Three Things to Know About Cabinet Refinishing

Three Things to Know About Cabinet Refinishing

Your existing cabinets can have a new look with some affordable makeover techniques. If a full kitchen renovation is not possible, the cooking space can have an impressive new look when the existing cabinets are refaced.

It is a relatively non-invasive, affordable technique that involves replacing door and cabinet drawer fronts with high-quality veneers. Veneers are ultra-thin sheets of real wood. They are placed over the existing face frames and boxes.

Professional refacing takes old or basic cabinets to a new level in a few days. The cost is much less than replacing the cabinets. The materials, prices, and skills needed to give kitchen cabinets a facelift include the following.

Refacing as an Option When You Like the Existing Kitchen Layout

Refacing brings a fresh finish, color, and style to kitchen cabinets. The process is best suited for those who like the current layout of the room. It is not a good option if the intention is to change cabinet locations and floor plans.

Even the best cabinets may not withstand being moved. Existing cabinets should be in decent shape. They should not have more than a few chips and dents. Cabinets with structural defects or damage require replacement.

Experience Needed for Cabinet Refinishing.

When correctly done, cabinet refinishing is a solution that has a high-end feel and look. That level of results can only be achieved by do-it-yourselfers who have done a few refinishing projects in the past. Veneers are meant to give cabinets a look as though they were built entirely from the species of wood chosen. Misalignments and tiny gaps yield a shoddy looking final project. Installing new drawer and cabinet door fronts demands the refinisher is meticulous in achieving a plumb, level, and even appearance.

Variety of Materials to Use

Veneers either come in a raw state that has to be stained and finished after installation or pre-finished. There are several types of material used for refacing cabinets. Three basic options differ in how they are applied.

Plywood sheets, 1/8-inch-thick, attach with nails and glue at the ends of cabinets. They are durable and strong but more expensive than the other options. Non-adhesive rolls are installed with contact cement. This method is a bit messy. The installer chooses the glue. A high-quality cement lasts the life span of the cabinets. Peel-and-stick adhesive rolls have adhesive on the backside of the veneer. Installation is a straightforward process. The glue quality is questionable.

Trimming veneer to size is usually done with flush-trim router bits and utility knives, but a sharp craft knife works as well. Scissors break the sheet down roughly to the correct size. A router or razor trims it to a perfect fit.

Drawer fronts and doors can be made with a variety of materials. The most popular are maple and oak, but the finish and species have to match the veneer. Hinges and hardware are available in a variety of finishes also. They include brass, bronze, stainless steel, and chrome. The hardware should accent the finished product.

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