How to Refinish Kitchen Cabinets With Steel Wool

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Cabinets set the tone for the look and feel of your entire kitchen. After years of wear and tear, your kitchen cabinets can start to look worn and dirty. Refinish your kitchen cabinets to completely rejuvenate the look and feel of your kitchen. Use steel wool to remove the accumulated grime and old finish from your kitchen cabinets so you can refinish them and make them look brand new.

Things You'll Need

  • Screwdriver
  • Brushes
  • Chemical stripper
  • Putty knife
  • Steel wool
  • 220-grit sandpaper
  • Stain
  • Rags
  • Polyurethane
  • Remove the kitchen cabinet doors from their hinges with the screwdriver. Unscrew and remove any handles, hinges or knobs from the kitchen cabinets.

  • Brush on a coat of chemical stripper. Let the stripper work into the kitchen cabinet's original finish until the old finish begins to peel.

  • Scrape the old finish off the kitchen cabinets with the putty knife. Take care not to gouge the wood.

  • Scrub any hard-to-reach or stubborn areas of the old finish with steel wool. Soak the steel wool in the chemical stripper to help remove the old finish.

  • Sand the kitchen cabinets with the 220-grit sandpaper until you have rendered the cabinet's surface smooth. Remove all bits of the old finish.

  • Apply a coat of stain. Wipe the stain onto the cabinets with a rag; use a separate rag to remove any excess stain.

  • Allow the initial coat of the new finish to dry. Wipe on further coats if you desire a darker finish.

  • Brush on a thin coat of polyurethane to protect the kitchen cabinets from moisture and grime. After this initial coat has dried, lightly sand the cabinets again with the 220-grit sandpaper and apply another coat.

Tips & Warnings

  • Sand and scrape along with the grain to protect the wood.
  • The longer you allow the new finish to absorb into the wood, the darker it will become.
  • Work in a well-ventilated area.
  • Wear eye and hand protection.

References

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