If you have shopped for new kitchen cabinets recently, you know that it’s often much more economical to refinish your old cabinets then to go out and buy new ones. Here are 8 tips that will make your kitchen cabinet refinishing a huge success:
- If your cabinets are painted, remove the paint with a chemical stripper. If your cabinets are stained or varnished, either clean the surface well or remove most of the stain or varnish with a chemical re-finisher, this is relatively simple to do and will not take too much of your time.
- Take the doors off your cabinets and remove the handles and all the hardware. It will be much easier if you lay the doors flat to work on them rather than leaving on their hinges.
- It will then be best check and see how much damage there is to the cabinets. If there is only minimal damage, such as dark stains around the door handles, just clean these areas. Use a synthetic steel wool pad because it won’t hurt your fingers or get caught on the wood grain.
- Dip the pad in paint thinner, mineral spirits, or turpentine, and get scrubbing. Then lightly scrub the whole surface, cleaning and dulling it so the new finish will stick easily.
- Once you have cleaned the surface and removed the dark stains, it is then time to wipe on an oil-based, clear finish. All clear finishes are low-odour and most are available in either glossy or satin finish. It is best to apply several coats for a thicker and more vibrant finish.
- If you find you need to redo more than just a few stained areas, use a chemical re-finisher – a strong solvent cleaner that dissolves and removes part of the old varnish. If you are unsure on this then ask an expert at your local paint store to suggest a good quality re-finisher.
- When you are using the chemical re-finisher, work in small areas, and scrub the finish with a synthetic steel wool pad. The chemical re-finisher will remove the finish and even out the colour of the wood and stain.
- The cabinet’s surface should be smooth and evenly coloured once you have scrubbed the entire surface. If you find it isn’t, just wipe the entire cabinet in long, overlapping strokes with clean re-finisher. Most of the stain colour will remain, and the wood will or should be very smooth.
It is extremely important that you wear protective clothing at all times and make sure that your work area is well-ventilated when refinishing your cabinets due to the fact that the chemicals you will use are extremely strong in smell and should not be placed on ones skin at any time.