Face Your Kitchen
Your Guide to Kitchen Cabinet Refacing

Unfinished Kitchen Cabinet: The Tabula Rasa of Your Home

by Kirk Bangstad
Face Your Kitchen Columnist

'Tabula Rasa: 1. The mind before it receives the impressions gained from experience. 2. A need or an opportunity to start from the beginning.' Literally translated as "blank slate", the similarities between an unfinished kitchen cabinet and tabula rasa are hardly coincidental. Here's why.

As the mind develops, life's experiences shape and mold it, leaving lasting impressions along the way. As your kitchen cabinets do their duties, they'll no doubt get the dings and scratches from a lifetime of use, impressions not so appreciated. But the opportunity to start from the beginning may be all your cabinets need to be restored to their original luster and attractiveness. Here are some finishing techniques that can help you to take advantage of the tabula rasa in your kitchen.

From Unfinished to Finished. Kitchen cabinets reflect the personality and creativity of the homeowner. Find your design personality with these cabinet treatments.

  1. Staining. Sometimes a good coat of stain is all your cabinets need. The natural look of stain is simple and refined.
  2. Painting. Bring out the colors in your home by applying a couple of coats of high-quality paint to your unfinished cabinets.
  3. Resurfacing. Laminate resurfacing is an inexpensive, albeit effective, way to improve aging cabinets. MDF and thermofoil are popular choices.
Finishing Touches. Cabinet hardware is the icing on the cake. Pulls, knobs, and hinges accentuate the natural shades of your previously unfinished cabinets. While brass is a popular choice, feel free to go wild with burnished metals and silver tones.

So instead of staring at your unfinished kitchen cabinets with a sigh of resignation, use this opportunity to revitalize your 'blank slate'.

About the Author
Kirk Bangstad is an artist manager and singer working in Chicago, IL. His previous experience includes consulting for technology companies in the Silicon Valley and serving as a field director and publicist for a statewide political campaign. Kirk holds a B.A. in government from Harvard University.

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