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If your hardware simply needs cleaning, see Refinishing and Cleaning Kitchen Cabinets for instructions.

If your cabinets were previously painted and your house was built before 1978, the paint may be lead-based. Always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions on all paint-stripping products. Clean all surfaces with TSP cleaner to remove any grease and dirt. If you’re replacing your hardware, you might have to use wood filler for holes that don’t line up with the new hardware.

Also, for best results you should remove the doors and drawers and work on them in an area that’s out of the way, like a garage or basement.

Make sure you’ll have proper ventilation there too. Surfaces that are already painted can be painted again if the existing paint is in good condition. Stripping products are available that make this process easy.

It’s important to use even strokes and finish back into the wet primer. Use painter’s tripods to lift the doors and drawers up from your painting surface. For drawers, it’s typically best to paint just the drawer front piece rather than the entire drawer.

Sometimes painting the sides and bottom can cause the drawers to stick in the frames.

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