How to Choose a Finish for Your Kitchen Cabinet
Choosing a finish for your kitchen cabinets is an important part of your refacing project. Refacing involves replacing cabinet doors and resurfacing any exposed framework with matching wood, paint, or veneer. New veneers can also be used to cover existing kitchen cabinet doors. Paints or stains can be used for more artistic finishes.
What's Your Style?
Think about the style and composition of your cabinet doors when choosing a finish. You can choose from raised or recessed panel doors, flat fronts, bead board, or glass fronts. Wood doors are popular for kitchen cabinet refacing, but may cost up to 25% more than plastic laminate. If you choose to reface cabinets with wood doors, you can pick from oak, maple, hickory, birch, pine, cherry, and alder woods. You also can use medium-density fiberboard or metal for replacing cabinet doors. Glass can be clear, frosted, or ribbed. Laminate is available in many colors and patterns for cabinet resurfacing. Veneer comes in a variety of wood types and can be stained and finished.
From Dingy to Dynamite
If you're basically satisfied with the style of your cabinets but think they could use some sprucing up, you may want to refinish kitchen cabinets. Although cabinet refacing costs more, refinishing with stain or painting can be pretty time consuming. Refinishing kitchen cabinets may involve degreasing, then stripping the old stain and finish with chemicals and sanding before applying new coats. Restaining is more expensive than painting.
After applying an oil-based primer, gloss or oil-based paints can be sprayed on kitchen cabinets for uniform coverage and more durability. Water-based paints should be 100% acrylic. A gloss paint will offer more protection and withstand cleanings better than semi gloss or eggshell sheens. Pickling the wood will give your kitchen cabinets an opaque finish while brining out the wood's natural grain. You also can paint kitchen cabinets with decorative finishes like color washing, ragging, sponging or stippling.
Set a Budget
Whether you choose to hire a professional or do-it-yourself, it's important to set a budget. Keep in mind that professionals may charge you almost as much to refinish kitchen cabinets as to reface them.
Better Homes and Gardens
About the Author
Francine L. Huff is a freelance journalist, the author of The 25-Day Financial Makeover: A Practical Guide for Women, and has appeared on a variety of TV and radio shows.
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