​Cabinet Refinishing


In decades past, many homeowners sought out ways to refresh the look of their kitchen or bathroom cabinets by having them refinished. Refinishing cabinets involves sanding down the surface and then applying new stain and varnish.

This process can still be done on certain types of cabinets, but there are certain limitations:

  • The cabinets must be made of wood
  • The colors are limited to wood stains

Cabinet Refinishing vs. Cabinet Painting

No matter whether you choose to refinish or repaint your cabinets, it will still be much less expensive than replacing them. You’ll just need to decide what look you would like to achieve.

A popular way to get a bright fresh look to your kitchen or bathroom is to repaint the cabinets. Cabinets today are made from various materials, including wood, laminate, or a combination of wood products. While refinishing can only be accomplished on solid wood, all materials can be painted, as long as the right paint, preparation, and products are used. And your choices of paint colors are practically limitless.

Why It’s Best to Hire a Professional

The process to refinish or repaint cabinets is similar, in that they both require careful preparation and a lot of patience and attention to detail. That’s why it’s best to hire a professional to get the quality results that last for years.

Some homeowners may think that they could tackle the job to refinish their cabinets. It’s much harder than it may first appear. Pinterest and DIY sites may have some great videos and instructions on doing the job yourself, but when you get into the details, you’ll find it’s daunting.

The materials used in cabinets are one of the challenges to a successful refinishing. You need to know the proper materials to use for the particular finish. The preparation steps are critical to success. Refinishing cabinets can be much more difficult than painting walls.

Steps to Successful Cabinet Refinishing

At Walla, durability and quality go hand in hand. To achieve a factory finish that also holds up to the chaos that life can bring, we emphasize the importance of proper prep before paint. Below is a regimen we follow with all cabinet refinishing to ensure a product that you enjoy for years to come.

  1. Remove all doors and detachable drawer fronts.
  2. Remove all hardware including hinges and knobs/pulls.
  3. Clean all doors, drawers and cabinet faces with a degreaser. (Cabinets can build up a layer of oil from cooking and constant handling that can repel paint and is often invisible to the naked eye.)
  4. Sand all surfaces with a high grit sandpaper to help break up the top layer of enamel. This helps the bonding primer adhere to the surface.
  5. Apply one coat of bonding primer to all doors, drawer fronts and cabinet bases.
  6. Allow primer to cure for 24 hours. (This is a crucial part of the process that ensures future durability.)
  7. Sand the primed doors, drawers and cabinet faces to help get a smooth first finish coat.
  8. Apply a light first finish coat of emerald urethane trim enamel. (We use multiple light coats instead of one thick coat to allow for a more even and consistent finish.)
  9. Apply one final round of light sanding to ensure that factory finish.
  10. Apply the final coat of finish paint.
  11. Let the cabinets cure for at least 48 hours before re-installation to give that solid topcoat in our finish paint to harden up.
When done by a professional, the entire kitchen cabinet refinishing project will take roughly 5 days. Less than one week and you will have a brand-new looking kitchen.


The process is simple, it will only take a moment


Painting or refinishing cabinets is not the kind of job you can just leave to anyone. For ten years in a row, Walla Painting has exceeded even our own standards, and we're proud to have earned the Angie's List Super Service Award. Our standards are high, and we only expect the best work from our professional painters.

If you are considering a change, like a kitchen remodel, painting your cabinets might be one of the best ways to get an all-new look less expensively than total replacement. We can look at your cabinets and let you know what we will have to do to make you feel like you have a brand-new kitchen. Contact us today so we can get you started with a free quote.

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