Refinishing—which involves painting or staining your cabinets—is the most inexpensive option for reviving cabinetry in need of a facelift. In fact, according to This Old House, the materials needed for repainting will probably set you back around $200, compared to the cost of replacing cabinets (easily $5,000), refacing them ($3,500), or having a pro finish them for you ($1,000).
Still not sure whether to refinish, reface, or replace? DoItYourself.com can help you determine which is best. If you decide to reface, Rockler Woodworking and Hardware provides instructions on how to do it.
Should you choose to go the refinishing route, one caveat: If your cabinets are in poor condition, it’s worth your while to invest in new cabinets. Paint can add style to cabinetry, but it can’t completely transform them if they’re too banged up.
Before you undertake the refinishing process, remember that although it’s a terrific DIY task, it does take time and effort—and you may not be able to use your kitchen while you’re doing it, so be prepared to eat out!
The first step in refinishing cabinetry involves removing all drawers, doors, and hardware. Sanding, stripping, and thorough cleaning are key for ensuring the paint goes on smoothly, whether you choose to apply it with a brush or spray it on (which many experts recommend because you don’t have to worry about brush strokes).
Refinishing cabinets is a lot like refinishing furniture, according to Lowe’s. Figure out the sort of finish your cabinets are currently wearing before you pick a stripper—gel or semi-paste varieties work best, because they don’t drip as much. If you’re not sure what kind of finish your cabinets have, check out the handy chart Lowe’s includes in the link above.
After you strip the cabinets, patch holes, dings, and scratches with wood filler or nonshrinking putty and sand to smooth the blemishes. Then it’s time to paint or stain!
Be Jane provides easy-to-follow instructions on refinishing cabinets—with handy tips to help you out along the way.
Not sure which color to paint your cabinets? This BHG.com slideshow will have you dreaming of yellow or green with envy in no time.
Enjoy the refinishing process!
The Home Know-It-All