What can I do to heavily painted kitchen cabinets? They are very large doors. The cabinets have so much paint it's hard to even see the hinges. I will do just about anything to them to save money. HELP!
Tina from Pittsburgh, PA
We bought an old building that had been painted so many times the wood was thick with it. I used a gel stripper and could count 5 different colors on the window sills! You can strip the wood and soak the hinges in something like paint thinner to clean the paint from them. I had to do that in our house once. You might like your cabinets just stained! It's a big project but worth it.
Use a heat gun to strip the paint on the cabinets, and then do a light sanding to ensure all paint is removed. Paint as desired.
Also to clean the hinges, just soak in a gel paint remover.
I would use a gel paint stripper to remove the paint from the cabinets and hinges, and you can also buy an inexpensive scraper especially made for paint removal. Before you start, it will make the job easier if you take the doors off and work on them on a table that has been thoroughly covered with newspaper. It's also a good idea to wear gloves when using paint strippers.
Just a warning on using the heat gun, I used a heat gun on an old bookcase that had been painted. I kept having lung problems afterward so be careful that is isn't lead paint on the cabinets. The stripper gel might be safer, wear rubber gloves and have good ventilation.
I found that rubbing alcohol removes a lot of paint and is safer than strippers and heating guns which could burn the cabinets. I only soaked hinges a lit bit in rubbing alcohol and all the paint came right off.
a big plus was that no sanding was needed.
All you can do is get out the eye & ear protection & use a sander... or a stripper... This is gonna be one messy job!... You should take the cabinet fronts outside to do the dirty work... But better yet, have the cabinet fronts replaced with a low cost builder grade wood or have them laminated with low-cost Formica. (the fronts will still have to be sanded a bit first so the Formica will stick, but Formica is super-cheap!
After purchasing a Victorian home years ago, we were presented with years of paint on pocket doors, paneled doors, decorative molding, window & door frames, a beautiful staircase etc. Underneath all that paint was beautiful chestnut wood. We were going to use the sanding or heat gun methods until a neighbor, who worked for the health department, warned us that lead paint was used in the old days and that both methods were extremely dangerous. We turned to the gel and not only did it remove more than 100 years of layer after layer of paint, it left the wood in pristine condition and ready for varnishing. We put old tarps under the table to catch all the drips and old paint. Where we couldn't remove doors or windows (or the staircase) we just covered everything as well as we could and worked small areas at a time. Take your doors off the cabinets and take them outside if possible and put them on an old table. You can clean the hinges with the same remover. The gel takes awhile longer, but it leaves the wood in better condition If need be, you can stain your doors when you have finished. We have since retired and sold the house. And the big selling point? The beautiful woodwork! I wish you well. One warning...watch where you step!
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