Diy refacing kitchen cabinets ideas

Before deciding to either refinish or reface the cabinets, make certain your cabinets are suitable for either of these upgrade options. Here’s a quick checklist to determine whether your cabinets are a excellent candidate for refinishing or refacing.

For refinishing, every components must be in excellent condition, including the doors, drawer faces, and cabinets. For refacing, its okay if the doors and drawer faces are damaged or outdated because they’ll be replaced.

No matter which option you select, the cabinets and drawer boxes will remain when refinishing or refacing, so they must be in sound condition and excellent working order.

Use this checklist to determine if your cabinets are a excellent candidate for refinishing or refacing.

  1. The face frames, if any, must be firmly attached to the cabinets, and their edges and corners should be smooth and flat.

    Diy refacing kitchen cabinets ideas

    Little cracks and holes can be filled with wood putty, but face frames that are divide in two must be replaced.

  2. Inspect the inside of each cabinet for signs of structural damage, such as cracked side panels or loose joints. Poke around inside the cabinet with an awl or pocketknife. If you discover any soft, spongy areas, that could be an indication of wood rot or water damage.
  3. Be certain the upper cabinets are securely fastened to the walls and to each other.
  4. Check each drawer to ensure it rolls smoothly, opens fully and closes completely. Remove the drawers from the cabinets and examine the structural integrity of each one.

    Diy refacing kitchen cabinets ideas

    The corner joints should be tight and strong. The drawer bottoms must be secured within the drawer box and not cracked or sagging badly.

  5. Be certain that every fixed shelves are securely attached and not cracked, loose, or warped.
  6. Check base cabinets for water damage, too, especially under the sink. The bottom of the cabinets should be firm and flat, not sagging or dislodged.
  7. The drawer slides—whether made of metal or wood—must be firmly attached and in sound condition. Check the slides for loose or missing fasteners, and damaged or worn-out parts.

Once you’ve assessed your cabinets and sure they’re in excellent shape, you can consider these two cabinet updating options.


Cabinet Refinishing

The quantity of time and effort it takes to refinish kitchen cabinets is often sure by two key factors: Whether the new finish will be stain or paint and the complexity of the design on the doors

Stain is brushed-on to cabinet doors and excess is wiped off with a clean cotton cloth.

Staining requires more prep work than painting, especially if you’re changing the stain color.

Door style matters because raised-panel Colonial-style doors with arched upper rails take longer to refinish than simple, flat-panel Shaker-style doors.

To Stain Cabinets:

  • Start with grit sandpaper then sand again with progressively finer and grit sandpaper. The best tools for sanding are an orbital finishing sander, a random-orbit sander, a hand-sanding block, and a sanding sponge, which conforms to rounded edges and other irregular shapes. An electric contour or detail sander, which has interchangeable pads, can also prove useful, but isn’t necessary.

    You can also use a chemical stripper to remove the ancient finish, but sanding is less toxic. If you’re using a chemical stripper, be certain to wear gloves, work boots, endless sleeves, and protective eyewear.

  • Remove the cabinet doors and unscrew the drawer faces from the drawer boxes. If the drawer faces are an integral part of the drawer box, then tug the entire drawer from the cabinet.
  • Clean the doors, drawer faces, and cabinets with a solution of one part trisodium phosphate (TSP) and four parts water.

    Pour the solution into a planter mister and spray it onto the surfaces. Scrub with a scouring sponge, then wipe the surfaces dry.

  • Once the stain is dry, use a foam brush to apply a jacket of satin polyurethane varnish. Let the first jacket dry, then sand lightly with grit sandpaper, wipe off the sanding dust, and apply a second jacket of varnish.
  • If the color is too light, immediately apply a second jacket, but remember to wipe off any excess. Repeat until you achieve the desired darkness. Permit the stain to dry overnight.
  • Once the wood is sanded smooth, rub or brush on the stain.

    Permit it to soak into the wood for 10 minutes or so, then—and this is important—wipe off the excess stain with a clean cotton cloth.

  • Determine how much of the ancient finish you need to remove. If you’re re-staining the cabinets, then you must sand the doors, drawer faces, and cabinets below to bare wood. (For the cabinets, you only need to sand the face frames and any exposed finish panels.)
  • Remove every the hardware, including knobs, pulls, and hinges.
  • Reinstall the hinges and hang the doors back onto the cabinets. You can also reinstall the ancient knobs and pulls, but for a unused, updated glance, consider replacing them with new hardware.

