Refacing Kitchen Cabinets: How to Strip and Refinish

Recently, after deciding to make some changes within my home by conducting some renovations I decided that my next task would be the kitchen. I wanted to give the kitchen a different look but I was on a budget. A friend of mine suggested that I change the look of the kitchen cabinets by stripping the white paint, and refacing the cabinets with a rich stain color, and than using color on the walls to contrast. I thought this was a great idea, and since it is a short project this was the perfect way to begin my week-long vacation from my job.

The first step to changing the color by stripping and refacing kitchen cabinets is to remove the cabinets from the system. This is important, you will need space to work outdoors, because you are working with chemicals, dust – and these things do not belong indoors.

After carefully removing the cabinet doors from the cabinet system it is time to evaluate the shape of the cabinets. Are they able to be re-used? How many coats have paint have been on these cabinets in the past? In order to strip these cabinets and stain them to the color that I preferred, I was going to have to remove the paint from the cabinets, one at a time. This task would have looked daunting without the help that I had recruited.

Next, it was time to remove the drawer pulls, and the handles from the cabinet doors. These were replaced recently, by me, and therefore I was going to re-apply these back to the cabinet doors once they were replaced. They would go really well with the darker stain.

Using electric sanders, and sanding paper for the tiny details we removed the paint from the doors and brought them to their natural wood color. It is very important that you sand gently, not taking off wood, but just paint that is overlying the wood. We want to keep the even feel, just get rid of the color. This process took hours. This was the most intricate and meticulous part of the process, and next time I would have used a paint stripper on the cabinets.

It took two days before all of the paint was removed. We made sure that the cabinets were dust free, by drying them, and cleaning the area in which we were renovating these doors. Next, it was time to paint them. I had visited the local home store and had chosen a paint-stain that was suitable for indoor use. We applied the stain with a roller brush, meant for this type of paint to ensure that the appearance was suitable.

Once the first coat was on, I was impressed with the difference. I was more impressed with the fact that we could indeed do this ourselves! This was a process that may have cost more than five hundred dollars in labor alone if we would have hired outside help!

The stain looked great, and completely changed the look of the cabinets. We made sure to apply two coats, not only to the front but to the back, and sides, tops as well.

When the stain was dry it was time to re-apply the door handles and drawer pulls to the face of the cabinets. Ensure that the paint has dried for at least twenty-four hours before doing this.

The simplest part of the entire process was reinstalling the cabinet faces back to the cabinet, it was satisfying to be finished but something inside of me can’t wait until the next project.

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