How To Strip Stain From Cabinets

When the time comes to refinish cabinets, you have options. But for those of you DIY’ers who like to work around the house and save some dough on paying contractors to do the work, you may want to tackle this job yourself. The good news is that you don’t have to be an expert at the task to do the job right.

In most cases, one of the primary aspects of cabinet refinishing is to strip the stain from your cabinetry. Without it, you’re not going to get much done unless you are planning on putting up veneers. But for those of you planning to refinish them with stain or paint, you need to strip the cabinets first.

So here are the steps to do just that, courtesy of your friends at N-Hance of Spokane:

Cabinet Prep

First things first, you need to remove all doors and drawer fronts from your cabinets. Don’t skip this part or you’re just asking for trouble. Be very careful about saving all of your hardware as well, you’re going to need to remove that gear too.

You want nothing to get in your way when you are trying to strip the stain from your cabinets. So take off the hardware and drop all those parts and pieces into some warm soapy water and let it all soak. That way you’ll remove all those years of caked on grease and residue.

Check the Cabinets

Be sure nothing is broken, cracked, or otherwise damaged. If you do find some kind of issue that might affect the functionality of the cabinets in any way, stop right here. You don’t want to refinish a cabinet that needs repairs. You’re just wasting your time and money. Have a professional come out and repair or replace the cabinet.

Removing the Stain

Here we go, the moment you’ve been waiting for. We’re going to strip stain from your cabinet. First you need to find a good stain remover that is ideal for indoor use. Next, slip on some gloves and goggles and get ready to apply your stain remover.

Use a brush or sponge and be thorough but deliberate in your strokes. Take your time, get every inch and don’t miss any spots.

When you’re finished, give it a minute to let the stain remover do its thing. After that, grab your sandpaper and start sanding the surface to strip the old stain. Once you’re done with the entire surface, repeat both steps. Apply another coat then cover the surface in wax paper.

Let it sit for about a half hour. When that time has passed, remove the wax paper and then wipe and rinse the surface. Get your sandpaper and give it another sanding.

From here, you’re done. Now you want to apply your sealant to preserve the wood so it’s ready for whatever finish you want put on.

Don’t forget about the sealant, as this will enhance the wood and leave you with a fresh, blank canvas upon which to put your new finish or paint.