In case you don’t want to spend the money on new cabinets, then kitchen cabinet refacing is what the doctor ordered. It’s less expensive and still gives your kitchen a brand new look. If you’re looking more specifically to work on laminate panels, I enjoin you to read Revamp your laminate kitchen cabinets.
Some advantages of kitchen cabinet refacing are:
- It is fast and requires less time
- It is less dusty
- Inexpensive way to get new looks for your kitchen
Refacing the kitchen cabinets
Pre-stain whatever wood pieces you can (like molding, counter top edges, etc.) so that you don’t stain the ceiling or counter top. This also saves times once you start the project. Even if they come stained from the manufacturer, lightly sand & re-stain them to touch up wherever they have been handled.
Sand the smooth surfaces of the cabinets to make them rough. Apply the side panels using wood glue & pneumatic brad nailer and 5/8 inch brads
Tips: Nail in one direction only, preferably from top to bottom to prevent bubbling in the middle.
Now you’re ready to stain the new surfaces
Sand and wipe the new surfaces before staining them. Stain them and then apply 2-3 coats of polyurethane.
Tip: When you’re staining the facing panels, it is advisable to stain the insides first so that if there are drips or smears you can still “control” them while staining the faces.
It’s time for the doors, now. Sand them lightly and stain them so that you get rid of your fingerprints
Tip: When sanding a cabinet door, use a sanding block as it distribute the pressure evenly. It is always better than sandpaper.
If the door panels have any raised surfaces or borders, stain them first so that the stain won’t collect at the corners. The doors should also get 3 coats of polyurethane just like the face frames. If you do get a bead, brush it out immediately.
Tip: Wait for at least 3 hours between each coats of polyurethane.
Re-installing the doors
While attaching doors fix the hinges on the doors.
Tip: To know the exact position of the hinge use another hinge as a “place holder”. Put the “place holder” hinge at the bottom edge of the door, place another hinge next to this “place holder” hinge and you know where the hinge should be fixed.
Use a jig to easily find the spots to pre-drill the holes for the screws. Fix the jig at the bottom of the cabinet to ensure the exact position for each hinge on each door.
You may use a self-centering bit, which centers itself and also sets the right depth. All you have to do, now, is push it in and you won’t drill through the door.
Tip: Look for where the grains point on the door panel. Align them in the same direction on all the doors for uniformity and aesthetic appeal.
Then, level the door panels. They are not perfectly even always. You may have to readjust the hinges if they do not align easily. Adjust the hinges on the inside cabinet edge to level the doors.
Fact: A impact absorber is a must for most doors. It is a small white-colored mount that makes the door close smoothly. Always use these for glass doors.
Tip: Since you’re refacing your existing cabinets, your doors will need to go back to the same place from where they are removed. It’ll help to number them so that you remember their places.
Time to work on the drawers!
Next come the drawer fronts. Stain and fix them in the same way as the facing cabinet panels. Since you’re refacing them you may want to upgrade from 3/4th extension drawer slides to full extension slides available in the market. Attach all the hardware, knobs, drawer pulls and you are done!
Photo source: www.AndreRothblattArchitecture.com