If you want to give your kitchen a new look but don’t have the budget for a full kitchen remodel, refinishing your cabinets is a cost-effective solution. It can breathe new life into a room and help your home stand out in the market. In fact, a recently completed cabinet painting restoration can add up to a 5% increase in your property value.
However, it’s important to understand the difference between refacing and refinishing before you decide on your remodeling strategy. Refacing involves replacing your existing cabinet doors and drawer fronts with new materials, but refinishing focuses on the actual cabinet boxes themselves by repainting or staining them.
Refinishing involves sanding and cleaning the cabinet boxes and door faces to prepare them for a fresh coat of paint or stain. Before you begin your project, it’s important to choose a well-ventilated area and open windows in addition to using a box fan to keep the air moving. It’s also a good idea to wear protective gloves and a respirator to protect yourself from chemicals used in the process of stripping and sanding. Finally, it’s a good idea to use a degreaser on the surface of your cabinet boxes and doors to remove oily residue and prevent your finished product from flaking or peeling.
The first step in refinishing your cabinets is to sand them with medium-grit sandpaper, and then clean the surface again with degreaser. It’s important to sand and clean thoroughly before applying any stain or paint, as dirt and grime may cause the finish to chip. Once your sanding and cleaning are complete, it’s important to let the cabinetry dry completely before you begin the painting or staining process.
Whether you choose to paint or stain your cabinets, the final step is to apply a clear protective topcoat that will keep your investment looking beautiful for years to come. It’s recommended to lightly sand between each application of polyurethane and to apply a light sanding before your last coat.
One common mistake that DIYers often make is to hastily apply the clear finish without properly sanding and staining the original woodwork first. This can result in a permanent seal of damaged areas and a color that’s off or doesn’t match the rest of the cabinetry.
Another mistake homeowners sometimes make is using a tinted polyurethane to change the color of their cabinetry. This can cause the product to chip or peel, and it can leave a dull or uneven surface that’s not easy to clean or maintain. It’s also a good idea not to use waxes on your cabinetry, as they aren’t suitable for kitchen environments. A professional Tampa cabinet refinishing company will use a high-quality water-based polyurethane that’s safe for the job at hand.