How to Strip Kitchen Cabinet Doors

Updated April 17, 2017

When planning to redo a kitchen, the most extensive effort is usually focused on the cabinets, since they take up the majority of the room. As long as the cabinet frame work is sturdy, merely refinishing the existing cabinets and doors will shave a large amount of expense from the budget. Follow these steps to prepare cabinet doors to be repainted or re-stained.

Remove the doors. Using a screwdriver, remove the doors from the cabinet frame. Remove all hinges, handles and door knobs as well.

Repair. Fill in any dents, dings or deep scratches by using wood putty.

Remove the paint. Apply paint stripping agent with a disposable sponge brush. You should move the brush in long strokes, working from the top of the door, down to the bottom. The paint stripper will begin to work immediately so you will be able to remove paint or stain with a small trowel.

Sand. Using a 150 grit sandpaper, sand the bare wood to achieve a smooth, clean surface. Remove excess dust with a tack cloth.

Wash and dry. Before applying a fresh coat of paint or stain to the newly stripped doors, wash the cabinet doors with a damp cloth and allow to dry thoroughly.


If you are refinishing older cabinets, wash them with a grease cutting household cleaner prior to stripping the old stain or paint.


Avoid working with chemicals, such as paint stripper, in an enclosed area. For best ventilation, this project should be done outside.

Things You'll Need

  • Screwdriver
  • Wood putty
  • Putty knife or small trowel
  • Disposable sponge brush
  • 150 grit sand paper
  • Electric sander
  • Tack cloth
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About the Author

Angela Robinson is a work at home mom who is currently pursuing a career in freelance writing. She enjoys the challenge of researching and writing on topics such as home and garden, travel, education and health issues. Angela enjoys the expansion of knowledge as well as the flexibility that freelance writing offers.