How to Paint Wood-Stained Cabinets in the Greater Columbus, Ohio Area

cabinet painting company

Stripping and restaining your stained kitchen cabinets is quite a monumental task. This is why most painters and homeowners opt to paint stained kitchen cabinets. Painting also offers you nearly infinite options when it comes to color choices. This makes it easy to create the feel and look that you want for your kitchen.

Preparing the surface and applying a good quality primer is perhaps the most important component of painting over stained cabinets or any stained wood surface for that matter. The two most important preparation processes are sanding and deglossing.

Sanding works best on flat surfaces to give rough finishes and improve paint adhesion. A deglosser cleans and prepares the stained or varnished surface –this works well on cabinets with deep recesses and heavy detailing, which are often difficult to sand.

Things You Will Need

  •         Rags
  •         Liquid deglosser
  •         Sanding tools
  •         Tack cloth
  •         Masking tape
  •         Drop Cloths
  •         Paintbrushes
  •         Primer
  •         Latex paint


Start by removing the cabinet doors and drawers, and taping off the cabinet edges. Make sure your working space is covered with drop cloths and lay the doors and drawers on your workspace. Remove all the handles, drawer pulls, hinges on the doors and drawers. This makes sure you don’t paint them accidentally.


As earlier mentioned, this is one of the most important steps when particularly dealing with stained cabinets. Clean the cabinets with a general-purpose household cleaner to remove grease, dust and other forms of dirt. Remove all traces of residual cleaner by wiping the cabinet doors, boxes and frames with a sponge and water and allow them to dry.

Sand your cabinets with a 180-grit sandpaper or sanding sponge until the varnish is no longer glossy. Vacuum off all the dust as much as possible and wipe the cabinets with a damp cloth. Allow the cabinets to dry before moving on.

Sanding works best when dealing with flat surfaces. However, if your cabinets have grooving or heavy detailing, you might be better off using a deglosser to remove the staining.

If you’re using a deglosser, cover the floor below the cabinets and your workspace with a solvent-resistant drop cloth. Use old newspaper to cover drop clothes –this will soak up any spills. Wear chemical-resistant gloves and safety goggles.

Soak a lint-free rag into a deglosser and use it to wipe the cabinet doors, boxes and frames in circular motion. As the cloth becomes soiled, fold it to expose a clean area or use a freshly saturated cloth. Clean the cabinets to remove any stains, dirt and white haze. Paint the cabinets with a deglosser in a paintbrush and allow the deglosser to dry before applying the primer. Consult the manufacturer’s instructions on the drying times, but most deglossers require about 30 minutes to dry.

If your cabinets have dents or holes, fill them with sandable wood filler, allow the filled areas to dry and sand the patches with fine-grit sandpaper. Clear any sanding dirt and dust with a damp cloth. If there is a gap between the wall and the cabinets, apply a bit of caulk using a caulking gun.

Apply the primer

When indenting to paint previously stained wood, an ordinary primer will not meet the cut. You will need a stain-blocking primer. You’re free to use either water-based or oil-based primers on previously stained or varnished surfaces. The choice of the primer is entirely a personal choice, but by all means, it should be a quality brand. Use a 2-inch paintbrush to apply the primer on the cabinets in a smooth, even coat.

Allow the stain-blocking primer to completely dry as recommended by the manufacturer. Based on the staining extent and the brand of the primer, you might need two coats of the primer. Apply the second coat if needed and allow the primer to dry before applying the paint.


Use a paint designed specifically for kitchen cabinets, or at least stained wood. Mix the paint in a bucket using a wooden stick and apply it using a paintbrush in long strokes. If you have a roller, use it on flat surfaces and use the paintbrush for paint the corners and frames.

Cover the entire surface of the doors, cabinets, and drawers with paint. Allow the paint to dry as recommended by the manufacturer and apply a second coat using the same process. Re-install the doors and drawers once the paint is completely dry.

As always, if you need a helping hand of a professional cabinet painting company, we’re always ready to help –just reach out.

Contact Us

Get a FREE Estimate Today!


Scroll to Top