Cabinet refacing is the best way to refresh the style of your cabinets and inject new life into your room. Cabinet refacing is the replacement of the skin of your cabinets. The process involves removing the doors and drawers, applying a veneer over them and even replacing cabinet hardware like hinges and knobs. When done right, it's the cheapest way to try out an entirely new color or style for your room and cabinets. However, there are a lot of potential problems with refacing kitchen cabinets that you might encounter. This guide on how to avoid cabinet refacing mistakes will make your job a lot easier and make your refresh last a lot longer.
1. IMPROPER PREPARATION
Preparation is the key to getting the job done correctly. Overlooking your preparation is one of the biggest cabinet refresh mistakes you can make. Whether using a veneer or replacing your cabinet doors, many really important steps need to be followed to prepare for your refacing project properly. Follow these simple steps to prepare your cabinets before you start refreshing them:
Remove the cabinet door: The first step is to carefully remove your cabinet doors and drawers using the right tools. Once taken down, you must remove all cabinet hardware, like knobs and hinges. Also, be sure to empty your cabinets before you start. Remove any trim molding using a tack puller or a stiff putty knife. Place your tool under the edge of the molding and gently pry it loose.
Keep your hardware safe: If you plan on reusing hinges, handles, knobs or any other cabinet hardware, keep it in a safe and separate place. This prevents any parts from going missing and makes it easy to find them all again when you need to put them back in place. Be sure to remove drawer boxes as well. Repair any dents, scratches and loose or peeling surfaces.
Inspect cabinet boxes: Now that your cabinets and drawers are bare, you should thoroughly inspect them. Fill these with wood putty, let dry fully and then sand the cabinets after application for the best results.
Cleaning: Give all surfaces you'll be working with a detailed cleaning. Use a mild detergent and water solution. Only use a damp cloth to wipe them down to avoid soaking and saturating your wood. Give them time to dry properly.
Label your doors: Label your doors and drawers when you remove them. Write your labels in pencil under the hinge spots so they won't be visible when you're done. These labels make it easier to reassemble everything and avoid layout mistakes.
2. MISMATCHED STYLES AND COLORS
One of the problems with refacing kitchen cabinets is when your new style clashes with your kitchen. Your upgrade could turn into a downgrade if your new cabinets don't match the aesthetics of your room. Make sure your new cabinet's style is a good match for your room by paying close attention to these details:
Kitchen counters: Find a color and style to complement your kitchen counters. If you have dark countertops, a lighter cabinet style tends to work best.
Cabinet hardware: Knobs and handles are chosen to enhance a room's style. If keeping them the same, you need to find a style and wood color that works best with their style, design and colors. If you have lighting fixtures, it's common to match your cabinet hardware to the metal in your fixtures for a cohesive look.
Color scheme: The current color scheme of your room or kitchen should be a major part of your cabinet refacing. Your chosen cabinet wood, veneer and new appearance can easily clash with your existing color scheme, so be careful.
Style and theme: If you live in a rustic home or have a modern kitchen, your cabinet refacing must suit that style and theme. Just like certain decorations and accents work with different styles, so will your new cabinets.
3. MISSING STEPS IN THE PROCESS
Knowing the entire process involved in a cabinet refacing project is crucial before you start. Primarily, you want to ensure you have the right tools for the job, including:
- Tape measure
- Utility knife
- Tack cloth
- Putty knife
- Wood glue
Whether you're using veneers or 3D laminate, the following is a brief summary of what your cabinet refacing process should look like:
Cutting:Note down the measurements of your cabinet, and remember the classic advice of woodworkers — measure twice and cut once. When cutting your veneers or laminate sheets, give an extra half-inch in width and two inches in length when installing.
Adhering: Veneers come with a layer of pre-glued adhesive with a peel-off cover, so you can apply pressure to adhere the panels to your cabinets. Laminate does not come with adhesive, so you'll need to use the proper glue to adhere them to the cabinets.
Finishing:Use a sharp utility knife to cut off any extra material and sand out any rough edges. For laminate, apply pressure in the direction of the grain with a J-roller or wood scraper.
4. IGNORING STYLE LONGEVITY
Getting the chance to reface your cabinets and refresh your style is an exciting opportunity. It might be tempting to embrace the most popular current trend, but that can backfire as most flash-in-the-pan trends have a short life span and soon your refreshed design might be outdated by the end of the year. The longevity of your cabinet's new style is a vital factor to consider when making big decisions. Do some research to discover the top trends and find the ones you like that have staying power.
5. UNDERESTIMATING THE TASK
Refacing might seem like a simple do-it-yourself (DIY) project, but it can be a large project. If you have a bit of experience in DIY home projects, you're probably well-prepared for the task. If you haven't tackled something like this before, you might want to consider hiring some help. Either way, you should consult our help center for cabinet installation. Find helpful tips and tricks and instructional videos that will give you the know-how to tackle your next project.
AVOID MISTAKES WITH CABINET DOORS ‘N’ MORE
Using Cabinet Doors ‘N’ More is the best way to avoid these common cabinet refacing issues. We offer an excellent selection of cabinet door replacement and refacing accessories, and our experienced team is more than happy to give you assistance in choosing the best products for your project. Reach out to us for more information and find trustworthy advice that will give you the cabinet refresh you've been dreaming of.