Help in Stripping Painted Kitchen Cabinets


Old 04-24-05, 10:22 AM
nicole deeb
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Help in Stripping Painted Kitchen Cabinets

Does anyone have any tips or suggestions on the best way to strip painted kitchen cabinets? They are aprox 30+ years old and have several coats of paint. I would like to get down to the original wood. Can't afford new cabinets right now, but tired of the painted look. I willl be doing the job by myself so any recomendations would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks!! Niki
Old 04-24-05, 03:56 PM
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A coupla questions come to mind when I see similar posts to yours. That is removing the paint down to bare wood on their kitchen cabinets.

1.) removing several coats of paint is a very tedious, and nasty task. Given the fact that harsh chemicals, and sanding possible leaded paint may be involved, these are issues that need to be considered when taking on a project like this.

2.) If you bought the house with the cabinets in it already, do you know what kind of wood they are? It may not be a type of wood that you really want to expose, and stain, or whatever. Chances are that there may be a reason for the first coat of paint.

3.) You didn't mention if the doors are flat or raised panel. Raised panel doors will require lots of hand sanding. Extremely labor intensive.

If it's not a large kitchen - it may not be a huge issue. If it is, I would consider a more pleasing painted look. Many options are available.
Old 04-27-05, 06:30 PM
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I find the easiest way is to use a drill with a screw driver bit in it and remove all the door fronts. Take to the garage or basement and lay flat on tables or floor. Apply chemical stripper (jasco or?) and let sit but don't let dry out. Use a putty knife to scrape off the goo and clean against newspaper. If there are lots of paint jobs then use 36 grit on a sander to cut through the paint layers to allow better penetration of the stripper. If the putty knife doesn't get down to wood put another coat of stripper on the first coat to loosen it up more. When it's mostly wood use steel wool and a tooth brush for corners to finish cleaning. Rinse it with water. The face frames (that the doors are mounted to) can be power sanded with an orbital.
Old 04-28-05, 02:24 AM
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Although its expensive, Peel Away products will take off multiple layers of paint. It's a low-odor, environmentally friendly, "safe" product and can be used with lead based paints (if the paint is 30 years old, you are right on the cusp of when lead paint was banned). After applying the stripper, you place a barrier layer over the stripper and wait. It penetrates deep, and a putty knife will often remove all layers of paint. Someone on this site found another product that was cheaper and equally effective, you may want to look at the wood refinishing board. Keep in mind that once you strip the doors, you may want to do the bases. Unless you are removing them, you will be working on a vertical surface, inside the house--so you want a product that isn't too smelly/caustic and that will stick to verticle surfaces.

Of course, a previous poster is absolutely correct, often times cabinets are painted because they are paint grade wood and not meant to be stained. You may want to do a test drawer/door before investing all the time to strip the cabinets. However, when I stripped my cabinets recently, I found it was easier to strip the raised panel doors to bare wood and repaint than it was to get the 30+ years of grease and grime off of them and sand them, but I've done a lot of refinishing before.

Good luck with your project.
Old 04-28-05, 03:28 AM
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There has been a big change in wood clasification in the last 30yrs. Often what used to be clasified paint grade is better than todays [lower priced]stain grade. Take kimeyers advice and strip a piece that is small and easy to see what is underneath before tackling the whole job.

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