Cabinets Refinished without sandpaper

Update: Our home is in Total Remodel Mode since this post was written.  Everything has been expanded and changed.  This is still one of my most popular posts.  It revolutionized our thinking to: we CAN do it ourselves and not hire out.  We’ve made mistakes but still the costs have been minimal compared to hiring labor.

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I have shown this kitchen re-do before. So, many people are having a hard time financially I thought it would be worth to show it again. If you have seen it – “go on with your bad self”, as my three year old would say. If you haven’t, it is a cheap easy project to upgrade your cocina (Kitchen in Spanish – sorry the Homeschooling Mom came out).

My inspiration:  Kitchen Redone Cheap but Beautiful

First of all, I can’t believe I’m showing you our kitchen. But, it is an easy project if you would like a re-do that is inexpensive. I have more time than money so it works for me!

This was my inspiration! A friend did this to her kitchen and she is the one who gave me the instructions. Thank you J.!

My precious Crafty Sister-n-law!

This is one, of many, of my precious sister-in-laws. (She might hurt me if she finds out that she is on here. So, nobody tell!) She is the one who gave me the “idea” for my kitchen.

Here are the before pictures!
Kitchen who needed a maid

Apparently, the “before” pictures were taken on a day that the maid had off. I honestly can say that my kitchen hardly ever looks this bad. This is just for effects. 😉

Kitchen – sterile without the clean factor

Don’t mind the bleach on the floor. Notice the white cabinets, white walls, white sink, white everything!!! Yuck, unless you are into that! We happened to have gotten rid of the white floors before we took the picture.


Are you ready?
Drum roll please!?!
Ta DA!!!!
Kitchen Cabinets Refinished without Sandpaper

Can you see the reformation? I still have a little touch ups to do i.e. getting a hood vent, double oven, and new stove top. (But, that takes $$$ and this was a inexpensive fix.)
Kitchen Cabinets without costing a lot of money


ANYONE can do this!!! We put the kids to bed and did this in one night.
(It was a late night, however.) But, totally worth every minute!


Okay really, I could have removed the dishes and hung up curtains but this is a “real” picture. Sorry, for the tiredness.  (Is that even a word?)
Want to know what we did? So easy!!!
We didn’t have enough money for new cabinets or really did not want to darken the cabinets too much, so this was a perfect solution.



You will need:
  • liquid sand paper (found at Hardware Store)
  • Minwax® Gel Stain (Walnut Color) I do wish we had gone a shade lighter.
  • Mineral Spirits



  1. Apply the liquid sand paper with rags. This makes me the paint sticky.
    We did NOT use sandpaper! We wanted it to stay white underneath.
  2. Apply the stain to the cabinets with foam brushes.
    You have to play around here to make it look the way you want.
  3. Use mineral spirits to remove anything you don’t want or to touch-up. We used a LOT of old T-shirts here. The idea is to get the gel into the crevices for effect.
Enjoy your new cabinets!
Be sure to tell me if you have done this…I like seeing different results.
My new back-splash!

Oh, we did tile the back splash, finding the tile half off at Lowes.
Isn’t it pretty plus sooo neutral? We also put in a new sink and new hardware.

The paint color is Fragrant Cloves (B24-6) from Lowes. It reminds me of University of Texas, orange. Even though we are Aggie fans – I still love it! It goes perfect with my cobalt blue.

Hope you enjoyed your tour of my kitchen today! I’m so embarrassed and must go find where the kids hid the maid.

Click on the link, Decor Gone Easy and other projects, to see some of our other works.

Square Foot Gardening

Tree House made out of old Fence

Chicken Coop made out of old Fence

How to Tile Backsplash


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69 thoughts on “Cabinets Refinished without sandpaper

  1. Pingback: Most Popular Projects and Blog Posts from your Favorite Crafters

  2. SnoWhite

    What a beautiful transformation! We just did this at our house – just painting the cabinets and adding a backsplash made such a difference. We found our tiles marked down at Lowe’s too! That was a HUGE blessing and meant big savings! Come take a peek if you’d like.

  3. Cozy Home Scenes

    I like your “new” kitchen, especially the tile. I really like white cabinets and wish I had them in my house, but I understand the need for change. Looks like what you did was easy, but I bet your arms were killing you after doing all that in one night!

