Refinish Your Cabinets
Save thousands by painting cabinets instead of replacing them.
Synopsis: Nothing makes a kitchen shine like new cabinets, but buying new kitchen cabinets is a pricey proposition. Painter Philip Hansell suggests saving money and a trip to the landfill by repainting kitchen cabinets so that they look as good as new. Hansell recommends spraying instead of brushing to apply paint. Spraying is costlier than brushing because of the additional prep work, but a skilled spray technician can leave a smooth, flawless finish. To start, Hansell preps the kitchen by covering the countertops and floor with kraft paper and appliances with plastic sheeting. Next, he removes cabinet drawers and doors, making sure to label them carefully for their location and to label their associated hardware so that the kitchen can be reassembled properly after the paint is dry. Surface prep takes care of dents and dings, and sanding prepares the cabinets for the new coat of paint. Hansell recommends oil-based paint because it bonds and coats better.
Refinishing kitchen cabinets is a difficult and labor-intensive painting project, but the payoff can be huge. For a fraction of the cost of new cabinets, refinishing can transform a well-worn kitchen into one that looks and feels new.
As with most painting projects, the secret to a high-quality finish on kitchen cabinets is proper preparation and the right tools and materials for the job. Here, I describe how my painting company goes about refinishing cabinets in a typical kitchen. The project shown is a high-end kitchen remodel in a handsome brick house in one of the nicest neighborhoods of Durham, N.C.
The kitchen design called for new tilework, lighting, and appliances. While the built-in appliances required new cabinets, the existing cabinets were in good shape, so the homeowners decided to save thousands of dollars by refinishing their existing kitchen cabinets.