Restaining your kitchen cabinets is a fun and quick project for homeowners to add value and breathe new life into your kitchen. Restaining your kitchen cabinets rather than painting or replacing is also a great way to make a cost-effective improvement on your home. A new stain on cabinets can elevate raw wood or an unfinished look into a modern and stylish aesthetic. Keep in mind that the total amount of time spent to stain kitchen cabinets can span the course of a few days, including drying and reinstallation time. Here are the steps to stain your kitchen cabinets:
The first step is to remove cabinets from the wall and remove doors from all the cabinets. Make sure to label all doors and cabinets properly so you can quickly and effectively reassemble your kitchen once your project is complete. Then, remove all hardware such as knobs and hinges from the cabinets. Keep these pieces together so you don't lose any knobs or pieces.
Then, using a gel stripper, strip the existing stain from the cabinetry. Let the gel sit on the cabinets until it begins to bubble. Next, take a scraper and scrape the old surface of the cabinets off. Make sure to scrape in the direction of the wood grain, not against it. Once the old surface is off, wipe down the surface of the cabinets with mineral spirits to remove any residue from the gel stripper.
Once dry, you are ready to stain the cabinets with a fresh finish. Let dry and put on a second coat after six hours of drying. Next, apply a coat of protective polyurethane as a varnish for the cabinets. After twenty-four hours, apply a second coat of polyurethane.
Depending on your budget and scale of the project, consider upgrading your hardware and knobs to more modern pieces. This can take make you feel like you've made more of an update to your kitchen than just staining. Hardware can also add a personal touch to your kitchen and reflect your home's style and personality, or provide contrast if you choose dark cabinets and light hardware.
After allowing all surfaces to dry for an additional day, you will be ready to reinstall your cabinets and hardware.