Refinishing Kitchen Cabinets: Three Coats of Protection
It is important to effectively protect your kitchen cabinets from grease and grime, fluctuating temperatures, and even just lots of activity, as they all are hard on wood. The best way to ensure that the wood lasts a long time is to apply three coats of finish.
A water-based polyurethane is a good choice for refinishing kitchen cabinets. The smell will not make you nauseous, and it has an extremely fast drying time, which means you won't have to wait long before applying the next coat. When you purchase it, read the label for advice on the ideal brush to use with it. With supplies in hand, first clean the cabinets well. Using a tack cloth, wipe them down thoroughly, as excess dust residue can ruin the aesthetics of a finish job. When brushing, follow the wood grain. Do not brush across it but, rather, with it. Also, keep your touch light. You do not want the finish to be applied thickly because it will look sloppily done. Over-brushing also can create air bubbles, causing unattractive pits in the finish.
After the first coat, take a break and let the finish dry. Maybe clean the cabinet hardware while you wait. The next step is sanding, but do not use an electric sander.
Use a 150-grit sandpaper to roughen the cabinet surfaces so that they hold a second coat. Again, meticulously wipe down the cabinets.
Lay down a second application, then let it dry. Sand, clean, and apply a final coat.
Refinishing kitchen cabinets is much easier if you remove them from the wall. This allows you to maneuver around them on all sides, and it is less laborious and time consuming.