How to refinish cabinets. Step by step guide.

Complete step by step guide. Submitted by Chicago painter.

Save money. Refinish cabinets instead of spending thousand for new cabinets.


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     The basis of cabinets refinishing and every process of painting is preparation.

    • Take off all the doors and drawer fronts.
    • Save the hinges and all screws. Put aside in marked box. Screws always disappear.
    • Mark each door  under the hinge and cover the number with a small piece of blue tape. Mark relative box with the same number.
    • Paint the doors in a closed, ventilated room for example the garage.
    • Cover the floor with two layers of red construction paper.
    • Cover all walls with painters plastic. At least 1.2 mil thick.
    • Repair all cracks, holes with hard wood filler.
    • Sand the doors with 220 grit Sandpaper. Vacuum and wipe the doors with rag with mineral spirit. Repeat the procedure between each coat.
    • Clean whole work area.
    • For a professional finish apply the paint with airless sprayer.
    • Turn off all fans, blowers.
    • Paint each door separately. You must be careful to prevent overspray from sitting on already painted doors. I paint the doors in garage corner.
    • Apply a thick layer of paint / primer in the middle of the door  and a little thinner on the edges – to prevent paint dripping. Thick layers of paint / primer will fill wood grains.
    • Leave the doors in horizontal position. As a base use two pieces of 2×4 to every door.
    • Start painting from the back of the door.
    • Prime coat: BIN Shellac primer. If there are a lot wood grains we apply two coats of primer.
    • Paint: three coats of Sherwin Williams Satin Proclassic  / Benjamin Moore Satin Impervo. Don?t save on materials.
    • Apply protective coat – Minwax water based Polycrylic satin or semi-gloss varnish. Varnish prevents finish from sticking and makes surfaces more durable. Water based finish doesn?t change the color.
    • With the large number of layers of paint / primer we receive factory like finish.
    • Repeat the procedure at the front of the door. I leave the doors for two days before I switch the sides.
    • Each coat of paint and primer must be thoroughly dry before applying the next coat.
    • Paint cabinet boxes with mohair or foam quality  roller instead of airless sprayer, so you don’t have to remove them for painting.
    • When the topcoat is dry remove the pieces of blue tape to match doors with  the boxes.
    • After installing the doors ? leave them  opened for at least 3 days
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“How to refinish cabinets. Step by step guide.” is managed by Chicagopainter


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