How to Refinish Kitchen Cabinets without Stripping?

Apparently, the kitchen is by far the most used room in the entire house and that makes the kitchen cabinets the most used thing in the house. But as time goes by, the kitchen cabinets get old and shabby and who would want their most used thing in the house to look dull and worn out?

But replacing old kitchen cabinets by new ones would be an expensive renovation and might not be a cost-effective idea. As they say, there’s always a solution to every problem and in this case, the most efficient way of solving the problem is refinishing the kitchen cabinets. But not everyone can afford the time to strip or sand them.

Besides, no one would want their kitchen filled with all those nasty chemicals that come with stripping and sanding which are hazardous to health as well as the environment.

Depending on the condition of your cabinet, it is possible to refinish kitchen cabinets without stripping. In this article, we are going to discuss how to refinish kitchen cabinets without stripping. So, without further a due, let’s proceed on the process of how to refinish kitchen cabinets without sanding.

Table of Contents

How to Refinish Kitchen Cabinets without Stripping

How to Refinish Kitchen Cabinets without Stripping

Kitchen Cabinets Refinishing Procedures

There are several ways of refinishing kitchen cabinets. It’s good to select a specific style in mind before you start refinishing kitchen cabinets due to various possibilities. You can either choose to update the current finish using stain and clear topcoats and refinish kitchen cabinets without sanding and varnishing.

Or, you can paint the cabinets with whatever color tone you like the kitchen cabinets to have. We are going to take a look at both ways you can refinish kitchen cabinets without stripping.

Refinishing Kitchen Cabinets with Stain

Now we are going to discuss how to restain kitchen cabinets without stripping and only by updating the existing finish with stain.

  1. In the beginning, you have to prepare the cabinets for refinishing. You don’t have to strip the kitchen cabinets but it is necessary to clean the entire surface thoroughly so that you don’t leave any dirt on the cabinet surface.
  2. While it’s possible to refinish the kitchen cabinets without removing them but it’s highly recommended to take the cabinets apart. Remove the doors, take out all the shelves, remove all the hardware and handles and then take off the hinges.
  3. Make sure you keep all the hardware at a safe distance so that you don’t lose them unless you want to replace it with new ones. Cleanse the entire surface with a solution of tri-sodium phosphate.
  4. The kitchen cabinets usually pile up a massive amount of kitchen grease on their surfaces; especially the ones near the stove and you need to wipe all the kitchen grease off of the kitchen cabinets using mineral spirits. Once the cabinets dry, you have to brush them from top to bottom with 220-grit sandpaper.
  5. After finishing the cleaning process, you can proceed to the next part which is to update the finish with stain. In order to that, you’ll need a can of stain or touch-up stain pen with a matching color and apply it on the spots from which the color has been worn out.
  6. If you want to deepen the color then you have to stain the entire cabinet by grazing the stain on and wiping off the residue with a tack cloth. Finish the process with a coat of poly-utherane varnish and topcoat lacquer polish.
  7. Apply the finish using a brush and it’s always better to apply at least two coats. Brush the first coat with 320 grit sandpaper before applying the second one. After applying the finish, reattach the doors, hardware, and hinges.
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And that’s the whole process of restoring the kitchen cabinets without any stripping by updating the existing finish using stain. After following these procedures, your kitchen cabinets should look as good as new.

Painting the Kitchen Cabinets without Stripping

Painting the kitchen cabinets is another effective way of refinishing the kitchen cabinets without stripping. Painting the cabinets gives you the scope of choosing whatever color tone you want the kitchen cabinets to be.

You can paint kitchen cabinets as easily as updating the existing color and the preparing process is similar to the one with updating the existing finish with stain.

But in this case, you need to choose the paint for the kitchen cabinets. And when it comes to choosing paint for kitchen or bathroom cabinets, there are plenty of options on the market. You have to look for the best paint for kitchen cabinets.

You can go for latex-based paint because it is one of the best paints you can find for the kitchen and bathroom or laminate cabinets. After selecting the paint, you can move on to the painting process.

  1. You can paint the kitchen cabinets without removing them if you want. It’s totally up to you whether or not you wish to remove the doors and hinges but it’s always better to remove them before starting the painting process.
  2. Before applying the paint, you have to clean the surfaces first using the same method mentioned above. When you’re done cleaning the surfaces, you can start painting the kitchen cabinets.
  3. Apply at least two layers of paint using a 2” synthetic-bristle brush on cabinet frames and facades. Apply the first layer of paint and allow it to dry for about 2 hours. After drying the first coat, apply the second coat and let it dry for another 2 hours.
  4. Always keep in mind that you have to paint with even strokes, starting at the top of each surface, working your way down and finishing each stroke on fresh paint. Finish the process with Top Coat and let it dry for 12 hours, and your job here is done.
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And that’s how you can refinish your kitchen cabinets without sanding or stripping.

Here is a nice video on how to refinish kitchen cabinets without stripping.

What is the best way to refinish kitchen cabinets without stripping?

Using a deglosser or liquid sander is the best way to refinish kitchen cabinets without stripping.

Can you paint over stained kitchen cabinets without sanding or stripping?

Sanding is recommended before painting over stained cabinets.

What tools do I need to refinish kitchen cabinets without stripping?

You will need a deglosser, sandpaper, paint or stain, brushes or rollers, and a drop cloth.

How many coats of paint or stain do I need for a good finish?

Two to three coats are usually recommended for a good finish.

Can I use a paint sprayer to refinish my kitchen cabinets?

Yes, a paint sprayer can be used for a smooth finish.

How long does it take to refinish kitchen cabinets without stripping?

It typically takes a few days to refinish kitchen cabinets without stripping.

Can I change the color of my kitchen cabinets without stripping them?

Yes, changing the color of kitchen cabinets is possible without stripping them.

How do I prepare my cabinets for refinishing without stripping?

Clean the cabinets well and sand lightly to create a surface that the paint or stain will adhere to.

Can I refinish laminate cabinets without stripping?

Yes, a liquid sander can be used to refinish laminate cabinets without stripping.

What are some tips for a successful cabinet refinishing project without stripping?

Clean and prep the surface well, work in a well-ventilated area, and take your time to ensure a professional finish.

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Wrap Up

Refinishing kitchen cabinets without stripping might not be as knotty as you might expect it to be. All you need is a bit of DIY skills and time, and you’re good to go.

Just go along with the methods we discussed in this article and you’ll be able to do it all by yourself. And if anything goes wrong, don’t hesitate to seek professional help and a good luck process on how to paint kitchen cabinets without sanding or stripping.

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