DIY Cabinet Resurfacing

Cabinet resurfacing can be a fun and easy do it yourself project. The amount of difficulty is largely dependant on what you want done to your cabinets. You may consider cabinet resurfacing to be just an easy coat of paint. Of course, it could be much more work then that.

There are many options to spruce up the cabinets in your kitchens and bathrooms. Many of the most common resurfacing options are listed below with the general instructions on how to complete the job.


If your goal in cabinet resurfacing is to change the color of the wood but not remove it, then pickling is what you want to do. Pickling will provide an opaque finish to you cabinet sides and doors. This will bring out the natural grain of the wood, but it will also add some color to it, as well.

Pickling involves applying a light coat of oil based paint to the cabinets. You should wipe the paint off with a rag before the paint has a chance to dry. The more paint you add, the less grain you will see. So, if you're resurfacing to add to the beauty of the wood you will want to keep the layer light.

Bleaching and Cleaning

Cabinet resurfacing might be as easy as cleaning your cabinets up to give them a new look. No need for refinishing. By bleaching or deep cleaning the cabinets you will remove all the grime that is on the cabinets and you will make them shine.

Deep cleaning should allow the wood to appear shiny and new again, which may be enough depending on your ultimate goal. In order to clean the cabinets you will want to use a commercial cleaner that is acceptable for wood. Other acceptable cleaners include a mix of linseed oil, boiling water, and turpentine.

Bleaching can be handled by using wood bleach or adding one part laundry-grade bleach to ten parts water. Place the solution on the surface of the cabinets on a warm day, and let it set so the bleach can be absorbed. When you go back to remove it you will wash it off with water. The bleach can stay on for as long as you like. Just remember the longer you leave it on, the lighter your cabinets will become.

Staining and Painting

Staining is an excellent cabinet resurfacing project if you love the look of your wood, but still want to spruce it up. Staining is good for brightening or darkening the wood. A good stain treatment can also fix repairs and small imperfections in the wood. If you are looking to lighten or darken the color, but do not want to change the overall appearance radically, go with staining.

To stain your cabinets you are going to need to sand them down and then brush on the stain with a paint brush. Make sure you give the kitchen cabinets adequate time to dry. You may want to add a top coat of polyurethane, as well because this will protect your stain coat.

Painting, on the other hand, is as easy as applying a coat of paint. Of course, you could also use sponges or other materials to give the cabinets a more artsy look and feel.

When you are resurfacing your cabinets with paint, you can choose any color you like to blend the cabinets with the room perfectly. If you are covering the entire cabinets with paint, you should also use a coat of primer to provide the best results.

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