Clean the cabinets with trisodium phosphate, or TSP, a powerful cleaner and grease remover. Find TSP with the cleaning products in the hardware store.
Attach medium-grit sandpaper to a palm sander. Sand the cabinets to remove all traces of dark color. Sand until you reach bare wood.
Fold a piece of medium-grit sandpaper in half. Use the folded corner to reach into the small corners and crevices of the cabinets.
Switch the palm sander to fine-grit sandpaper. Sand the cabinets to remove any remaining traces of stain and smooth out any imperfections in the wood. Run your bare hand over the wood--the maple should be soft to the touch. Wipe away the sanding dust with a tack cloth.
Dip a good-quality paintbrush into a light stain. Apply stain to the cabinet and wipe away the excess with a clean rag. Allow the stain to dry. Apply additional coats until you like the look. Skip this step if you prefer the light color of the bare wood.
Apply a thin, even coat of polyurethane topcoat to the cabinets with a paintbrush. Let the topcoat dry completely. Apply two to three additional coats.
Things You Will Need
- Trisodium phosphate
- Palm sander
- Tack cloth
- Polyurethane topcoat
- To preserve the appearance of the cabinet, find out the age of your cabinet and understand the nature of the original finish. Choose a stain or product that most closely matches the original finish.