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DIY Tips Refinishing Cabinets and Wood Trim

DIY Tips Refinishing Cabinets and Wood Trim

Your kitchen cabinets will likely withstand all of the abuse you dish out during the entire time you are in your home. You may have to replace some hardware on occasion or re-level the doors, but for the most part kitchen cabinets are built to last the lifetime of the home. But there may come a time when you start to dislike the look of your cabinetry. You might want to darken the wood tone, or lighten the wood tone so that the cabinets look trendier and fresh. It is often cheaper to refinish your old cabinets than it is to go buy new ones.

As long as your old cabinets have not suffered any severe water damage, termite damage, or ant infestations you are more than likely going to find that stripping the old varnish and refinishing them will be less expensive than buying new cabinets.

Once you have stripped the varnish from the wood you can stain them, paint them, or simply place a new varnish coat on them to make them look new again. There are a lot of options open to you.

The first step to cabinet refinishing is to remove all of the hardware. That means all of the drawer pulls, and hinges. Place these items in a container with a lid so that you do not lose any of the pieces, especially the screws that hold them in place.

You will need to buy a paint and varnish remover to get the old varnish off of the wood. Take the doors and drawers outside, or to the garage, if possible, to remove their varnish. Be sure that you place drop cloths on the floor before you remove the varnish on the pieces of cabinet that cannot be taken outside. You also want to cover the countertops so that you do not get any of the paint strippers on them.

Removing the paint and varnish will be time consuming, and you should have rubber gloves on when you are working with paint remover. You should also open the windows and door to the outside so you can get adequate ventilation in the room while you are working.

You apply a thin coat of the varnish remover and then let it set for a few minutes while it loosens the varnish. Then you take a scraper and scrape off as much of the goo as possible, being very careful not to gouge the wood of the cabinet with the scraper. Then you take a cloth and wipe away all of the remaining sticky goo. Repeat this step until there is no longer any paint or varnish left on the wood. Then wipe the surface with a clean damp cloth and let it dry.

Once dry you may need to sand your wood to remove stain, or rough spots. Then you simply apply the new stain, and a clear varnish to protect the wood. You must let the cabinets dry completely between each coat of varnish.

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