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Pantry Refinishing Made Easy

Reinvigorate a built-in pantry with new paint.

Materials and Tools:

4 gallons paint stripper
2 gallons primer
2 gallons paint
20 hinges
10 knobs
belt sander
orbital sander
painting supplies
respirator masks
rubber gloves
safety glasses
Note: actual amount of paint and hardware required will depend on your project.


1. Make sure you have all the safety gear you need. Glasses, masks, gloves are a minimum. Also be sure you read and understand the instructions for the chemical stripper. Chemical strippers are effective, but can be dangerous if not used correctly.

2. Use a scraper to remove as much loose paint as possible (figure A). The less paint there is, the less chemical stripper you'll have to use.

3. Apply the chemical stripper, following the instructions on the can. Every brand has different application procedures and application times.

4. After the stripper has set the recommended amount of time, scrape the remains off with a plastic scraper (figure B). Apply a second coat if necessary.

5. After the wood has dried completely, sand all surfaces (figure C). Note: Some strippers recommend you rinse the surface first, then let dry before sanding.

6. Prime and paint or stain the pantry. If your pantry is made up of different types of wood, as this one was, then staining is not an option.

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