You don't have to spend thousands of pounds or dollars of your hard earned cash buying kitchen cabinets wholesale.  You will be surprised how easy it can be with a little elbow grease, anyone can do it.  Below I have listed some tools, materials and chemicals you will want to have before you undertake this little project to make it a lot easier for you. [1]


This will all depend on the size of your kitchen cabinets.  You should be able to complete the whole project in a weekend.  If this is the first DIY project you have undertaken and have never stripped and applied paint before, you may want to allow a little more time.

Equipment Inventory

• Various sizes of scrapers.  From 1 to 4 inch for paint and blemish removal

• Screwdrivers.  Both flat head and Phillips for removal of fittings and doors

• Hammer

• Sandpaper and sanding block

• Masking tape

• Paint stripper (heat gun)

• Degreaser

• Wood filler

• Paintbrushes.  From 1 to 3 inch

• Primer

• Paint


A good place to start is to remove all doors and any kitchen art fixed to them.  Unscrew all the doors fittings and completely remove the fittings from the doors and cabinets.  You may wish to use some masking tape and number the doors as they are removed, then make a sketch with the numbers on.  It could save a lot of time later on.  Now do the same with the shelves.  With the doors and shelves removed, the next job is stripping the paint off of them. Using your paint stripper and a scraper, you will need to remove all the paint from the doors, shelves and cabinet carcass.  This will take quite a long time, so be patient.

Wrap your sandpaper around the sandpaper block.  This gives a flat sanding tool to achieve even sanding.  You will need to remove most of the excess paint by hand.  This will take quite a lot of effort, but worth the effort when you see the finished result.  Degrease all the bare wood.  This will clean the wood and ensure the primer adheres correctly to it.  You may wish to use one of your paintbrushes for this task.  After degreasing, you may find some dents and scratches on the exposed wood grain.  Use a small scraper and fill the dent or scratch with the wood filler.  Once the blemish or dent is filled and the filler is dry, sand down again until perfectly smooth.  At this point, you may wish to degrease the treated area.

Primer is essential for a great finish, so now the exposed wood is prepared for painting you should apply the primer.  You should wait for the recommended time stated on the tin of primer before proceeding any further.  This is usually a few hours depending on the climate.  Now it is time to apply the overcoat of paint to the cabinets, doors and shelves with the paint you have chosen.  Following the direction of the grain, you will need to paint even, long strokes of the paint brush onto the wood to achieve a flawless finish.  This will usually take a little longer than the primer to dry.  Time to replace the shelves, fittings and doors back onto the cabinets carcasses and admire the new kitchen design. 


To answer a few questions I have been asked in the past.  Do I have to strip the paint or can I just sand down the original a little?  This is of course up to you.  I would recommend you strip the paint off completely for a great finish, but sanding a little and painting over the top will suffice if you are short on time. 

As a warning, make sure you have good ventilation.  Being overcome by the fumes of the paints and solvents you will be using is quite common.  As you may have found out, this method will work just as well for any cabinets in the house, especially bathroom cabinets.  Be careful that the cabinet is not plywood with a veneer coating like on most flat pack kitchens as this method will not work.  If you are unsure get a carpenter or DIY enthusiast to check them for you.  

As a final note, make some plans with friends and family for meal times or buy some take out food during this project.  The kitchen will not be in a good condition for cooking in.  Thanks for listening and I hope this has been of some help to you refurbishing your cabinets.