Budget Friendly Cabinet Refinishing

The craftsman blog

Hi I'm Scott.

a general contractor in historic home restoration  with over 10 years  of experience,

here to show  YOU how  you can  do-it-yourself.

Do you want to renovate your kitchen without the big costs?

Come see how I refinished my cabinets in just one weekend with ease:

Simple layout? Put everything in a ziplock baggy.  Complicated hardware? Take pictures!

Step 1: Remove the Hardware

Remove drawer screws so the drawer face can be removed and label on the back side.  For cabinet doors, unscrew the hinges from the door leaving the hinge attached to the box. 

Step 2: Remove Doors & Drawers

I sanded all my cabinets with 120-grit paper using a random orbit sander. Sand until smooth. 

Step 3: Sand

Thin the primer about 10% with water to get good even coverage and avoid drips like the plague. Let it dry for a couple hours, then go over with a fine sanding sponge to knock down any areas where the primer causes the raw MDF to raise a bit.  You want a buttery smooth texture where you can’t feel any rough spots or texture.

Step 4: Prime

Using the right paint here was pivotal. Some paints are sticky and are a terrible choice for cabinet refinishing. They cause blocking and sticking paint as you open and close things. You want a hard enamel paint for cabinets that can be easily cleaned and will hold up to the abuses cabinets are put through.

Step 5: Paint

I let the cabinets dry overnight and then brought them back in and began putting the puzzle back together just like I had taken it off.

Step 6: InstalL

With this cabinet refinishing tutorial you’ve just done in one weekend what you’d typically pay a professional painter several thousand dollars to do. That’s huge and a huge boost to your home’s value that you should be proud of.

Get my free downloadable ebook for a simple primer on the tips I have found most useful from decades of this kind of work.

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