There comes a time in just about every homeowner's life when they simply get tired of the way that their kitchens look. While it would be nice to have the money to simply replace the existing cabinets, or do a complete remodel, the truth is that most of us cannot afford to do something like that. Rather than take out a huge lone, why not try something that is a little more affordable...like kitchen cabinet refacing?
Kitchen cabinet re-facing is a surprisingly affordable option if you are looking to make a change in your home. In fact, doing the work yourself is a relatively easy, though time consuming, process. All you really need to do is make sure that you follow the directions listed below. That, and be sure that you set aside a couple of days in order to get the project completed.
- Disassemble the cabinets. Completely remove all the doors, drawers, and hardware on the cabinets. Set everything aside in order, to help you remember where everything goes when you need to put it back together.
- Lightly sand everything. While you could completely sand everything, you really don't need to. Instead, all you need to do is lightly sand the faces of the enough to rough up the smooth finish. This will allow you provide a rough enough surface for the new veneer to stick to it. Don't forget to work the insides of the cabinetry as well.
- Refill all holes. Take a putty knife, and wood putty, and fill any and all holes that you see in the doors and drawers. Where possible, make the surface of these now filled holes as smooth as possible, but don't worry about making it too smooth.
- Apply veneers. Begin applying your veneers to the cabinetry. If you are using a nailer to help put everything together, then you want to make sure that you have the depth properly adjusted. Otherwise, you can easily find yourself punching the nails too deep into the cabinetry to do any real good. Instead, make sure that you have the nailer set to sink the heads of your brad nails just below the surface of the veneer (you will want to be using 5/8 inch brads for this project). Apply a thin film of wood glue to the roughened surface of the cabinetry. Align the veneer to the surface of the cabinetry as carefully as you possibly can, and then press it down. Carefully begin nailing the surfaces to each other working from the top down towards the bottom of the cabinetry so that you can avoid creating any air bubbles in your work. Continue to do this until you have applied the veneer to all of the cabinetry that you are refacing. Once you have done that, allow the glue sufficient time to dry before you proceed. There will be small indentations where the brads went into the veneer, use some wood putty to fill these indentations, and then allow that to dry. Sand the wood putty smooth with a sanding block to ensure that you don't damage the veneers in any way.
- Stain the interiors. Set the cabinetry that you have finished already aside, and begin working on the interiors of the cabinets that are attached to the walls. Use a paintbrush and begin to apply some stain to the interior of your cabinets. When staining these cabinets begin working from the interior out, since it will allow you to work on the more difficult areas first. Be sure that as you are applying the stain that you are following any directions that came from the manufacturer.
- Stain the exteriors. While the interior of the cabinets dry, go ahead and begin working on the exterior that is if you are going to be staining the exterior of your cabinetry. Begin at the top of the cabinets and work your way downwards so that you do not have any drips or streaks as you continue working.
- Repeat. Repeat steps five and six until you have achieved two things. The first is that the colors match between all pieces of the cabinetry. The second is that the color is the shade you want. Be sure that you allow enough time between coats for the stain to dry completely.
- Apply a sealant. Once you have finished staining the cabinetry, it is time to put a sealant on them. Using a about three coats of a good quality polyurethane sealant. This will help protect the cabinets from the day to day hazards of being in a kitchen. Ideally you should use a water based sealer since they are usually odor free, or at the least, have less of an odor.
- Reassemble. After you have finished applying the sealant, and letting everything dry, it is time to begin putting everything back together. When everything is back together you are basically finished except for the cleanup.
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