How to Reface a Cabinet Door

white bathroom cabinet
What You'll Need
80 Grit sand paper
160 Grit sand paper
Wood putty
Paint remover
Stain remover
New hardware
New finish material

There are a lot of different projects around the home that a homeowner can do themselves. Refacing their cabinet doors is one of these projects and is one of the easiest ways to change the look of your kitchen. While the work is not difficult, it will take time for the chemicals to work; figure about three days from start to completion.

Step 1 - Remove Cabinet Door

Using your screwdriver, remove the cabinet door from the cabinet face. While you have the door off, you should also take all the hardware off the door. This will include hinges, handles, pulls, or anything else that might be attached to the door.

Step 2 - Set Door in Well Ventilated Area

You will be working with some very strong chemicals, that have a powerful odor. You will need to be working in a well-ventilated area. A garage, outside, or in a basement with fans and open windows are great places to work. You should not work inside the home unless you have to.

Step 3 - Apply Removal Chemicals

Removing cabinet doors

Set the door down on a flat surface and apply either the paint remover of the stain remover. If there are several layers of paint you will have to do this a few times. However, after the chemical has been applied you will need to let it set and let the chemical work.

Step 4 - Scrape Off Paint

Once you see that the paint on the cabinet door has started to bubble you can begin to scrape it off. Use a wide bladed scraper and take off as much as you can. If there is still a lot of paint on the cabinet door then you can re-apply the paint remover.

Step 5 - Sand off Rest

Using gradually increasing grits of sandpaper you should sand the entire cabinet door down to the bare wood.

Step 6 - Fill Any Holes

Apply wood putty to any parts of the cabinet door that need to be filled in. You want a smooth surface for your cabinet door without any holes or gouges. Roll up a small amount of putty between your fingers and press into any holes. Once the putty has dried you can sand it smooth.

Step 7 - Repaint Cabinet Door

staining cabinet doors

Once you have cleaned off the cabinet door and dried it completely you can now repaint the surface of the door. Add a primer coat first and then add your paint. If you are going to stain the cabinet door, you should wipe it on with a soft cloth and apply as many coats as you need to get the desired color.

Step 8 - Install New Door

Once the cabinet door dries, you can re-attach the hardware and install back onto the cabinet face.