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How To Refinish Your Hardwood Cabinets

You can breathe new life into a cabinet system by refinishing it. A fresh stain will expose the natural wood grains and allow you to alter the style of the cabinet. The difficulty of the job will depend on the size of the cabinet and the ornateness of the molding. More decorative molding is generally harder to refinish because there are more cracks and corners that are trickier to reach during sanding. Here is a basic guide tor refinishing hardwood cabinets. You can figure out what tools you will need and whether it is a project that you want to undertake.

Remove the Doors and Drawers

First, you should remove all of the drawers and doors from the cabinet. Also make sure the door hinges are removed from the face frame. If you set your doors and drawers on table outside, you can streamline the sanding and painting.

Sanding the Cabinet Box

First, you will need to sand the cabinet box. This is probably the easiest step because the cabinet box is usually flat and has square edges. If you have a vibrating power sander with medium grit paper, this step will only take an hour or so. You will need to spend more time masking off and preparing the area around the cabinet before you start sanding.

Sanding the Doors and Drawers

Sanding the doors and drawers will take a combination of the power sander and handheld sanding sponges. The sponges allow you too sand within the decorative molding. You will still want to sand a majority of the surface with a power sander.

Restaining the Cabinet Box

The key to restaining the cabinet box is to use rags instead of paint brushes. A lint-free free rag will allow you to spread the stain evenly onto the cabinet without worrying so much about dripping and creating a big mess. You will need to use painters tape to mask off the edges the cabinet where it reaches the wall.

Restaining the Doors and Drawers

You will also want to use a rag to restain the doors and drawers. Be careful and make sure that you get stain into every corner of the molding. But also make sure that it does not puddle up in the edges or cracks.

When the stain has dried you will need to lightly buff out the surface with steel wool. This adds a little bit to shine to the cabinet and makes it smoother to the touch. Finally, you can reattach the doors and hinges and you will have a completely different looking cabinet.


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