To Paint Cabinets:

To Paint Cabinets:

  • Wipe away the sanding dust with a tack rag or damp cloth, then apply a high-quality primer/sealer.
  • Remove every hardware and unscrew the doors and drawer faces.
  • Scrub every the surfaces with the diluted TSP solution, as mentioned above.
  • Brush or spray on a coat of percent acrylic latex semi-gloss paint.
  • Allow the primer to dry.
  • Sand the doors, drawer faces, and cabinet face frames and finish panels.

    Diy refacing kitchen cabinets ideas

    However, for painting, you don’t own to sand below to bare wood. In most cases, you only need to sand away loose, dirty paint. If you do sand below to bare wood in some areas, that’s fine—just be certain to “feather” the paint around the bare spot to create a smooth transition with the surrounding painted surface.

  • Wait for the paint to thoroughly dry, then sand lightly with grit sandpaper, wipe off the sanding dust, and apply a second jacket of paint.

For more, see How to Paint Cabinets.

While experienced DIYers may relish tackling their own cabinet refinishing project, others may desire assist.

Most home improvement stores offer professional cabinet refinishing services, which include a free in-home consultation and written price quote.

For more, see How to Paint Cabinets.

While experienced DIYers may relish tackling their own cabinet refinishing project, others may desire assist. Most home improvement stores offer professional cabinet refinishing services, which include a free in-home consultation and written price quote.


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You don’t use paint primer.

It’s tempting to skip this step, but consider this: «Your finished kitchen could glance amazing then, three weeks or three months later, knots in the wood can start to bleed through your paint,» warns Petersik. Use a stain-blocking primer (she likes Kilz Clean Start), and you won’t get surprise blotches as the paint cures.

You skip labeling where your doors, drawers and hardware go.

Because what once was hung up will need to go back in the same put, it’s worth using numbered labels to assist you remember where everything goes. A piece of masking tape stuck to the back of each piece will do just fine. You should write its exact location (think “above sink, left”) so there’ll be no guessing where it goes later.

Then stash screws and hinges in a jar for safekeeping.

FotosearchGetty Images

Your cabinets aren’t dust-free before you paint.

Vacuum up any debris before you even think of dipping that brush in paint. Just a few pieces of dust can ruin the look: «You’ll get a gritty finish and it’ll glance love you painted over sand,» says Fahrbach. «To repair it, you’ll own to sand it and repaint it every over again.»

You select the incorrect paint.

The Excellent Housekeeping Institute really likes Benjamin Moore Advance for a smooth finish that’s kitchen-friendly. While it may be a bit more than some other paints on the shelf, it’s worth it.

And you likely won’t be using more than two gallons of paint, so costs won’t be as prohibitive as if you were painting an entire room.

Worried about visible brush marks? Virginia at Live Love DIYfollows her brush strokes with a foam roller to smooth things out. And a more experienced DIYer might love the finish provided by a spray gun (like Jenny at Little Green Notebook uses), but it’s a bit more unwieldy than a brush.

You pick the incorrect color.

Of course, there’s no correct or incorrect color for your own kitchen. But for cabinets, it’s significant you get it correct the first time. «This project is simple, but it’s not the helpful of occupation you’re going to desire to redo any time soon if you don’t love the color,» says Petersik.

She suggests painting a large poster board with a tester can in the color you’re considering (you can generally get a little one for just $5). «Hang it up next to your backsplash and your appliances and make certain that’s really the color you want.» If you’re stuck on where to start, check out color paint trends for inspiration!

You paint the cabinets’ surfaces in the incorrect order.

Don’t just jump correct in: You should start by painting the back of the doors instead of the front. Why? Because if you flip the door too soon and the paint smudges, it will at least face the inside of the cabinet.

You don’t elevate cabinets before painting.

If you don’t prop up your cabinets prior to painting, you risk missing edges and corners.

Lay doors on painter’s pyramids so you can more easily maneuver a brush around the bottom edges.

You skip sanding.

Even if your cabinets are in near-perfect condition, you still own to sand them so the paint will stick. Use sandpaper in the middle of the spectrum ( or grit is good) and just give every of the surfaces a quick buffing. «You’re not trying to get below to the bare wood,» says Petersik.

