Face Your Kitchen
Your Guide to Kitchen Cabinet Refacing

Doors, drawers and dust: kitchen remodel cleanup

by Shannon Lee
Face Your Kitchen Columnist

If you are like most homeowners who opt for a kitchen remodel, you will put a great deal of time and energy into the project. From in-depth research to budget-wrangling to choosing the right contractor -- the build-up to your new kitchen doors can be exciting and tedious by turns.

But when the job is done, what's next? Your cabinets might not be move-in ready: There's still some serious cleaning left to do.

Replacing kitchen cabinets: dust control

Copious amounts of dust go hand-in-hand with any remodel. Simply removing the kitchen drawers and doors can stir up dust. Add in sanding, drilling holes for new hardware and other necessary work, and you might find dust flying everywhere.

These tips prove that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure:

  1. Seal off the room. Thick plastic sheeting can help keep dust and debris from other areas of your home. If it is difficult to seal off just the kitchen, consider sealing off a few "clean" rooms to live in while the work is being done.
  2. Seal the HVAC registers. If you are going to run the HVAC unit, close and seal the registers in the kitchen and any adjacent areas, such as the dining room. This prevents dust from being spread throughout the house.
  3. Lay down plastic. Heavy construction plastic taped down to your floor and countertops can be a huge help when it comes to the final cleanup -- just wrap it up from the corners and carry it outside, dust and all.
  4. Take the heavy work outside. Sawing, drilling and sanding are always best done outside, where the breeze can carry the dust away. If you have space in your yard or garage for the contractor to work, many of your dust issues are settled.

If you are replacing kitchen cabinets yourself, clean up as you go along. If you have hired a contractor, expect them to clean up after themselves. Most contractors do a great job of this, but even so, there could be plenty of dust left after they have said their goodbyes to a job well done.

New kitchen doors: conquering the dusty residue

Even the best contractor might miss a few spots of that pesky dust. After they have gone through the cabinets with their shop-vac and other tools, give the cabinets a thorough cleaning with a dustrag and appropriate cleaner. Make sure to use a damp rag, as this will capture the dust and prevent it from spreading around.

Finally, thoroughly clean every other area of your kitchen, from the light fixtures to the floor. This helps ensure that no dust is lurking in the corners, waiting to settle on your clean dishes.


About the Author
Shannon Dauphin is a journalist and occasional novelist with a serious weakness for real estate. Her current home was built in 1901, so home repair and renovation have become her necessary hobbies.

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