Kitchen Cabinet Refacing is the process of covering your current cabinets with a new material. This material could be anything from veneer or a thin surface wood to laminate or even thermofoil. It provides you with a quick and relatively simple way to change the look of your kitchen without creating a mess and without the skill set and expenses required for a complete remodel.
The process starts by covering the cabinet face frame with self-sticking wood veneer and then the end panels are covered with a quarter-inch of plywood. The old doors are then replaced with your new model. This costs significantly less than purchasing new cabinets and if you complete the work yourself you can save an additional $1,000 in labour costs. The savings will be even higher for larger kitchens.
The work can be completed by those with at least some experience with DIY tasks and using tools, however, you do not need to be an expert. If you have the ability to cut accurately and take accurate measurements, you should have the skills to complete the work. Here are 4 tips to get you started as a beginner.
1. Prepare Your Cabinet Doors
Much like any other DIY task, preparation is key. Begin by removing the cupboard doors. Clean the faces and the sides of the cabinets in order to remove grease that builds up from use. Once completed, let the cabinets dry and begin scuffing the surfaces with sandpaper. After scuffing, apply carpenters glue (this is the recommended choice) onto the plywood panel and glue it to the exposed end of the cabinet bank. This is then secured using finishing nails.
2. Cover The Stiles with Veneer
Measure the vertical-frame members, also known as stiles, and the horizontal members, known as rails. Once measured, cut the veneer into strips, ensuring the strip is half an inch wider than your measurements and 2 inches longer than the stile and tail. Line the veneer with a stile to ensure it overlaps throughout. If correct, press the veneer into place. To guarantee it stays in place, use a wooden block to press across the full length of your veneer strip. By doing this, you remove any air bubbles. Once the veneer is firmly attached to the stile, begin trimming the excess overlap onto the kitchen cabinet, making sure you trim all the edges.
3. Cover The Rails With Veneer
The stiles are now covered and it’s time to repeat with the rails. To cover, apply the veneer ensuring that it overlaps the stiles on both sides and cut through both layers of veneer. When finished, remove the veneer trimmings. This process is completed by peeling away the excess pieces of rail veneer. Then, lift the edge of the rail veneer, slide a knife or razor underneath and lift to remove.
4. Hand The Doors
Screw the hinges onto the door and line up the door with the cabinet opening and screw this to the frame. Close the door, ensuring that it is positioned correctly and tighten the screws if happy. Complete the process by attaching the cabinet hardware such as knobs and pulls and enjoy your new looking kitchen cabinets.