Home Improvement Step Number 2 – How to Refinish Your Kitchen Cabinets
Note: Be sure to lay down drop cloths to cover counter tops, floors and appliances that you were unable to move. The best job will be accomplished with appliances removed to gain easy access to all parts of cabinets.
Continued from Home Improvement Step #1: How to Refinish Your Kitchen Cabinets, lets get into step #2. Before beginning this step you should have completed all cabinet and door repairs that were needed. Don’t rush your repairs, you only want to do them once.
If your going to replace the door hardware, now is the time to remove the old hardware. Sometimes you may think that you want to reuse the old hardware. Its your choice but using new hardware will be the finishing touch that will give your cabinets the New Look. If your going to use the old hardware, you should at least remove it all and clean it the best you can. If your going to use all new hardware, now is the time you should buy what you need.
When removing the hardware from the cabinets and doors, some of the screw holes will be enlarged. Therefore, these holes should be filled with Bondo, and you should move the hinges a short distance, maybe 1/4″ so you’ll get a new area to screw into. Remember that All the repairs, including filling holes and any imperfections in the cabinets and doors, should be done before proceeding. When your comfortable that all repairs are done, its time to begin sanding.
Note: the inside of cabs need no sanding. Its a good idea to put a new finish on the inside also, but only a good cleaning is required. Vacuum and wipe down with a water damp sponge is usually enough, unless the insides are very dirty, then cleaning and sanding is required. You need to be sure that all surfaces are free of any grease from cooking. This is easier than you might think. Buy a container of Greased Lightening, which comes in a plastic spray bottle. Spray a small amount on the cabinet face, then using your wet/dry sandpaper and some water, sand the cabinet face going with the grain.
It does get a little messy, so lay down some plastic drop cloths to help contain what drips. The area that usually has grease is left and right above the stove. If grease is there, you’ll see and feel it as you ruff up the surface. Always work on the upper cabs first, 1 or 2 cabs at a time.
When all the uppers are done, wipe them down very good with a sponge and clean water, to be sure to get all the Greased Lightening off. Then dry the cabs with some paper towels. Its better to wipe down twice with sponge and water before drying, to be sure they’re clean. Repeat if needed. Then move on to the lower cabs, and repeat as you did on uppers. When all the sanding is complete, its time to re-inspect to be sure all repairs are complete. After your satisfied with your progress, its time to move on to the doors.
Decide if your going to refinish the doors inside and outside. This choice depends on the inside condition, and your preference. No right or wrong, just your choice. If your going to refinish the inside, you prep both sides, just as you did the cabinet box’s.
That’s it for now. We’ll continue with step #3, in the next article.