How to Stain Wood with Liquid Sandpaper

What You'll Need
Stain stripper
Soap solution or cabinet cleaner
Liquid sandpaper
Primer that is oil-based
Cabinet stain
Soft cloths

If the kitchen cabinets have lost their sheen and color, you can use liquid sandpaper to prep the wood and apply a stylish stain. The process of staining using liquid sandpaper is similar to staining using regular liquid compound but since the sandpaper acts as a de-glosser, it brings the cabinets close to the original color or shine before you re-stain them. Make sure that you don’t use the cabinets for a few days before you stain them with the liquid sandpaper. This is because continuous usage of the cabinets can impact the surface.

Step 1: Removing Hardware

The first step to staining the wood with liquid sandpaper is to remove the hardware from your kitchen cabinets. You will need a screwdriver to loosen up the screws within the doors of the cabinet.

Step 2: Washing the Cabinet

The kitchen cabinet will need a thorough washing and you can clean the surface using a mild soap solution or use the cabinet cleaning solution. Fill up the bucket with detergent and warm water. Mix the solution and ensure to use a mild concentration of detergent. Use a sponge for removing dirt, grease and dust as well as scrub the cabinet surface thoroughly. After this, rinse out the sponge and then swipe it over the cabinet to rinse out soap residues. Let the surface dry thoroughly. Cleaning the cabinet surface prior to re-staining is critical to ensure that the surface is as good as new and fresh. Only then will the stain hold on the surface properly else the paint will not stick to the surface properly.

Step 3: Application

Once the cabinet surface is cleaned, the next stage involves application of liquid sandpaper. Take a soft cloth and put liquid sandpaper on it. Make sure the cloth is saturated but does not drip. You will need to apply liquid sandpaper on the exterior and interior of the cabinet. Start with small sections one at a time like starting with a door and then moving to the next door and so on. To facilitate easy application just swipe liquid sandpaper across the cabinet surface using the cloth or you can even use a paintbrush. You need to apply the paint on the stained surface within half an hour of application of liquid sandpaper. 

Step 4: Coating the Surface

The next step is to coat the cabinet surface with a primer. Once you finish coating the surface, allow it to completely dry prior to application of the new stain. Allowing the surface to dry between coats allows an even finish and prevents the formation of air bubbles on the surface.

Step 5: Staining

The final step involves staining the cabinet surface with the stain you have in mind and you can facilitate a smoother, more even application with the help of soft cloths.


The main advantage of liquid sandpaper is that it combines the functionality of sanding along with the ability to stain the wood surface easily. The liquid easily gets into the smaller crevices, which are usually difficult to reach for sanding.