Face Your Kitchen
Your Guide to Kitchen Cabinet Refacing

Cabinet resurfacing works for tight budgets

by Shannon Lee
Face Your Kitchen Columnist

If your budget is really tight, cabinet refacing can often be a great answer to having a new look at a fraction of the cost of replacing your cabinets. But what if those new cabinet doors are a bit too pricey? Another option is cabinet resurfacing.

Making the old new again

Kitchen cabinet refacing often involves removing the doors and replacing them with new ones. A professional contractor can do this work in only a few days and leave you with kitchen cabinets that look new. If your cabinet doors are still very functional but simply need an updated look, resurfacing them with a good veneer can save even more money and give you the same result.

Here's how to get started:

  1. Choose the veneer that suits your tastes. If you are using the veneer on the cabinet doors and drawers only, choose something that matches your existing cabinet boxes. If you are going to put veneer on the cabinet boxes as well, your options become much broader.
  2. Remove the doors and drawers. Retain all the hardware if you intend to use it again. Clean the doors, drawer fronts and cabinet boxes thoroughly with a high-quality cleaning solution and warm water.
  3. Rough it all up. The veneer will stick much better if the surface is a bit rough. Use 150-grit sandpaper and do this part by hand -- using a power sander can dig too deeply into the surface, leaving it uneven.
  4. Apply the veneer. If you are applying veneer to the cabinet boxes, start there. Work on only one section at a time. If you are resurfacing only the doors, lay a door on a sturdy, clean work surface and take your time with each one. Measure several times before you cut, make the cut with a very sharp knife designed for the purpose, and use adhesives recommended by the manufacturer.
  5. Install the hardware. If you are using new hardware, take samples of the old hardware with you to the store to help choose the proper size and shape. If you are keeping the old hardware, remember to avoid using the old holes if you have covered them over with veneer. This could weaken the veneer and pull it away from the cabinet.
  6. Replace the cabinet doors and drawers. Now, simply attach the doors to the hardware and slip the drawers back into place. Step back and admire your new look.

If you are handy with tools and have worked on a home improvement project before, you can likely handle this. But if you are new to cabinet refacing, it might be prudent to have a professional contractor come in to handle the job for you. You can find bonded, licensed and insured* contractors by filling out a form on this site.

*See terms and conditions on http://www.streetcertified.com/about/Terms.jsp

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