The cost for replacing kitchen cabinets can add up quickly. There are less expensive options to restore your kitchen including refinishing your existing cabinets. This is a project you can easily do at home. Bear in mind that it does require a lot of time and if you cannot afford that time, it is best to hire someone to refinish the cabinets for you. While mildly time consuming the job does not require any heavy lifting or measuring. Before you begin you should research a bit and be thoroughly prepared. Once you finish you will enjoy a new look and save a lot of money.
The first step in refinishing your kitchen cabinets is to remove all of the handles and knobs from the cabinet doors. They can be washed in a mixture of water and vinegar, scrubbed with a tooth brush, and left out to dry. After this you should thoroughly clean your existing cabinets. With wood cabinets you can easily clean them using a basic mixture of one part warm water to one part liquid dish washing soap and cut through any grease. If the grease remains you can use a commercial cleaner which contains trisodium phosphate.
It is helpful to categorize or number the cabinet doors to ensure that each one goes back in its proper place once you are done. A garage or backyard is a suitable work place but if you work indoors be sure to ventilate the area well.
The first step in applying a new finish to your existing kitchen cabinets is to remove the old finish. Be sure to have gloves and a mask handy before you begin. Using sanding sponges you should sand the cabinets down going with the natural grain of the wood. After they have been thoroughly sanded you need to remove any of the dust. You can use a shop vac for this. Try to remove any dust or remaining sand from your work place as well, especially if you are outside; the last thing you want is wind blowing the dust into your new finish while it is drying.
You should then select a stain you want to apply to the wood. Be cautious when using stain as more than one layer will significantly alter the color hue. As you apply the stain, move in conjunction with the grain of the wood and be sure to cover the cabinet thoroughly. Then you go back over the stain with a clean cloth, rubbing it into any nicks or scratches in the wood and wiping up any drips. Allow the stain to dry for sixteen to twenty four hours before you attempt to apply another coat. It may take numerous coats before you get the exact shade you want.
After the cabinet doors have dried thoroughly you can apply a finishing material such as a polyurethane coating or varnish. Be sure to apply these in well ventilated areas and to follow the instructions on each. Some finishes work better than others with particular stains.