Refacing Your Own Kitchen Cabinets

Kitchen Cabinets

To bring a new look to your kitchen cabinets, there are usually three options available:  cabinet refacing, which involves placing a laminate veneer over existing cabinets; cabinet refinishing, which means you take down the old cabinet doors, strip and re-stain them; or ripping out your old cabinets and paying thousands to put new ones in.

Of the three options, cabinet refacing is the best balance of low cost and minimal labor.  The steps involved are relatively simple and the materials cost for an average kitchen can run less than $1000.  Take a look at the simple process:

1.  Make sure you have all the tools available and ready, this includes:

-Your choice of laminate veneer.
-Hammer and a nail set.
-A power drill (and a screwdriver, just in case.)
-Drop cloths, and tack cloths.
-Carpenter’s glue
-Straight edge and tri-square.
-Utility knife.
-150 grit sandpaper.

2. Remove cabinet doors and clean with a de-greaser like TSP.  This is powerful stuff, so use rubber gloves.  Mark the doors as you remove them so there is no problem putting them in the right place later.

3. Once cleaned, scuff the doors with sandpaper and use the tack cloth to wipe them clean.

4. Taking plywood strips, cover up any exposed ends by applying the strips with carpenter’s glue.

*5. Apply veneer by lining up first and then removing the backing as you press down.  Once applied, use pressure to ensure even adhesion.

6. Trim overhanging edges of the veneer until you are satisfied.

7.  Replace doors and attach new pulls or knobs.  When re-hanging the doors, it is a good idea to screw them in lightly and test the swing of the door to make sure it is properly lined up.

If the work seems to complicated or time intensive, you may want to consider hiring a home improvement service to reface your cabinets for you.