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Cabinet Refacing: How to Reface Kitchen Cabinets

by William Beel
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kitchen cabinets

It is entirely normal to desire a change in your kitchen after a few years.

However, it is not economically feasible to fulfil this desire every few years.

But have you ever thought of refacing your kitchen cabinets and giving them a whole different instead of replacing them and putting a dent in your budget?

Here we will show you how this is not only possible but super fun and budget-friendly.

Let’s start with the equipment and material you would require for your custom kitchen cabinets.

What You Need to DIY Your Cabinets

Here’s is the simplified list of all the essential tools, equipment and material you would need to transform your cabinets:

  • Hammer
  • Nails
  • Carpenter glue
  • Drill/driver
  • Straight Edge
  • Handsaw/ Utility Knife
  • Try-square
  • Self-sticking wood Veneer
  • Plywood

You will be amazed at how much you can save by resurfacing your cabinets, and if you decide to do it yourself, that’s an extra $1000 in your pocket saved up from labour cost.

Believe me, when I say this, you can do it yourself even if you are not a master carpenter.

As long as you can measure, cut and carefully follow instructions, you are good to go.

Let’s see how this is done

Remove the Doors and Clean

Begin by removing all the cabinet doors.

Once the doors are out, aim at cleaning the surfaces with a reliable cleaner and let them dry.

Use sandpaper to rub all the faces to make the surface smooth and even, giving you a clean canvas to work on.

Dust and wipe off the excess dirt with a dry cloth.

Stick Plywood Panels to Exposed End

On either side of the cabinet is an exposed end. Begin by resurfacing it first

Apply carpenter glue on the sticking side of the plywood and gently place it on the cabinet’s exposed face. Make sure it sticks by nailing it, and make sure the nails head sinks to give it a smoother look.

Cover the Stiles

Stiles are the verticle frames of your cabinet.

Start by measuring them accurately.

Once measured, make strips of veneer that are ½ inch wider and longer than the measurement. Use a utility knife and straightedge to make neat cuttings.

Place the strip of veneer in parallel with the stile so that all edges overlap.

Gradually start peeling away from the back of the veneer and pressing it on stile as you move down smoothly.

To ensure that no air bubbles are trapped inside, use a wooden block to firmly press the stile down to its full length.

Now trim the excess veneer with the help of a utility knife. Run it down the inner edge and use a straightedge as a guide when you reach the joint.

Cover the Rails

The next step is to cover the rails, which are the horizontal frames of your cabinet.

Again measure them accurately.

Apply the veneer on the rails smoothly and make sure it overlaps with the stile on both sides.

Now, to level the joint and make it look even, measure the excess veneer and trim it with the help of a try square and utility knife.

Attach the Doors

With the help of a drill or driver, screw the hinges on the style of the cabinet.

Hold the doors to the cabinet to adjust its positing and screw the counter hinges on the door.

Once the door is attached, carefully open and close it a few times to tighten the screws and ensure the doors are secured.

Attach the Knobs

Now it is totally up to you what kind of knobs and pulls you prefer.

But the simple ones can be easily attached by making holes with the drill and screwing and tightening the knobs together.

Resurfacing kitchen cabinets is a totally do-able and affordable option as compared to cabinet replacement. With the right equipment and a steady hand, you can complete this job in a day and give your kitchen the much-needed upgrade.

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