«You just desire to take the surface from glossy to matte.»

You rush to put cabinets back.

Yes, it’s super annoying to wait days for paint to cure. But if you accidentally smudge the paint, you own to sand the door and repaint it (a hard truth any lady who’s rushed to leave the nail salon surely understands).

Diy refacing kitchen cabinets ideas

«As much as it kills me to stare at the doors on the floor drying, I’d much rather wait than jump the gun,» Petersik says.

Refacing your kitchen cabinets includes covering the exposed frames with a thin veneer of genuine wood or plastic laminate.

Doors and drawer fronts are replaced to match or complement the new veneer. New hinges, knobs, pulls, and molding finish the transformation.

What are the Pros and Cons?

Kitchen cabinet refacing pros:

· Costs about half as much as replacing cabinets.

· Takes less time (a week or less!) and money.

· It’s less hassle than tearing out cabinets.

· You can still use your kitchen while refacing.

· It’s a green kitchen remodeling solution because you’re not adding to the landfill.

Kitchen cabinet refacing cons (there aren’t many):

· Refacing won’t repair a bad kitchen design.

· You might be tempted to spend more on exotic veneer and hardware (saving you less).

What are Your Refacing Options?

Your choices for the finished glance of your RTA Kitchen cabinetsare virtually limitless.

Veneers are available in a wide variety of colors, patterns, textures, grains, and more, which you can stir or match to get a relatively low-cost kitchen facelift.

· Rigid thermofoil (RTF) doors, which feature a durable plastic coating over fiberboard, are an affordable alternative to wood or laminate doors.

· Plastic laminates come in hundreds of colors and patterns, are durable and moisture-resistant, and are reasonably priced.

You can pick matching or contrasting laminates for your doors and drawer fronts.

Real wood veneers include numerous standard species, such as oak, cherry, and maple, and you also can select from an array of stain colors. Wood veneers are the most expensive option. Wood must be carefully sealed to protect against moisture

Semihandmade: Perhaps the best-known option for customizing IKEA cabinet systems (Karlie Kloss used them in her Kode With Klossy office), Semihandmade offers American-crafted cabinet doors in melamine, wood veneer, thermafoil, and the love.

Styles are abundant, too: Shaker, slab, beaded, even reclaimed wood grains, and its most recent collaboration with Sarah Sherman Samuel is a modern take on beadboard. No matter what style you select, a serious perk of this company is that its cabinet doors ship in just one week. Ships to US and lower Canadian provinces.

Plykea: Are you large on the whole plywood-everything trend? Good—us too. In the world of cabinet fronts, Plykea might be your best option for that look: It makes Formica and birch plywood cabinet doors and worktops to work with IKEA systems. The glance is super streamlined and a bit raw, with every piece made to order to suit your specific kitchen system.

Ships to Europe and the UK, with hopes to launch in San Francisco and ship to the U.S.

Diy refacing kitchen cabinets ideas

"very soon."

Kokeena: This Portland, Oregon, retailer stands out for its commitment to using low-impact paints and finishes and wood that has been sustainably harvested—so you can feel excellent about your purchase in addition to being extremely pleased with how it looks. Select from premium wood grains love walnut and white oak or various paints and laminates. Ships to U.S. and Canada.

Superfront: With funky, youthful designs for cabinet fronts, pulls, and handles—think raised scalloped patterning and colors love pink and lilac—this Stockholm-based outfit can assist you cover a whole IKEA kitchen cabinet system, a few closet doors, or just a simple freestanding sideboard.

Fronts ship to Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, U.K., and Germany; handles and legs can be shipped worldwide.

Norse Interiors: A newcomer to the Scandinavian-inspired IKEA front game, Norse makes doors, sides, tops, and accessories to trick out freestanding storage cabinets and TV stands in the Besta line. Colors are minimal and subdued while designs get a bit geometric. Ships to U.S. only.

Frontly by Prettypegs: If you're reading every this, hoping there's an option for the not-at-all DIY-inclined, consider Frontly, a line of self-adhesive cabinet fronts that can be applied to pieces from the Besta line.

Accordingly, they're going to be a bit less expensive than other options—think $26 for a single front rather than more love $ Ships worldwide.

If you’d love to update and improve the glance of your kitchen without the high costs associated with buying and installing new cabinets, then cabinet refacing or refinishing are decidedly simpler, less expensive approaches.

