Restore my kitchen cabinets?

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We just bought our home and have no extra money for remodeling right now. Our kitchen cabinets are original to the house and we want to keep them. The problem is they are filthy, stained, etc from years of use. I'd love to sand them down but I don't know where to begin. There's also the problem of wood shavings every time we open a drawer. I'd like to stop that if possible, but not sure how. And lastly, I'd love to install roll out drawers as I'm disabled and it would make life easier for me. I have no idea how to do any of this. I'd appreciate even just a little help. Thank you!

Kimberly Tessier


q restore my kitchen cabinets
q restore my kitchen cabinets
q restore my kitchen cabinets
  5 answers
  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Sep 23, 2018

    Hello Kimberly,

    Was your cabinets down with Flash! it is supposed to work wonders, you may find there will be no need to rub down after all. If they become dull, then either use a clear or antique wax or a varnish either coloured or clear. The shavings - is it more like dust, as either could be because the runners on the drawers need replacing, and your idea of having the drawers on roller close is a good solution. The runners are available at DIY stores and are a DIY job to do. Best wishes.

    • Mov9607350 Mov9607350 on Sep 23, 2018

      Thank you. I've washed them down, but in order to get the real nasty stuff off I've had to scrub and it's not looking good on some spots. Yes the wood is like a fine dust, or very small pieces of wood from the rubbing. It's basically wood on wood. I've rubbed a candle on them and it helped a bit. I'll price out the things you mentioned. Thanks again!

  • Emily Emily on Sep 23, 2018

    Hi Kimberly, you don't say how inhibiting your disability is but my husband is not disabled and he has always complained of the difficulty of installing the roll out drawers. You have very good looking cupboards and they would look even better sanded a little and then painted a nice color or white. My daughter has very similar cupboards and when they moved into their house 25 years ago, that is what she did and cupboards still look great. What do you mean by "wood shavings?" if indeed they are happening because of just regular use, sanding them down would probably stop that.

    • Mov9607350 Mov9607350 on Sep 23, 2018

      My husband loves the wood and doesn't want to paint. So that's out. I have a very bad back and hips, so bending and sitting for long periods of time on a hard floor is very difficult.

  • Sonjia Sonjia on Sep 23, 2018

    I used Restorzit on dirty, 30 year old cabinets and it worked great. It was a 2-step process, you clean first with the restorzit cleaning product and then paint on the restorzit product. My cabinets looked great. I tried another product, Restore-A-Finish, and while it worked well it says it cleans and restores in one process, but cabinets didn't look as clean as I'd liked. I got a better result with the Restorzit. There are Youtube videos that show how each one works.

  • Sally Alter Sally Alter on Oct 12, 2018

    Hi Mov, I had very similar cabinets to yours. They date back to 1987. I decided to repaint them with General Finishes milk paint which requires no sanding or priming and they look great. But, I hear you, you don't want to go to this much trouble just now. However, I would like to tell you that I tried all kinds of cleaners on my old, stained cabinets and nothing worked until I found Awesome which I got in Dollar Tree for $1! It worked wonders. I don't know about the shavings, but perhaps they just need a little sanding down. The roll out drawers sound great, but I think they will take a lot of work. I would love some, too, but am disabled like you so they will have to wait until I can find an able bodied soul to help me. I know you can find them at Home Depot (or maybe also Lowes). The cabinets are just great. Instead of painting them, you might like to stain the wood which I think you could do cheaply and without taking off the doors. I don't know about this mind because I decided to paint mine. Good luck.

  • Dee Dee on Oct 12, 2018

    You could lightly sand the cabinets, then use Minwax Poly shades, which has built in sealant. Just do one door at a time.


    First clean really well with a cleaner degreaser. Purple Power from Walmart, or from an automotive store works well as does Krud Kutter.

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