Kitchen Cabinet Refacing: New Look, Old-Fashioned Charm

Shannon Lee

Many old houses come with problems, but they also come with beautiful gems of character. Take those antique kitchen cabinets, for example. Often lovingly constructed of sturdy woods, those cabinets were built to last. Cabinet refacing can make them look new again while preserving their old-fashioned charm.

The Basics of Cabinet Refacing

A kitchen makeover can be as simple as a fresh coat of paint or stain on those antique cabinets. Cabinet refacing can bring new life to those antique treasures--and it can be done in as little as a weekend!

Here's how to get the job done in six steps:

  1. Clean the cabinets. A thorough cleaning is easier if you remove the cabinet doors. Clean carefully with warm water and mild soap, if necessary. Clean the hardware as well, and put it in a safe place while you work on the rest of the job. You don't want to lose those gorgeous antique hinges and pulls!
  2. Strip the surface. Choose a chemical stripper that is appropriate for your cabinets, and carefully follow the directions on the label. Take your time and remove all of the paint, stain, and other build-up that has accumulated over the years.
  3. Sand the cabinets. Start with a rough sandpaper and gradually move to a finer grit. Sand the cabinets gently to smooth out the wood in preparation for the new paint or stain. For best results, work with the grain of the wood.
  4. Use wood filler. Seal small imperfections and tiny gaps with wood filler. Choose a wood filler suitable for your cabinets, and brush it on against the grain, ensuring all areas are sealed.
  5. Sand one more time. Let the wood filler dry thoroughly, then give your antique cabinets one last sanding. Use fine grit sandpaper to ensure a smooth surface. Take your time with this! Any areas that are not thoroughly sanded will be apparent when the stain or paint is applied.
  6. Apply the finish. The stain requires several layers to protect the surface and achieve the look you want. Don't forget to use a sealant to protect your work! If you choose to paint the cabinets, take care to prime them first to get a smooth, professional finish.

Your beautiful kitchen cabinets can make quite an impression! Whether you handle the cabinet refacing yourself or hire an expert to deal with your kitchen makeover, your finished kitchen cabinets will have a great new look while still holding onto their old-fashioned charm.



About the Author

Shannon Dauphin is a freelance writer based near Nashville, Tennessee. Her house was built in 1901, so home repair and renovation have become her hobbies.

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