When many home owners decide to remodel, one of the most common and sought after places to start is the kitchen and bathroom areas. Many older homes have out of date cabinet designs and finishes that are less desirable than they once were. Some people will elect to replace heavily worn cabinets with more modern looking and better functioning units from their local home improvement store or a custom cabinet maker. Others, in the name of saving money, will decide to rebuild their existing cabinetry.

Cabinet refacing or refinishing your homes cabinets can save hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars but requires a fair amount of work depending upon what the desired outcome of the home owner is. Repainting old cabinet frames and doors while installing new hardware is one of the most common and easiest ways to achieve a new look. The difficulty of using this method may be a bit harder depending upon whether the cabinetry has been painted over multiple times throughout the years. Heavily painted over surfaces can amplify imperfections such as runs or dust particles. Removing old paint may be the only option when it comes to getting a smooth and professional looking surface. There are many paint stencils available on the market today that can be used to make unique designs on cabinet doors as well. Standard interior latex paint can be used to paint cabinetry but certain epoxy based paint varieties will provide a more durable, long lasting surface. With the vast selection of faux finish paints available, the average consumer is no longer limited to a monochromatic paint scheme. The majority of brand name paint manufacturers produce products that will allow the do-it-yourself person to apply a suede or marble finish to their cabinets, for example. This type of paint is typically more expensive than standard paint, however, the application process is relatively simple for the average person to complete.

Using chemical paint strippers on cabinetry can often produce disastrous results when older wood is involved. Harsh chemicals have a tendency to soften or break down softer woods and could possible compromise the structural integrity of the cabinet frames as well. Using electric orbital sanders in conjunction with sand paper is typically the best way to provide a good surface for painting. Proper sanding could also reveal a beautiful finish if the cabinets are constructed with a hardwood such as oak. If a wood finish is desired by the home owner, applying a quality stain or varnish can help protect the wood while giving it a distinct and desirable look.

For the adventurous woodworker with the proper tools at their disposal, additional touches or designs can be implemented into old, but still viable, cabinetry. Installing trim such as crown molding on the top of overhead cabinets can create a custom look that rivals some of the more expensive cabinetry made today. Creativity can be taken a step further when it comes to re-facing older cabinetry by using paper designs laminated on a cabinet door surface as well. Using a suitable clear or brush on adhesive to seal paper laminate designs will ensure long life and durability.

All the materials and tools needed to rebuild old cabinetry can most likely be found at the consumer’s local home improvement store. The time and effort needed can vary from project to project, however, the cost savings can prove well worth the trouble for many. Employing help and advice from a professional can also be an alternative worth considering if the home owner does not wish to take on such a project themselves. A professional can also help the home owner decide whether or not refacing kitchen cabinets would be possible due to excessive preexisting wear or damage caused by years of use and abuse.


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