5 Top Tips for Refinishing Your Cabinets in Style

Giving the existing cabinets in your home a little touching up can’t hurt. Every now and then it’s nice to change things up a little, to alter out familiar surroundings and try out something new. Giving your cabinets a new finish is one of the simplest and most cost-effective ways you can do this. Even something as simple as giving your kitchen cabinets a refinish can completely alter the way that you feel about your living space. Here are some top words of advice for giving your cabinets the most stylish and pleasing refinish possible.


Try a New Finish

By spraying or painting a new finish onto your cabinets you can give them a completely new look and feel. Different finishes will leave cabinets with different colors and textures, and you can take advantage of this in order to bring out certain characteristics in the underlying material. For example, combining a luxe gray finish with wooden cabinets can leave them with an almost metallic appearance.

If you have a kitchen which is currently very bright and light in terms of its color scheme, then think about whether bringing things down a bit might be beneficial. Combining charcoal paint with stained brass pieces makes for a very striking aesthetic effect.


Having brand new custom cabinets installed in your home can cost a huge amount of money, easily running into the tens of thousands of dollars, however, the cost of refinishing cabinets  shouldn’t be more than a couple of hundred. If you need to hire a professional to do it for you then you will need to add on the cost of labor, but you should still find it much cheaper to use some clever refinishing rather than buying entirely new cabinets.

Label with Tape


When the time comes to refit the doors on your cabinets, one of the most common problems that homeowners encounter is in matching each door with the correct opening. Doors may look the same size as openings, but we as human beings aren’t great at spotting small discrepancies in size. The easiest way of avoiding any confusion is to label your cabinets and doors so that they are easy to match up again later.

Just make sure that you remember to clear any tape away before spraying or painting your cabinets, otherwise you might end up entombing them in your paintjob.

Fill in Holes

If you are planning on carrying out extensive modifications around your kitchen, including the cabinets, then you will likely have to drill some new holes. If you do, then make sure that you fill in any new holes afterwards using wood putty. The reason this is important is that, first of all, it will be confusing further down the line if you do any more work and have a bunch of extra holes to choose from. Secondly, these holes provide places where bugs can get in and where moisture can gather, potentially leading to mold.

Lightly Sand Surfaces


Sanding will remove the outer sheen, if any was previously applied to your cabinets, as well as any protective sealant that might have been applied over the drawer or doors. Removing these substances from the exterior of your cabinets means that you can apply your primer directly to the material beneath. This will help to ensure that both the primer and the paint are able to effectively bond to one another, as well as the surface itself. Once you have applied it to all the areas which have been prepped, it is then useful to gently sand it as a way of removing any bumps of imperfections in your work.

The best way of sanding is by using fine sanding pads or blocks; this is the best option for most cabinet and drawer fronts. On the other hand, rough-grit sandpaper is better suited to drawers and the fronts of cabinets which have heavy layers of lacquer or shellac on them.

Buy High Quality Primer


The reason that professional painters prefer to use stain blocking primer is that it makes for an effective surface for the paint to bond to. However, it also allows the painter to reduce the number of coats that need to be applied (and therefore saves money on materials). Generally, if you are using lighter colors then you should find a single layer of primer topped with a single layer of paint is sufficient.

If you will be going for a darker color scheme, then you will want to look into making some tinted primer. This is easy enough to do; simply add a base to your primer that is a similar tone to the color of paint you have chosen to use.

Refinishing your kitchen cabinets is a great way of breathing new life into the room.


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