Face Your Kitchen
Your Guide to Kitchen Cabinet Refacing

Kitchen Cabinet Restoration for the Antique Lover

by Kelly Richardson
Face Your Kitchen Columnist

You're staring at your grandma's old kitchen cabinets. You love what they stand for: old-fashioned craftsmanship, traditional values, an integral part of your heritage. But in this worn condition, how can they ever be a part of your renovated kitchen? Kitchen cabinet restoration services to the rescue!

For many homeowners, there's no substitute for sturdy, antique cabinets. While technology has created a new line of contemporary cabinet making materials, old-fashioned oak and hickory are still the choice ingredients for cabinets that last. If you have antique cabinets that you'd like to bring back to life, professional cabinet restoration services are the way to go.

Cabinet Restoration Overview

  • Assessment and Cleaning. The first step your cabinet restorer will most likely take is an inspection and cleaning. The inspection will be a chance to determine the condition of the cabinet and the steps to bring it back. Cleaning the cabinets will rid them of any dust and mold that might have built up. If any repairs to the chassis are needed, this will be done first, also.
  • Stripping. During the stripping process, your cabinet professional will use a caustic solution and steel wool to strip the original finish from your unit. This will result in a smooth surface, ready for the new finish.
  • Sanding. Starting with a 120 grit sand paper, your contractor will begin sanding the cabinets along the grain of the wood. Once the initial sanding phase is complete, a 220 grit sand paper will be used to remove any remaining stripping solution.
  • Filler Application. The next step is to brush on a wood filler that will even any gaps in the wood. The filler will be applied against the grain (opposite of the sanding pattern) to ensure that all gaps in the wood will be filled in properly.
  • Stain Application. Applying the stain will take the most time, as several coats are usually necessary to achieve the desired result. Following a couple of coats of lacquer, your contractor will apply the stain that you request. This will be followed by the application of a stain sealer to protect the color for years to come.

A word of caution. This is not a project you'll want to complete on your own. Use a professional to avoid catastrophic errors that may ruin your antique cabinets.

About the Author
Kelly Richardson covers the home improvement scene in between his seasonal projects. His articles appear wherever intelligent interior design is valued.

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