Restore The Beauty Of An Old, Wooden Cabinet With Fresh Stain And Varnish

If you have an old, wooden cabinet inside of your home's kitchen that has a faded surface, restore the beauty of the piece of furniture by sanding its wooden surface and adding a coat of stain and varnish with the following steps. Once you have completed the wood refinishing project, you will own an attractive piece of wooden furniture that will add beauty to the inside of your home.


  • electric or hand sander
  • low and high grit sandpaper
  • wood cleaner
  • lint-free cloths
  • can of wood stain
  • mixing stick
  • paint tray
  • vinyl tarps
  • painter's tape
  • paint tray
  • paintbrushes (various sizes)
  • can of varnish

​Sand And Clean The Cabinet's Surface

Carry the cabinet outdoors to complete the restoration steps since the stain and varnish contain harsh fumes that should be applied in a well-ventilated area. Use an electric sander or hand sander that has a piece of low-grit sandpaper attached to it to sand the cabinet's surface. Move the sander firmly over the old varnish and stain in order to remove as much as possible.

Lightly sand the cabinet's surface with a piece of high-grit sandpaper afterwards. Clean the cabinet's surface with wood cleaner and a lint-free cloth. Dry the wood with a clean cloth once you are done.

Apply A Coat Or Two Of Stain

Mix a can of wood stain and pour it into a paint tray. Place the cabinet on top of vinyl tarps so that the ground isn't exposed to any spills. Place strips of painter's tape on any hardware that is on the cabinet's exterior that you do not wish to cover with stain. Apply the stain with a paintbrush. Move the paintbrush in straight lines over the wooden surface.

If there are any small details in the piece of furniture, use a thin paintbrush to cover them with a coat of stain. Wait for the stain to dry. If any portions of the cabinet's surface aren't covered sufficiently, add a second coat of stain.

Add Varnish To The Cabinet's Surface

Mix a container of varnish and pour it into a clean paint tray. Use paintbrushes to apply an even coat of the varnish to the furniture's exterior. The varnish will provide the cabinet with a shiny surface and will protect the wood from damage associated with moisture. Once the varnish dries, remove the pieces of painter's tape. Set the cabinet inside of your kitchen. It will look newer and will complement other furniture and decor inside of the room.