How to Refinish Your Kitchen Cabinets

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With changes homeowners like to make in furnishing and decorating their homes, it is not unlikely that many of them will at some time decide to refinish kitchen cabinets. If this applies to you, you can choose to hire a professional to repaint your cabinets, or you can do the job and save the cost of professional labor. Here are things you should know if you choose to paint your cabinets:

Preparing to Refinish

You'll find it much easier to refinish your cabinets if you remove all cabinet doors and all hardware such as hinges, knobs, and handles. Most of his hardware is usually attached with Phillips screws, and you can shorten the time it takes to remove hardware by using a power drill and screwdriver bit. With a clean cloth and solution of water and detergent, clean your cabinet surfaces of dirt and grease that is typically found on kitchen surfaces. Take out all removable shelves. Apply masking tape to all surfaces such as the ceiling where cabinet edges meet surfaces you don't plan to paint.

Fill Screw Holes and Sand

For hardware, you plan to replace, fill its screw holes with wood putty. When the putty is dry, use fine sandpaper to smooth your cabinet surface and the filled holes. To prevent your sanding from making dimples and depressions in the filled holes, be sure to use a sanding block with your sandpaper. When finished sanding, wipe the sanded surfaces with a clean, damp cloth to remove sanding dust and debris.

Apply Primer

Use a quality paintbrush that will work better with oil-based primer and paint, and apply an oil-based primer to cabinet doors and surfaces. If you plan to refinish the cabinet interior surface, apply the primer to this surface, also. Then, allow 24 hours for the primer to completely dry. When the primer has dried, use 150 to 200 grit sandpaper to smooth the surface, then remove surface dust with a clean, damp cloth.

Apply Paint

Onto larger surfaces of your cabinet and doors, apply your first coat of latex paint, using a paint roller. For corners, small areas, and edges where you applied masking tape use a paintbrush. Let this coat dry for 12 to 24 hours, then lightly sand and wipe with a clean cloth.

Apply a Sealer

When you are finished applying your latex paint, if you'd like a non-porous surface that you can easily wipe off, apply a water-based polyurethane coat to all cabinet surfaces, including doors you've removed.

Replace Shelves, Doors, and Hardware

If you plan to use the doors, shelves, and hardware you previously removed, replace them now. When you replace door hinge screws, use a carpenters level to be sure your doors hang evenly. If necessary, adjust your hinges to level these doors. If you'd like hinges that are self-closing, this will be a good time to add them.