Cabinet refinishing involves removing the existing cabinet doors and drawer faces, sanding or stripping off the ancient finish, and applying a new paint or stain to the doors, drawer faces, and cabinets.

Cabinet refacing (or resurfacing) involves replacing the ancient doors and drawer faces with brand-new doors and drawer faces.

The cabinets are then veneered and stained, or painted, to match the new components.

In both cases, the existing cabinets remain intact. As a result, cabinet refinishing or refacing are more affordable, quicker, and less disruptive than replacing cabinets.


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Cabinet Refacing

As mentioned earlier, cabinet refacing consists of installing every new doors and drawer faces. Here’s how to get started:

Cabinet refacing includes the installation of every new hardware, including door hinges, pulls, and knobs.

  • To hang the new doors, start by screwing each hinge mounting plate to the inside of the cabinet.
  • Go shopping. If you’re planning to install the new components yourself, you can purchase them from a local cabinetmaker or an online retailer.

    For professional design assist and installation, visit the kitchen showroom of your local home improvement store.

    Diy refacing kitchen cabinets ideas

    New cabinet doors and drawer faces are available in dozens of sizes, styles, colors, and woods in both stain and paint finishes.

  • Write below the size and number of each door and drawer face and select the style, color, and finish you’d love. The items generally ship in 2 to 3 weeks.
  • Hold the door up to the cabinet and align the door hinges with the mounting plates. Secure each hinge with the provided screws. Adjust the hinges so that the door hangs plumb and level with an even gap every around. Note that cabinet refacing packages typically include new door hinges, but not doorknobs and drawer pulls, which you’ll own to purchase separately.
  • Screw the hinges into the pre-bored holes in the back of the door.
  • If you select a stained finish, the existing cabinet face frames and exposed finish panels will be refaced with wood veneer then stained to match the new doors and drawer faces.

    If you install painted doors and drawers, the face frames and finish panels will be painted to match. Be certain to clean and sand the surfaces prior to veneering or painting.

  • Fasten the drawer faces by driving screws through from the inside of the drawer box. Be certain the screws aren’t too endless or they’ll poke through the new drawer face.

Cabinet refacing companies offer doors in dozens of styles, colors, and wood species.

For an average-size kitchen, professional cabinet refinishing will cost between $2, and $4, If you decide to refinish the cabinets yourself, you’ll spend about $ on materials, plus the cost of any necessary tools and time spent working on the project.

Professional cabinet refacing for an average-size kitchen typically costs $8, to $12,, although prices fluctuate depending on the door style and wood species.

While refinishing or refacing cabinets isn’t cheap, it’s significant to remember that a entire kitchen remodel with all-new cabinets can cost $20, to $40,

Cabinet refinishing is a good—and affordable—option if you desire to freshen up and modernize your kitchen. If you desire to completely convert the glance of your kitchen, then cabinet refacing is the better choice.

About the Author

Joseph Truini is a home-improvement expert and the author of the best-selling book “Building a Shed” who writes online for The Home Depot. He provides grand how-to advice on upgrading the diverse spaces in your home. For more kitchen remodel products and information, click here.

This article is editorial content that has been contributed to HomeTips at our request and is published for the benefit of our readers.

We own not been compensated for its placement.

Cabinet refacing companies offer doors in dozens of styles, colors, and wood species.

For an average-size kitchen, professional cabinet refinishing will cost between $2, and $4, If you decide to refinish the cabinets yourself, you’ll spend about $ on materials, plus the cost of any necessary tools and time spent working on the project.

Professional cabinet refacing for an average-size kitchen typically costs $8, to $12,, although prices fluctuate depending on the door style and wood species. While refinishing or refacing cabinets isn’t cheap, it’s significant to remember that a entire kitchen remodel with all-new cabinets can cost $20, to $40,

Cabinet refinishing is a good—and affordable—option if you desire to freshen up and modernize your kitchen.

If you desire to completely convert the glance of your kitchen, then cabinet refacing is the better choice.

About the Author

Joseph Truini is a home-improvement expert and the author of the best-selling book “Building a Shed” who writes online for The Home Depot. He provides grand how-to advice on upgrading the diverse spaces in your home. For more kitchen remodel products and information, click here.

This article is editorial content that has been contributed to HomeTips at our request and is published for the benefit of our readers. We own not been compensated for its placement.


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