How to Refinish Kitchen Cabinets
Cooking up a storm is always better when you’re in a kitchen that sets the atmosphere for a good mood. So, if your chipped, broken, or outmoded cabinets are getting you down, then perhaps its time for something new. But before you consider remodelling completely, perhaps giving them a cheerful refinish is all that’s needed. By repainting your cupboards or installing new doors, you can achieve a whole new look at a fraction of the cost.
To help you pull off a professional refinished look for your kitchen cabinets, we’ll give you an overview of what needs to be done.
1. Plan Ahead
The process starts with some forethought. You need to decide what type of colours you have in mind for your new cabinets and if there are any fancy techniques you would like to apply. Once you have envisioned the end result, then its easier to work towards it. It will also help you to determine which tools and products you are going to have to have on hand.
Here’s our list of basic supplies which should be added to your shopping list:
- Hand tools such as a scraper, screwdrivers, a hammer, sandpaper, and rags
- Masking tape or painter’s tape
- A drop-cloth or plenty of newspaper to protect your floors and furniture from paint splashes
- Primer, paints, and paint stripper (optional)
- Quality paintbrushes or a sprayer
Once you are sure that you have all of the essential items needed to do a proper refinishing job, then it’s time to prep your cabinets for their new look.
2. Prep Your Cabinets
If you want your cabinets to look like they have been remodelled by a pro, then you need to do a proper job from the get-go. This means you shouldn’t slack when it comes to prepping your surfaces.
First, empty the cupboards of all their contents and then give all areas a good clean to remove dust and stains.
Next, remove the cabinet doors, shelves, and hinges. It’s going to be easier to paint your surfaces this way.
Then, strip the old paint or sand down the cabinets so that the surface is smooth and ready for a new coat of paint.
Lastly, fill dents, chips and nicks with wood putty to create an even surface. Remember to sand the putty down once it dries so that the fills lie flush with the surface.
3. Time to Prime
Many amateurs skip the priming process to save money, time, and effort. If you want your refinished cabinets to last, however, then we recommend that you take this step seriously. A proper priming job will also help to ensure that the colour of your paint is accentuated well.
Most primers today will work on anything and you can ask the clerk at your nearest builder’s store what they recommend. A good practice is to match a primer with the paint – for example, a shellac primer should be used on a latex paint and an oil primer on oil paint.
Once you have fully primed the surfaces you want to refinish, then you can move onto the fun part, painting!
4. Time to Paint
Now you can transform your cabinet into something creative and new.
For the smoothest finish, we suggest you use a sprayer. This way, your cabinets will have a glossy and silk-like look and feel. If you do use the spray method, just remember that the aerosol paint spray may travel and you will have to ensure that you have carefully covered all areas in your kitchen that you don’t want paint on.
If you prefer a more rustic or textured finish, then you can use a quality paintbrush. Always apply new paint (or varnish) within the time limit given in the guidelines. It’s also good practice to paint in one direction without making your coats too thick.
Tip: since you’re painting cabinets that are going to be exposed to food splashes and grease, we suggest that you choose a paint or varnish brand that cleans easily.
Now that your kitchen cabinets look sprightly and new, we trust that you’ll want to keep them that way.
Here are a few tips for keeping them in good nick:
- Never use harsh chemicals to clean your cabinets because they may strip the paintwork or cause it to bubble. Instead, wipe cupboards clean using a warm and damp cloth and a mild general-purpose kitchen cleanser.
- Don’t let water collect on the surfaces or in the hinges. Water will cause these areas to rot or rust. Not only will this damage the cabinets but it will also ruin the refinished look you have created.
- Remember to give your cupboards a deep clean at least every 6 months. Empty your cabinets entirely, and then wipe down the interior, the shelves, and the outer cupboard doors using the mild kitchen cleaner we mentioned above. Use an old toothbrush to degrease corners and to remove dust.
It’s a lot of work refinishing cupboards but the end-result can be rewarding and you should always take a moment to appreciate a well-deserved round of applause when the job’s done.