How to Refinish Cabinet Doors

In order to know how to refinish cabinet doors properly, it helps to know what the cabinet doors are made of. Are the doors made of real wood, particle board, or wood laminate? Also, are your cabinet doors currently painted, stained, or glazed? What type of finish is currently on the cabinets? Is it a polyurethane or a water based finish? Have you ever used oil or soap products on your cabinets? If so, you have extra work to do before you apply a new cabinet finish or polish.

Refinishing kitchen cabinet doors is a very affordable and easy way to give your kitchen a facelift, but you need to be aware of a few common mistakes made when refinishing cabinet doors yourself. If your cabinet doors are scratched, dull, or just look dirty, there’s good news. Try cleaning them with mild dish soap diluted in water, let them dry, then apply PRO SHOT® Cabinet Restorer & Protector.

Avoid these common mistakes when refinishing cabinet doors yourself.

Mistake 1

If you’re refinishing the cabinet doors with a liquid cabinet restorer, finish, or polish, be sure to remove all prior products before you apply the new cabinet finish or polish. Water-based cabinet finishes will not setup properly or adhere well to oil or soap products. In other words, if you’ve used oil or soap products on your cabinets in the past, it’s very important to remove those products completely before you apply the new cabinet polish or finish.

Begin by cleaning the cabinet doors thoroughly. If you’ve never used oil or soap products on your cabinet doors, try using mild  liquid dish soap dissolved in warm water. Any grease or food stains left on the cabinet doors will interfere with refinishing. Wipe the cabinet door with a soft, lint-free cloth and let the door dry completely.

Don’t forget to clean the cabinet hardware, unless you’re replacing it. Soak the handles and hinges in a soapy water solution for one hour, then clean them with a soft brush. Rinse, let dry, and if needed, apply the appropriate kind of metal polish.

Tip: If you have used oil or soap products in the past, clean your cabinet doors multiple times after you have removed the oil or soap products. It’s very important to make sure all oil and soap products have been completely removed before you proceed. Please do not disregard this step.

Mistake 2

Once your cabinet doors are clean, dry them and make sure you wait at least several hours to be sure they are completely dry. Some cabinet polishes and finishes will dry and trap the water or moisture underneath. Your cabinet doors can dry with spots on them, so they will not look good if you apply them to a wet or damp surface. Take your time and do it right the first time.

Tip: Wait at least 24 hours after you clean your cabinet doors. When it comes to cabinet polishes and finishes, the more dry your cabinets are when you apply the new polish or finish the better results you will achieve in the end.

Mistake 3

Be careful when cleaning your cabinet doors with store bought cleaners. Do not use a high ph cleaner on them (unless you are intentionally trying to remove a prior cabinet finish or polish). High ph cleaners are effective with removing some cabinet polishes and finishes.

Tip: Be sure to use only water and a soft damp towel, or try using a little mild dish soap diluted in water for cleaning and maintaining your kitchen cabinets. If you’re using PRO SHOT® Cabinet Restorer & Protector, you’ll instantly notice how much easier it will be to keep your kitchen cabinets looking clean and shiny.


Once you’ve learned how to refinish cabinet doors with PRO SHOT® Cabinet Restorer, you’ll soon realize that it’s quick and easy to restore the shine to your cabinet doors, and inexpensive too. PRO SHOT® Cabinet Restorer wipes on easily, and requires no buffing. Simply wipe it on and let it dry. PRO SHOT® Cabinet Restorer lasts for months, and in some cases up to a full year, protecting your cabinets from grease, fingerprints, and food stains. It contains no petroleum, and has a low odor when applied. Refinishing your kitchen cabinet doors with PRO SHOT® Cabinet Restorer can make your kitchen look cleaner, and PRO SHOT® Cabinet Restorer will help keep your kitchen cabinets looking that way longer.