Refinishing Maple Cabinets

Lead Image for Refinishing Maple Cabinets
  • 16-30 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 40-120
What You'll Need
New cabinet faces
120 grit sandpaper
Wood stain
Drill bit
Measuring tape
Paint stripper
Paint scrape

Maple cabinets may be one of the nicest looking cabinet systems you can possibly have in your home. Maple cabinets are great to look at, are durable, and resist insects as well as moisture. Maple cabinets, like any other cabinet, can wear over the years if not taken care of. You can refinish maple cabinets easily by wither refacing them or refinishing them. The information below will show you how to do both these techniques as well as share with you the pros and cons of both.

Removing the Maple Cabinets

When you are looking to refinish or reface maple cabinets there is a myth that you need to remove the entire cabinet. This is not the case at all. You do, however, have to remove the cabinet doors. This applies to either method you plan to use. The hinges are located inside the cabinet so you have to open the door completely. Locate the hinges and remove the screws that are attaching the hinges to the case of the cabinet. When the door is off you can then remove the hinges from the door.

Refacing the Maple Cabinets

Now that the door is off the cabinet you can easily reface them by installing a new cabinet door. Use the measuring tape to determine the spacing of the screws and the hinges inside the cabinet case. Use these measurements and transfer them to the new face of the cabinet. Use the drill to create holes for the screws but use a bit that is smaller than the screws. Only drill slightly into the wood. Install the hinges to the door first and then to the cabinet. You can change the hinge style as well as the handle if you like. This technique is quicker than refinishing but it also costs more to do it.

Refinishing Maple Cabinets

This takes much more time than refacing but is cheaper. With the cabinet door removed you can remove the hinges and all of the other hardware that may be on the door. If the maple cabinets have been painted then you need to remove the paint. Apply paint stripper and wait for it to work then wipe away and scrape off the paint. You may need to do this several times in order to remove all of the paint.

If the maple cabinets have been stained then you remove the stain by using sandpaper. Use 120 grit sandpaper and begin sanding the door. You need to remove as much of the stain as possible. You may never get all of it off of the wood but you will make it ready to accept stain or paint.

Once the cabinets are fully sanded or the paint has been removed you can refinish it. Paint or stain the door however you want. Replace the hardware with new pieces if you like. Replace the door. You may need to refinish the cabinet case as well but it's worth it in the end.