Home Improvement

Cabinet Refinishing – A Cost-Effective Way to Make Your Cabinets Look New Again

San Jose Cabinet Refinishing can provide the look of new cabinets at a fraction of the cost. It can also be performed on a variety of materials as long as there is no significant damage or wear to the cabinet doors and hardware.

Cabinet Refinishing

Paint is a common choice, but stains can also be used for a more natural appearance. Both refinishing and painting require a light sanding to ensure mechanical adhesion.

Depending on the color you want your cabinets to be, some of the existing finish may need to be removed. This can be done with a chemical mixture, lots of sanding or a combination of both. This is often the most time-consuming part of refinishing and it’s the reason many homeowners choose to hire a professional service instead.

Some of the chemicals used for removing the existing finish can be dangerous, which is why it’s important to use an expert. They know how much of the mixture is needed to effectively remove the existing paint and stain without damaging the underlying materials. It’s also the main reason why it is so important to make sure the area where refinishing takes place is properly protected. Using plastic sheeting, building paper (which is better for the environment) or canvas cloths can protect furniture, countertops, appliances and tables from dust and sanding. Tape can be used to mask off any areas where you don’t want paint splatter to occur.

Another common mistake homeowners make is trying to save time by painting their cabinets in-place, but this can be very challenging and lead to a less than ideal finished product. Unless your cabinets are in excellent condition, you’re typically better off removing them completely and refinishing them from start to finish.

When removing your cabinet doors and hardware, it’s a good idea to label them or at least number them so you can easily reassemble everything once the job is complete. Placing tape around the edges of each piece can help prevent paint from smudging, and you can even cover the handles with masking tape for extra protection.

Before refinishing your cabinets, it’s best to experiment with stain on a few pieces of wood to see how the tone will look. This is especially important if your cabinets are made of a coarse-grained species like oak or walnut, as they tend to show the grain more than other species. Also, if the existing stain has faded, consider a light rubbing with 000 or 0000 steel wool before refinishing to give it a fresher look.

Repairing Damage

Cabinets are one of the most common and most used features in any home. They are used to store items such as toys, dishes, decor, books, and electronics. Because of this, they tend to suffer from damage on a regular basis. Luckily, there are many different ways to repair your cabinets when they become damaged. One of the most popular methods is to simply refinish them. Cabinet refinishing is an extremely cost-effective way to make your cabinets look new again without spending thousands of dollars on a complete replacement.

The first step in the refinishing process is to remove all of the existing hardware from your cabinets. This can be a complicated task and requires the services of an experienced handyman. Once all of the hardware has been removed, the professional will begin by using a chemical mixture to dissolve the old finish and paint from your cabinets. There are a variety of chemicals that can be used to dissolve the existing coating, and it is important that an expert is hired to ensure that the correct mixture is used for the specific type of cabinets. Otherwise, the wood may be ruined.

Once the wood has been properly cleaned and prepared, the professional can then begin to fill in any dents and gouges that may be present on your cabinets. There are special wood fillers that are designed to be used for this purpose, and the professional knows how to use them effectively. Once the damaged areas have been filled, the cabinet can be sanded down and prepared for staining or painting.

While refacing cabinets is an effective solution for changing up the look of your cabinets, it does have some limitations. For instance, it can be expensive and time-consuming to replace the cabinet boxes and drawers as well as the doors and their fronts. Moreover, replacing your cabinets with new wood will require you to invest in a whole new set of hinges and hardware.

Refinishing cabinets is more versatile and cost-effective than refacing, but it has its own limitations as well. Refinishing can only be used if the cabinet boxes and drawers are in good condition. It is also not possible to change the door style or wood species of your cabinets when refinishing them. Rather, you would need to reface them in order to change the door style or wood species.

Staining or Painting

Cabinet refinishing is all about covering damages, cleaning discoloration and adding a new protective layer to the surface of your cabinets. The new finish can be either stain or paint. Unlike paint, stain showcases the natural characteristics of the wood species used to manufacture your cabinet doors and drawer fronts, and this can be a major selling point for some homeowners. Stain is thinner than paint and allows the character marks, knots and grain patterns to be more evident, which can make your cabinets look richer and more luxurious.

Painting is a more durable option, and it can also be a good way to achieve a very specific color. The key to a successful cabinet paint job is proper preparation. Careful painting with a brush or sprayer, sanding between coats, priming, taping edges and walls, and ensuring the best mechanical adhesion are all critical elements of an effective finish. Unless you are a very experienced finisher, a professional should apply the paint to ensure a long-lasting and beautiful result.

The most common choice for paint is a low-VOC (volatile organic compound) water-based product. This type of product is easier on the environment and doesn’t have the odors associated with oil-based products. However, water-based finishes are not as durable as a top-quality oil-based product and will require frequent touch-ups.

