I was going to toss away my old kitchen cabinets and just buy new ones from Lowe’s. The more I looked at the ones I had the more I thought about just refurnishing them by changing their paint and adding drawer slide technology to make them more efficient. They had about eight layers of paint on them and definitely would need to be stripped.
I asked my brother, who used to paint in the summers, what I needed to do to strip my cabinets. He said I would be better off just ripping them out and buying new ones. I knew it would be a lot of work but being hard-headed as I am I dug in.
I went to Lowe’s and bought Motsenbocker’s Lift Off. This is a water-based stripper for paint and varnish. I started by removing all the door and drawers from the cabinet fronts, as well as the hinges. I applied the stripper over the end section of the cabinet and let it set as the instructions said. I then took a paint scraper and got to work.
After about the first half-hour I realized that my brother was probably correct about how difficult this was going to be. All I wanted to do was refinish my kitchen cabinets but I had taken on a mammoth of a job. I went all around the cabinets and started to get the first layer of paint off slowly.
In the first week, I probably spent twenty hours scraping and stripping with less than impressive results. It took me a good two weeks to start to see signs of wood. Once I saw that first sign of wood I really upped my efforts because I knew the end was within reach.
I decided to get really serious, so I called my buddy and borrowed his belt sander to help me finish the job. The sander started out like gangbusters taking off layers of the old paint as I started to get excited. I got a little overzealous and took too much off one of the crossbars and left a small indention in the wood but I was not going back to the scraper.
After weeks of tiring hours of stripping paint, my cabinets were finally finished. Since the cabinets were built-in during the original construction I could not have found better fitting cabinets at any store. The more I looked at them, the more satisfied I was that I did the work myself and had some pretty good looking cabinets.
If you are remodeling your kitchen and want to make a major change without spending a large amount of money look at refinishing your cabinets. I could easily have spent the two thousand dollars to buy new ones but I am much happier with how I turned out.