Strip Kitchen Doors in 5 Easy Steps

What You'll Need
Putty Knife
Paint Scraper
Utility Knife
Liquid Stripper
Sandpaper or Palm Sander

If your kitchen doors are in good shape, then there is no need to replace them. To update their look, you may only need to strip and repaint the old doors.

Step One- Remove Doors

There is no good way to strip a door with it still hanging up. You’ll need to remove the door and find an area with plenty of room to work. 

Step Two- Stripping

There are two options for stripping the door. Both have their own set of challenges.


You can strip it using old fashioned elbow grease and your putty knife, paint scraper, and utility knife. If you choose this option, be prepared for several hours of work. You’ll need to sand down a few areas then use the scrapers to pry away the old paint. Repeat the process until all the paint is removed. The down side to this is that you run the risk of damaging the door, so take extra care to ensure you aren’t gouging the door.

 Liquid Stripper

Liquid stripper works much faster than just scraping, but it’s a very messy job.  Paint stripper will be available in a variety of formulas, so be sure to pick one that has clear instructions. Generally, this is put on the door in small sections with a paint brush. Use a rag to rub the paint off the door. Steel wool pads can help to get the paint out of any cracks or crevices. If you choose to use this method, make sure you are in a well ventilated area and have covered the floor beneath you with a tarp or newspaper.

Step Three- Sanding

Once the door has been stripped of any old paint you can start sanding it. Some people like to do this by hand with fine grain sandpaper; others will prefer the ease of using a palm sander to complete the task. Sanding the door will not only provide an even surface, but it will help the primer and paint to stick to the door.

Step Four- Primer and Painting

If you choose to paint the door instead of using the natural wood you’ll need to prime it first. Primer can be purchased at any hardware or paint supply store. The purpose of this is to create a non-porous surface for the paint. The natural wood will absorb some of the paint, requiring several coats to achieve an even look and color. With primer, this worry is eliminated. One coat of primer will generally be all you need.

After you’ve primed and allowed time for drying, you can start to paint or stain the door.

If you choose to keep the door its natural color, consider using some linseed oil. Seal the door with a weatherproof formula to prevent any warping, cracking, or peeling.

Step Five- Hang the Door

Your door has now been stripped and repainted. It’s ready to hang once it’s completely dried.

The process may have taken some time, but the result is always worth the effort. Doing it yourself will have saved you quite a bit of money as well.