When choosing a color, consider the overall room design and your furniture. Spahn & Rose offers a Visualizer tool that can help you decide which hue will work best for your home. Paints come in every color of the rainbow, so it can be difficult to know which color will actually suit your space. If you are refinishing semi-custom or prefabricated cabinetry, the factory may have applied the cabinet paint with a sprayer which looks smoother but is hard to replicate with a touch-up kit.

Stained cabinetry requires less frequent cleaning than painted cabinets, and this can help reduce the risk of long-term damage or unwanted stains. However, sanding between stain applications is important to prevent the color from peeping through and can be labor-intensive.

Cleaning Up

Before refinishing cabinets, it is important to clean them. This is to remove all dust, dirt and debris from the surfaces and any hardware. A clean cabinet is the best base for your new stain or paint. Use a mixture of warm water and mild cleaner on a cloth or sponge to wipe down the cabinets. Make sure to read the label carefully and avoid any harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners that could damage the existing finish on your cabinets.

If you have a lot of stains or build-up on your cabinets, you can use a scrub brush or toothbrush to work off the hardened debris. For any grease or other difficult to remove stains, try making a cleaning solution using equal parts water and vinegar. Dip your toothbrush into the solution and scrub the areas that are greasy or stained. You can also use a commercial degreaser for a more thorough clean, but this should be done sparingly as these products can be hard on painted finishes.

Once you are finished, dry your cabinets with a soft, clean cloth. It is important to not leave any standing water on your cabinets, as this can damage the paint or wood. It is also important to let the cabinets dry completely before resuming normal use.

Regular maintenance can help keep your cabinets looking great, and it will cut down on the need for a more involved refinishing project in the future. For daily maintenance, use a rag or standard duster to wipe down cabinet doors and trim as needed. This will help remove any splatters and spills as they happen, which should cut down on the need for a deep clean.

It is also a good idea to periodically wipe down your entire cabinet with the vinegar solution or a spray degreaser, to remove any built up grime and residue. You can also use a commercial glass cleaner on the glass-fronted cabinet doors to keep them shiny and clean. Keep in mind that direct sunlight can cause fading on natural or painted wood cabinets, so be sure to use window coverings where possible.


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Cabinets Designs

Top Cabinet Designs You Have To Know

A well-thought-out cabinet design can make a big difference in the look of your kitchen. From the type of cabinets to door handles, a variety of design options are available to complement your space.

Two cabinet construction styles to consider include framed and frameless. Framed cabinets have a face frame that holds hinges and doors.

1. Shaker

Shaker cabinets are one of the most versatile cabinet designs because they can be adapted to many different styles. This is partly because they are simple, minimalist, and crafted to last for decades. They have been around since the 19th century and originated from a religious community known as the Shakers. This community believed in the principles of simplicity, utility and honesty. These tenets are what led to the creation of their furniture. Their artisan furniture became famous for its quality and craftsmanship. Today, shaker style cabinets are still used in homes around the world.

If you are thinking about remodeling your kitchen with shaker style cabinets, there are a few things you should keep in mind. First of all, the structure of your cabinets will play a big role in how they look. There are three main cabinet construction types: inset, partial overlay, and full overlay. Inset cabinets are constructed with cabinet doors & drawer headers that fit inside the frame of the cabinet face, giving them a built-in look. Partial overlay cabinets have small gaps between cabinet doors and the frame, while full overlay cabinets have recessed panels that sit over the frame of the cabinet.

Another way to change the look of your shaker cabinets is by choosing a stain color. Stains are available in a variety of colors, and some even come with natural textures. One popular option is gray, which looks good with both traditional and modern cabinetry. Gray is also durable and easy to maintain, as it resists heat, chemicals, scratches, fungus, mildew, and water better than other stain colors.

Lastly, you can also choose to paint your shaker cabinets. This is an easy and cost-effective way to transform the look of your kitchen. You can choose a light or dark shade to match your kitchen theme. If you are going with a lighter shade, consider using SmartShield to protect your cabinets from moisture and staining. This protective coating will make your shaker cabinets sturdier and easier to clean.

2. Traditional

Traditional cabinets are characterized by a variety of classic designs and colors. They are a good fit for homeowners who are looking to create a homey and comfortable space. They also offer versatility, as they can be used for both casual and formal dining spaces.

Traditional kitchen cabinet designs feature a classic color palette that includes neutrals and earthy hues. They also incorporate a lot of wood accents to add texture and visual appeal to the cabinets. These details can be carved to resemble antique furniture or to project a more natural feel.

Some of the most popular types of wood used in traditional kitchen cabinets are cherry, maple and oak. They have distinct grain patterns and are prized for aging gracefully. These types of wood also have rich tones that complement the natural colors of traditional cabinets.

