The first thing to do is to remove all of
the hardware. Take off the hinges and handles. After you take off the handles,
examine the area around where the hinge was. This will give you a good idea
what you are up against. If there is a good-sized ring of crud around it, you
are going to need plenty of elbow grease.
Now you have to clean all of that crud up
and remove any wax on the surface. We have found that TSP cleaner or mineral
spirits give good results. If you use mineral spirits, do so with plenty of
If using mineral spirits, dip the steel
wool in the mineral spirits, wring it out slightly and then being scrubbing.
Make sure that you scrub all areas. You need to remove the wax along with the
dirt. If there is wax left on the surface, the primer and paint will not hold
well to that area. Make sure that you clean the areas of the cabinet that you
are going to paint as well. When done, wipe down the wood with a rag and set it
aside to dry.
If you use TSP, employ a good scrub brush
and plenty of elbow grease to get rid of the gunk.
Next, lightly sand all of the surfaces to
be painted with 320-400 grit sandpaper. You do not need to sand down to bare
wood. This will etch scratches into the finish and give the paint and primer
something to hold onto. If the sandpaper starts to get loaded with gunk, you
did not clean the cabinets completely. Using a rag, wipe down the doors and
face frame to remove all dust.