How to reface kitchen cabinets
Whether you want to give your kitchen a new feel, tone down the wood-look or change the style, there are two easy techniques you should consider.
the two most affordable ways you can give your kitchen a makeover include painting or ‘refacing’ the kitchen cabinets.
Before you start, you should know that this is not a weekend project, no matter how small your kitchen is. Proper preparation is essential, and that means taking the time to remove all doors and hardware.
Give dated or damaged kitchen cabinets a more modern look by refacing the surface.
Cabinet refacing is achieved by applying a thin veneer or laminate to the carcass, frame, sides and doors of kitchen cabinets. Not only can you save a considerable amount of money, but if done properly, you can add value to your property.
You will need — Multi-sander and orbital sander, plus 80-, 120- and 240-grit sanding pads or Plascon removall for varnish or painted surfaces — Clean cloths — Formica laminate, choose from a wide selection of styles Contact adhesive — Pressure roller — Stanley knife or quality craft knife
Here’s how 1. remove all the hardware (handles, hinges and knobs) from the cabinet doors and carcass. Put these aside in a safe place so as not to lose any pieces or, if you decide to discard them, shop around for more modern fittings. 2. Sanding is an essential step to prepare cabinets made from laminate. Painted, vanished or sealed cabinets will need to be sanded too to remove the coating. Depending on the thickness of the existing coating, start with an 80grit sandpaper to remove heavily layered paint or varnish. You can follow this up with a 120-grit sandpaper and finish up with 240-grit sanding.
this process will prepare the surface for easy and long-lasting veneer or laminate application. Al- ternatively, you can apply Plascon removall as recommended.
3. Completely wipe down the cabinet doors and any other sanded parts to remove all traces of dust. Particularly pay attention to the corners, as this will affect the adhesion of new veneer or laminate, and could result in the new surface peeling off.
4. Once you’ve decided on whether to apply veneer or laminate, you’ll need to ask your hardware store or timber merchant to trim it down to a manageable size. Both veneer and laminate are supplied in large sheets so you’ll need to determine the sizes needed for the job by measuring up all the areas to be covered.
to do this, measure the upright (stiles) and horizontal (rails) area of each carcass, as well as the sides of the carcass (if visible) and the front, top, bottom and sides of doors.
5. For both veneer and wood grain laminate, cut the material so that the wood grain always runs length- wise. Apply contact adhesive to the back of the laminate strip and onto the stile or rail. Let this sit until the surface is no longer tacky to touch. Stick the materials from the top or bottom, and press them hard as you move up or down.
6. Once the strip is firmly stuck to the surface and before it cures, use a wood block or pressure roller to firmly press down on the full length of the strip. this action will force out air bubbles and ensure complete adhesion.
7. Use a Stanley knife or sharp craft knife to trim the excess material that overlaps the cabinet opening.
run the knife along the inner edge of the frame as a guide. Go slowly and apply pressure against the back edge as you cut to prevent slipping and damaging the strip.
8. trim the top, bottom and outer edges. When trimming at the joint between two cabinets, use a straightedge as a guide. For easier trimming, you can use a tork Craft edge trimmer which can be found at your local Builders Warehouse.
DIY tip Change your knife blade often to keep your cuts clean.
Before tackling door fronts, consider your options. You can buy a wide selection of ready-made door styles that offer you an easy way to update a kitchen.
rejuvenating the look of your kitchen can be done on the cheap or planned to use up some set-aside savings. Play around with your options and use your imagination to create a ‘new look’ for your kitchen.
Rejuvenating the look of your kitchen can be done on the cheap or planned to use up some set-aside savings.