Asked on Sep 10, 2016

Refinishing the fronts of kitchen cabinets

by Myra
These cabinets are all I need, solid 1 inch oak plywood, effective storage but ugly finish in Arborite. Can I just tack on wood trim and paint? Do I need to remove all the Arborite? Any other good ideas?
q would like to refinish fronts of solid wood kitchen cabinets , interior home painting, kitchen cabinets, kitchen design, painting
  4 answers
  • William William on Sep 11, 2016
    Arborite is a high pressure laminate similar to our plastic laminates in the US. Remove the hardware. Wash the cabinets down. Sand lightly to remove any gloss/shine. Wipe them down. Prime with a stain sealing primer, KILZ, BIn, Zinsser 123. Then paint with a latex paint using a foam roller.

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    • William William on Sep 13, 2016
      Marilyn! You can buy cabinet kits and follow instructions and still look like you did it, because you DID. The cabinet kits have no secret ingredient in them. If you remove doors and hardware, properly prep, it will look professional. You can hire a pro painter, but he will generally do what you can do yourself. There is no special way or secret to painting cabinets. All Hometalkers here have painted kitchen cabinets themselves with great results. None that have posted have used a kit. Basically a cost factor.

  • Mary Williams Mary Williams on Sep 12, 2016
    William is right. After sanding and priming, you may also try some of the new paints on the market that have primers in them. To update them you may want to add some trim pieces for character. check out cabinets on the Houzz website for ideas. Good luck!

  • Jackie Byrd Jackie Byrd on Sep 13, 2016
    There are numerous paints out now that do not require you to sand first. You use a deglosser to clean, remove grease, and de-shine the surface so that the paint will stick. Look at the Rust-oleum Cabinet Transformation Kit and Velvet Finishes (

  • Linda kelley Linda kelley on Sep 16, 2016
    Also....I added trim to the doors of my cabinets. What a difference that makes. I ended up doing all the doors in the house! really an upgrade. You could also add chalk board paint for kiddos