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What is the Difference Between Cabinet Painting and Cabinet Refinishing

Cabinet Painting Vs Cabinet Refinishing

Kitchen remodels can be a tedious task but is worth every penny in the end. When it comes to  your kitchen, painting your cabinets is an affordable way to achieve a new look. However, there are a few things that you should know before beginning the project.

For example, if you’re not careful, your cabinet painting can end up looking blotchy and uneven. Paint will also attract dirt and debris, which can make it difficult to keep clean.


Before you can start painting or staining cabinets, you need to make sure they’re prepared properly. This can be a daunting task, but it’s essential to ensure your cabinets will look great when they’re finished.

First, you need to clean the surfaces thoroughly using a degreasing cleaner and a damp sponge. This will remove any traces of oil and grease from the surface, which will help your paint job stay pristine.

Once the cabinet faces are clean, you can sand them down to roughen them up and make them more porous for primer. Use a medium sandpaper (we like 100- to 150-grit), and make sure your sanding doesn’t go too far, because you want to give the primer enough grit to stick to.

Once you’ve sanded down the cabinet face frames, it’s time to prime them with an oil-based primer. The primer is what will hold the paint in place, preventing it from peeling or chipping.


Cabinet refinishing involves removing the doors and drawer fronts of kitchen cabinets and replacing them with new cabinet skins (veneers or RTF, or “Rigid Thermofoil”). It is an affordable option for updating your kitchen.

It can be a big project, but the results are well worth it in the end. Refinishing requires a bit of patience, but the right preparation and paint will make the job last longer and look better than ever.

If you are painting your cabinets, choose a high-quality paint with a hard finish to protect them from wear and tear. Oil paint is the best choice, but top quality acrylic and water-based paints also do the trick if you use them properly.

Using a primer and tinting it to match the color of the paint you’re applying will ensure that the surface is covered evenly. This will help the paint bond more effectively with the wood or other surfaces you’re painting.


Painting and refinishing cabinets involve a series of steps that require specialized knowledge, tools, and materials. The simplest method is to use paint, but stains and other decorative finishes can also be used.

To start, remove the cabinet doors and drawers and prep the surfaces with a degreasing cleaner. This will ensure pristine paint adhesion later on.

Then, sand down the surface and fill any cracks or uneven areas with wood filler. Allow the cabinets to fully dry before moving on to the next step.

For a smoother finish, you can also apply a glaze. This adds a layer of color and highlights your cabinet’s unique features.

Another option is to refinish the wood grain on your cabinet doors. It is a little more difficult to do this, but it can make your cabinets look much more modern and contemporary.

Final Results

Cabinet painting is a great way to get the look you want without having to replace your cabinets. The key is to choose the right paint, prep properly and follow proper techniques.

Then, paint your cabinets, allowing them to fully dry in between coats. It’s important to sand your doors before painting so they don’t have any thin areas that will show through the new finish.

It’s also important to remove all the hardware before painting to avoid any drippings or drips. Place the hardware in clear bags labeled according to which door/drawer it belongs to.

Unless your cabinet doors are made of thermofoil or laminate, they won’t hold up to refinishing. Refinishing will usually require sanding the doors to the proper finish, filling in any cracks or uneven areas with wood filler and letting the cabinets completely dry.

ITZ Construction can help with all your cabinet refinishing, painting and kitchen remodel needs. Give us a call today.

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