Are your kitchen cabinets looking a bit outdated? Do you dread the thought of having to replace them?
The good news is you can refinish kitchen cabinets to give them a beautiful new look at a fraction of the cost it takes to replace them. It’s a cost-effective and relatively easy way to give your kitchen a whole new look.
In this blog post, we’ll walk you through how to refinish kitchen cabinets like a pro. So whether you’re looking for a new color or want to give them a distressed look, we’ve got you covered!
Keep reading for tips and tricks on how to refinish your kitchen cabinets like a pro.
Being Safe While You Refinish Kitchen Cabinets
Here are a few tips to help you refinish your cabinets safely:
- Wear gloves and a dust mask to protect your hands and lungs from the refinishing chemicals and dust
- Work in a well-ventilated area, such as an open garage or outdoors. You can also use fans to help with ventilation
- Strip the old finish off of the cabinets using a chemical stripper. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully
- Some kitchen cabinet refinishing chemicals are flammable, so be careful about open flames, heaters, etc
- Avoid using toxic chemicals when refinishing cabinets. Choose water-based refinishing products instead
- Apply the new finish according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Use a brush or roller for the best results
- Allow the finish to dry completely before using the cabinets
How To Refinish Kitchen Cabinets Correctly
1. Protect Your Kitchen And Work Area
It’s important to take the necessary precautions to protect your space while refinishing your kitchen cabinets. Otherwise, you’ll have a longer and harder time cleaning up and may cause damage to other surfaces.
One way to protect your kitchen and work area is to cover your countertops and floors with drop cloths. This will help to prevent refinishing dust and fumes from damaging your surfaces. It’s also important to ventilate your work area by opening windows or using fans. This will help to keep the refinishing fumes from becoming overwhelming. It isn’t great to inhale fumes like these over long periods of time.
2. Remove Doors And Drawers
Start by removing all of the hardware from the doors and drawers. This includes hinges, knobs, and pulls. Set the hardware aside in a safe place so that you don’t lose it. Label each piece of hardware so you know where it goes when you’re ready to put the cabinets back together
Next, use a putty knife to loosen the door’s lip molding. This is the strip of wood that runs along the bottom edge of the door. Gently pry the molding away from the door, taking care not to damage it. Repeat this step for all of the doors
Once the molding has been removed, gently tap each door at the top corners to loosen it from the hinges. Doors are usually attached with two or three hinges, so you may need to tap at multiple points to loosen them completely
With the doors removed, you can now access the drawer boxes. To remove a drawer box, start by removing any screws that are holding it in place. Then, pull the drawer box out of its opening. You may need to tap it lightly with a mallet to loosen it if it’s stuck. Repeat this process for all of the drawer boxes
3. Remove The Finish
Apply a stripping agent to the cabinets. You can use a chemical stripper or a heat gun, depending on your preference.
If you opt for the chemical stripper, apply it with a brush and let it sit for the recommended amount of time before removing it with a putty knife or scraper. For using a heat gun, hold it about six inches from the surface and move it back and forth until the finish begins to blister and peel.
Once the finish is loose, scrape it off with a putty knife or other scraper.
4. Clean The Cabinets And Hardware
Use a mild cleaner and a soft cloth to wipe down all the surfaces of the cabinets. Be sure to get into all the nooks and crannies. If there are any stubborn spots, you can use a toothbrush or Q-tip to get them clean. Finally, rinse them clean and dry them using a soft cloth.
5. Repair Any Damages
Fill in any dings, scratches, and other similar damages with wood filler. Then, sand it down until the surface is smooth.
If your cabinets have too much damage, it’s better to buy new ones instead of continuing with the project.
6. Apply The New Finish
There are a few different methods, all depending on what type of finish you choose to refinish your kitchen cabinets with.
For stains, apply a sealer to help the stain go on uniformly. Then, apply the stain using a rag, brush, or combination of the two. Finally, apply polyurethane varnish to help protect the stain and your cabinets.
For painting, apply a primer and let it dry. Then, paint two coats, allowing drying time for each coat.
*Don’t forget to follow these steps for your cabinet boxes, or the beautiful new look of your doors won’t match
7. Reassemble Your Kitchen Cabinets
Start by reinstalling the doors. If your doors have hinges, start with the hinge side of the door and work your way out. Then, install the drawer fronts. Next, screw the cabinet boxes to the wall or base. Finally, install the molding, handles, and hardware.
You Can Rely On The Experts At Frei Remodeling To Give Your Kitchen An Incredible New Look
If you’re feeling inspired to tackle your kitchen cabinets on your own, be sure to follow the above safety tips. But if the idea of refinishing kitchen cabinets seems like too much work or just overwhelming, don’t worry! Frei Remodeling can take care of everything for you. We’d love to hear from you and help make your dream kitchen a reality. So fill out our contact form today, and let’s get started!