Replacing kitchen cabinets are by far one of the most expensive parts of any kitchen makeover. Before you go hiring someone to tear out the old ones though, consider your options for refinishing your current ones. Unless your current cabinets were made poorly in the first place, or severely damaged through a flood, fire, or some other catastrophe, then it is entirely possible to save your money for other projects and still end up with a set of cabinets that will look like you bought new.
Plan your New Cabinets
To begin, decide what you want your kitchen cabinets to look like. Do you have a style in mind? Do you want to paint or re-stain the cabinets? Will you be replacing the hardware? Also, consider adding such design features as stainless steel panels, blackboard paint, or otherwise altering one cabinet door as a focal point in the kitchen, several, or all. If you are good with drawing, or know someone who is, you might even want to roughly sketch out your existing kitchen layout, and draw in any features you are considering using. This is a good way for you to see what your choices might look like when put into practice. Also, it is very crucial that you are using the right tools and equipment in this DIY project. Using the right tool will help you do the work easily and more accordingly. Make sure you have DeWalt Impact Driver to easily finish your kitchen cabinets.
Decide on a Work Area
Be sure you will have an area with adequate ventilation for working on the cabinet doors, and enough ventilation in the kitchen itself for when you work on the actual cabinets. If it is a sunny day, head outside to do your sanding and any painting or staining. A garage with the door open wide can be a good workspace too.
Shop for Materials and Supplies
Once you have a clear idea of what you plan to do, you will need to shop for materials, including a sander, primer, paint, or stain, new hardware, and all extra supplies such as drop cloths and a few extra plastic tubs or laundry baskets to empty the contents of your cabinets into while you are refinishing them. New hardware can give your cabinets a new look all by themselves, so take your time when choosing. Be sure to plan for a few meals out too, especially if you spend large amounts of time in your kitchen cooking, and eating out is not within your normal routine.
Remove Cabinet Doors
As basic as this sounds, remove your cabinet doors from the cabinets before refinishing. Trying to work on them while they are attached to the cabinets is difficult at best, and more than likely impossible. If you have any fear of not remembering, which cabinet door goes where, mark them in some way so that you will be able to put the doors back in the order they were removed.
Even if you plan to reuse the same hardware, remove the existing hardware. By removing the hardware, you are also avoiding any problems with the finish on them being ruined by anything you use to strip the cabinet doors themselves. If you do plan to reuse them, give them a good scrubbing while you have them off.
Remove Current Finish
Strip off the current finish from both the doors and the faces of the cabinets themselves. Whether sanding or stripping, depending on the current finish, remember to use a facemask and have plenty of ventilation.
Paint or stain your cabinet doors and the faces of the cabinets. If you are going to alter any of the cabinet doors, do so know, before you reinstall them. Let everything dry adequately between coats and after the final coat, before putting the hardware back on, or re-hanging the doors.
If you bought new hardware, or are reusing the old hardware, install it before you re-hang the doors. If the hardware is unique in some way, requiring the order they go on, to be in some specific manner, you might wish to wait until the cabinet doors are re-hung before installing. For example, if every other door handle, needs to face its preceding handle to form a shape or design.
Once all the doors and cabinet faces are dry, re-hang them and enjoy your like new kitchen cabinets that cost you a small portion of what brand new cabinets would have cost.