The basic principle of painting cabinetry is to sand all the surfaces and then clean it off completely to ensure that there is absolutely no dust or dirt present before you stain or paint them. After you have achieved that, then you can apply the stain or paint brushing or rolling with the grain of the wood. The other option would be to use a sprayer for the paint application; there are some very good quality sprayers that will give you a uniform finish over each surface. The only other important maintenance tip for painting cabinets is to be consistent in your coverage methods. The process of painting cabinets may seem a bit overwhelming at first, but if you take it one step at a time it should go without any hiccups.
Staining comes in two varieties, oil stain and latex stain. Because of the differences in the two types of stain it is important to know what type of paint the cabinets have currently as this will affect the finish. Oily stain will take more prep work to ensure that the stain is absorbed throughout the entire application process. It is also easier to reapply stain when oil-based stains were used for the initial application. With oil based stain, you will have to sand the rough surfaces and then apply stain.
Paint is the second option to finish the cabinets with and there is either water based or latex based. The first step in either choice will be to use a primer which will protect it and also keep the look very smooth throughout the years. Without the primer the paint seeps into the wood and leaves a tacky finish which will cause oil and debri build up very quickly. So make sure you take the extra step and apply the primer to help protect your new color. After all, the finish on the cabinets is the most prominent part of the cabinets. The paint on the cabinets usually is one of the most noticed of all the other aspects of the cabinets.