How to Refinish Your Kitchen Cabinets and Give It an Instant New Look

What do you think of your kitchen cabinets? Are you proud of them?

Some of you might shout an enthusiastic, “YES!” While some of you might find your way to the back of the crowd with a quiet, “No, I’m not fond of mine.”

If you don’t love your cabinets, don’t worry. It doesn’t matter how small your budget, to refinish your kitchen cabinets is an easy project.

As long as the cabinets are structurally sound and made of wood, you should be able to give them a facelift with minimal effort and minimal dollars spent.

Curious how to go about doing this? You’re in the right place. I’m going to share with you how to give your kitchen cabinets a fresh look. Here’s how:

You’ll need:

  • Paintbrush
  • Paint
  • Paint pan
  • Sandpaper
  • New knobs for cabinets
  • Impact driver
  • Primer

1. Remove Cabinet Doors

To give your kitchen cabinets a new look, you must start somewhere. This process will begin by using an impact driver and remove the cabinet doors.

Attach the impact to the screw inside the hinge. Make sure the impact has the button slid to the proper side to make the screw be reversed out of the hinges.

If not, it’ll push the screw further into the hinge which would be counterproductive. Make sure you keep all the screws and hinges in a safe place.

Remove the screws from the hinges of each door. When all the doors have been removed from the cabinets, stand back and take a deep breath because your kitchen is getting ready to have a fresh new look.

Also, take these few moments to clean out your cabinets. You don’t want to get dust and paint all over your dishes.

2. Time to Get Sandy

sandpaper to refinish your kitchen cabinets

sandpaper to refinish your kitchen cabinets

Warning: This part of the process is messy. You’re going to have sand in your hair, on your face, on your arms, and on your hands. If you have work gloves, I’d recommend wearing them throughout this process.

Whether you have an electric sander or a piece of sandpaper, it’ll work pretty much the same. Rub the sandpaper over each of the cabinet doors and the cabinets on the wall.

The idea is to remove any finish which may have been on the cabinets. They should look rough and discolored.

However, the cabinets will be prepped when they feel smooth to your touch. When you feel confident you’ve removed any finish which may have previously been on the cabinets, you can hang up your sander for the day.

3. Prime Time

primer to refinish kitchen cabinets

primer to refinish kitchen cabinets

Be sure to blow off any dust from the sanding experience. It wouldn’t hurt to use a dry towel to wipe down the cabinets and doors.

Also, this would be a good time to sweep up the floor around your workspace. You’re getting ready to prime the cabinets, and you wouldn’t want dust to affect the texture of the paint.

When your workspace and cabinets are clean, you’re ready to prime. Pour an adequate amount of primer into a clean paint pan. I like the disposable containers to keep me from having to clean them up when I’m done.

I can throw them in the garbage and not have to worry about it. Use a clean brush too. Evenly apply the primer to all areas of the cabinets and doors.

Make sure you use even strokes. You don’t want the primer to be extremely thick, but it needs to have a decent coating on it. Painting primer is what prepares the surface for paint.

4. Let’s Get Crafty

Once the primer has been applied adequately, it’s time to paint. I’m going to give you a few pointers from a woman who is terrible at picking paint.

Paint rarely looks the same from the sample to the surface. If you’re feeling uncertain about paint choices, pay for a few samples.

I know it stinks to spend extra money, but what good does it do to give your cabinets a facelift if you don’t like the color?

It’s better to pay for the paint samples, see what you like, and go with the color you’re certain of.

When the paint has been picked and the primer has dried, pour an adequate amount of paint into a clean paint pan. Use a clean brush to apply the paint.

Again, make sure you apply the paint in even strokes being sure to apply an adequate coat of paint. When applying the first coat, give the paint time to dry between coats.

5. Everybody Rest

When you’ve applied the first coat of paint, and it has dried, check the cabinets and doors over. Depending upon how thick the first coat was, you may not need a second coat.

However, you may find spots you missed, or if you’re like me, you like to add a second coat for good measure.

Add the second coat and give the cabinets and doors time to dry again. Once the coat dries, check everything over again to make sure you are happy with the results and have not missed any spots.

If you’ve missed a few spots, you can go back and do any touch-ups as needed. Give everything a little more time to rest and dry. It’s crucial for the paint be completely dry before you try to put your kitchen back together.

6. Put the Kitchen Back to Normal

Once the cabinets and doors are dry, it’s time to put your kitchen back together. You’ve probably painted over old screw holes in both the doors and the cabinets.

Be prepared to drill the necessary holes again. Use a level to make sure your cabinets are hanging correctly too.

When hanging your cabinet doors, they’ll go up the same way they came down. You’ll need one person to hold the door in place.

In the mean-time, the second person will place the screws into the hinges and secure them with an impact driver. You must do this for each screw in the doors to make sure the cabinet doors are secure.

You certainly don’t want your cabinet doors falling off the cabinets. It’s a good way to hurt a toe!

When your cabinet doors are hung, your kitchen cabinets are almost complete.

7. Add the New Look

This last step is optional but one which can make a ton of difference in the long run. Change your cabinet knobs.

You could also change your cabinet hinges too. It will give the cabinets a new look without spending a fortune.

Keep in mind, cabinet hinges and knobs can be as expensive as you’d like them to be. If you’re working on a small budget, you may not be able to afford the fanciest of kitchen knobs and hinges.

However, it’ll still give a fresh look to the area. In my case, my kitchen cabinets didn’t even have knobs. The previous owner built the cabinets himself and placed a piece of wood across the bottom to open the cabinets.

By adding knobs I purchased for 97 cents, it gave my cabinets a fresh look. If you don’t have knobs, you’ll have to drill a hole for them and secure the knobs with a screw.

But if you already have knobs, this job is even easier. You unscrew the old knobs, replace it with the new knob, and secure the knob in place with a screw.

Depending upon the type of knob you buy, the details could vary a little. After you’ve swapped out your knobs and hinges, your kitchen cabinets should look new and fresh.

Well, you now know how to give your kitchen cabinets a facelift without investing a ton of money. You may not need new cabinets, only a fresh coat of paint and new knobs is all that is needed to refinish your kitchen cabinets.

We trust this tutorial will help you accomplish this task easily and save you quite a bit of money too. Maybe it could even help you to love your kitchen again.

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