How to Finish Inside of Unfinished Cabinets

How to Finish Inside of Unfinished Cabinets? Here are the Facts!

We use to put a lot of effort to clean and keep the cabinet exterior shiny. But have you ever thought that why all these efforts don’t last for long?

Well, let us tell you the secret.

The duration and health of a kitchen cabinet should be maintained from inside out. Just like your cabinet exterior, the interior is also going to be exposed to air, oil, and dust. And if you leave the insider part of the cabinet unfinished, it will soon affect the exterior as well.

So, what’re the steps and how do you execute them in a proper way?

Do not forget to check this article to get the step-by-step laminate cabinet guidelines on how to finish inside of unfinished cabinets.

Go through the end of the post and you will get the answer-

What Items Do You Need Throughout The Process?

Nothing can be done by bare hands, and the same works for kitchen cabinet interior finishing as well. So before starting the process, let’s have a look at the essential items we need-

  1. Fine Sandpaper (150 grit will work)
  2. Wood Conditioner (I used Minwax)
  3. Foam Paint Brush ( Wooster Angle Brush-Best Brushes for Polyurethane)
  4. Tack Cloth
  5. A stain of Choice ( I suggest using one with polyurethane)
  6. Stain Grade Paint ( Brush Perdura DECK BOSS – Best Brush for Staining Wood Deck )
  7. Paint Thinner.
  8. Clear Polyurethane or Varnish

If you’ve managed all these items, let’s proceed to the steps-

Steps on How to Finish Inside of Unfinished Cabinets

Step 1: Free up  the space

Free Space

First thing first you have to clean up the space and make some room so that you can access the insider part of your kitchen cabinet. You should take all the items away, and make some free space at the front of the cabinet as well.

Now, remove the drawers and other parts of the cabinet. Make sure that you can access all the parts of the insider portion of your cabinet.

Once done, proceed to the next steps-

Step 2: Apply Some Light Sanding

Apply Light Sanding

Once you are done with the cleanup, it’s time to make the surfaces ready for the finishing actions. This will start by sanding it up, as this will remove the stain, dust, and spots from the surfaces of the cabinet.

You can use milk sanders to get done with the step. As you know, sanders come in various grit and size. Based on what size of the surface you are standing on, you can choose the right sander.

Once done, hand checks the sanding quality. Also, eliminate the areas to check for any un-sanded parts inside the cabinet.

Step 3: Apply wood Conditioner

Apply wood Conditioner

The environment inside the cabinet is quite dumb and humid. So, you need to protect the wooden parts with a wood conditioner. We’ve mentioned it in the essential item list. Make sure to have a good one.

You can use a foam or brush to apply the conditioner on the surfaces. It may draw a few wood particles at the beginning. But don’t worry, this will get fixed once the conditioner dried up.

Therefore, leave the conditioned wood for around 40 minutes to dry them up.

Step 4: Apply Coats of Stain

Apply Coats of Stain

Now, take a sharp look at the inside part of the cabinet and check for any place where you have not applied the conditioner. If you find none, take a brush and start applying the stain on the dried-up surfaces.

After done, you can wait for some minutes until you go through the next step. Once done, go for another coat. After applying 2 or 3 coats like this, let it dry for 6 hours. You can read more here about how to apply a skim coating over wallpaper.

Here’s the Best Cabinet Stain: General Finishes Oil Base (Top Interior Wood Stain)

Step 5: Apply Colour If You Want To

Apply Colour

In case you want to add any color to the interior part of the cabinet, you can go with this step. But if you want to stick to a low-budget finishing, applying color doesn’t make any sense.

However, if you do apply color on it, you can follow the same steps that we’ve done in case of stain. Take the same brush size and keep applying the color. You should add some color thinner before applying it on the stain.

Make sure the color you are using is a match with the color of the cabinet exterior. Once done, leave it to dry for 4-6 hours at least.  

Check our latest guide about: how to refinish kitchen cabinets without stripping.

Also, read the related guide: how to finish unfinished cabinets.

Bottom Line

When it comes to a complicated task like kitchen interior finishing, things are way harder than the same task on the external surfaces of it. As a kitchen cabinet is going to be at the front door of your kitchen, you need to maintain a number of safety concerns.

Make sure that the color and stain you are applying on the subject, come split off on the other ones. You can use a cloth covering to make it sure.

Also, don’t forget to keep the cabinet door open once you are done with the finishing. It will let airflow throughout the cabinet and make the painting permanent.

Good luck with your kitchen cabinet finish chore.

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