How to Stain Wood Cabinets without Sanding

How to Stain Wood Cabinets without Sanding

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Staining a cabinet after sanding it will take a lot of time. Many people simply can’t wait for the process when they try to do it themselves.

Meanwhile, it takes a lot of time to do it properly. The fact is you don’t need to always sand your cabinet before staining it.

Several wood cabinets with no serious scratches or dents don’t need sanding step actually.

So if you plan to stain it, follow these steps:

Step 1: Check and Prepare the Cabinet

First, you need to make sure that you don’t really need sanding process. As mentioned before, your cabinet may not need sanding if you can’t find major scratches or even dents on it. If the surface is still fine and it looks ready to stain, you are ready. This applies to both used and new wooden cabinets.

Then, prepare the area where you are going to stain. It is suggested to cover the floor with cloth or old newspaper so the stain won’t get everywhere.  Put the cabinet in the middle to make it convenient. It is also best to stain the cabinet first before hanging it if you plan to. While it will be easier to stain, it also allows you to stain the entire surface.

If the cabinet is already hung before staining, you should consider removing the cabinet doors using screwdriver and cover the wall and countertop with newspaper and paint tape. It prevents the stain from ruining other surface during the process and allows you to stain perfectly.




Step 2: Clean the Cabinet

Before we start staining, it is important to clean the cabinet. Debris and dust will affect the staining result, which is never great. For cleaning, it is recommended to wipe it with tack cloth. If the cabinet already stayed in the garage for some times, it may have serious debris on it.

The best way to clean it is vacuuming it. It will remove the entire debris and the surface should look cleaner. Then, continue cleaning using duster. It will remove the dust, which isn’t wanted for staining process. Last, you can wipe it with tack cloth as recommended before.

This cleaning also applies for new cabinet with factory sanding on it. It makes sure the surface is sleek enough, ready for the next process.

Step 3: Removing the Old Stain

This step is needed if your cabinet is already have stain or paint on it.

Before you add new color on your wooden cabinet, it is recommended to remove the previous staining. While it allows you to apply the paint a lot easier later, it also gives you the ultimate result especially the paint shade. The old paint can be removed quite easily.

First, you need the paint stripper. It is available on store where you can purchase the paint as well. Second, when you are ready, apply the paint stripper on the cabinet. Make sure to cover the entire surface of the old paint you want to remove. Then, follow the instruction on the label of the stain stripper.

Commonly, you are required to wait for several minutes or more. When it is time, scrape the stripper. You will need the scrapper tool to remove them effectively. As you remove the stripper, the old paint will be removed as well.




Of course, there will be several parts that are hard to remove. Simply repeat the steps until your cabinet is naked and clean, ready for new stain on the surface. This process may take some times, so it is fine for planning to stain it the other day.

Step 4: Re-Clean the Wooden Cabinet

Now as the old paint is all removed, we need to re-clean the cabinet to make it ready. First, make sure that you clean the cabinet face as well as doors. It is recommended to use special cleaning solution to do this. Wood cleaner product is the best recommendation.

Wood cleaner will not only make sure the wood is ready and smooth enough for the staining later, but also clean the de-glosser on the cabinet. When you are done using the wood cleaner, wipe the cabinet with a rag until clean. Wiping it will make sure the entire remaining paint and chemical from the cleaner is removed.

Step 5: Staining It

Now, we are about to stain the cabinet. First, we need to wait until the wood cleaner dry. You may already wipe it, but it takes several minutes for it to get fully dry. When it is dry, prepare the stain you want to apply and a clean rag or cloth. Dip the rag in the stain and then apply it on the entire surface of the cabinet.

You may need to use small paint brush to reach tricky corners and joints. For the best staining result, you should apply the stain in circular motion. It creates even color and the same shade on the entire surface of the wooden cabinet. Don’t forget to stain the doors that you detach previously too.

Step 6: Another Layer

When you are done applying the stain and you like it, leave it overnight to dry. It allows the stain to get the ultimate look perfectly. The next day, it is suggested to apply another layer on the cabinet. You should do the same method, but this time, please use a new rag for the same great result.



When you are done, leave it overnight before you decide to do other things. You should see if it reaches the expected color or not the next day. If you are satisfied, you can continue the process.

Step 7: Reassemble the Cabinet

The entire staining process is already done, so you are allowed to reassemble the parts now. Make sure to use the appropriate tool to attach the doors and everything. Don’t do it in a rush. Using the appropriate tools, methods, and taking time prevents you from scratching the new stain on the cabinet. When you are done, your new looking cabinet is ready to use.

How to Stain Wood Cabinets without Sanding. Easy Tips

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