How to Rid Cabinets of Water Spots and Make Them New Again


Cabinets with water spots are not the prettiest to look at. It could be pretty unsightly, and there are many cabinets in many kitchens that can be found to have this issue. Moisture may seep into your cabinet’s finish during the cooking process and damage the appearance of your cabinets, blemishing its beauty. You may be wondering about ways to get rid of these water spots. Thankfully, there are some simple methods that you can apply and remedy your water-spotted cabinets. If you are doing a kitchen renovation but would like to keep your current cabinets, here are a few ways to remove water spots and make them look new again.

Remove Lacquer if Needed

It’s typical for water spots to be found only in the lacquer of white or gray kitchen cabinets, for example. When moisture is trapped beneath wood finish, it creates a white milky color in the finish, often called blushing, which appears as a whitish blotch or spot. Water can splash onto the cabinets, which leads to the development of the water spot over time. Water spots that are minimal in appearance may not require considerable effort to remove, other than some ordinary household products. If the water spots are severe, you may need to remove and replace the lacquer for an effective solution.

Get Rid of Spots With Household Products

Minor water spots can be removed with particular household products. Furniture polish that has some natural oil can be applied to the cabinet surface and rubbed robustly to remove the water spots. Scrub with a clean, stiff piece of denim, creating enough friction to heat the surface of the cabinet and remove the water spots. If the spots are stubborn and remain after scrubbing, dampen a soft cloth with a small portion of denatured alcohol and rub the surface of the cabinets gently until you get rid of the spots. Keep in mind that the alcohol can dissolve the finish entirely if you are not careful with the amount that you apply when removing the spots. The best way to go about using alcohol is to do so sparingly.

Try Sanding

Sometimes scrubbing simply won’t cut it when trying to remove water spots. The water spots may penetrate too deep into the lacquer for scrubbing with products to remove it at all. This is where sanding the lacquer off may be a better option than scrubbing. Use a hand block featuring 100-grit sandpaper to remove the water spots. After the removal, you can decide to restain and lacquer to give your cabinets a renovated look. If you use an orbital sander for a majority of the removal of the water spots, finish by hand for optimal results.

Apply Fresh Finish

Another method of water spot removal that you should consider is applying a fresh coat of finish. The stain can be applied generously with a sponge brush and should be quickly wiped off with a dry lint-free cloth before the stain dries. After the stain is completely dry on the cabinet’s surface, spray the kitchen cabinets with a coat of lacquer for sealing. Hand sand the cabinets with 180-grit sandpaper after applying the first coat and drying is complete. You can apply a second coat to make your cabinets shine through.

You don’t have to be stuck with cabinets that have unsightly water stains. If you are planning a kitchen renovation, you can remove the water spots from your cabinets using these simple, yet effective methods. Make your cabinets sparkle once again and get rid of those water spots that are robbing them of their beauty.

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