Can All Cabinets be Refinished
When it comes to home improvement projects, refinishing cabinets is often a great option for giving the kitchen an entirely fresh and modern look. With all of the different options out there for color, styles, and finishes, it can be hard to decide which ones are best suited for your project. But before you make that decision, it’s important to consider whether or not your existing cabinets can be refinished in the first place. In this blog post, we’ll discuss what makes a good candidate for kitchen cabinet refinishing and how you can go about deciding if yours qualifies.
Refinish vs. Replace
Kitchen and bathroom cabinets are ubiquitous features of a home’s interior, often lasting for many years without needing much maintenance. If the time has come to refresh your cabinets, there are several ways to do so. Refinishing or cabinet refacing offer options that bring a new look while retaining much of the existing structure, while complete replacement is another option if you want to try something entirely new. Ultimately, the best choice comes down to your unique set of cabinets, what type of change you’re looking for, and any preferences you have in terms of modifications.
Can All Cabinets be Refinished?
In general, most cabinets can be refinished, but the extent to which they can be refinished may depend on a few factors. Here are some things to keep in mind when deciding if this approach is an appropriate option for you:
Firstly, the material of the cabinets will affect whether they can be refinished. Cabinets made of solid wood, plywood, or medium-density fiberboard (MDF) can typically be refinished. However, cabinets made of particleboard or other composite materials may not be suitable for refinishing as they may not hold up well to sanding and other refinishing techniques.
- Cabinet condition
Second, it’s important to consider the condition of the cabinets. If the cabinets are heavily damaged or have significant structural issues, they may not be suitable for refinishing. Additionally, if the cabinets have been painted or stained multiple times before, it may be difficult to remove all of the previous layers and achieve a smooth, uniform finish.
- Desired outcome
The desired outcome of the refinishing process will also play a role in determining whether or not they should be refinished. If the goal is to change the color of the cabinets or apply a new finish, then likely the cabinets can be refinished. However, if the goal is to completely change the style or design of the cabinets, it may be more difficult and may require more extensive remodeling work.
With your desired outcome in mind, you also need to consider the budget you have available for your remodeling project. While supplies for refinishing may cost around $200 depending on the size of the job, this option can prove significantly cheaper than replacing the cabinets outright. For reference, the cost of replacing your kitchen cabinets can easily top $5,000 for an average-sized kitchen. If you have less money to work with, refinishing gives you a more affordable way to give your current cabinets a fresh new look.
Overall, while most cabinets can be refinished, it is important to consider the material, condition, the desired outcome, and your budget before arriving at a final decision. It may also be helpful to hire a professional with experience in cabinet remodeling to ensure that the process is done properly, and the cabinets look their best.
How to Refinish Cabinets
If you’ve considered the factors above and are determined that refinishing your cabinets is the right option for you, here is a brief overview of the next steps to take:
- Remove all hardware: The first step is to remove all hardware, including knobs, handles, and hinges from the cabinets.
- Clean the cabinets: The cabinets need to be thoroughly cleaned to remove any dirt, grease, or other debris. This can be done using a mild detergent and warm water. Once the cabinets are clean, they need to be allowed to dry completely.
- Sand the cabinets: Sanding the cabinets is an important step in the refinishing process as it helps to remove any existing finish and prepares the surface for a new finish. A coarse sandpaper (60-80 grit) can be used initially to remove the old finish, followed by a finer sandpaper (120-150 grit) to smooth out the surface.
- Fill any gaps or holes: If there are any gaps or holes in the cabinets, they need to be filled with wood filler and sanded smooth.
- Prime the cabinets: Once the cabinets are sanded and smooth, a primer should be applied to the surface to ensure that the new finish adheres properly.
- Apply the new finish: There are several options for the new finish, including paint, stain, or varnish. The new finish can be applied with a brush, roller, or spray gun, depending on the desired look and the type of finish being used. Multiple coats may be required to achieve the desired look and durability.
- Reattach hardware: Once the new finish has dried completely, the hardware can be reattached to the cabinets.
Refinishing your existing cabinets is a great way to update the look of your kitchen without breaking the bank. It’s important to realize, however, that not all cabinets can be refinished. Depending on their material type, it may be more cost-effective to replace them entirely than try to refinish them. Similarly, some cabinet materials are too deteriorated to take on such a project in good faith–again necessitating cabinet replacement instead.
It’s important to assess the situation honestly and candidly when considering whether or not refinishing a cabinet is an option. Clearly defining objectives ahead of time will help you make an informed decision that works for both budget and timeline. Ultimately, deciding between refurbishing or replacing cabinets should be based on an in-depth analysis of their value and any potential risks associated with refinishing them.
If you believe that refinishing your cabinets is the way to go, Furniture Medic by MasterCare Experts provides cabinet refinishing and refacing services. Our experts can also help you determine the best option if you are unsure of whether to have your kitchen cabinets refinished or replaced.