06 Feb An Inexpensive Way to Update your Kitchen or Bathroom Cabinets
When it comes to cabinets the dollar seems to not go a long way. But, if you do nothing to the cabinets for years the kitchen can become a drab and filthy room you start to not trust cooking food in. This does not have to happen to you. With about $600.00 and your time, you can have chic and fresh cabinets. A room you will enjoy going into and trust cooking your food in. What you will need is Simple Green heavy duty cleaner, non-metal scrub brush, a brick of cotton rags, sand paper (150 and 220 Grit sand paper), Zar or Old Masters stain (if going over existing stain), Polyurethane (your choice in sheen), cone filters, stir sticks, gloves, throw away chip brushes, gallon of paint thinner, oil brush (for clear coating), plastic, tape, drop cloth, tack cloth, a couple small buckets (keep one clean for cleaning your brush), Philips and flat head screw driver, or drill, and a whole lot of time.
Step 1: Clean the cabinet frames, both sides of the doors, and drawer fronts using Simple Green and the scrub brush to get in all the nooks and crannies with some good ole fashion elbow grease. After scrubbing a small section wipe it down with a clean cotton rag. You will go through a lot of rags but the beauty of using Simple Green is you can wash those rags and re-use them somewhere else. If you re-use them to wipe your stain wash them with a soap that does not leave a residue on the cotton. Some cabinets may require a harsher cleaner if the simple green does not work. The idea for this step is to clean any dirt, grime, or grease from the surfaces that will cause adhesion problems.
Step 2: Remove your doors and drawers. Mask the surround areas you will be staining. Staining is a messy process so try to think a head to keep other items clean.
Step 3: Sand all the surfaces you plan on staining with the 150 grit sand paper. Always sand with the grain of the wood.
Step 4: Vacuum or dust off the surfaces you sanded.
Step 5: Apply one coat of your chosen stain to a small section at a time using a chip brush. Start with the back sides of the doors so you can get a hang of it first. With the products I mentioned earlier let them set up for about 5 – 10 minutes before wiping off some of the stain. This part is an art; no one piece turns out the exact same but has its own unique look. Start by wiping a small amount off following the grain of the wood piece. Let the surface dry to the manufacturer’s specs before flipping the doors or applying a clear. I typically allow 24 hours of cure time before applying the clear. WARNING the stain should be darker than the existing stain color. If you try to go with a lighter color of stain then what exists, it will not work.
Step 6: Gently dust off the surfaces you will be applying a clear to. For each coat stir your clear gently (DO NOT SHAKE) and filter into a clean bucket and apply your first finish clear coat using the oil brush. Do not over brush your clear, this will cause a lot of small bubbles making the feel ruff.
Step 7: Do not sand this coat. It is typical to feel a little roughness with your first coat. Apply your second clear coat.
Step 8: Sand lightly with 220 grit sand paper. Vacuum or dust off the surface. Use tack cloth to remove any dust remaining.
Step 9: Apply your third coat of finish. If more coats are desired follow step 8 and apply the coat. Of course the more coats the better durability you will have with those cabinets when they fully cure.
Step 10: Clean up your masking and re-install your doors, and drawers. Open a cold beverage of your liking, take a step back and admire your work of art.
This is the basic steps in refinishing cabinets to last years and years if done correctly. Please follow the safety steps according to manufacturer and keep the room you are working in well ventilated if possible.