If you have old painted cabinets that you want to keep but would like to refinish them, you are going to need to remove the paint from the cabinet. Removing old paint is absolutely necessary to the integrity of your refinishing project. So even though this is a difficult project, in the long run it can be well worth it.
Take off Cabinet Doors
In order to remove paint from your cabinets, you are going to need to remove the doors and drawers and lay them on a flat surface. Since you are going to be using chemicals to remove the paint, be sure to protect the surface you lay the doors on and take off any hardware that might be on them. It only takes a few extra minutes to protect your hardware and floors, but could easily help you avoid a huge headache. So go ahead and do it.
Once the doors are off, you need to wipe them off. No matter whether you are cleaning bathroom, kitchen or freestanding cabinets, they are going to need to be cleaned. To clean cabinets that are not very dirty, you can use a basic kitchen cleaner. However, if the wood is stained or very dirty, you can use a cleaner called TSP which will get almost anything clean. Then just wipe it down with a wet cloth and let it dry.
Apply Paint Remover
Now comes the messy part. Start applying the paint remover to the cabinets as the directions on the package states. Remember, the thicker you apply that paint remover the better. Then let it sit and work it’s magic for about 30 minutes or the time stated by the product’s manufacturer.
Remove the Paint
Once the time is up, you are going to need to remover the paint with a paint scrapper. Be careful not to harm the wood while you are scraping. If the paint is not coming off relatively easily, reapply the paint remover and wait a few more minutes. Finish removing all of the paint in this manner before continuing.
When the cabinet is free of all paint, it is time to wash off the rest of the chemical residue. Simply take water and a rag and wash off all of the paint remover. Then let it dry once all the remaining chemicals have been taken off.
Smooth it Out
After the cabinets have finished drying it is time to smooth out the wood. If there are any rough spots or paint left on the cabinets, this is how you are going to remove it. Just take some medium grade sandpaper and gently sand each piece of wood, being careful not to sand too much.
When you finish sanding, all you have left to do is wipe down the cabinets to remove any particles and start finishing it the way you want. Once old paint has been removed in this way you can literally refinish the wood any way you would like. Congratulations on finishing this large project.