  4. Michelle "Picklewart"

    I just found your blog and this post. I’ve been wanting to do the same thing to my kitchen cabinets! Thanks for taking the time to post this for all of us!
    I love the rest of your blog too! You have some great ideas on here. I’m going to had you to my blog list on my blog so I can keep up with your posts each week!!!
    Thanks again!

  5. Honorablyfallen

    I just found your blog through The secret is in the sauce ! This is beautiful and it is just more inspiration for me because I have been trying to get up the courage to do that to my kitchen cabinets thank you so much !!! Sarahlynn

  6. Caroline

    Oh my goodness! This is (I think) almost the exact same paint color in my kitchen! Is it Terra Cotta? We have enjoyed it–a very cozy and warm color. Although, I have been thinking of repainting to light blue.
    I adore ht blue and white plates above the cabinets–that’s a nice touch!
    (I’m from SITS–thanks for letting me look around)

  7. Cara and Jenn

    HI dropping by from SITs (and Happy “Day by the way) We are thinking of painting our cabinets too but I think we are chicken. And my wall look almost the same color as yours…mine is BM Audubon Russet which I love. Enjoy looks great!

  8. singedwingangel

    That is so beautiful.. I Love it unfortunately our cabinets are dark brown already.. Sighs fortunately my hubby works for a cabinet manufacturer sooo we get our cabinets at 1/4 of the cost of the stores price.. if we ever get the ability to redo them all..

  9. Sherri @ Luv a Bargain

    WOW…that looks awesome! I can’t believe you did that in one night! I am a total DIY’er too. Last Fall, we totally gutted our bathrooms. I am now a mad wet saw user and toilet installer. Who would have thought? Then we did a tile backsplash in the kitchen too. It feels so good to look at it knowing all the hard work that went into it. Boy, I’m glad I found your blog:)

  10. Elizabeth a.k.a. Type A Mommy

    Wow, that looks awesome! I wish my cabinets were white, that would be so much easier to work on – mine have a nasty faux wood laminate type cover to them, so I haven’t done much in the way of a kitchen redo yet, because we can’t afford to replace them. Thanks for sharing, and happy SITS Day to you!

  11. Funky Junk Interiors

    I love the look of glazed cabinets!

    For the faint of heart, to get an idea on how a bigger area would look done up, I like going to thrifts and picking up old cabinet doors and doing up a sample.

    Looks fab! And thanks for linking up to the party!

    Funky Junk Donna

  12. Time For Beads

    Looks awesome! I’ve been sitting on the fence about doing my cabinets and I think I keep overanalyzing it! I may just be putting a new link about my new kitchen. Pray it happens!

  13. The DIY Show Off

    Wow! What a beautiful transformation! I love the new look on the cabinets and the tutorial. Great job! It looks awesome!

    Thanks for joining the Show & Tell! if you hadn’t – I would’ve missed this! If you get a chance…add a link in your post today (and to the party) to show everyone, I bet others may have missed it and would LOVE to see it too. Not to mention – your tips are so helpful!



  14. Bella Casa

    Hi Lana,

    Thanks for visiting my blog from the Blog Party :)

    I love what you have done with your kitchen, it’s absolutely beautiful! I have a kitchen set that looks like that (cream paint with stain distressing) and I love it. I wish our cupboards matched, but they don’t. And my dh painted our cupboards in House #1 and I did it in House #2…so this is House #3 and I don’t think either one of us wants to tackle the job here, lol.

    Very pretty!!! Nice to meet you :) I am having a giveaway on my blog for a $100 Lamp, so make sure to come by and enter :)

  15. Janel@Dandelion Dayz

    Awesome! We are getting ready to re-do our kitchen. It is not cheap!!! But we have laminate everything! It is in need of some serious changes. Great job!

    I am thinking about painting my bathroom cabinet. I am going to bookmark this for sure.

  16. Kirby3131

    Whooo Hooo!! It looks fabulous! I’m so proud of you for making your kitchen into something that you love to be in – for a minimal amount of money.

    I just have to tell you – I don’t have 5 children – Heck I don’t have any children and my kitchen has looked like your before photo LOL

  17. Daiquiri

    Love this! We have plain oak cabinets…just like every single other house in this area. We’ve been searching for a way to make them a bit more unique. Maybe some twist on this trick….hmmm…


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