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December 26, 2021 5 min read

Old cabinets can gather wear and tear over time. If you love these pieces and want to hang on to them, you’ll need to fix their appearance. But how do you do that? In this article, we’ll discuss how to make old wood cabinets look new in no time.

How to Make Stained Cabinets Shine Again

If you’re going to make stained cabinets shine again, there are a few supplies you’ll need. We’ll go over a few of them so you can be prepared before you dive into the process.


The supplies you’ll need to make stained cabinets shine again include:


  •     Drop cloths
  •     Vinegar
  •     Hot water
  •     A 5-gallon bucket
  •     Olive oil
  •     Rubber gloves
  •     Rag or sponge
  •     Baking soda
  •     Finishing wax


These are relatively inexpensive products, depending on the brands you decide to go with on your cabinets.


These supplies should be available at your local hardware or grocery store. Once you have these in your home, you’re ready to start making your stained cabinets look like nothing ever happened to them.

Directions for Making Stained Cabinets Shine Again

In eight steps, you should have your cabinets looking like they came from a different world. Let’s dive into these steps together so you can master the process. Ensure you read these steps before you physically do anything so you’re familiar with the tasks you’ll face.


To make your stained cabinets shine again:


  1. 1. Lay plastic drop cloths under your kitchen cabinets.


  1. 2. Mix equal parts of white vinegar and hot water in a 5-gallon plastic bucket. Add a few drops of olive oil to the mixture. The vinegar and hot water help to disinfect your cabinets, while removing grease and grime. The olive oil provides a subtle shine that will make your cabinets beautiful.


  1. 3. Put on rubber gloves to protect your hands from the hot water.


  1. 4. Dip a clean rag or sponge into the vinegar cleaning solution. Scrub the exterior surfaces gently to remove dirt, grease, and other buildups.


  1. 5. Combine a small amount of water and baking soda to make a thick paste. Apply it with a clean cloth to any tough, remaining greasy spots, rubbing gently.


  1. 6. Rinse your cabinetry by dipping a clean cloth in clear water and wiping down all kitchen cabinet surfaces.


  1. 7. Dry your clean cabinets with a soft, clean cloth.


  1. 8. Apply a wax- and silicone-free wood polish to your kitchen cabinetry to bring out the beauty of the stained wood while adding a sparkling shine. Wipe with a clean cloth.


Once you’re completed these, your cabinets should have their shine back again.


This method is just one way to make old cabinets look like new. What about repainting old cabinets? We’ll go over how to do that next.

How to Repaint Old Cabinets

Another thing you can do with old wood cabinets is repaint them. This action will give them a new color and make them look as if you recently purchased them, rather than revamped them. There are a few supplies you’ll need for a repainting process.


The supplies you’ll need to repaint old cabinets include:


  •     Homemade degreaser
  •     Latex primer
  •     Paint
  •     Paintbrushes
  •     Sandpaper
  •     Caulk
  •     Screwdriver


These are inexpensive at your local hardware store.


You might even have these materials already sitting in your garage. Once you’ve gathered them together, you’re ready to start repainting your old cabinets.

Directions for Repainting Old Cabinets Again

In seven steps, you can repaint your old cabinets and make them look new. Let’s dive right into the process so you can give your home a completely different look with a coat of paint.


To repaint your old cabinets, you should:


  1. Remove the doors, drawers, and shelves attached to the cabinets to get every surface.


  1. Clean all the surfaces with a degreaser solution, using a firm hand.


  1. 3. Sand the cabinets down to a flat, even surface and remove some of the old paint.


  1. Prime the cabinets with a latex primer, spreading an even coat. Let it dry before continuing.


  1. Sand, caulk, and fill any gaps that exist in the old cabinets for an even paint job.


  1. Paint all the pieces, including drawers and shelves that go inside. Make sure to paint all the sides as well.


  1. 7. Screw everything back into place after the paint has dried.


Your cabinets will have a successful paint coat after these steps.


You can paint your cabinets a typical brown or white, or you can go extravagant and pick a neon orange. The choice is yours. Either way, your old wood cabinet will have new life.

How to Restain Your Cabinets

Another thing you can do with old wood cabinets is restain them. As with the other two, you’ll need some supplies for this one.


Some of the supplies you’ll need to restrain your cabinets include:


  •     Screwdriver
  •     Drop cloths
  •     Cleaning solutions
  •     Sandpaper
  •     Sanding sealer (similar to primer)
  •     Stain
  •     Paintbrush
  •     Clean cloth
  •     Sealer


These can be located at a local hardware store.


Once you have these supplies laid out, you’re ready to dive into the restaining process. Let’s go over the steps together.

Directions for Restaining Old Cabinets Again

In seven steps, you can restrain your old wood cabinets. As with the other techniques, we’ll go over this process step by step so you’re familiar with what to do before you begin.


To restrain your old wood cabinets you should:


  1. Remove hardware, doors, and drawers attached to or inside the cabinet.


  1. Clean surfaces off with a gentle rag, ensuring no dust or grime is left behind.


  1. Remove any old finish still decorating the surface of the cabinet.


  1. Apply sanding sealer over the top of the cabinet.


  1. Start staining - coat once for a light stain or apply additional coats for a darker shade. Wipe off excess stain with a clean cloth and allow the piece to dry completely. Lightly sand between coats using fine-grit sandpaper.


  1. Apply a sealer to keep everything intact.


  1. 7. Put everything back into place, from the hardware to the drawers.


These steps should leave you with a beautifully restrained old wood cabinet.


All three of these methods are sound ways to make an old cabinet look like new. If you want to transform your home, try one of these out! You never know what might happen.

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