Restaining Kitchen Cabinets

Explore your options for restaining kitchen cabinets, and get all the info you'll need to give your kitchen a stylish facelift.
Dark Wood Kitchen Cabinets With Patterned Backsplash

Dark Wood Kitchen Cabinets With Patterned Backsplash

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Meg's Great Rooms

Photo by: Jean-Marc Giboux

Jean-Marc Giboux

By: Sean McEvoy

Restaining kitchen cabinets takes some DIY knowledge and a bit of sweat equity, but it can be a great way to give your kitchen a simple, cost-effective makeover.

Kitchen Cabinet Options for Storage and Display

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Retro Kitchen Cabinets

Kitchen Cabinet Colors and Finishes

Photo By: Ingvald kaldhussA|ter

Painted Kitchen Cabinet Ideas

Repainting Kitchen Cabinets Blue

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson/Getty Images

Black Kitchen Cabinets

Photo By: Jean-Marc Giboux

Glass Kitchen Cabinet Doors

Kitchen Cabinet Options

Contemporary Kitchen Cabinets

Yellow Kitchen Cabinets

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Stainless Steel Kitchen Cabinets

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Red Kitchen Cabinets

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Green Kitchen Cabinets

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Orange and Gray Eclectic Kitchen

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John Colaneri

Photo By: Chris Amaral

Country Style Kitchen with Recycled Cabinets

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Kitchen Cabinet Designers

Photo By: Jean-Marc Giboux/Getty Images

French Country Cabinets in Kitchen

Dark Wood Kitchen Cabinets With Patterned Backsplash

Photo By: Jean-Marc Giboux

Cherry Kitchen Cabinets

Kitchen Cabinet Design Ideas

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From

Cheri Wentworth

Painted Kitchen Cabinets

Kitchen Cabinet Refacing

Kitchen Pantry Ideas

Two Toned Kitchen Cabinets

Custom Kitchen Cabinets

Semi Custom Kitchen Cabinets

Tall Kitchen Cabinets

And

John Colaneri

Photo By: Chris Amaral

Contemporary Kitchen With Bamboo Cabinetry

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Craftsman Style Cabinets

Photo By: vladimir kondrachov

Cottage Style Cabinets

Photo By: Harry Hu

Midcentury Modern Cabinets

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Kristi Nelson

European Kitchen Cabinets

Photo By: HEAD Productions

Kitchen Cabinet Styles

Kitchen Classic Cabinets

Kitchen With Green Tile Backsplash

Kitchen Wall Cabinets

Photo By: Peter Rymwid

Modern Gray Bamboo Kitchen Cabinets

Photo By: Photo_HamsterMan

Modern White Kitchen Cabinets

Photo By: (C)2012 BRIAN KELLOGG PHOTOGRAPHY

Replacement Kitchen Cabinets

Open Kitchen Cabinets

Photo By: Olga Koronevska

Outdoor Kitchen Cabinets

Photo By: Mike G

Oak Kitchen Cabinets

Photo By: Jupiterimages

Mission Style Kitchen Cabinets

Photo By: hikesterson

Contemporary Kitchen with Stock Cabinets

Photo By: Drury Design

New Kitchen Cabinets

Distressed Kitchen Cabinets

Photo By: Gordon Swanson

Contemporary Kitchen Frosted Glass Cabinets

Photo By: Jean-Marc Giboux/Getty Images

Pine Kitchen Cabinets

Photo By: Brian Brown

Rustic Kitchen Cabinets

And

John Colaneri

Photo By: Chris Amaral

White Shaker Kitchen Cabinets

Brown Kitchen with Unfinished Cabinets

Photo By: Garret Bautista

New Kitchen Cabinet Doors

Photo By: unknown

Transitional Kitchen With Classic Wood Cabinets

Photo By: Jean-Marc Giboux

Old Kitchen Cabinets

Photo By: Jean-Marc Giboux/Getty Images

White Modern Kitchen with Small Cabinets

Photo By: Michael Higginson

White Kitchen Cabinets

And

John Colaneri

Photo By: Chris Amaral

Wood Kitchen Cabinets

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Pantry Storage

Corner Kitchen Cabinets

Photo By: Sonya Etchison

Kitchen Cabinet Door Handles and Knobs

Photo By: Jupiterimages

The first step in restaining kitchen cabinets is to remove the doors from the cabinets and the cabinets from the wall. Before removing, be sure to label all cabinets and doors so that you will be able to re-install them in the correct locations and in the right order.

Next up, unscrew all hardware, including hinges, knobs and pulls, and keep them together in a bag or container.

The next step is to strip the old finish from your cabinets and doors. Apply gel stripper with a paintbrush to one or two cabinet/door sets at a time (any more and the gel will dry out). Let the gel sit for 10 minutes or so until you see that the surface has bubbled and softened.

Next, scrape the old surface with a scraper, in the direction of the grain. Scrape the old varnish into a container, and be sure to wear gloves and work in a well-ventilated area. Scrub any stubborn spots with steel wool. Wipe down the stripped surface with a rag dipped in mineral spirits to remove any stripper residue, and wipe everything clean with a tack rag.

When the doors and cabinets are fully dry, paint on the new finish in long, smooth strokes, then apply a second coat after six hours of drying. Next, apply at least two coats of protective polyurethane varnish to the cabinets, using a brush or paint sprayer. Apply one coat, let it dry for 24 hours, then apply another coat. Allow all surfaces to dry for 24 hours, then re-install the hardware.

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