The first thing that will be done is cleaning. Because foods, grease, dust, and moisture does build up after a while, thorough cleaning needs to be done before the refinishing process can officially begin. This step is usually done with a rag and a special cleaner while they are still attached to the frame. Usually they will be taken off before the tougher spots are cleaned. You will also need to remove the handles and hardware. It is during this process that you need to remove and label them so that they can be put back exactly where they belong.
Once the cabinets have been removed, the stripping process can begin. Before you strip them, however, you need to find out what kind of material they are coated with so that you know what product to use, because only certain types of products can be used on certain materials or your cabinets can be ruined. Once they are completely dry, any holes and scratches will be patched, then sanded until completely smooth.
Once they are clean, smooth, and dry, the refacing process can begin. Before you do this, you need to choose whether you want them varnished or painted. If you choose to have them painted, they will be primed first. Along with painting and varnishing, you may want to put on new handles and hardware to complete the new look. To make sure that they coordinate with your kitchen style and new finish, you may want to consider taking one of your newly refinished cabinets to the hardware store so that they can be matched up.