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Your Guide to Cabinet Refinishing

May 22, 2014 at 4:15 pm | No comment | Category: Cabinet Refinishing, Cabinet Staining

Women's hands are open cupboard doors dark woodMany people believe that the kitchen is the heart of the home and we at The Painting Craftsmen couldn’t agree more. Your kitchen might be cozy but over time you might consider remodeling or cabinet refinishing. This would give your favorite room a nice fresh look.

While some kitchen remodeling projects can easily be done in a few hours, cabinet refinishing is a complicated process. While we don’t advise doing this on your own, if you have the proper tools, adequate ventilation and know what kind of finish you have on your existing cabinets, it can be a do it yourself project.

Step 1: Examine The Cabinets

  • It is important to identify what kind of coating is on your cabinets. Most of the time it is a thin lacquer, however if the cabinets have been refinished before, it’s best to consult a professional for identification.

  • During this phase, it is best to decide on the type of finish you will use in the finished cabinets. Looking at cabinet stores, magazines and online are great places to find a variety of options.

Step 2: Remove the Doors

  • Once you have picked out your finish, it’s time to remove the cabinet doors.

  • Using household tools such as screwdrivers, carefully remove the screws that hold the doors up on the hinges.

  • For those who haven’t done this before, it is a good idea to have a partner hold the door steady while you remove the hardware including hinges and handles. This way, the doors won’t fall and get damaged.

Step 3: Coating the Cabinets

  • Depending on what kind of finish you are using, you might need to prime the wood. A primer allows paint to stick on the surface.

  • If you are using a stain you can skip the primer. Before painting or staining it is best to use tape to mask over any surfaces you don’t want paint or stain on.

  • Next you can apply the paint or stain. A sprayer will give you a smooth even coating. Where a sprayer is awkward or ventilation is poor, use a paintbrush or mini roller to apply paint or stain.

  • With a professional cabinet refinishing service, we will bring the cabinets to our shop where we have a spray booth and industry leading, high velocity-low pressure spray systems that allow us to duplicate an original factory finish.

  • The professionals at The Painting Craftsmen coat the cabinet boxes in the home with a portable hvlp spray system, making sure to mask off all appliances, floors, countertops, etc. as well as tenting and venting the area to ensure no dust enters the home.

Step 4: Hanging Old Hardware

  • Lastly after allowing the cabinets to dry thoroughly hang cabinet doors using old hardware that has been cleaned or new handles and hinges.

Other Tips and Things to Consider

  • Cleaning: Trisodium phosphate is a great product that removes grease, grime and can dull and etch the old paint if there is any.  After cleaning, you will need to lightly sand any areas that are bubbled or rough feeling. This is a very important step in refinishing your cabinets so take your time. Lastly wipe down the cabinets with a damp cloth to remove any dust particles.

  • Your Surroundings: If you are going to strip the finish off the cabinets, always do this in a well ventilated area. The chemicals used can cause health issues if used in an enclosed area. Stripping the paint off allows you to reveal the hardwood beneath the finish. It may take several tries to get all of the finish or paint off so be patient.

  • Double Checking: After the cabinets have been cleaned and stripped if necessary, check for dents, and nicks. These can easily be filled with wood putty and sanded smooth once it is dry.

  • Space: Like many home improvement projects cabinet refinishing takes a lot of space. First, your cabinets are going to have to be empty in order for you to clean and prepare the inside of the cabinets. Next, stripping, painting or staining will need an open area for you to work and to allow your cabinets to dry.

  • The Mess: Nearly every step of cabinet refinishing has the potential of dust, paint or stain spills and old paint scrapings. Again, many of these steps must be done in a well ventilated area so that you don’t inhale fumes. Remember – there’s a reason wood stain has it’s name.

As you can see, cabinet refinishing is complicated especially if you don’t know exactly what you are doing. Sure removing old handles and the hinges sounds simple, but what happens when you strip a screw or don’t understand the proper staining techniques? The advantages of having a professional refinish your cabinets is well worth the cost.

When you hire The Painting Craftsmen, you can avoid the frustration of a do it yourself project gone bad. We are not only painters, but craftsmen who enjoy helping you find the right combination of cabinets to transform your kitchen into the real heart of the house.

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