Face Your Kitchen
Your Guide to Kitchen Cabinet Refacing

6 easy steps for refacing cupboards

by Sara Kmiecik
Face Your Kitchen Columnist

First, you will need to decide if you want to replace or reface your cabinet doors. Either way, you want to choose all of your materials at the same time, to make sure your surfaces match.

Refacing cupboards: a quick guide

1. If you decide to replace your cabinet doors, visit home improvement stores like Lowe's and Home Depot for a wide, affordable selection. Consider the material of your current cupboards and the type of finish--paint, stain or veneer--that works best on that material.

2. Remove the current cupboard doors by unscrewing the hinges. Remove cabinet moldings and any peeling coatings on the surface of the cupboards. Remove grease from cupboards by cleaning with TSP. Lightly sand the outside of the cabinet box.

3. Cover the end panels with the same material you want to use for your new cabinet doors or paint the end panels. Use finishing nails to secure the end panels into place. Fill the nail holes with wood filler. Sand the edges of the end panels.

4. Apply the cabinet finish of your choice to the areas you plan to cover. If you choose to add veneer, you will want to affix a self-adhesive covering to the face-frame on the cupboard. Add the veneer to the stiles on the cupboard and use a razor knife to trim the overlap.

5. Cover the rails of the cupboards with the veneer you have chosen. Use a try square to line up the rail and stile. Use a utility knife and cut both pieces of the veneer. Remove excess veneer trimmings from each side of the cupboard.

6. Replace hinges, spacing them 2" from the top and bottom of the cupboard doors. Screw the hinges to the cupboard doors.

Depending on your expertise with DIY projects, refacing cupboards could take as little as one day. Think of the satisfaction you'll feel when your kitchen gets an all-new look in less than a weekend.

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