabinets doesn't have to break the bank. Look for affordable supplies such as sandpaper, paint brushes, and rollers at your local hardware store or online. You can also consider using a budget-friendly paint brand to save some money.

  • Quality supplies: While it's important to stay within your budget, it's also crucial to invest in quality supplies. This ensures that your cabinets will look great and last for a long time. Look for high-quality paint, primer, and other supplies that are specifically designed for kitchen cabinets.

Once you have all the necessary supplies, it's time to move on to the next step: applying the paint.

Applying the Paint

Once you've prepped your cabinets, it's time to start applying the paint for a fresh and updated kitchen look. To achieve a smooth finish, it's important to use the right brushing techniques.

Start by using a high-quality paintbrush and apply the paint in long, even strokes, following the grain of the wood. Avoid using too much pressure, as this can cause the paint to clump or leave brush marks. Instead, let the brush do the work and use a light touch.

After you've applied the first coat of paint, it's important to allow adequate drying time before applying additional coats. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for drying time, which can vary depending on factors such as temperature and humidity.

Once the first coat is completely dry, lightly sand the surface with fine-grit sandpaper to create a smooth surface for the next coat. Repeat the process until you've achieved the desired level of coverage and finish.

As you move on to adding finishing touches, consider adding new hardware or accents to further enhance the updated look of your kitchen.

Adding Finishing Touches

Now that you've successfully applied a fresh coat of paint to your kitchen cabinets, it's time to add the finishing touches to complete the look.

The first step is to reattach the doors and hardware, ensuring that everything is aligned and functional.

Next, apply a protective finish to the cabinets to keep them looking new and to prevent any damage from regular use.

Finally, consider adding new cabinet knobs or handles to give your cabinets a stylish and updated look.

By following these steps, you can achieve a professional and polished finish to your newly painted kitchen cabinets.

Reattach Doors and Hardware

First, make sure to properly align the cabinet doors and hardware before using a drill to securely reattach them to the cabinet frame. Adjusting fit and updating style is crucial to achieve a seamless and polished look.

Check that the doors are level, straight, and flush with the cabinet frame. If they're not, use a screwdriver to loosen the hinges and adjust them as needed. Additionally, ensure that the hardware is centered and properly aligned with the cabinet doors.

Use a level to check if the handles or knobs are at the same height and distance from the edge of the door. Once the doors and hardware are properly aligned and attached, it's time to move on to the next step of the process: applying a protective finish.

This will not only protect your newly refinished cabinets but also give them a glossy and professional look.

Apply a Protective Finish

To achieve a polished and glossy appearance, it's important to apply a protective finish to your newly attached cabinet doors and hardware. There are various protective coating options to choose from, including polyurethane, wax, and lacquer.

Polyurethane is a popular choice because of its durability and resistance to scratches and stains. Wax, on the other hand, provides a natural look and is easy to apply, but requires regular maintenance. Lacquer is a fast-drying option that provides a smooth, glossy finish, but it can be tricky to apply and requires proper ventilation.

Once you've chosen your protective coating, follow the manufacturer's instructions for application. Make sure to apply the coating in a well-ventilated area and allow sufficient drying time between coats.

After the final coat has dried, use a 0000 steel wool to lightly sand the surface for a smooth finish. To maintain the protective coating, avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners and instead use a soft cloth and mild soap and water. With proper maintenance, your newly refinished kitchen cabinets will look great for years to come.

Now, let's move on to the next step of adding new cabinet knobs or handles.

Add New Cabinet Knobs or Handles

Adding new knobs or handles is like putting the finishing touch on a newly tailored suit - it completes the look and adds a touch of personality. When it comes to choosing between knobs and handles, it's important to consider both the style and functionality. Knobs tend to be more traditional and are easier to grip, making them a great choice for households with young children or elderly individuals. Handles, on the other hand, offer a sleek and modern look and are easier to clean.

Once you've settled on the type of hardware you want, it's time to find the perfect style. This is where the fun begins! You can choose from a wide variety of styles, from classic and elegant to funky and unique. It's important to consider the overall design of your kitchen and choose hardware that complements it. If you have a sleek and modern kitchen, you might want to opt for a minimalist handle design. If your kitchen has a more traditional look, you might want to choose a classic knob design with intricate details. Whatever you choose, make sure it reflects your personal style and adds the perfect finishing touch to your newly refinished cabinets.

Now that you've added new knobs or handles to your refinished cabinets, it's important to maintain their beauty and functionality.

Maintaining Your Newly Refinished Cabinets

Now that you've refinished your kitchen cabinets, it's important to maintain them properly to ensure their longevity.

Cleaning and caring for your cabinets on a regular basis is crucial. You can use a mild soap and water solution to clean spills and stains.

If you notice any scratches or dents, make necessary repairs or touch-ups as soon as possible to prevent further damage.

Clean and Care for Your Cabinets

Properly maintaining your kitchen cabinets is like giving them a spa day - it keeps them looking and feeling their best. Here are some tips to keep your newly refinished cabinets in tip-top shape:

  • Use mild cleaning products: Avoid abrasive cleaners or scouring pads that can scratch or damage your cabinets. Instead, opt for mild soap and water or a cleaner specifically designed for wood cabinets.

  • Wipe up spills immediately: Accidents happen, but leaving spills to sit can cause damage or discoloration to your cabinets. Be sure to wipe up any spills or splatters as soon as possible.

  • Use a soft cloth: When cleaning your cabinets, use a soft cloth or microfiber towel to avoid scratching the surface.

  • Avoid excessive moisture: Water and wood don't mix, so be careful not to leave wet cloths or sponges on your cabinets for too long. Excessive moisture can cause swelling, warping, or discoloration.

  • Dust regularly: Dust can accumulate on your cabinets over time, so be sure to dust them regularly to keep them looking their best.

By following these maintenance tips, you can help keep your cabinets looking great for years to come. If any scratches or damage do occur, don't worry - the next section will cover how to make necessary repairs or touch-ups.

Make Necessary Repairs or Touch-Ups

To keep your cabinets looking their best, you'll want to know how to make necessary repairs or touch-ups. First, assess the damage on your cabinets. If there are any dents, scratches or chips, you'll want to repair them before refinishing your cabinets. For small scratches or chips, you can use wood filler to fill in the gaps. Once the filler is dry, sand it down to make it flush with the surface. For larger dents or scratches, you'll need to use a repair technique that involves matching paint.

Matching paint is an essential step in repairing your cabinets. To do this, you'll need to take a sample of the painted surface to a paint store and have them match the color. Once you have the paint, you can use a small brush or roller to apply it to the damaged area. Be sure to let the paint dry completely before sanding it down to make it flush with the surface. With these repair techniques, your cabinets will be ready for refinishing in no time.


Congratulations on completing the refinishing process for your painted kitchen cabinets! Your hard work and dedication have paid off, and you now have a beautiful and updated kitchen.

As you stand back and admire your newly refinished cabinets, take a moment to appreciate the details. The smooth surface of the newly applied paint, the subtle sheen that catches the light just right, and the bold color that perfectly complements the rest of your kitchen. The transformation is truly remarkable.

But your work isn't done yet. It's important to maintain your cabinets to keep them looking their best. Regular cleaning with a soft cloth and gentle cleaner will help to prevent build-up and maintain the integrity of the finish. And if you ever need to touch up any areas, keep your paint and supplies handy for easy access.

With these tips and techniques, you can confidently tackle the refinishing process for your painted kitchen cabinets. Your kitchen will look and feel like a brand new space, and you can enjoy the satisfaction of a job well done. Happy refinishing!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *