How to Refinish a Hot Tub Cabinet

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Hot tubs use an array of chemicals that can be harmful to wood finishes; the water itself can also cause wood damage. Some people choose to buy new hot tub cabinets rather than spend the time to refinish the wood surface. This option can be costly as well as time consuming. Refinishing the hot tub sections will save money as well as time spent searching for the correct cabinet size and look.

Things You'll Need

  • Screw gun
  • Belt sander
  • Orbital sander
  • Progressively finer sand papers
  • Tack rag
  • Vacuum with bristle cleaning wand
  • Waterproof wood finish
  • Application tool
  • Remove the sections of the hot tub cabinet, and place them on a work surface such as a saw horse. Most cabinets are assembled with screw fasteners; use a screw gun to remove the screws.

  • Use a belt sander to sand the old finish off the cabinet sections. Use progressively finer sandpaper, starting with a 36-grit working up to a 120-grit paper to create a smooth surface.

  • Finish sanding the cabinet sections using an orbital sander with fine-grade sandpaper; choose paper with a 150- to 220-grit rating.

  • Hand sand corners and hard-to-reach spots to match the orbital-sanded areas. Use sanding sponges for areas that an orbital sander or flat sanding block cannot reach.

  • Clean cabinet sections off with a tack rag to remove all dust particles. Use a vacuum with a bristle wand tool to clean dust from cracks and areas where a rag will not reach.

  • Apply finish to the wood using a bristle brush, rag or an aerosol-based stain; follow manufacturers' directions on the finishing product to determine application methods.

  • Allow the finish to dry before replacing the cabinet sections using the original fasteners; screw them into place using a screw gun. Replace rusted fasteners.

Tips & Warnings

  • Choose a durable, waterproof wood finish. An exterior wood finish, such as a polyurethane-based product, is designed to resist moisture and heat damage.

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