How to polish a kitchen set: 10 steps

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How to polish a kitchen set: 10 steps
How to polish a kitchen set: 10 steps

Finishing work in the kitchen is a great opportunity to revitalize the living space and add value to the house at the same time. A long weekend and a little planning can lead to a wonderful revamped kitchen, and it can all be done in a matter of days - good organization in a great mood. We'll give you an overview of remodeling your kitchen cabinet, and a few tips on where to start.


Part 1 of 3: Stock up on materials


Step 1. Think ahead

Plan your project so that all the necessary materials and tools can be collected before starting work. If you live close to a home improvement store, you can still get the supplies you need at the last minute. But time spent shopping will hinder productivity. Here are some basic tools you may find useful:

  • Hand tools such as scrapers, screwdrivers, hammer, sanding blocks, rags and sponges. Probably most of them are already in your toolbox, but it's better to check.
  • Masking tape (or masking tape). Deciding what not to paint can be more important than deciding what to paint.
  • Newspapers, protective film or other material to protect adjacent surfaces during operation. Wrapping paper from delivery stores is better - just like newspapers, but without ink prints.
  • Thinner as needed, TSP (trisodium phosphate), and primer.
  • A good paintbrush or spray gun suitable for finishing the finish (buy the finest paintbrush you can afford). They may appear the same in a store, but you will immediately notice the difference in brush strokes and be amazed at the quality when finished.

Part 2 of 3: Prepare the surface


Step 1. Remove the cabinet doors and shelves


Step 2. So it will be much easier to work in it, prepare it, move it if necessary, and, of course, paint it, without things that will only interfere

  • Most shelves are easy to remove from dowels or supports, some may need to be unscrewed or lifted. If the screw is covered with old paint, clean the slot with the tip of a knife or a small screwdriver. Unscrew the screws carefully, be careful not to slip and damage the slot, otherwise it will be impossible to unscrew it.
  • Stick labels on all doors and shelves to remember how to place them. Use masking tape signed with a waterproof marker.

Step 3. Thoroughly clean the cabinet

Any grease that remains on the surface will damage the final finish.

  • TSP (Trisodium Phosphate) is the preferred product for this job, as it will not only clean and remove even minor grease deposits, but a solution of sufficient strength will make the surface matte and corrode the paint, thereby preparing the surface for primer.
  • Lightly sand any uneven areas covered with bubbles or residues of paint or varnish, then sand the entire surface until it is even and smooth. Take your time at this stage, in order for the result to be worthwhile, you need to make additional efforts.
  • If you're done sanding, wipe the wood with a damp cloth (to remove any dust particles) and let dry. If you intend to use a product with an oil base for finishing, dampen the cloth with lacquer or paint thinner rather than water, this will allow it to dry much faster.

Step 4. Clean the cabinet hardware

In the event that you are not going to replace the metal hardware, cleaning it will help give the cabinet a fresh look.

Soak the parts in soapy water for 30 minutes, rub them lightly with a soft brush, rinse, let dry and polish

Step 5. Remove paintwork from parts

Sometimes, in a rush to get a trendy new kitchen, people simply apply a new coat of paint to everything that comes into view, including metal parts. You are wise to restore old parts and return them to their former gloss.

  • Place the parts in a multicooker and cover with water. Add 2 tablespoons of liquid laundry detergent, set the temperature to medium and set the timer to 8 hours or more. When time has passed, carefully remove the metal items and peel off the paint from them.
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    If you are in a hurry, use a methylene chloride solution, it will remove paint much faster, but it can also damage other surface treatments. DO NOT put it all in a slow cooker. Apply this solution in a well-ventilated area, wear protective neoprene gloves and protect your eyes. Let it sit for 10 minutes, then scrape off the paint with a plastic spatula

  • Clean the parts immediately with a stiff toothbrush, otherwise the paint will harden again.
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  • Buff with beeswax to protect the surface and repeat every 6 months. Do this in the spring and summer when you change the batteries in your fire alarm!
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Step 6. Remove any paintwork from the cabinet (optional)

If you want to restore the cabinet to its original state, apply clear or polyurethane varnish, before painting you will have to remove the paintwork from the cabinet using active chemicals, then sand it.