When choosing a finish for your traditional cabinets, you want to choose a color that will enhance the beauty of the wood without overshadowing it. White is a common option for traditional kitchens because it creates a light and airy ambiance. It is also easy to match with other design elements, such as the faucet and hardware.

To complement the wood tones of your traditional kitchen cabinets, you can use natural metal hardware. Using a silver or bronze finish on your cabinet hardware can help tie together the look of your traditional kitchen design. Other hardware options that work well with traditional cabinetry include drop pulls, cup and bin pulls and antique brass.

Another way to add the perfect finishing touch to your traditional cabinets is by adding decorative valances. These are typically placed over kitchen windows, hoods or cabinets and are designed to add a bit of flair to the room. They can be shaped and adorned with a wide variety of decorations to suit any taste or mood.

3. Modern

A modern cabinet style is clean and simple, with minimal ornamentation. They feature flat panels, or slab doors without raised edges. They use light colors and hardware for a fresh, sleek look. They may incorporate furniture-inspired details like decorative legs or corbels. They can also incorporate slopes and curves to create a more organic feel.

There are many different options for materials and finishes to achieve a modern look. For example, some people choose to go with wood stains, which can be painted in a wide range of colors including white, gray and vibrant hues like reds and greens. Others choose to use textured laminate which provides a rich, natural looking finish that’s durable.

Another option for modern cabinets is to use a metal material like aluminum or stainless steel, which can be used for the cabinet frames and drawer fronts. It’s also possible to use glass for the cabinet fronts and shelves for a contemporary feel.

To help your cabinets have a more modern feel, you can use a modern type of cabinet hardware like J or C channel metal rail pulls. These hardware features a sleek, smooth design that’s fully integrated into the cabinet door or drawer face. This helps create a more seamless appearance and eliminates the chance of dust or dirt collecting in the grooves of traditional knobs and handles.

If you’re considering a more modern cabinet design, be sure to check out the brand name and review their customer satisfaction rating before making your final decision. Some reputable brands include Plain English, which has been around for decades and just recently launched in the United States, as well as upscale Italian manufacturer Snaidero. The latter has a line of “LOOK” cabinets that is popular for its minimalistic designs and sophisticated European aesthetics.

4. Contemporary

Contemporary cabinets are sleek and stylish, but they’re also more organic than modern styles. This simplified cabinet design features clean lines without showy ornamental details such as crown molding and utilizes natural materials like real wood fronts and standard appliances for a homier feel. They also feature maximum storage, tall features and an illusion of larger space.

Laminated Finish

Laminates are often used for their affordability and versatility in contemporary cabinet designs. They are a combination of different material layers that include the top layer that has a decorative design, pattern or texture, the second layer that is comprised of a durable melamine resin and the core layer that contains a Kraft paper reinforced with resin. This type of material is also known as a thermofoil.


Veneers are commonly used for their stability and are a popular choice for contemporary kitchen cabinet designs because they project the natural beauty of solid wood, but offer less risk of warping or splitting. They are bonded together with heat and pressure to form a thick sheet of material that is then applied to medium density fiberboard or engineered wood. Veneer contemporary cabinets are characterized by their flat surfaces and slab style doors and are typically paired with neutral colors like white or gray.

Hardware Styles

Metal hardware is a good option for contemporary kitchen cabinets because they are subtle and complement the minimalist aesthetic. Flat bar pulls are a common choice because they have square edges and an angular profile that accentuates the linear design of contemporary cabinetry. Stainless steel tab pulls are another great option for contemporary cabinetry because they work like design accents and provide easy access to drawers and cabinets.

5. Transitional

A transitional kitchen is a great way to mix up traditional and modern elements without creating a clash. However, it’s important to remember that subtlety is key – you don’t want the look of your kitchen to feel overdone or outdated. Decorative ornamentation on cabinetry, molding and other features can quickly become out of date so be sure to keep these elements to a minimum for an elegant look that stands the test of time.

Transitional cabinets often feature a combination of woods, neutral colors and a mix of traditional and contemporary styles. For example, you’ll find painted Shaker style doors paired with contemporary hardware in a classic color like black or brass for a balanced look. Neutral glazed ceramic backsplash tiles are also common in transitional kitchens, whether laid in a herringbone pattern for a traditional feel or stacked for a more modern vibe.

Streamlined countertops are another feature of transitional kitchens, which are usually a blend of low-maintenance materials like quartz or quartzite and more organic options like Arabescato statuary marble. You’ll also see a variety of countertop profiles, including waterfall islands that are popular in open-concept spaces because they can hide the legs of chairs and other storage components beneath the counters.

A clean, uncluttered look is a staple of transitional kitchens, so plenty of lighting is also essential. Bright, diffused natural light works well, and many homeowners choose to replace their dated recessed can fixtures with more creative pendant lights. You’ll also find a mix of oversized and tubular pulls in black, brass, chrome or other metallic finishes for an appealing balance.