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How to Restore Kitchen Cabinets Without Sanding and Varnishing?

How to Restore Kitchen Cabinets Without Sanding and Varnishing

Kitchen cabinets go through a lot of wear and tear through the years. Fumes and ashes from the food cooking on the stove, water splashes, food stains left after using them with dirty hands take a lot out on the poor cabinets. Sanding and varnishing can be exhausting work; naturally, you would want to avoid it as long as it is possible.

How to restore kitchen cabinets without sanding and varnishing? It’s entirely possible to renovate your kitchen cabinets without the extra workload. In most straightforward words, you will just need to apply a fresh coat of paint to them and give them a fresh new look to cherish for the next couple of years. However, it’s not that simple. To know the best way to go about it, follow the steps highlighted below.

What you’ll need

  • Fluid de glosser
  • Washcloth
  • Paintbrush
  • Paint roller
  • Screwdriver
  • Milk paint or enamel

Empty the cabinets

To keep it simple, take out all the stuff from your cabinets without taking them apart. If you have the time to be thorough, you can use a screwdriver to take apart the doors, hinges, handles, and shelves so that it’s easier to clean and repaint them properly.

For now, since we’re only giving the cabinets a quick makeover, we’ll only remove the items from the shelves and keep the cabinets in place. You may also take out the shelves if they’ll easily slide out. It will give you more room to work.

Wipe them clean

Wipe them clean

Now wipe down the doors, shelves and handles using a clean cloth to remove any dirt on them. You may need to use a bit of dish soap with some water to try to force out any grease or caked food on the cabinets. The cleaner the surface, the smoother it will be to repaint.

De gloss

Sanding them is an excellent option to smoothen the surface, but since you want to learn how to paint kitchen cabinets without sanding, here’s a great alternative. Liquid de glosser will do the same job as sandpaper, but much less hard work is required, and it won’t hurt your skin, as is the case with sandpaper.

Just pour out a bit of de glosser on your cleaning cloth and wipe down both sides of the cabinet doors and shelves with it.

In just a matter of minutes, all your kitchen cabinets will appear as if they were sanded, but without the hard work.

Let them dry

You’ve wiped them down with a wet cloth and then with the de glossing liquid. Not let all the components dry entirely before going to the next step. Keep the cabinet doors open so that they can dry from both sides if you haven’t taken them apart.

Paint with roller

Paint with roller

Let’s start painting kitchen cabinets without sanding.

We’ll use a paint roller to paint the larger areas of the doors and shelves. You can also do it with a paintbrush, but the results are much neater with a roller, especially if you’re not a professional.

  • You can use either milk paint or enamel paint for the job.
  • The color can be the same as the old cabinets or different if you’re looking for an entirely new look.
  • Paint one side of each door and let it dry completely before switching to the other side.
  • Paint the shelves from both sides as well in the same way as the doors.

Paint with paintbrush

Keep the paintbrush for detailing. Roller will not reach all these areas and will leave unpainted patches that won’t give a finished look later on.

  • The sides, grooves, and moldings, if there are any, on the doors, will need to be painted carefully using a paintbrush.
  • Once you have applied a coat with the rollers, all the areas that are missed out by them need to be covered with paint using the paintbrush.
  • Once you’ve covered one side, please wait for it to dry before turning it the other way and painting that side.

Second coat

Once you have covered everything with paint using paint roller as well as a paintbrush, you’re done with the first coat. If your kitchen were in good shape and you only wanted to give them a quick makeover with the same color as the original, first coat will do. Just let everything dry and be done with the project.

If, however, your cabinets weren’t in good shape, or you wish to see a different color, or if you are a perfectionist, a second coat is required.

  • Use the same method as you used to apply the first coat to give the cabinets a second coat.
  • You may apply another coat if you feel that the cabinets don’t give a finished look still.
  • Before applying any new coat, let the previous one dry completely.

That’s how to restore kitchen cabinets without sanding and varnishing. It’s relatively simple once you start it.

Let it dry

Once your cabinets are all painted, let them dry completely. Keep the doors open, and the shelves spread out on the floor to make sure all sides are dry. Drying may take some time, so bear with patience.

Fix everything in place

Once everything is dry, you can fix the shelves back in place, together with all the items that you had removed from them. Close the doors of the cabinets and take a minute to admire the project you have just completed!


So that’s how to restore kitchen cabinets without sanding and varnishing. We hope you found it useful and doable. If so, what are you even waiting for? Gather the supplies and start the project today! In less than an hour, if you’re fast, you will have a clean, fresh-looking kitchen to walk into and treat yourself with some lovely pancakes!