How to Refinish Existing Kitchen Cabinets

Refinish Existing Kitchen Cabinets

As I mentioned before, similar to our first house, when we moved into our 2nd house I knew the kitchen was going to need some work. Let me again point out in the picture below: the ugly lighting, the awful countertops, sink, appliances, and the oh so dirty floor. The only problem with the kitchen needing work this time around was that we didn’t have much money so we knew a full kitchen remodel was out of the question. Fortunately, unlike the first house, this house had cabinets we could work with.
Reface Existing Kitchen Cabinets

So, rather than buying all new cabinetry or all new doors, we decided to refinish the existing kitchen cabinets instead.
Refinish Existing Kitchen Cabinets
These antiqued looking cabinets were very time intensive but also very inexpensive.


Before you begin, remove all your appliances (or in our case, bring them to the dump) and all the cabinet doors and drawers (it makes it way easier for the next steps).

1. First, sand all of the exterior faces of the cabinets, doors, drawers, etc. Even the base that will be exposed.

2. Then prime everything and let dry completely.

3. Next, chose the base color you want and do 2 layers. Let dry between layers.

4. Here’s the tricky part…once the base layer is done drying you’ll need to put an oil based stain on the entire area you want antiqued and then quickly wipe away with a rag until you get the look you want. I would suggest working on one cabinet at a time because you don’t want the oil to dry before you get the right look.

5. Finally, once you have the desired look, spray with 3 coats of urethane to seal the stain and paint.

**Please contact us if you would like more detailed information or if you would like to know the exact paint colors we used**

Refinish Existing Kitchen Cabinets

Once you’re done refinishing the existing kitchen cabinets put all the drawers back in and the cabinet faces back on. We added all new hardware to ours too. And then obviously had to do something about the awful appliances that were there. Oh, and the countertops, the backsplash, and the sink. And the ceiling, the lights, and the light above the sink. Ryan also added under cabinet lighting. I also used an easy grout cleaner on those darn tile floors to get the filth off. You’ll notice in the picture below that we originally started with green walls and open cabinets on the righthand side. 

Refinish Kitchen Cabinets

Well, while green and open may work for us, when we went to sell the house for top dollar we knew that we had to make it appealing to everyone so we painted the walls to match the ceiling and added glass doors to the cabinets.

For a house with little over 1100 square feet, this was a dream kitchen. Refinish Existing Kitchen Cabinets

As a side note, this antiqued refinish of the existing kitchen cabinets held up really well even with 3 little boys and a dog living there for 4 years. Refinish Existing Kitchen Cabinets

Refinish Existing Kitchen CabinetsRefinish Existing Kitchen Cabinets2


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Privacy Policy

At, we recognize that privacy of your personal information is important. Here is information on what types of personal information we receive and collect when you use and visit, and how we safeguard your information. We never sell your personal information to third parties.