Kitchen Cabinet Refinishing – A Guide to the Process
Kitchen cabinet refacing is an option for homeowners looking to bring a fresh look to their kitchen cabinets without completely replacing them. Kitchen cabinet refinishing is performed by a skilled cabinet refiner. This renovation can save homeowners a significant amount of money when compared to buying entirely new kitchen cabinets. Refinishing kitchen cabinets usually only requires painting and staining, although some hardware may need to be replaced.
Kitchen cabinet refacing is designed to give you a fresh new look for just the cost of refinishing. Kitchen cabinet refacing means that you maintain all parts of your existing cabinets and change the surface or the color that’s been done through chemically stripping or hand sanding, then applying a new stain or paint over the new cover. Refinishing does not require the services of a cabinetmaker or a staining contractor. The result is like having a brand new set of kitchen cabinet doors.
There are many types of kitchen cabinet refinishing. One of the most popular is called fiberboard or thermofoil. Fiberboard is made up of paper laminated over polyester or wood chips, with veneers over metal bases. The result is surfaced that are almost identical to the surface of expensive particleboard or MDF.
There are pros and cons to fiberboard or thermofoil kitchen cabinet refinishing. Pros include the fact that the surface is virtually indistinguishable from wood (except for possibly the veneers). The material is easy to work with, and because it’s solid, it’s strong enough to support heavy-duty doors. Another advantage of fiberboard is that it’s easy to prepare for painting and staining because it’s ready to be painted or stained after it’s installed. The only disadvantage is that it can be messy to work with and hard to clean.
Most people who do kitchen cabinet refinishing use thermofoil. It’s available in two forms – solid or liquid. The liquid form can be rolled out and placed on top of the existing doors using a hopper. It’s easier to clean up because all you have to do is wet it down with water. Because it’s still a bit liquid, however, it can take several hours or even days to dry.
A hot method used in kitchen cabinet refinishing called gas tumbler is less time-consuming but also messier. It involves mixing mineral spirits, muriatic acid, and borax. The result is a paste-like substance that will bond with grease, stains, and dirt. It works well with wood but should be avoided for refacing cabinets with plastic and vinyl. The acid in the mixture could damage these surfaces. This is why the chemical must be diluted appropriately before using it.
Other options for refinishing include sanding, scraping, stripping, or painting. Sanding and scraping are considered similar in process and produce similar results. They both involve removing the existing stain, sanding off the surface, and scraping away the debris. Painting is more straightforward than sanding and scraping since the paint can be applied directly. It is also recommended that paint is used with the correct type of primer, especially if it will be a darker color than the existing finish.
Scraping and painting are both done by applying pressure to the wood with a set scraper or brush. Although they sound similar, they are very different activities. Refinishing involves pounding, sanding the surface, and applying a stain or paint. The painting consists of using color with a brush. Both require experience and skill to be done correctly and to achieve the best result.
There are two main methods used for refinishing cabinets, either using natural wood or using a synthetic laminate. Laminate cabinets are made of synthetic materials, usually plywood, that resembles natural wood. One of the advantages of using laminate is that they require virtually no care or maintenance. They do not need to be painted or finished to maintain their appearance. These cabinets are also available in various colors, styles, and designs, making them ideal for any kitchen.
Kitchen cabinets can be refinished using either a fresh coat of paint or a refinishing finish. Paintless finishes involve using a chemical solution that bonds with the existing surface and protects it from future staining. On the other hand, Abrasive finishes include sanding the surface, applying a chemical-based sealer, and then sanding it again. This process leaves a finish that is virtually indistinguishable from natural wood. The cabinets may need to be refinished multiple times, however, depending on the amount of staining.
Refinishing kitchen cabinets involves many steps, but there are three primary stages involved. First, the outside surfaces of the doors need to be cleaned and dried. This will require removing the old finish and the scraping of the old paint on the doors. After the cleaning and drying step is complete, the doors are sanded to rough up the edges and prepare the surface for the next stage: the refinished surface. The refinished surface can be left in place while the kitchen is being thoroughly cleaned and the new surface applied, or it may need to be removed and replaced.