Thursday, December 23, 2010

Refinishing Kitchen Cabinets

We are no where near working on our kitchen, but it is definitely time to do our homework for the project.  The planner in me says so!  One of the major renovation components and expenses, is refinishing the kitchen cabinets.  As I said before, there are three different kinds of cabinets in out kitchen, and I think that painting them will make them a little more cohesive.  The big question is - are we going to refinish them by ourselves?  It's a big undertaking.

Photo Credit: Link
 Part of deciding if we will do our own work on our kitchen cabinets is really researching the way to do the job correctly.  After reading a lot, and using my own home renovation smarts, this is the best step by step I have come up with.

1. Empty all of your cabinets.  It will be easiest to work without all of your pots and pans in the way.

2. Remove all the doors.  I plan on drawing a quick elevation of each set of cabinets & numbering each door in the elevation.  Each door will have a piece of masking tape on the back with a corresponding number.  This will help greatly when trying to put everything back together.

3. Remove all hardware.  There is a method to this too.  Get a handful of plastic zip bags.  Number each bag with the number of each cabinet door.  Put all hardware into the corresponding bag.  This also helps you to keep things organized.

4. Clean cabinet doors and frame.  It's important to get all grease, food residue, etc. off of the cabinets.  You can use just about any cleaner here, but be sure to wipe down all cabinets with a wet rag to remove all of the cleaning agents.  It is also important to remember the cabinet frame.  You can't just paint the doors!  This is much easier to take care of when the doors are off, but it's important not to forget about it when scheduling the order of your project.

5. Sand cabinet doors and frame.  The purpose here is really to knock off the varnish or paint from the existing cabinets.  Most sites that I found recommended 150 grit or finer.  I plan on investing in a sander if we decide to undertake this project.  Sanding by hand would take forever.

6. Add holes for new hardware.  This is a step that I am adding.  Our current cabinets do not have any hardware, they have under cabinet reveals.  I think that super sleek brushed nickel cabinet and drawer pulls will really add another element that unifies the cabinets.  Because I don't want to mess up the finish paint, I think that this is the time to add this step.

7. Fill in dents & nicks.  You want to use a wood filler to fill in any imperfections in your doors.

8. Prime doors & frame.  Buy the paint that you want to use first.  We will most likely be using a latex paint for our cabinets, so we want to be sure to buy a primer that is appropriate for a latex finish coat.  It is important to use the right type of primer. 

9. Apply the first finish coat.  Everyone says that  more thin coats is the way too go.  Goop-ing on the paint super heavy on the first coat will not keep the finish.  We are probably going to rent or purchase a paint sprayer for this part, as I don't really want to see brush strokes.  There are some paint additives that you can put in the paint to prevent obvious brush strokes, but in my opinion, the sprayer is the way to go.  After this step you can do a quick finish sand with 400 grit sandpaper - especially if you decided to brush on the finish.  It will give the second coat a smooth surface to adhere to.

Photo Credit: Link

10. Add the second/ final finish coat.  Two coats should be all that you need, however some darker colors may require a third thin coat to get complete coverage.

11. Reinstall.  This is where being organized pays off.  Get out your sketch and put all the doors and hardware in front of their assigned openings.  Reinstall.

Then sit back and enjoy your new cabinets.  We still might get a quote to see how much it would be for two guys to come in one weekend and do this, because this project will probably take several weeks for us to accomplish on our own.  Things to think about.


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    Doors refinishing

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