How to Refinish Your Kitchen Cabinets like a Pro

If you are tired of the look of your kitchen cabinets, you do not have to spend a lot to transform them or to order an entire set of cabinets. A good refinishing job can do the trick and it will cost you a fraction of what you would have spent on new cabinets.

Obviously, you do not want to end up with a poorly done job so I intend to share with you tips to refinish your kitchen cabinet like a pro.

For many home owners, the first decision they will face is deciding whether to keep the old cabinet doors or to replace them. I always tell them that a new coat of paint can do wonders for old doors but if you do not like the design of the doors or they are just too old fashioned, then you can go ahead and order new ones.

Before you get started, you need to ensure you have all the tools you may need. A typical pro would have the following tools.

Screw drivers, hammer, sanding blocks, detail sander or belt sander, scrapers, painters tape or masking tape, paint stripper, paint brushes, paint, and news paper to protect floors and walls from drops of paint. If you can think of other things you may need, go ahead and add them to your list so that you do not have to run to the hardware store in the middle of the job.

You may also want to add time to the list of things you should have because this is not a quick job, it can take your entire weekend or even a couple of weekends depending on the size and number of your cabinets.

To get started, you will need to empty the cabinets, ensure everything that you remove is safely kept away and will not get in the way as you do your work.

Phase 1

Remove the cabinet doors and drawers, this should be an easy task if you have the right screw drivers. For some cabinet doors, you may find that the screws have been painted over, you will need to clean the groves but be careful not to damage the grooves, just scrape off the paint so that the screw driver can do its job easily. As you remove the doors, make sure you place them in such a way that you will remember which one goes where. You will also want to keep the screws safely so none gets lost.

Phase 2

Get prepared to clean. You will need to clean the cabinets thoroughly to ensure there is no grease that will affect the finishing. You may also need to get out the sanding paper or you can use a belt sander to remove paint in the cabinets and then smoothen the surface removing peeling paint, bubbles and any uneven surfaces. Do not rush through this phase, it is important that the cabinet area is smooth and even.

Phase 3

After sanding, you need to clean off the particles that have been produced. You could use a good handheld vacuum and later follow through with a wet tack cloth. If you are going to be using oil paint, then it is best to clean the surface using spirit based liquid which will dry faster

Phase 4

This is a step many amateurs may ignore, you need to clean the cabinet hardware as well and you cannot just apply a fresh coat of paint on them. Remove the hinges from the doors and soak them in soapy water, usually 30 minutes is enough and then you can clean them with a brush or scrape off paint. Alternatively, you can use methylene chloride if you are in a hurry, but remember it can also strip some finishings so do not use too much and ensure you are wearing gloves as you work with it. Once they have dried, apply polish to the surface.

Phase 5

Now it is time for the cabinets, you need to strip them too and this will take some time, you can choose to use liquid or gel strippers to remove the old paint. If you are worried about the strippers dripping on your floor, then you can use gels. You will also need to sand the cabinet, I would recommend that you purchase the best belt sander online to save you from having to work your elbows with the manual sanding.

Phase 6

You may realize after the stripping, there are dents on the wood, for this, you can use wood putty to fill them and then let it dry. When it has dried, sand it to make it smooth. Use a tack cloth after that to remove particles.

Phase 7

Here is another step that separates the amateurs from the pros. A pro would know that you need to add primer as an under coat for the paint. Buy your primer according to the paint you intend to use. Some are for oil paint, others for water based or latex. You can ask the professionals at the store which they would recommend for you. Apply the primer evenly and let it dry.

Phase 8

This is the highlight of your refinishing. Choose the paint you wish to use and then begin painting. You will need to ensure you cover areas that you do not wish to be painted, use masking tape. You can either use a brush to paint or a spray. The sprays give a more professional and smooth look.

As a safety measure, ensure you do all this in a well-ventilated area and you cover your nose to prevent inhaling too much of the fumes from the paints and other chemicals you will be using.

Also, take your time and do not rush through this task or you will end up with an unsightly kitchen.  I recommend you read this guide more than once and take down notes that you will refer to as you carry out the task.