How to wax cabinets?


I have factory painted and finished cabinets in my kitchen and bath. What can I use to wax them? The black ones, especially have become very dull from years of cleaning and I would like to protect the kitchen cabinets more.


  11 answers
  • Gk Gk on May 12, 2020

    Hello Brenda! There are various waxes on the market that you can use. They are often located with the chalk paint at Home Improvement stores and craft stores. I am partial to Annie Sloan clear wax. Just remember--a little goes a long ways. Several thin coats buffed in between is the way to go. I like to use microfiber towels or blue garage towels to buff.

    I don't think I would choose to wax my kitchen cabinets simply because of the heat and greasy grime in the kitchen. Maybe a few thin coats of a clear water based poly would be a better idea.

  • Recreated Designs Recreated Designs on May 12, 2020

    Hi Brenda if you are looking for some good waxes, Annie Sloan has some amazing ones. They come in clear, antiquing (dark brown) black and white. They are really easy to use and buff up. You can check out her website for local stockists. Hope that helps!

  • GrandmasHouseDIY GrandmasHouseDIY on May 12, 2020

    Personally I would also not choose a wax either. I would thoroughly clean the cabinets with TSP (more info here: and then put two coats of a high gloss or semi gloss sealant on them. I would use Polycrylic because it dries fast and isn't stinky or very toxic because its water based. However an oil based sealant will dry harder and give you and even stronger finish such as a polyurethane.

  • Morgan McBride Morgan McBride on May 12, 2020

    wax will get gunky and gross in a kitchen

  • Janice Janice on May 12, 2020

    There are many great waxes but personally I would not ever wax kitchen cabinets. Why not clean well and then apply a glossy clear sealer.

  • Betsy Betsy on May 12, 2020

    Hi Brenda: Have you considered repainting them? If not, then cleam them by mixing equal parts of white vinegar and hot water in a 5-gallon plastic bucket. Add a few drops of olive oil to the mixture. The vinegar and hot water help to disinfect your cabinets, while removing grease and grime. The olive oil provides a subtle shine. Good luck

  • Kelli L. Milligan Kelli L. Milligan on May 12, 2020

    If the cabinets are factory lacquer you need to stick with that or refinish. If mainly the doors it is easy to remove the doors, ley flat and respray with lacquer NOT poly, especially not acrylic poly it will peel! Clean doors very well with TSP and lightly sand to prep. Stick with lacquer or you'll be sorry.

  • Dee Dee on May 14, 2020

    I do not like wax on kitchen cabinets. It is a magnet for dust and grease in the kitchen. I would clean them really well and either use poly acrylic or lacquer spray. I used poly acrylic on my cabinet doors about 8 years ago and they still look great. I have also used lacquer on my bathroom vanity and they are holding up great with all the hot showers.

  • Brenda Brenda on May 14, 2020

    Thank you for all the helpful answers. I understand about the wax in the kitchen and can see it getting funky. That wouldn't solve the problem of protecting them from the grease and grime. Is it a normal practice to spray a sealer on cabinets? First I heard of that but can see the benefit. Once per year, my mom used to wash her cabinets with Tide, actually she washed all her wood furniture with Tide, and then she would wax them but I don't know what she used. They were oak cabinets and in her kitchen for 30 years and looked brand new. Thanks again for all the help!

  • Lifestyles Homes Lifestyles Homes on May 18, 2020

    Commercial cabinet shops routinely spray lacquer their products.

    I would remove the doors & drawers and spray them with lacquer in the garage or other wind free space, outside.