How to Remove Paint from Kitchen Cabinets: DIY Guide

Are you frustrated with old paint chips on your kitchen cabinets? Do you need a cost-effective way to fix this problem?

We are here with our DIY guide to remove paint from your kitchen cabinets and give them a fresh new look.

According to Forbes, the average cost of painting a kitchen cabinet is $775, but homeowners who can tackle this job themselves can reduce costs up to $200, which is 75% less cost as compared to painting by a professional.

Now, you will ask me why you need this project. Here are a few reasons:

  1. If your kitchen cabinet has a stain/mark which is difficult to remove.
  2. You want to get fresh paint by renovating your kitchen but for that, you have to remove the old paint coat first.

So these are the reasons usually homeowner want to remove paint from kitchen cabinets. We will share two methods and give some valuable information.

So put on your work gloves and let’s get to work.

Which Type of Tools Do You Need?

To play with chemical products you need safety tools to protect your skin, face, and eyes. Also, you need additional tools to get the job done by removing paint from kitchen cabinets.

Here is a list of tools you will need to buy:

You now have all the necessary tools to begin your work.

Method 1: Using Paint Stripper

How to Remove Paint from Kitchen Cabinets

In this method, you will apply a paint stripper on the kitchen cabinet with an old paintbrush and leave it for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes start removing paint from the cabinet with the help of Husky 15-in-1 Painter’s Tool. Remove paint from the corner of the kitchen cabinet or hard-to-reach areas with the help of a stripping pad.

For better results times you have to apply a second coat of paint stripper. If the paint layer is old and quite hard a third coat will be required.

The next step is to sand with the help of a paint removal sanding tool to remove leftover paint and provide the proper smooth base. It’s time to paint that cabinet with new paint after this process.

This method will consume less time but it will create more mess in terms of paint chips.

Method 2: Using Heat Gun

How to Remove Paint from Kitchen Cabinets

A heat gun can be an efficient tool for removing paint, particularly from intricate or hard-to-reach areas.

This method is quite effective than chemical paint stripper and does not create too much mess. It is a lot easier to clean than the paint stripper method.

Set your heat gun to a moderate temperature to avoid scorching the wood. Hold the heat gun close to the cabinet surface, moving it slowly and evenly to soften the paint without burning the wood. As the paint begins to bubble and peel, use a paint scraper to gently remove it.

Be careful not to gouge the wood. Repeat this process until all the paint is removed. Afterward, sand the surface lightly to prepare it for repainting or refinishing

This method is too time-consuming almost 30 minutes per cabinet of size (28 inches height x 19.6 inches width).

It worked well with great money spent on a heat gun and it is a great tool to have on hand.

Method 3: Sanding as a Paint Removal

How to Remove Paint from Kitchen Cabinets

Sanding is a traditional method for removing paint from wood surfaces. Start by selecting the appropriate grit sandpaper, typically between 80-120 grit for initial paint removal.

Sand the painted surface in the direction of the wood grain, applying even pressure to avoid uneven patches.

Once the paint has been removed, switch to a finer grit sandpaper to smooth the surface and remove any remaining residue.

Preparation Process to Remove Paint from Kitchen Cabinets

Before starting the actual process of removing paint, a few preparation steps are necessary:

  1. Start with removing all the kitchen cabinets door hinges and drawer fronts with the help of a screwdriver. Make sure the windows of the kitchen are open for ventilation to circulate air because paint chemicals are hard to breathe in air which can be deadly for health.
  2. Cover the kitchen floor with some old clothes to collect paint chips while working on vertical surfaces.
  3. Cover all the kitchen appliances or remove them from the kitchen while working on this project.
  4. Use an old paintbrush to apply paint stripper on cabinets and make sure to wait for 15-20 minutes to lift the paint from the cabinet surface.
  5. You can choose any method to remove paint from kitchen cabinets as per your needs.

Making Your Cabinets Shine with New Paint

After all the above processes, now it’s time you can give a fresh coat of paint to your kitchen cabinet. Use latex paint because it’s quick to dry time and avoid using oil-based paints.

Cleaning the Kitchen Cabinets After Paint Removal

After removing the paint, thoroughly clean the kitchen cabinets to remove any remaining residue or stripper.

Use a clean cloth or sponge dampened with soap and water to wash the cabinets, ensuring all traces of paint and chemicals are removed.

Allow the cabinets to dry completely before proceeding to the next steps.

Evaluating the Results and Making Necessary Touch-Ups

Once the cabinets are dry, inspect them for any missed spots or imperfections. Sand or touch up any areas as needed to achieve a smooth and uniform finish. Take your time during this step to ensure the cabinets look their best before proceeding to the final steps.

Tips for Preventing Paint Buildup on Kitchen Cabinets in the Future

To prevent paint buildup on kitchen cabinets in the future, consider properly priming and sealing the cabinets before painting.

This will create a smooth surface for paint adhesion and provide added protection against moisture and wear.

Additionally, establish a regular maintenance routine, including cleaning and touch-ups as needed, to keep your cabinets looking fresh and vibrant for years to come.


Removing paint from kitchen cabinets can be a rewarding DIY project that breathes new life into your kitchen space.

By following the methods and techniques outlined in this guide, you can achieve professional-looking results with minimal hassle.

Whether you opt for chemical paint strippers, heat guns, or sanding, proper preparation and attention to detail are key to success.

With a little time and effort, you can transform your kitchen cabinets and enhance the overall look and feel of your kitchen.


1. Will vinegar remove paint from cabinets?

Vinegar may not effectively remove paint from cabinets as it’s not as potent as other methods like chemical strippers or heat guns.

2. What is the best paint remover for cabinets?

The best paint remover for cabinets is Klean Strip Premium Stripper, renowned for its effectiveness and positive reviews in the market. It efficiently removes paint without damaging the cabinet surface.

3. Did you use the same technique for cabinets mounted on your wall?

The same technique can generally be used for cabinets mounted on walls. However, ensure proper support and accessibility considerations, as wall-mounted cabinets may require additional precautions to prevent damage or inconvenience during the paint removal process.

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