How To Stain Your Kitchen Cabinets: Part One

How To Stain Your Kitchen Cabinets Part One

You love the look of wood in your kitchen, and your kitchen cabinets are showing their age, but you’re not sure if your budget allows for a new set. Staining your cabinets is possible, but you need to weigh the pros and cons of doing so and whether it’s worth the time and effort. 

In part one of this blog, we‘ll discuss the tools you need and go through Steps 1-3 of the staining process, which will bring out the natural beauty of your wood, to give your whole kitchen a makeover—without hiring a contractor. In the next blog, we will finish the process and discuss whether it’s best to DIY or hire a professional.

Tools You Need

Before doing any project, ensure you have all of the tools and supplies at your disposal. First, gather the following tools to complete the project:

  • Clean cloths
  • Protective gloves
  • Mild detergent
  • Paintbrush
  • Palm sander
  • Fine and medium-grit sandpaper
  • #000 Steel wool
  • Wood stain
  • Polyurethane sealer
  • Scraper
  • Chemical stripper
  • Plastic sheeting or drop cloths
  • Wood conditioner

Of course, ensure you have the time to complete the whole process because it will take a few days to complete. Here are the steps to staining your cabinets.

Step 1

Whether you have new and unfinished cabinets or old ones, remove the cabinet hardware, which includes the hinges. Set the doors aside. You’re allowed to leave the cabinet frames in place, but place protective plastic sheeting or drop cloths on the floor and surrounding areas to protect the rest of the room. Clean your cabinets thoroughly, using a clean towel and mild detergent. Follow up with plain water to rinse. Note: if you have existing cabinets that are either painted or stained and instead of using a chemical stripper, you want to scrape and sand away the existing finish, there’s no need to spend time cleaning.

Step 2

It’s time to remove the old finish—unless your cabinets are raw wood, that is. There are two ways to strip the finish, and it depends on whether you’re dealing with a few cabinets or a lot. The simplest way is the traditional way of not using a chemical stripper but using a product, either liquid or gel, to remove the finish. If you have many cabinets, a chemical stripper can save you loads of time and energy. First, you must ventilate the room, as well as wear protective gear (gloves, mask). Cover any surfaces you don’t want to strip with painter’s tape. (the blue one) Next, follow the directions on the stripper; it takes about thirty minutes to set in. After, scrape off the finish. You may need several applications if the finish is stubborn.

Step 3

Once you strip off the old finish, start sanding the cabinets with 80-to-120 grit sandpaper. If you have a palm sander, this process becomes much quicker. Sand in the direction of the wood grain until the cabinet surfaces are smooth and even. If there are any imperfections or damage, you can repair them now. Sand the cabinets again, but this time use 150-to-220 grit sandpaper. Vacuum any sanding dust and wipe down the wood with a wet cloth to clean up any lingering debris. Allow the wood to dry.


Stay tuned for the second part of the blog to finish up the process. In the meantime, if you want to learn more about our showroom and services we offer, please call us.



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