  • This more difficult task will take longer than one weekend.
  • Paint strippers work best, but try to find a gel or paste solution as they won't drip when used on vertical surfaces. To select the correct solvent, you need to know what your cabinet has been painted with before. Select a hidden spot on the cabinet and drip a few drops of the following:
  • Terpentine or a solvent will dissolve the waxy surface finish.
  • Denatured alcohol will dissolve shellac or latex paint.
  • The varnish thinner will dissolve varnish, polyurethane, or shellac.
  • Dimethylbenzene or "Xylene" will dissolve water-based surface finishes.

Step 7. Fill in any dents, chips, and nicks with wood putty

Sand the surface after it is dry. Wipe the wood with a damp cloth (to remove any dust particles) and let dry.

Part 3 of 3: Primer and Paint


Step 1. Prime the cabinet

If you plan to use paint when finishing the cabinet, then it must be primed. A primer is a paint product that allows new paint to combine with the old paint underneath. The primer seals the wood, hides imperfections, stains, knots, or anything else that can show through after the final painting. Here's a quick overview on primer:

  • Do I need to be primed? If you are painting an unpolished surface, be it wood, drywall, concrete or metal, the surface must be primed before painting.
  • Find the right primer. Maybe today the primer will stick to any surface - as the pros in hardware stores say. As practice shows, it is necessary to combine a primer with paint: shellac sanding primer over latex paint and oil primer over oil paint.
  • Paint with oil paint or latex paint? This question has been asked 1000 times in what order to paint with latex paint over oil or oil over latex. The answer depends on who you ask, but the bottom line is this: having properly prepared the surface, you can paint with any paint in any order. And correct surface preparation consists of cleaning, grinding, re-cleaning and priming. The secret is to make sure that the surface to be primed is gloss-free, as paint, especially latex paint, will not adhere to a glossy base, and you will get more work in a relatively short period of time.
  • Read the label on the primer pack carefully. Check what it connects to with latex or oil paint.

Step 2. Start painting the cabinet

This is the crucial moment in transforming your kitchen from dull and dull to stylish and modern.

  • For best staining, use a spray bottle. Thanks to it, you will get a smooth, glossy and evenly colored surface. Its biggest drawback is that it needs to cover all items that don't need to be painted, as spray paint will be everywhere.
  • Using a high quality brush, apply new paint (or varnish) on time and in specified directions. Always paint in one direction, and don't put too much paint. Two thin layers are much better than one thick one.
  • Oil paints do not leave brush marks like latex paints, but white paints tend to turn yellow over time.
  • Special additives can reduce the visibility of brush marks when using latex paints.
  • If you are re-varnishing kitchen or bathroom cabinets, consider using a ship varnish that is water-repellent.


  • Varnishes differ in varying degrees of gloss:

    • Satin
    • Semi-glossy
    • Glossy
  • Choose a brush suitable for the type of polish you are going to use. Natural brushes tend to work best with oil-based materials, while nylon or polyester brushes work best with latex-based materials.
  • If you just want to apply a new coat of varnish, you can leave the doors on the cabinet.
  • There is a type of varnish on the market that is perfect for beginners in this business. This varnish gives a satin sheen.
  • When spraying the last coat of paint / varnish, make sure all cabinet doors are on the surface and not sprayed with spray.

Paints and varnishes differ in different finishes. When choosing paints, pay attention to:

    • Matte
    • Semi-matte gloss
    • Semi-glossy
    • Glossy
  • Polyurethane varnishes give the wood an amber tone, while water-based varnishes do not add color.
  • Hang the cabinet doors vertically while drying to prevent dust from settling on them. The best way to hang cabinet doors vertically is by using a grabbing hook and screwing it to the top or bottom of the cabinet door (narrow edge) and hang them on a stable support.


  • Realistically estimate the time and savings before starting work to avoid regrets later on.
  • Most paint strippers and solvents are flammable, so read the warnings on the original packaging.
  • Dedicate yourself completely to the project so that you don't have to live with "open cabinets" for years.
  • The fumes from degreasers and adhesives can be strong, be sure to ventilate the area.

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