Refinishing #2: Refinishing Cabinets in 1 Hour

Here are my vanity cabinets. They lie between my master bedroom and my mater bathroom. 
They first looked like this! (below picture)

I figured I would have to strip and stain, or paint them for sure, but before I took them off their hinges and started the long and tedious process, I figured I would try a couple other “options” first. 
So I took the Minwax wood finish touch-up pen. 

Some of the worn areas on the cabinets were so discolored, I thought I would try blending them in by marking over them with the stain pen. I put on two coats so they would be a similar color as the rest of the cabinet. 

This worked really well (in my opinion).
Once the cabinets were uniform in color, I wiped stain over them. They already had a thick sealer on them, so I wasn’t sure how this would work, but they looked really good! On a sour note, they took a day to dry, and 3 days to quit smelling, so I don’t suggest you do this unless you can open the window, have good ventilation, and sleep in another room for a couple nights. Luckily, I have a Hepa filter. The Hepa filter, an open window and a shut door (so that the fumes didn’t get in the rest of the house), seemed to work. 
I added some hardware, added some contact paper on the inside, did a little organizing and I was done! 

This successful trail saved me HOURS of work! I was glad I gave it a try before getting the paint stripper out! I’m no expert and I’m not suggesting my re-staining method over the typical stripping then staining method. I’m just letting all of you see that it worked for me, and as I mentioned before….saved me HOURS! 


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Sundays: Homemaker on a Dime Sunday’s Best CRAFT


  1. Looks fabulous I love this idea. I use Minwax all the time. Got to remember this . Hugs, Marty

  2. Great renewal of those cabinets, Katie. They look like brand new and well worth the effort it took to do them. Sometimes we make things so much harder for ourselves than we need to. You tried “easy” first and look how great it turned out! xo Diana

  3. They turned out great! And saved you time and energy to boot! Wonderful job!
    Dee Dee

  4. Looks very nice!

  5. Wow, they look great! Good job.:)

  6. Your cabinets are beautiful! You did a wonderful job! 🙂

  7. just talked about redoing kitchen cabinets due to sun fading some of them…this is MUCH better choice for trying first! Thank you for the timely post!

  8. That touch up pen? You just saved this gal’s kitchen and her bacon! Thanks!!!!

  9. Wow, thats very impressive. Great post. I am looking forward to seeing you at My Dream Canvas.

  10. I’m so impressed! These look great!

  11. I have very similar cabinets in a spare bathroom and am NOT looking forward to re-doing them, but the bathroom has to be gutted on a budget, so, what’s a girl to do???

  12. They definately look a LOT better! It’s amazing the difference a quick touch up can do for a vanity 🙂

  13. Way better! I pinned this 🙂 and now happily following you via Linky.

  14. Great tip, I never would have thought of that either so thanks for putting it in my brain 😉

  15. Huge difference and way better than going through the process of completely refinishing them! Great job.

  16. nice job! and yes- so much easier than redoing the entire thing!

  17. Wow a really nice transformation, I’m going to have to remember this. They really look brand new. Great job! Thanks for sharing you creative inspiration at Sunday’s Best Par.tay

  18. What a wonderful finish! Thanks for the tips.
    be a sweetie,
    shelia 😉

  19. The cabinets look great! Good tip to know seeing as how just the idea of refinishing my cabinets gives me hives!!!

    I’d love for you to share this at Simply Klassic Sunday

  20. WOW your cabinets look amazing!!!

  21. That is an amazing redo and quick, too. The end result is really nice! I would love to have you share this project or any other one at my “Your Cozy Home Party”. This would be good information for lots of women who are looking for an inexpensive way to make their cabinets look as great as yours. Please join us today if you can.——- Shannon

  22. The cabinets look awesome! I’m your newest Linky & GFC follower and would love a follow in return!

  23. Great job Katie! I am all about saving time! Woo hoo! Thanks for linking up to our party – please come and visit me at Embracing Change and follow along! I would love to have you and will be starting my first linky party next week – would love to have you link up!
    Stacey of Embracing Change

  24. They turned out wonderful. I love the stain pens and I use them on scratches on our hardwood floors. Thanks for linking to the open House party this week. Hugs, Sherry

  25. Wow! Great looking cabinets. Thanks for sharing another great ideas at my {k.i.s.s.} blog bash. 🙂


    Drop By & Visit {The Tattered Tag}

  26. GREAT JOB! I am now following you on Linky.I would love it if you followed me back. I really enjoy meeting new Bloggers.

