Refacing Metal Kitchen Cabinets? (Everything You Must Know)

By - Hs Saini

Updated -

Metal cabinets are commonly used in several kitchen models. Metal kitchen cabinets are made of stainless steel, which is very durable and can help to give that desired stainless steel kitchen effect you desire.

However, we may desire to change the kitchen’s overall layout, and it leaves us wondering if refacing metal kitchen cabinets is a good idea.

Refacing metal kitchen cabinets is possible, easy, and inexpensive. You don’t need to reface metal kitchen cabinets because it is durable, but you can replace the cabinet door designs to enhance the appearance. It is not a bad idea to change the outlook of your stainless kitchen cabinets.

Can You Reface Metal Kitchen Cabinets?

Refacing Metal Kitchen Cabinets

You can reface a metal kitchen cabinet to give you that amazing new look. Metal or stainless kitchen cabinets are easy to reface, and the cost depends on the size of the kitchen.

Refacing kitchen cabinets is cheaper than replacing the whole cabinet or remodeling the whole kitchen. Refacing cabinets also helps get rid of odor from residual oils and water.

Metal kitchen cabinets have several advantages over wooden kitchen cabinets, such as.

#1. Durability

Stainless kitchen cabinets can last a long time after installation or refacing. It has a high resistance against corrosion and rusting.

The stainless structure removes the chances of wearing. You need to maintain the cabinet by cleaning off stains with a piece of cloth damped in kerosene.

It saves the cost of maintenance and replacements. 

#2. Inability to chip or peel

Metal kitchen cabinets doors do not chip or peel; they are resistant to moisture. So you don’t have to worry about the doors chipping off.

#3. Easy to install and remove

You can easily install and remove stainless kitchen cabinets because the designs are pre-assembled.

However, to hold it steady, you have to follow the assembled guide and tighten the nuts and screws

How to Reface Metal Kitchen Cabinet?

Replacing or refacing the kitchen cabinet aims to give it a new look and enhance the beauty of the kitchen.

However, when it comes to changing the outlook appearance of a metal kitchen cabinet may require skills and attention.

It is pretty straightforward but to get a good finish, here are some procedures to follow.

#1. Clean and Prepare the Metal

Remove all the front drawers, door handles, and hinges. Clean the cabinet with a liquid dish soap and water mixture, rinse the residue with a damp cloth, and dry it with a dry cloth.

Ensure the surface is smooth so that the paint or adhesive stays on.

#2. Inspect and Repair Any Problem

Inspect the kitchen cabinets thoroughly for dents, corrosion, and rust problems. If rust is present, use a rust remover and steel wool to remove it.

If there is significant damage, you need to replace the part completely.

#3. Sand the Surface

If the metal surface is rough or the previous paint used is chipping off, sand the metal to smoothen the surface. You can also use a paint stripper to remove the paint.

However, you should note that paint strippers are flammable and toxic. You should wear protective goggles, gloves, and nose cover and work in a well-ventilated environment.

Sanding metals can help get rid of scratches, rust, and faded paint. First, you need to sand the surface smooth and paint them.

You can also reinstall the cabinets after filing without painting; they would look bright and smooth. You don’t need to clean the metal if you intend to sand it after that.

To get a perfectly smooth surface, you can use an electric sander. It is recommended to use 80-grit sandpaper to begin and finish with 220-grit sandpaper.

Clean off any metal particle on the surface with a damp rag. Always use a respirator mask and goggles to protect your eyes and respiratory system.

#4. Refinish Kitchen Cabinet

Use spray paint to refinish the kitchen cabinet. Scratches would accommodate the paint without making it look heavy. You can as well use a brush to apply the paint.

Whichever refinishing method you choose is okay to get the job done, but you should always ensure to work in a well-ventilated workspace.

For example, if you are working from the kitchen, you can open the doors and windows to allow ventilation.

Tape the areas you do not want to paint with newspaper. Prime the metal surface and follow the instructions for the product to know how to apply and how long it should be left alone to dry.

Apply the color of paint you desire and leave it to dry before adding a second layer.

#5. Finishing With a Protective Finish

Due to friction from being opened and closed repeatedly, stainless kitchen cabinets begin to wear.

You can use a clear topcoat to finish the paint job, application of the protective coat can help the paint on the cabinet last longer.

The topcoat would prevent the paint from chipping and take the impact of the friction or other external forces. You can reassemble the cabinet and handles when the topcoat is dry.

Can I Paint My Vintage Metal Kitchen Cabinets?

Yes, you can paint your vintage metal kitchen cabinets. If you have a vintage metal kitchen cabinet that is still durable, you think you need to change the appearance.

Painting kitchen cabinets is also an excellent way to change the kitchen’s outlook.

However, there are some procedures and precautions to follow when painting a kitchen cabinet.

#1. Remove All Hardware

You should remove all hardware before painting. You can put them back when the paint is dry or replace them with new ones.

Unfortunately, some vintage models cannot be removed or unscrewed; you have to paint them the same color as the door.

You may also decide to remove the doors before painting, but it is easier to leave the doors and remove the handles. But, again, it all depends on the model and assembly of the cabinet.

#2. Clean the Cabinets

Clean the cabinet thoroughly to remove all grease, dust, and stains. Next, wash the cabinet with a liquid soap and water mixture.

Make sure the cabinet dries thoroughly to avoid water left causing rusting. 

Remove any loose paint with a soft brush, and avoid sanding because it can create lead dust which is dangerous to the health.

If you need to sand the surface, wear protective google and a respiratory mask.

#3. Refinish Kitchen Cabinets

Apply a spray primer. Primer prevents moisture that can cause corrosion and rust.

#4. Painting the cabinets

Oil-based paints go well on metal cabinets. Latex paint may result in flaking and chipping; paint the metal cabinet with two coats of oil-based paint.

Make sure each coat is completely dry before you apply another coat.

Always wear protective gloves and goggles whenever you color your cabinet.


Lastly, whenever you feel like remodeling your kitchen or find a vintage metal kitchen cabinet and want to change its look, you should remember that you can refresh or paint it.

It is straightforward and inexpensive to do. However, you may need to consult a professional to get the perfect finish.

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