A refinishing job is just the thing to enliven a dreary kitchen. Perhaps you have marred and stained cabinets, or you just need a new look. Figuring how to make cabinet doors look like new is a cheap way to give your kitchen a facelift.
The first step is to pull all the cabinet doors off the wall. If you’re planning on reusing the cabinet hardware a quick tip is to tape it inside the cabinets of each door so you know where each hinge and knob goes.
Once all the hardware is removed you can cart all the doors outside for a strip job.
If the doors were coated with a polyurethane varnish then you’ll need to make sure that all of the varnish is removed before you can continue. You can use a combination of sanding and chemical strippers to make sure everything is removed.
Now comes the grunt work. You’ll need to sand down the entire face of each cabinet. If it had a particularly deep stain applied to it before then it might take a while to scrape through all the old stain. You can start with a coarse grit on an orbital sander until all the old stain is removed. Be sure to always use even pressure when sanding so you don’t create any divots in the cabinet face.
Once all the old stain is removed you’ll need a sanding block and several different fine grades of sand paper to properly finish the sanding job. Start at coarser grits and work your way down until you have a nice smooth cabinet face with out any scratches in it.
If you are planning on replacing the door hardware then fill in any hardware holes with wood putty . Sand down the
Use a sponge to wipe down the doors. Now switch to rags and keep wiping the doors down until no saw dust remains.
Now it’s time to apply the stain. Mix up whatever color you’re going to use and sponge it onto the doors. Be sure to cover the sides as well. Since stain dries fairly fast you can get a couple coats on in an afternoon.
Once the stain is dry you’ll want to move the doors back inside for the next step. This will limit any dirt, leaves or bugs sticking in the final varnish coats.
Set up some saw horses in the garage and place the cabinet doors on them.
Brush on the varnish making sure there aren’t any small bubbles in it. Let dry and apply a second coat.
All that’s left now is to bring the doors back into the kitchen and reattaching the hardware and hanging them back up. You have a completely revitalized kitchen now. Learning how to make cabinet doors look better isn’t as hard as a carpenter would like you to think. Doing it yourself is a bit labor intensive but you’ll have a great new kitchen look in about a weekend.