  27. They look fantastic Katie! Thanks for the tips and sharing at this week’s party!

  28. Neat and simple refinishing..

  29. I am buying this.

  30. Looks great. I have an organey-oak cabinet that I want to redo a darker stain. I may give it a try!

    ps. I’m now following you on GFC and Linky!

  31. Great idea! Thank you for sharing this at simply creations link party!

  32. Wow! That was an awesome fix! Your cabinets look great!
    I’m a new follower on both google and linky…please stop by for a visit…and follow back if you like what you see!

  33. Great Fix, Katie. Thank you for sharing at Potpourri Friday!

  34. You are MY kind of gal! I love saving time :). And such beautiful results!! They look brand new!

  35. As good as new! Thanks so much for linking up to Kiss & Tell over at I Gotta Create!

  36. Looks great! Much easier than redoing the whole thing! I’m a new Linky follower, would love for you to stop by Plum Doodlesa and if you like what you see, follow me back. 🙂 Oh, and I like you on facebook, too!

  37. Love your blog…have been following with RSS feed, but now am also a Linky Follower.

    Sharon @ mrs. hines class

  38. Impressive results! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  39. Wow! They look amazing! Great job!!

  40. What a difference. Great change. And thanks for the “heads up” on the smell. I was thinking of using this product soon & it’s too cold to ventilate. On to plan B . . .

    Warmly, Michelle

  41. I’m a follower from the Linky Follower Blog hop! I hope you’ll follow me back!

  42. They look great. I need to do mine.

  43. Great tips! I’m your newest follower on GFC and LF. Would love a visit from you! Hugs, Kim

  44. New follower from LF Party hop. Love it if you could visit me at

  45. The cabinets look amazing! We loved having you link up to our “Strut Your Stuff Saturday!” We hope to see you back next Saturday with more fun ideas! -The Sisters

  46. Amazing what new knobs do… Now wait till you are spraypainting your cabinets…. You’ll be living in a new world….

    I actually came to your site from the FOLLOWERS LINKY blog hop, and ** I am following you. ** Will you follow me back? Thank you so much when you do.

    There is also a party on our blog today, where you can feature ‘your best creative work’.

    Use this link to do both:
    Have a happy day! Hope to seeing you around!

  47. I can’t believe that this worked AND I’m mad at myself for not thinking about it first.

    A little history…I stripped, sanded, poly-ed, sanded and poly-ed my great grandmothers bedroom furniture to make my own. She had actually put pea-green paint over the beautiful dark wood! Eek! The pieces turned out beautiful, but boy, I swore I’d never do it again! Well, that was before I had the opportunity to get my parent’s bedroom furniture.

    I wanted my daughter to have a beautiful bedroom set too. SO, I stripped off the poly, sanded, poly-ed, sanded, and poly-ed. It was a heck of a lot easier because my parent’s HADN’T painted over it! But, it was still a pain in the butt. So, this time I absolutely swore!

    Ugh…did it again. But, smiles, it was just an end table this time. Anyway, having all this “experience” behind me, I still find myself avoiding the unavoidable.

    My house is 16 years old now, things are starting to “sag,” “go out,” and just look drab. I NEED to just put on my happy pants and fix it! The unavoidable, that is. I need to fix the nicks, grooves, and flaking poly on my baseboards, trim and my bathroom cabinets. Who would have thought that painters didn’t know how to stain and poly correctly? Not me. The poly job that they did on my oak trim, gastly! The bathroom cabinets have been avoided due to their size, my lack of enthusiasm and their utilization! The trim, a little harder in my opinion, but still not as bad as the…b a s e b o a r d s !!!

    Here comes the light, the gleaming, bright, inventor of all things easy….you! I could literally just hug you until you squeal! I’m so excited! I was going to do these things this summer, I am a teacher so I get summers off, and boy, was I avoiding the end of the school year! Now, I can’t wait…easy is my new game! I plan on using your experiences to help me with my stain/poly-athon!

    Now, did you know that window installers don’t know how to hang mirrors in bathrooms? You know, to use those little thing-ies called MIRROR clips? This is another story…


    P.S. Happily a new follower!

    • I hope it turns out well April! I think as long as you’re using a similar color of stain, it will really give the cabinets a quick fix! I also noticed that professionals don’t always do a great job. One of my friends hires people often and I see lots of drips! Happy stain-poly-athon this summer!

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