Bathroom & Kitchen Guide

Your complete guide to remodeling, design and new products.

 

 
Kitchen Cabinet Refacing Instructions

Refacing kitchen cabinets is no longer only for the tight budget homeowners.  Even the affluent are well aware that they can easily change the look of their kitchen in as little as one weekend and without spending a lot of money.

Probably the most important part of any kitchen make over is that of the cabinet refacing.  If the cabinets are in good shape, it seems a waste -- of materials, time and money -- to rip them out.

One way to approach a cabinet makeover is to cover the existing cabinet stiles and rails with peel-and-stick wood veneer and replace only the doors and drawer fronts.

This does not mean you need to rip everything out and rebuild. Instead of spending, say, $10,000 on a set of new kitchen cabinets, go the thrifty route and reface the cabinets you already have for a much smaller price tag. It's amazing what a little veneer and a few new doors can do to brighten an aging space. Both are available through woodworking companies, and a few manufacturers even offer peel-and-stick veneer to make the task a lot simpler. You just have to be careful to measure two times and cut once.

The first step in the refacing process is determining the materials you need. The doors are custom made out of laminate or a variety of wood styles that you can order pre-finished or ready to finish (the cheaper alternative). The least expensive refacing option would be to paint your cabinet boxes and order paint-grade doors. If you want the look of wood, choose pre-finished natural wood doors, drawer fronts and wood veneer in something such as maple.

The veneer comes in 24- x 96-in. sheets. To figure out how much veneer you need, measure the length and width of all the cabinet face frames, adding 2 in. to each.

Rather than veneering the ends and undersides of the cabinets, it's easier and less expensive to cover them with pre-cut plywood panels. To determine panel sizes, measure the width and the length of the cabinet end or underside and subtract 1/4 in. from the width in case the cabinet is out of square. (You'll cover any gaps with scribe molding.) Round all measurements to the nearest 1/8 in.

Because it is difficult to perfectly veneer the corners of the cabinets, be sure you order enough scribe molding and outside comer molding to cover all the corners.  Scribe molding works well as a base shoe in front of the toe kicks.  Also order crown molding for the top of the cabinets.  This not only gives them a more upscale look but also hides any imperfections in veneering at the top of the cabinets.

Outline for Refacing Kitchen Cabinets
Here's the summary for cabinet refacing process.
Also, consider installing vinyl mats on shelves and drawers so they feel fresh and new and attaching face frames and shelf edges in lieu of laminate or veneer to make the cabinets appear like brand-new cabinets.
Refacing1. Remove existing door fronts, drawer fronts and molding pieces.
2. Measure all openings. Order new doors and drawer fronts.
3. Inspect cabinet boxes and repair or reinforce as necessary. Fill holes from old door hinges with wood putty.
4. If necessary, replace the drawer boxes or fit them out with new glides.
5. Most upper wall cabinets have a space of up to V4Hnch on the bottom exterior. For a cleaner look and an easier lamination process, fill this space with plywood. Another option is to use
the space for under-cabinet lighting.
6. Sand all exterior surfaces to remove grease, paint or food residue and prepare the surface for glue,
Refacing 1

7. Apply glue to the exterior surfaces and to the veneer, RTF (rigid thermal foil), laminate or other product to be applied. The "double bonding" process produces a strong, long-lasting bond.


8. Use a routing tool to remove any excess glues or surfacing. Miter the lip of each cabinet to a 22-degee beveled edge to make it chip-resistant.


9. Apply new molding,


10. Install new doors and drawer fronts.
painting
11. If appropriate, stain or finish cabinet exteriors to match the doors.

                      Knobs
12. Attach brand new handles or knobs.

 

 

 

There is no need to rip out all of your kitchen cabinets and rebuild. Instead of spending, say, $10,000 on a new set of new cabinets, save yourself some big cash and reface the ones you have for much less money. It's amazing what a little veneer and a few new doors can do to brighten an aging space. Both are available through woodworking companies, and a few manufacturers even offer peel-and-stick veneer to make the task a lot simpler. You just have to be careful to measure twice and cut once,



 
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