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Refinishing Your Cabinetry
A Labor Intensive ProcedureRefinishing Your Cabinetry

Although the results of a new finish can be quite dramatic, refinishing your cabinets is a time consuming, complicated and labor-intensive process. To do the job properly you must strip, bleach, sand or scrape, and restain your existing cabinet surfaces before adding a new top coat or varnish. You must also know the species of wood that you are refinishing before beginning. This can be further complicated by the fact that your kitchen cabinetry could be made of several differing types of wood species. Although it is possible to restain and refinish your cabinetry in a finish darker than its original hue, it is nearly impossible to refinish them in a lighter one. But, if you own high-quality natural wood cabinets that require updating, and you want to maintain their natural wood appearance, you may decide to refinish them with new stain and top coating.

Select Your Refinishing Alternative

You can refinish all your existing cabinet surfaces, including your doors and drawers, or buy new, ready-to-finish doors and drawers and stain them to match your restained casework. Rockler recommends buying new doors and drawer fronts for several reasons. The harsh chemical strippers used to remove old finish can deteriorate glue and cause panel doors and other glued pieces to come undone. Edge treatments and intricate surfaces can be extremely difficult to strip and prepare for new stain and finish. Finish coats can also take an inordinate amount of time to dry, further complicating the refinishing process. Investing in new doors and drawer fronts is a solution that can save lots of time, money, and aggravation. Rockler's custom door and drawer front programs offer a wide selection of affordable, ready-to-finish styles from which to choose. Simply determine the size, style, and edge option of the door and drawer fronts you need. You can either match the style of your existing doors and drawer fronts, or chose a new one for an exciting new look. New hardware  will add the refinement of a professional kitchen update.

 

Choose Your New Finish

To begin your refinishing project, you will need to determine what type of stain and finish you will use to beautify and protect your cabinetry. There are many types of finishes available. Since the science of finish work is beyond the scope of this series of articles, Rockler recommends that you consult with a professional finish retailer or consultant.

 

The Refinishing Process

Thorough preparation is the key to a successful refinishing job. Be sure to work in an empty and well-ventilated room, and follow the refinishing guidelines below.

Step by Step Instructions

  1. Remove door and drawer hardware, and take all doors off their hinges.
  2. Remove existing finish and stain from all surfaces by sanding, scraping with a cabinet scraper, or using a chemical remover. When using chemical strippers, follow manufacturer. s directions carefully and use necessary safety precautions.
  3. If necessary, bleach old stain from existing wood surfaces. When using bleaching agents, follow manufacturer's directions carefully and use necessary safety precautions.
  4. Sand or scrape existing wood surfaces smooth to prepare them for new stain. A carbide scraper or cabinet scraper works well.
  5. Remove all dust from cabinet surfaces to prepare for staining and finishing.
  6. Stain the surfaces of your cabinetry and casework. When using stain, follow the manufacturer. s directions carefully.
  7. Apply an oil, varnish, or polyurethane varnish finish according to the manufacturer's specifications.

 


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