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5 Steps to Refinishing Your Kitchen Cabinets

Refinish Your Wood Kitchen Cabinets for Added Beauty and Value

The look of your kitchen is largely influenced by your cabinets and how well they complement your décor. If you’re looking to upgrade your kitchen, consider refinishing your wood cabinets. Follow these steps for the best results:

Step 1: Clean the Cabinet Surfaces

Start by cleaning the inner and outer surfaces of your cabinets. Do this by carefully removing the cabinets from their hinges and placing them on a clean floor or countertop. After washing with a cabinet cleaning spray, give the wood enough time to dry completely. 

Step 2: Protect the Other Surfaces

Next, use drop cloths for every surface that is likely to come into contact with the paint, finish, or primer you will be using. Wear gloves and goggles to protect yourself as well. 

Step 3: Clean the Hardware

The cabinet hardware will also need to be cleaned. Soak the knobs and hinges in a bucket of soapy water, and scrub lightly before rinsing and drying. Apply polish as needed. Consider replacing knobs at a surplus cabinetry store to match the new kitchen design.

Step 4: Strip and Refinish

Stripping the cabinets involves placing them in a well-ventilated area and removing the old paint and stains to form a base for refinishing. Pay particular attention to the type of cabinet finish you’re removing. Use an appropriate process, such as turpentine for wax and paint solvent for wood paint. Lacquer, shellac, vinyl, varnish, polyurethane, and water-based finishes all have their own specifications for removal, so do your research before you start. 

Step 5: Sand, Prime, and Paint 

Once you have stripped the old finish from the wood cabinet, you can use a wood filler to repair any holes or scratches on the surface. Then, lightly sand the cabinet’s surface once the wood filler is dry. The entire cabinet surface should be sanded as well. After sanding, apply thin coats of paint to the cabinet surface, adding additional coats as needed. Make sure the wood is not exposed to extreme temperatures during this process. Reinstall the cabinets and the corresponding hardware after the paint has dried completely. 

Refinishing your kitchen cabinets is well-worth it, as it adds value and beauty to your home. Follow these steps to ensure the refinishing process goes smoothly, or browse the cabinets at McCarren Supply if you think you’re ready for an upgrade.

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