Link to imgur album with pictures

So my wife and I recently bought a nice starter home and now we are planning to remodel parts of the house. We are interviewing a few General Contractors to explain what we want and find out whats possible. Though I still want to attempt somethings on my own.

One of the things I want to do on my own is strip and paint the cabinets.

Removing the cabinet doors to strip the varnish shouldn't be too hard (I think) but I want to know about the portions in red boxes (see link above), the parts of the cabinets mounted into the walls. What can I do to strip the varnish from the wall mounted portions of my cabinets.

I am not even sure what to google to find a satisfying answer for my question. What would I call those portions?

And if the answer is honestly. "Dude just buy new cabinets and have them installed, thats fine as well.

I may post this to the reddit home improvement subreddit as well.

Thank you guys again I do appreciate it.

  • 1
    Really they look like real wood. New cabinets of the quality might cost you your first born. Will need close ups of the edges/corners. Painting real wood is not recommended(by me), staining/sealing/varnish is good. The woodworking.stackexchange.com will be better if real wood/good veneer.
    – crip659
    Aug 13, 2023 at 22:04

1 Answer 1


The cabinets do not need to be striped to be painted.

Remove the moldings at the top of the cabinets. clean and sand them to be painted separately. Do the same with the doors and drawer fronts.

Just clean the wood with a good degreaser, ( TSP, Dawn or other similar detergent.)

Hand sand with 150 then 220 grit paper to get everything smooth. Wipe everything clean with a damp cloth to remove dust. Tape off areas that are not to be painted with a quality tape and plastic.

Then spray with a sealer/primer and your choice of color.

  • I would use a Shellac primer, not a water based product such as Zinsser 1-2-3, I've had stains bleed with that product.
    – matt.
    Aug 13, 2023 at 23:26
  • Right. I don't see any of the existing finish peeling. If they've been there a long time—they look pretty dated, so they could be really old—and haven't peeled by now, odds are they won't. So you can just scuff up the existing finish and paint without stripping.
    – Huesmann
    Aug 14, 2023 at 12:21

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